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Everything posted by hungrybear

  1. GRE Date

    I've noticed that most people take the GRE in August or September, but would the end of October, in your opinion, be too late to take mine? I can see why most people take it in August or September, as a majority are still in undergrad and trying to get it out of the way before their semester gets crazy. However, I'm out of undergrad, I work part-time, and I don't have any other obligations. Outside of work, I basically have unlimited time to prep for my apps. I want to take mine on the 21st or 28th of October. I figured those dates give me enough time to do some prep for the math comfortably, but if I need to retake, I will have time to retake (albeit close to the deadline) and have the scores get to my schools in time. Thanks in advance
  2. GRE Date

    Just Magoosh, couple of Manhattan books, and the free PTs given by ETS. I also read a lot of, which has GRE-like articles.
  3. GRE Date

    Thanks! You can break into the 160s easily if you have a wide vocabulary. I already had a wide vocabulary before I started studying, but the Magoosh flacshcard app really help me find the holes in my lexicon. I just went through the app and created my own list based on the words I didn't know. I would say, since I'm guessing are applying to programs that require writing, to also do a couple mock essays. Going in blind for that section would have been terrible. We're used to writing with all the time in the world, but that section only gives you 30 minutes for each essay. I got a 5 on the analytical writing, and I think I could have done better had I practiced more for it. Good luck!
  4. GRE Date

    Update: unofficial score of 168V/149Q. I'm ecstatic!
  5. Fall 2018 Applicants

    As fluent as you can get. But more realistically, you should be able to watch news and understand what's going on. You should be able to read academic level articles with a dictionary. You should be able to talk about your research topics in French. And finally, being comfortable with writing wouldn't hurt.
  6. Fall 2018 Applicants

    Start working on French yesterday, if you haven't already. If you're leaning towards empire, you will inevitably end up looking at one of France's colonies. Getting familiar with the language of whatever colony you decide to look at would be wise. As far as programs, ASU has some good scholars for France and Empire. So does UT Austin.
  7. Book Review as Publication?

    PhD and Master's apps are asking if I have any publications. I have no research articles published. I do, however, have a published book review in an academic journal. I was an intern for this journal in undergrad, and, as part of the internship, I was allowed to publish a book review. Should I include it in the app?
  8. Need help making sense of correspondence

    >.> I've definitely narrowed down my PhD choices because of advice here and elsewhere. I'm just doing a select few and putting effort into my master's apps. I think being accepted to a PhD program can possibly (please don't kill me) help with funding a master's.
  9. I was e-mailing a POI and she asked about my languages. Arabic is my weakest language, and I made this clear in the e-mail. "This all sounds marvelous, but I am concerned about your entry into a PHD program without sufficient Arabic. It is very difficult to achieve the level of competence you need to use Arabic sources in the course of doing the PhD . It is far better to learn Arabic before starting doctoral work. We are looking for PhD candidates who have 1) adequate literacy in Arabic to do research and 2) already have an idea about a theme for their doctoral thesis . While the MA agree is not essential— you may be able to get to this level on your own— it certainly helps. And we do not have an MA program. What you may think about is a year or two in Morocco (or elsewhere in NA) studying Arabic and learning about the culture and history at first hand. There are several good programs, I like the one in Fez , but there are others as well. Peace Corps is another good option, you will learn darija and can get a tutor to study fusha, while experiencing total immersion in the Moroccan life. I understand it is not difficult to get a job teaching English to survive, it will also put you in contact with your cohort. This may sound like more than you had bargained for, but the competition at the PHD level for jobs is now so intense that unless you are thinking of something like the foreign service, CIA or other government agencies or business, you will find yourself running hard or out of the running altogether when it comes to finding an academic job. I know that these are tough words, but I am giving you an accurate picture of what to expect — at least at [[my school---edited out name for anonymity]]. I and my colleagues have decided that each graduate student is a product of such effort that we have to place our bets on those who are best prepared for the rigors of doctoral work. You seem to have all the makings, but as far as the Arabic is concerned, I would say that you might be thinking about how to go those few extra yards." Should I not even apply there? Should I only be looking at master's then? I'm going to contact other professors at school's I was thinking about working under (this is the first POI I've contacted) to get a better sense, as this is my first inquiry with a potential POI. What I find weird is there are students in programs who hadn't even taken Arabic (I have) and are studying the area I want to study (North Africa) in doctoral programs.
  10. Need help making sense of correspondence

    And if it does that is fine. I'm applying to master's programs as well.
  11. Need help making sense of correspondence

    That's what this was all about until @Sigaba stepped in. I'm aware of the importance of proficieny in Arabic for my field. I think where we all fundamentally disagree is the time it will take me to get to that level. I think, coming in with a foundation, I can do it in time with courses during my first two years and summer intensive courses. But please all realize that is my opinion based on my language learning experiences.
  12. Need help making sense of correspondence

    I was just responding to JKL's point about needing excellent Arabic to enter a PHD program that focuses on NA. It's not always necessary. My comment about not needing a high level of Arabic was just to point out that there exist instances where it is not needed. Not that I don't plan on learning it. Or that I don't want to master it. And stop assuming I want to be an Arabist.
  13. Need help making sense of correspondence

    The students I spoke to in those level programs that are focusing on my area (Morocco and Algeria) had around 2 years of Arabic (what I have) upon entering. Those studying the ME of MENA definitely had better Arabic. The discrepancy comes from the linguistic nature of NA. There are four (generally) possible languages people can use to study Morocco and Algeria: Spanish, French, Arabic, and the Berber language. I am fluent in Spanish and French. Depending what your focus is, you can get away with not knowing or being proficient in the other languages, as many successful historians in my area have done. Not that I am not seeking proficiency (I am). Look, I'm not trying to argue that it's okay to have weak Arabic. I was just responding to JKL's assertion that one's Arabic has to be excellent to enter a PHD program. That is simply not true.
  14. Need help making sense of correspondence

    I am aware of this. It's interesting how you are treating this one professor's advice as dogma. You do realize there are other professors in the field that are accepting graduate students? And that these professors may have differing opinions on language requirements? And that I may have spoken to these professors? And that my proposed research may not even need a high level of Arabic?
  15. Need help making sense of correspondence

    While I do agree that having excellent Arabic is good thing, it is not necessary. I had that mindset until I really started doing research, and I found that many students entering PhD programs who are studying the region I would like to study had little to no Arabic. Not saying every, just a good amount. And these are top 20 programs.
  16. Font Size on WS Opinions

    The standard at my college was size 12 font for any paper, unless otherwise specified. None of my applications specify font size, though it is obvious they want a reasonable size. I was wondering if it would be unreasonable to change the font size to 11? My WS is about 20 pages over the average limit, and changing the font size gets me to about 10 pages over the average limit. Edit: Using Times New Roman.
  17. Learning how to ask and answer historical questions

    I would like to add that this is not always true. You can use primary sources to answer larger questions. For example, I'm using primary sources in my writing sample to address the larger question of how can we "periodize" French urban planning in Algeria. It goes from the specific to the broad. And we can't forget people like Foucault who use primary source research to answer very broad questions (much broader than my example) , like how is power exercised etc. etc. Although, I was a history and philosophy major...
  18. Need help making sense of correspondence

    Duly noted. I have already responded saying thank you for the advice, etc. etc.
  19. Need help making sense of correspondence

    Thank you for all the help everyone. I've decided to continue emailing other POIs as was I planning. For the ones that answer more favorably, I will consider sending in an app there. As for master's programs, I had a rudimentary list, but I will expand that now.
  20. Need help making sense of correspondence

    Also, how should I respond to their email? Should I make suggestions? Or point out where other applicants have been successful despite entering with little or no Arabic?
  21. Need help making sense of correspondence

    I guess I should've been a bit more clear. What should I do moving forward? I can't go abroad another year, as I just got back from being abroad. I don't want to torture my S.O. And I. It's not just distance, we have bills and things we rely on each other for. I was applying to master's program in M.E.N.A area studies anyways, so should I focus only on those? In the meantime, I'm going to message other POIs and see what they have to say. That could just be this particular professor's desires for their grad students.
  22. NYU's Institue for French Studies has a Joint PhD Program in French Studies and History. However, NYU's I.F.S. offers a master's (not joint) in French studies with significant funding. I ideally would get into the PhD program, but if I apply to both programs, would that affect any decision making?
  23. Drop in Graduate School Applications

    All the schools I am applying to have seen a drop. I think this trend is a result of the economy getting better. There are more opportunities for recent graduates who would have otherwise turned to graduate school for opportunities. As the economy is still getting better, I can only imagine that the trend will continue.
  24. GRE Date

    That's interesting and somewhat relieving. I have a hunch that a lot of these universities inflate their scores. Obviously I will still try to do my best, but it would be more helpful is schools were more honest and transparent about score records. Some schools are, but the vast majority aren't.
  25. GRE Date

    GRE is only a small portion of my daily activities, so it is not getting in the way of editing my WS and SOP. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the last bit. I understand POIs to mean the person I am interested in working under at a given university. LORs come from professors I have worked with. Thus, I don't see how POIs are writing LORs.