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Blog Comments posted by samman1994

  1. I've had this discussion multiple times with multiple people, and from someone who has studied and taken it, the verbal section is ok, but the quant is absolutely garbage. 

    1) Math is about critical thinking skills. When I approach a math problem, I look over the problem, try to create an equation using variables, and create relationships between multiple equations if the problem requires it. This takes time, more than 90 seconds for each problem. Math takes time, you can ask every single mathmetician out there and they will agree. The main technique to solving questions on the GRE quant section is to look for "key words" or certain problem sets, that can either be solved using an equation you have to memorize, or that you can plug in chug.  Yes, plug in chug is the most commonly taught method to solving GRE quant problems. Why? Because of the bullshit time limit on this exam. When I take the untimed versions, I score almost perfect scores (got a 168 the last time I took one), when I take the timed, I score around the high 150s. I simply run out of time to do the problem, because I believe there really is not enough time. Sure you could say maybe I'm a bit slow in general, but that doesn't mean I'm an idiot or a bad student, just a slow test taker. 

    2) With the reasons above stated, the GRE is an absolute shit test in testing someones math skills. With proper studying and enough classes/tutors, any student despite their previous math skill can succeed on the quant test. I have seen multiple times English and Film majors actually score better than Math and Physics major on their quant. Does that mean English and Film majors are better than Math and Physic majors at math? No, it just means the GRE is a dumb test to evaluate anything. 

    Someone stated it previously best, the GRE score only represents your ability to take the GRE, and that's it. It doesn't represent what kind of a student you are, doesn't represent your intelligence, nor your ability to do well in whatever program you are applying for. It is for this exact reasons many schools look at your other stuff in the application, and may just dismiss your GRE scores outright. The schools know its shit, the students know its shit, I refuse to believe the test makers themselves don't know its shit. From what I've gathered, the main thing the GRE is for, is for international students. To make sure their english and math skills are competent. I'll say this much though, its definitely a good business. We have what Magoosh, Princeton, Manhattan, CrunchPrep, Mcgraw, Peterson, etc. reviews, classes, and practice tests? Each ranging from 60 to sometimes 1000 bucks? 

  2. As someone who has actually made a "look at my application" post and have had discussions related to my application, I think I have a couple answers: 

    1) Many people don't have anyone to show. They may not have made any connections with their professors during their undergrad, or never joined a research lab, or anything of that sort. The only people they know are their friends who are in the same boat they are. So they come here, to try and ask other people who have had applications, what they think of theirs. 

    2) Many people don't know how the process works, especially with so much conflicting information. On one hand some people say, "the GRE is a make it or break it deal". On the other hand, people say: "lots of people have gotten into top schools with low GRE scores", but those sources never specify why or what. Is it the GPA? Is it a good rec letter. And its difficult to answer because each persons application is different. So these sources don't really apply to everybodies application, and rather it must be approached as a per basis view. Each application must be looked at individually. For some, their experience and background is so impressive the GRE and their GPA don't matter. As someone who has done research on this, there is a lot of conflicting information, and anecdotal experience is best when it comes to these situations. 

    3) Often times (myself included), people come here for information on programs and a discussion. A very common example of this is: "Hey guys, I've done my research, and with my application it appears my chances don't look good. Should I still try? Do you think I'll have a chance?" This can be crucial when you're looking to apply to multiple schools and it costs a bit of money. Any bit of information can help. Maybe someone was in a similar situation you were in, and it worked out for them, so they tell you to go ahead and do it! Maybe someone on here can tell you a better option, a better school, that you may not have thought of or found. 

    4) Anxiety, depression, anger, disappointment, etc. We have all been through these things. Hell, I made an account for this sole reason. I did really bad on my first GRE, and I wanted to see how everyone else did, maybe my scores weren't all that terrible. I mean, from research I had come to the conclusion it was awful, but the community here really helped me realize that it wasn't the end of the world. My scores weren't that bad, and I still had a shot for going after a PhD program. This community is about helping spread information and support one another, and sometimes people just want to be told they have a chance, that they should go for it. For all the reasons stated above. 

    Anyways, I for one always answer to the best of my capabilities (I have recently joined, so haven't done that much) every question regarding applications that I see. Through reading a lot of personal anecdotal evidence on here, and looking at stuff online, I have a general understanding of how applications go, and can help at least try and reassure people, or at the very least give them some direction where to look or start looking. 

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