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  1. Like the last poster, I took the test on Saturday, and my experience was very much the same. The vast majority of the test questions were of the reading comprehension/advanced grammar variety. And yes, there were a number of theory questions that were more obscure than I'd anticipated. Also, there were more linguistic questions than I would've thought; I had a full four or five "clusters" of questions dealing with Middle (and to a lesser degree, Old) English passages. As a medievalist these were welcome to me, but maybe not so much for the average literature student. Noticeably absent wer
  2. Well, I have to believe that getting into a reputable PhD program is going to be highly competitive no matter your specialization, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. The key is finding a school that fits your *specific* interests, and, perhaps more importantly, demonstrating that those interests fit within the department. While setting out as a medievalist is a good start, you would probably be better-served by narrowing your interests down to the early or late part of the period. Are you planning to focus on Anglo-Saxon literature or Middle English literature? Of course these are on
  3. I would agree with the previous poster that the GRE Lit test is not going to be the most important part of your application package. Many schools have done away with it as a requirement altogether, and from what I've heard, more will be following suit. As is, I think it's often only used as a sort of "tiebreaker" between otherwise evenly-matched candidates. That said, if you've already registered to take the test again, you might as well try your luck. They'll only refund half the money if you cancel. Besides, you're almost certain to do better this go-round even if you don't study an
  4. Firstly, I would try to find more instructional materials that include advice on the writing sample. I went to my university library and dug up everything I could on applying to grad school and found loads of books with chapters dedicated to both the writing sample and the statement of purpose. I assembled notes and went from there. It's generally agreed that the writing sample is the *most* important part of your application as a potential grad student in literature, so make sure you get it right. Different universities have different expectations though, so you should look carefully at t
  5. To the poster who is considering UTD... I did not go to UTD but I used to live a couple blocks from the campus on the border of Dallas/Richardson. Firstly, there are a number of apartment complexes in the area that are pretty affordable. I used to live in a sizeable townhouse for about $600 a month right down the road, and I'm certain you could find smaller places that are even cheaper. Just make sure you stay away from ANY apartments on McCallum Blvd. There is one small pocket of VERY crummy, crime-infested apartments in that area, and it's located squarely on McCallum. However, the vas
  6. Thanks for the added info! I'm planning a trip to Knoxville this weekend, so I'll keep what you've said in mind. Personally I've found that I do vastly better academically when I live within walking/biking distance to school, so more than likely I'll be living as close to campus as possible. However, if I can find something significantly more affordable a little further out but still on the bus route, I might have to consider it. Money is really my biggest concern right now, as the funding package is a little bit on the lean side. From what I've heard though the cost of living in Knoxvill
  7. I was pretty much universally advised by my professors NOT to accept any offers that came without funding, but it was less about how I would be viewed as a non-funded student and more about the financial bang-to-buck ratio. If you fund your PhD yourself, you're likely to spend lots of money doing it, and you're by no means guaranteed a satisfactory job once you've got your doctorate in hand. Post-secondary jobs in the Humanities are extremely competitive these days, and as one of my professors told me, it's imprudent to wrack up thousands of dollars in debt getting an advanced degree that do
  8. I appreciate all the info! It's seeming to me more and more that Tennessee is going to be very similar to Texas. UT-Austin was extremely difficult to manage on the administrative end, too. As I said before, my biggest concern is finding someplace to live close to campus. If Knoxville is anything like Austin, parking on campus will be a tall order, so the closer the better. By the way, if you end up deciding on UT-Austin, feel free to post any questions on here. I don't know a whole lot about the graduate school, but I know Austin as a city very well. I lived there for eight years and pr
  9. Anyone hear anything new from Purdue? I emailed the grad secretary weeks ago and never received any sort of response. Given that they've already pressured some of the early admits to make commitments, it's puzzling to me that they're still not letting the unofficial wait-listers know where we stand. Or maybe my application was rejected in the first round of reviews and they never got round to telling me! I've never heard of a school sitting on a stack of sure rejections until the deadline, but maybe that's what we've got here.
  10. Thanks for the info fire! I'm thinking that the combo of low cost of living and proximity to beautiful countryside will do me well. I didn't know that traffic was a big issue, but hopefully having a bike will alleviate that sort of stress. Culturally it sounds like I'll be right at home coming from Texas. As for tidefan's remarks, I did my undergrad work at the University of Texas at Austin so I'm well-versed in the football barbs from the Okies and the Aggies. Thanks for making me feel right at home! Hah! Thanks folks...
  11. I'll be moving to Knoxville in the Fall to work on my MA in English at UT. I'm from Texas, so I don't know a thing about Tennessee. Any information regarding Knoxville as a city (things to do, public transportation, parks, climate) and UT as an institution for grad students would be much appreciated! I'm also looking for someplace to live that's close enough to campus to ride my bike. I'm not big on cars. Is living downtown/close to campus doable on grad student money?
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