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sociopolitic

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  1. sociopolitic

    Do sociology programs put much weight on GRE?

    If dropping the money to buy a couple of cheap review books and retake the exam isn't out of the question, it might be worth considering. I think you're right that some programs have a baseline or cut-off you need to meet, and I suspect that top 5 programs are more likely than the rest to drop applications that don't meet a minimum quant score. Still, though, you can probably offset that aspect of your application with strong writing samples, good research experience etc. TL;DR You should retake it if you want to maximize your chances of admission but opting not to retake probably won't keep you out of grad school, especially if the rest of your apps are strong
  2. I'm applying this fall, so I can't do much other than regurgitate things I've heard from my own advisers/mentors. But based on what they've told me, provided that you accumulate research experience (preferably beyond just a thesis; if any of the professors you're close with need research assistants, that would be ideal), and provided you're able to cogently and persuasively outline your research interests and how a given department would be an amazing place to pursue those interests, you should be competitive at most of those programs. Based on student profiles, Columbia and Harvard seem to care more about undergraduate pedigree (TONS of Ivy League students in their program), but I would think that with a strong record like the one you're predicting for yourself, you'd probably be a strong candidate at any department in the top 20-30. However, because of your less prestigious institutional background I wouldn't be surprised if your GRE score is weighed more heavily than it would be for a Harvard undergrad. The admissions committee can trust that the Harvard student is a sharp tester because they got into Harvard, even if their GRE score is mediocre. In your case, thought, it'd be helpful to have as high a score as possible, as an indicator of where you stand relative to your prestigious peers in terms of your powers of reasoning. Basically, they probably get the benefit of the doubt where you wouldn't, but that shouldn't mean you can't get into a great program.
  3. sociopolitic

    Fall 2019 anyone?

    Took the GRE today and thanks to the Manhattan 5lb book my quant score jumped an insane 8 (!!!) points from my diagnostic score to test day. If anyone is feeling underprepared for their quants, get this book. It's only $20 and while you can't necessarily learn how to do advanced combinatorics or the like from it alone, I don't think I would have scored anywhere near as well as I did without it.
  4. sociopolitic

    Fall 2019 anyone?

    What are your substantive interests? There are a lot of schools with great comparative-historical scholars, but the topics they study are rather diverse. However, generally speaking I would say that aside from Berkeley, departments that are particularly strong in historical sociology are UCLA, Michigan, and Yale. Wisconsin and Chicago are also pretty good if you're specifically interested in comparative-historical research with a political bent to it. These are all very highly ranked departments though; I'm not sure which departments outside the top 20 (aside from Yale) are strong in the area. I get the impression that top departments are more likely to accommodate comparative-historical work than lower ranked departments (meaning I'm not sure you'd really find anyone other than Marxist sociologists doing this kind of work outside the top 50 departments).
  5. sociopolitic

    Are my activities during a 3-year gap decent?

    If your work informs your research interests at all, and you can tie that into your SOP, it seems to me that your work experience would be an asset.
  6. By the time applications are due, I won't yet have my grades for my 7th semester and won't have started my 8th. What GPA should I calculate? Just my 3rd year GPA, or 2nd-3rd years?
  7. sociopolitic

    Fall 2019 anyone?

    Yeah, I've got to say I've been very disappointed with Kaplan's math prep. I took their in-book practice quant exam and despite getting more right on it than on my diagnostic exam, scored two points lower! But when I looked at what my score would have been had I gotten just 4 more correct, I would have been put 8 points over the score I'm hoping for. I'm thinking that their score estimates are pretty crappy. My Manhattan 5lb book should be arriving tomorrow though! Hopefully I can make up for any damage Kaplan has done with this book - I'm taking the GRE in a month (yikes).
  8. sociopolitic

    'Am I competitive? ' thread (Sociology)

    No problem, @Andromeda3921! By the way, I agree with the above that boosting your quant score would boost your application, but with a verbal score of 168 you'll almost certainly make the GRE cut-off at a lot of places. Maybe retake it once and aim for a high quant score, but even if you end up around the 70th percentile most places (maybe not Harvard) will give your application an honest look, I would think. Depending on how much you think work bumping your quant score would take, it might be more worthwhile (and time-effective) to spend that time writing a killer SOP!
  9. sociopolitic

    'Am I competitive? ' thread (Sociology)

    @Andromeda3921What I've found helpful in identifying schools with good fit is searching Google Scholar for work that interests me or that is similar to the kinds of questions I hope to explore in grad school, and checking out which departments the scholars that are publishing in those areas are working at.
  10. sociopolitic

    Fall 2019 anyone?

    Another hopeful applicant here. Currently looking at Michigan, NYU, UChicago, UNC, Harvard, Duke, UCLA, Minnesota, Arizona, and maybe at Northwestern and Berkeley - not sure how great my fit there is. I've got a solid writing sample ready but have yet to write my SOP, though I'll definitely be busting my a** to make that flawless. Currently starting to study for the GRE, particularly quant, but instead I've mostly just stared at a closed Kaplan book. Speaking of, what books are you all using to self-study? Any idea whether there's an actual best prep book?
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