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About briwriteshere

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  • Interests
    20 c. American Literature
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    English Literature

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  1. briwriteshere

    Roll Call 2019

    Hi, everyone! I'm an Americanist with a particular emphasis on constructions of racial identity in the American novel as well as literary history and its engagement with popular culture between the wars (1918-1939; Harlem Renaissance and Lost Generation writers tend to be primary figures I focus on).
  2. How much does the Analytical Writing section "count" for a student preparing to apply to a Ph.D. program in English Literature? For example, my scores were dismal: I received a V156 and a Q141. I'm a terrible standardized tester; perhaps my only saving grace is my 6.0 in Analytical Writing. That aside, I think I have no qualms with articulating "fit" in my applications, received positive comments regarding the strength of my SOP, and, lastly, a relatively decent writing sample I spent quite some time working on to bolster my application. I have a 3.82 GPA overall, a 4.0 in my major (English in the Honors Scholar Program), considerable research/teaching/editorial experience, and a couple of conference presentations. I am also applying straight out of undergrad from a top-20 public state university. My main question: how much do English graduate admissions look at AW? Does it somehow compensate for my shoddy Verbal score? Can my AW score still qualify me for top-30 programs? 😅 Please note that I don't have time to retake it again for the third time nor do I feel confident about my forthcoming Subject Literature scores (the latter of which I will probably only send out if required).
  3. I'm in a bit of a pickle. I have a 3.82 overall undergraduate GPA and a 4.0 in my majors (English and History w/Honors Scholar designation). I love reading, I have considerable undergraduate research experience (rare considering my major and interests), I have presented at two conferences, I have received awards from my department, I’m completing an Honors-level thesis, and I attend a decent public state university where I fostered great relationships with faculty. But I can’t get my GRE scores higher. I took the test once already and received a 153 V, a 140 Q (I realize this one is especially horrendous; this isn’t to say I don’t care about the Q section because it also detrimentally affected my cumulative score, but I’m applying for a doctoral program in English), and a 5.0 in Writing. I’m already scheduled to retake it in a couple weeks, but my practice test scores in Verbal have been stuck in the low-to-mid 150s (I think I can place my new essay scores in the 5.5 range, however). It’s humiliating, especially considering I’m trying to go to graduate school for English. And I can’t afford to retake them for a third time, considering next week I’m taking the GRE Subject Test in English. Many of the schools I’m applying to are in the top-30 range. I had no problem articulating fit, granted I started early in my junior year researching available archival holdings, faculty, department strengths, etc. But I know my scores will immediately put me at disadvantage especially considering the significance of reading comprehension for a person interested in an English Literature doctoral program. I’m not going to revise my grad school list anymore, but I feel as though I’m setting myself up for failure by applying to highly esteemed programs. How can I possibly improve my score? How closely do Humanities programs look at them? I’m prepared at this point to hold off grad apps for another year to apply for teaching jobs and study for the GRE tests again, but I’ve worked so hard on my applications already (including my professors writing my recommendation letters) I’m unsure what to do.

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