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IceCream & MatSci

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  1. Like
    IceCream & MatSci got a reaction from drfigue in Think the GRE is useless? Think again.   
    I am one of those people that got mediocre scores on the GRE, and therefore, think it is useless. Of course getting uneventful scores makes me biased, but I don't think the GRE is all that useful. It can maybe show that students are good at answering certain questions in a short amount of time, which could then show how well said students work under pressure. However, the questions the GRE asks are not questions most, if any, masters and doctoral students will actually face/strive to answer in their programs and/or the real world. Also, yeah, you can study all you want for the GRE, but there is only so much preparation you can do to solve the world's problems. You won't be able to solve those problems nearly as easily because there is no study guide for them. That's why creative and critical thinking is so important. The GRE doesn't really address, maybe through the essays, but not much else. Additionally, I do have test anxiety, but my test anxiety somehow gets even worse when a standardized test is placed in front of me. I graduated with a 4.0 undergrad GPA, but yet I always seem to get average scores on these tests. I do believe that maybe there should be some standardized way to evaluate students, but I don't think the GRE or SAT or ACT or whatever is really the way to go. At least the GRE has subject tests. Also, I believe standardized tests were not created to benefit students or admission offices, but rather for yet another company trying to make money. That's why there are so many classes, books, studying tips, etc. that we have to pay for. But this is just my opinion, and the GRE is still deemed important in the eyes of most programs, so I guess we have to conform to it, right?
  2. Like
    IceCream & MatSci got a reaction from epi_hopeful19 in Think the GRE is useless? Think again.   
    I am one of those people that got mediocre scores on the GRE, and therefore, think it is useless. Of course getting uneventful scores makes me biased, but I don't think the GRE is all that useful. It can maybe show that students are good at answering certain questions in a short amount of time, which could then show how well said students work under pressure. However, the questions the GRE asks are not questions most, if any, masters and doctoral students will actually face/strive to answer in their programs and/or the real world. Also, yeah, you can study all you want for the GRE, but there is only so much preparation you can do to solve the world's problems. You won't be able to solve those problems nearly as easily because there is no study guide for them. That's why creative and critical thinking is so important. The GRE doesn't really address, maybe through the essays, but not much else. Additionally, I do have test anxiety, but my test anxiety somehow gets even worse when a standardized test is placed in front of me. I graduated with a 4.0 undergrad GPA, but yet I always seem to get average scores on these tests. I do believe that maybe there should be some standardized way to evaluate students, but I don't think the GRE or SAT or ACT or whatever is really the way to go. At least the GRE has subject tests. Also, I believe standardized tests were not created to benefit students or admission offices, but rather for yet another company trying to make money. That's why there are so many classes, books, studying tips, etc. that we have to pay for. But this is just my opinion, and the GRE is still deemed important in the eyes of most programs, so I guess we have to conform to it, right?
  3. Like
    IceCream & MatSci reacted to ResilientDreams in Think the GRE is useless? Think again.   
    I love this post so much. I dread standardized tests as well because it's what makes it look like I'm bad at math. The truth is, I feel like I'm actually pretty good at quantitative reasoning and was actually in charge of a lot of data analysis for one of my professors. I also can learn quantitative skills quite well. But in a timed environment with questions that are designed to trick you... I'm going to be mediocre every time. I hated the GRE because I was strong in every other way and yet this one test that's controlled by this one company has given me a weakness...
  4. Upvote
    IceCream & MatSci reacted to bibliophile222 in Think the GRE is useless? Think again.   
    I also believe the GRE does not reflect someone's intelligence, just how well they do on standardized tests. I scored very high myself (168V, 164Q, 5.0 AW) because I am a natural test taker with no test anxiety. I studied for the quant section because my math was rusty but didn't study for the verbal. I think someone who struggles at testing and must work hard to overcome it is more impressive and demonstrates far more diligence, problem-solving, and mental growth than someone like me who is competent but lazy. 
    I will argue, though, that the GRE actually does have a little bit  of relevance to a grad program, since there are tests in grad school. Being good at tests isn't relevant to someone's academic abilities or future career, but it does show admissions committees that the student will be able to test well in the program, which obviously has an effect on grades. GPA is definitely a more important determiner, but the combination of a high GPA and GRE can make a committee more sure of the student's success.
    Personally I'd be a little bummed if the GRE was done away with, since it helped me quite a bit, but it would help so many more people if it was abolished. It would be nice if it was optional, like something extra to put on a CV if the scores are high enough.
  5. Like
    IceCream & MatSci reacted to eeIntern1 in Think the GRE is useless? Think again.   
    Professors often encourage students to get as high of a GRE score because it can make up for weaknesses in an application. Additionally it is cautioned/advised that a really high quantitative score is required for graduate programs in many STEM disciplines. Many of my professors have expressed that as a strong engineering student, that the GRE quantitative section should be easy and should require ~1 month of preparation. This is a sentiment which is common among many in the STEM disciplines.
    Unfortunately, this has not been my experienced. I have never had a knack for standardized examinations. However, give me an exam in a tough EE or Math class as a final and I can easily score among the highest. This is due to the challenge I face with my anxiety and difficult time constraints. Although, I scored generally well in  all sections of the GRE, my quantitative score was below the average for engineering students.
    The GRE, like most standardized exams is a measure of how well you can take the exam, not about how much you know.  Without the time constraint, I was able do most problems on GRE practice exams from Manhattan Review, Magoosh, and ETS. Unfortunately this could not translate under the time constraint and pressure for me. My point is that if you are in a STEM field and expected to score upwards of 165 in the quantitative section for competitive programs, do not feel bad if you are unable to achieve your scoring goal. This exam does not define your mathematical ability, sometimes such exams require a lot of preparation in order to get efficient and fast. Sometimes we are unable to devote time to this preparation, and sometimes such exams are simply just not our forte. Any school unwilling to not see past a lower GRE score, despite a strong holistic applicant is not a school you many want to pursue.Try to obtain as high of a score as you can, and know that this is just one aspect of your application. With a below average quant score for an Electrical Engineering applicant, I was still admitted to many strong, competitive programs. All of our brains function differently, and many of us differ from the status quo of finding the quantitative section easy. This does not mean our mathematical skillset is less, or there is a problem with ourselves! Try your best, work hard, and you shall attain your goals!
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