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About booktobook

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  • Location
    Portland, OR
  • Interests
    Contemporary Women's Literature
  • Program
    English Literature
  1. You should probably check with each program, though. For example, I know Carnegie Mellon specifically states that your GRE scores cannot be more than two years old even though ETS says they are valid for five. You should be fine for most schools, but it is worth it to check.
  2. Still can't decide if I'm going to let myself be discouraged by my GRE scores or if I'm going to follow my dream and stay on course to apply next fall...

    1. newms


      If your dream involves going to grad school, don't give up on it! There's still time to redo your GRE this year.

    2. fuzzylogician


      Follow your dream and apply! There is still time to improve your application for this year, and if you still don't get in you can always try again next year.

  3. I just took the test two weeks ago and did not have any numeric entry questions. I also did not have any of the sentence completion ones where you have two or three columns with three choices and you have to pick the right combination of words. Hope that helps.
  4. Well, guys... the results are in. 630 V, 620 Q. I don't really know how I feel about this. I reread all of your kind and thoughtful replies today and still don't know what I should be thinking. They're not low enough to be upset about or high enough to be excited. I think I'll see where my AWA is at and go from there. I think I'll take milestones13's advise and hope that a good AWA will make them take a second look at me. I'm feeling pretty good about my writing even though I got a slow start on my Issue. This is all so confusing!
  5. A little preface... I know I should probably be asking these questions of a professor I've asked to help me through the process or someone similar, but I am three years out of undergrad and six hours away from my UG school. My MS is in a more vocational field-- our program director only has a BA. I am pretty much on my own here and greatly appreciate any and all advice. That said, how did you decide on what programs to apply to and how much contact did you have with them before you applied? I think I've read just about every thread on the entire forums page and some people seem to have a lot more contact with future advisers and faculty than others. What exactly are the criteria for a "good fit"? I have been looking at the faculty page and punching names into JSTOR that look relevant, but I am lucky when a department has one really good fit and potentially an associate professor with similar interests. I am not applying until Fall 2012, but I don't know how long it's supposed to take to research schools and cultivate contacts, etc. Is it appropriate to contact a professor at a school I am interested in to let them know that I have read their research and am interested in working with them? Also, how do you get information on job placement? Some school seem to list it right out in front, but it doesn't tell the whole story. For every grad they place, chances are five more are struggling to find a job, but they're not going to tell you that. Is it appropriate to contact the English department and ask candid questions about their program and success rates? For the record, I plan to spend this winter revising a paper from undergrad and approaching the professor whose class I wrote it for to provide comments in the spring. At that point I plan to also ask him for some help with SOPs and, of course, let him know that I would be ever so grateful if he would write me an outstanding LOR. I'm hoping and praying that he'll still remember me after four years.
  6. Finally got the guts to look at the paper that might be my writing sample and I don't think it's too bad. Definitely room for reorganization and improvement, but overall rather well-written and insightful!

  7. T-minus two weeks until GRE time! I can't wait to start worrying about my writing sample instead :)

  8. I have been studying hard for about four weeks for my GREs and have been frustrated because I am not scoring above a 1200 combined using Princeton Review CAT sample tests. I have been averaging low 600 verbal and mid-500 quant. Today I took my very first PowerPrep sample test and got high 600s for both. I've been told that the actual test is more difficult than PowerPrep, but can anyone account for an almost 200 point difference in scores between the two programs? I'm worried now that my Princeton Review book isn't teaching to the test and that I might be very disappointed come test time. I really only want to have to take this test once because of a) cost and I don't know how the schools I want to apply to process scores on multiple tries (I'm applying for Fall 2012). Any input would be greatly appreciated!
  9. Thank you for your responses. I can't wait to get the test over with and move on to the next thing. I appreciate the advice not to compare yourself to other candidates, but it's so hard. One look at that results board is enough to make a person discouraged. Ok, enough negativity! You all have given me the courage to accept my scores and move on to the next, more important piece. I'll just have to hope that my GPA weights the "numbers" in my direction.
  10. The GRE is going to make me cry.

  11. I was just reading the post below where the poster received significantly higher GRE scores than my practice tests are leading me to expect and is worried about their chances. I've been doing a lot of reading up on the GREs and I'm definitely buying the "they won't get you in, but they'll keep you out" line of thinking. It seems like most schools have an unwritten rule of wanting a score of 1200+ combined score. How should this break out, though? It seems like a 600 Verbal could keep you out of the running in top PhD programs. I've been telling myself as I've been preparing for the last couple months that if i don't get a 700+ verbal and 600+ math that I won't even bother applying-- does this seem right? I don't want to work for the next year on a writing sample when I'm done coming out of the gate based on GRE expectations. I really wish programs would just post minimum requirements! I know, I know-- it's more about the writing sample and SOP, but considering that about 1/100th of the applicants get in, the chances of the person with the fabulous scores also having fabulous everything else is probably pretty good. Anyway, I would appreciate your input. My test date is in three weeks and I am not at all confident despite studying off and on for the last few months and really putting my nose to the grind for several weeks.
  12. Just read the results from last year. So my chances of getting in to grad school look like about 1/50. Wowza.

  13. I just wanted to add my two cents on owning dogs and living in an apartment. It is absolutely feasible to have a dog in an apartment as long as you're willing to put in the work. I waited until I was done with my Masters to get a dog, but that's more because I wanted to be financially sound before committing to a dog. And can I just say, I can't imagine my life without him. I used to be a pasty ghost even in the summers, but now that I have Booker I'm outside at least an hour every day. I've seen more of my city and its surrounding area since he came into my life than I did the previous two years of living here. Of course I sometimes have to skip dinner with friends or coworkers because I have to go home to take care of my dog, but I have never once resented him for it. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but the best thing I ever did for myself is bring that little dog into my life. It's hard to explain exactly how I've benefited from having him around, but I'm just much happier in general because of him. That said, pet ownership is not something to enter into lightly. Make sure you spend a couple of months at grad school and get a handle on your routine before you purchase an animal. I would strongly recommend having a car for vet trips, emergencies, etc. My dog is EXPENSIVE. He has unrelated neurological and vascular disorders (that's what I get for buying a pure breed, but I will likely not do again) and has cost me almost $4000 in the last 18 months. That doesn't count the hundreds of dollars I have spent training him in obedience and agility to keep his mind and body active. But again, I wouldn't trade my day-to-day interactions with him for the world. For the record, my husband and I also have two indoor-only cats. Our oldest has lived in three different states as we've made our various school-related moves. All three of our pets will be coming with us if I get into graduate school. Just remember that you are committed to an animal for its whole life and that it is your job to provide it with the highest quality of life you have to offer. Good pet owners come in all shapes and sizes and there's no reason a grad student living in an apartment can't be one of them. Good luck!
  14. For the last 18 months (and most likely for the next two years) I've been an Administrative Assistant/Document Production Coordinator for a hydropower development company. By the end of the year I'll be dropping the first part of my job (Admin) and getting a big pay increase because we're one of the few industries that's seeing growth right now. My job is OK-- the work environment is relaxed and I can feel good about the work I'm doing, but I'm pretty disenchanted by my first "real" job after years and years of retail.
  15. I'll be 24 and very shortly thereafter 25 if I get in in 2012 (I'm not applying this year). I have kind of a complicated story. I graduated a year early from high school and had a BA in English by 19. I moved to a new city and started a Masters in Book Publishing that fall. I finished that program in 18 months at the age of 21. That summer I married a wonderfully supportive man, but even that was part of this drive to move, move, move toward some "goal" though I couldn't quite wrap my head around what that goal was exactly. My laid back husband is 27 and still has two more years before he finishes his BS in Civil Engineering. I took a job in a field completely unrelated to my many years of education and have been forced to slow myself down while he accomplishes his goals. I've spent the last 18 months learning to be happy with what I have. I have a wonderful marriage, live in a great town, love my friends, got myself a little dog to spend time with while my husband works crazy hours between his retail job and school. I've had time to just breathe and live... and think. During that time I've come to realize that my true love is academia. My intended area of study was definitely informed by all of the marketing classes I had to take in my publishing program. I've come to terms with the fact that none of my education was a waste of time or money. I am thankful that I know I have a year plus to put together a stellar applications that can only improve my chances of getting in to a good school with a program that suits my interests (Contemporary Women's Literature). My husband is extremely supportive of my decision to pursue a PhD. He's not terribly ambitious in the "I define myself by my career" sense of the word and luckily is going into a field where as long as we're near a relatively big city, he should be able to find a decent job. So even though I'll have been out of school for over three years, and out of my field of study for over five, I feel really good about my decision to go back at 24. I don't think that, personally, I was anywhere near ready to pursue a more academically inclined program right out of undergrad. I just hope that my schools look at my experience the same way (Also I'm not totally sure why I just shared all that with a bunch of strangers, but it feels rather cathartic to type it all out.)
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