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misterpat last won the day on October 28 2009

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  1. No, any history program worth attending reviews applications all at once. There might be an MA prorgam or two with rolling admissions, but I haven't run across any of them. And Feb 1st is pure optimism. Last year, I think I had one program reply in February, and it was close to the end.
  2. I'm not sure if average GPAs and GREs are all that important. That being said, I'm pretty sure Duke has them on their website somewhere. I think average numbers of applicants vs. number admitted is a more interesting stat. One department that I didn't apply to but that I recall noticing was kind of a high acceptance-rate was University of Kansas, where about 1/3 of applicants are admitted. Pretty high for a top 50 program. The location is probably a big factor.
  3. It sucks, but I wouldn't worry about it that much. That 800 should outshine the 4.
  4. I fully agree with both of these points. As for your first point, I prefer to do this instead: A ------------------------------------------------------------------------- B ------------------------------------------------------------------------- C ------------------------------------------------------------------------- D ------------------------------------------------------------------------- E Then add vertical lines to separate your notations for each problem. This way, your scratch paper has less of a cluster-fuck appearance and you waste less time creating it.
  5. I don't think the AW will "make up" for the 600, but the 600 might not matter if the rest of your application is strong enough. It is a risk, though, and history students have some of the highest Verbal scores out of all disciplines. When I had similar scores and consulted professors who were writing letters for me, I was advised to retake. At this point, it's probably too late for you to take the GRE again and get your scores in by the deadline, so maybe don't worry about it.
  6. misterpat


    The SOP is really terrifying to write. Don't get discouraged (I say this, but I get discouraged all the time). I went, for all intents and purposes, 0/9 last year (admitted to a few, but without funding). Looking at the statements I submitted last year make me want to throw up; I fear that my friends whom I had proof-read it have lower estimations of my intelligence than they had before. I have read a LOT of outside material since last year's cycle, and it does make it a lot easier. Now I feel like I can speak somewhat confidently and not sound like a fool, and my main task is trying to figure out which potential ideas are going to make the best impression on each particular program. I can't offer much advice other than the excellent suggestions offered above. But for what it's worth, here are a few tips: 1. Maintian a confident tone. It's intimdiating knowing that you've only read 1/1000000 of the stuff the people who will be scrutinzing your SOP have, but if you don't sound like you think you know what you're talking about, why should anyone else think you do? Modesty is good, timidity is not. 2. No personal stuff, unless it's explictly requested or (somehow) relevant to a research idea you are proposing. Even then, keep it brief. 3. The person who described it as a proposal is right. If you had to write proposals for research papers in undergrad, it should kind of be like that. 4. Don't get too attached to anything you write. Starting from scratch a bunch of times is probably better than revising what you currently have. You'll surprise yourself with how easy it can be to hammer out a more coherent version of what you had written the first time.
  7. This post is so full of unverifiable claims that I don't know where to start. I suppose I'll just say that the test probably measures equality but doesn't accentuate it, and that you're criticizing the GRE for not "being a social equalizer" when that's not its purpose.
  8. The GREs are definitely a deterrent mechanism, but I don't think that means we should do away with it.
  9. It seems a bit ridiculous to entirely fault the book you used. As a Princeton Review teacher, I can't attest to the quality of that exact book, since the books we use in our classrooms are laid out differently. But I'm pretty sure the strategies are roughly the same, and I'll say that I prefer TPR over Kaplan for a couple of reasons, Math being one of them. TPR teaches you to "beat" the test, so to speak, by avoiding algebra and plugging in answers given to you instead of constructing algebraic equations and such. I've always taken standardized tests this way, so to see my way of approaching tests in a manual is a big step up from Kaplan, which is what I used when I prepared to take the test. I understand you're frustrated, but the entitlement in your post is very unbecoming. Take the test again. It doesn't hurt to take it multiple times. You probably just didn't study enough. Reading one manual and doing the practice exercises within isn't enough for a lot of people. Do every test in this book from ETS (the company that makes the GRE) and review your mistakes, before re-taking: http://www.amazon.com/GRE-Practicing-Take-General-Test/dp/0886852129 If you practice TPR's methods on ALL of those tests and STILL bomb, then you either have a point about Cracking or are hopeless. And to the person who remarked about the supposed difference in the difficulty of TPR questions: this should have been off-set by taking as many practice tests as you can get your hands on Finally, I noticed that you're going into education. Comfort yourself with the fact that education is about the lowest-scoring discipline that takes the GRE: http://www.ncsu.edu/chass/philo/GRE%20Scores%20by%20Intended%20Graduate%20Major.htm Good luck!
  10. Even though this is an objective measurement, I still feel slighted.
  11. "Dear Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen of the Life of the Mind" Refrain from anything like what you're thinking. It's an essay, not a letter. It sounds middle-school-dance awkard because starting it that way is, in fact, that awkward. Launch into a professional discussion of your interests, with no "Dear scholarly dudes and dudettes" at the top, and a minimal amount of personal information. Most people reviewing your application won't care about your personal life.
  12. Looks like you have solid stats. I loved my Russian history seminar, though I am an americanist. Are you applying to Indiana? I'd wish you luck if you weren't a dirty, dirty jayhawk.
  13. Well, if you can pay for the MA, that's a different story. And you're right; your stats are good enough to get into a decent PhD program, but would probably keep you out of a program like Chicago's Social Thought PhD. I believe they only take 5 or 6 students a year, but I could be mistaken. My concern was that your youthful idealism would be exploited by a university which admitted you to their unfunded MA program, letting you rack up tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Getting into an elite PhD program afterward isn't a given, and thus getting a job wouldn't be certain either. I'm sure I'm not the first to tell you that there are fewer and fewer tenure-track positions available in academia; the trend is toward using a lot of adjuncts, whom do not receive benefits and are paid a miserable wage which would make paying off that debt and living above the poverty line a difficult task. I didn't intend to sound abrasive, but I am very skeptical of such programs. I was admitted to Chicago's MAPSS last year with 1/3 scholarship and still turned it down, so I'm not trying to steer you away from a route I haven't considered. I've seen faculty members of decent departments holding those degrees, but my guess is that the vast majority of people who attend, say, Chicago or Columbia MA in the liberal arts program, will never be viewed as the caliber of student to be admitted to a PhD program there. Certainly, some people make the most of the opportunities afforded them by those programs (adjustable rate mortgages probably even worked out for SOME people, but were a bad idea for the overwhelming majority of those who took them). But the schools don't publish statistics on how well most of the graduates from those programs do, which suggests that the statistics aren't pretty. FINALLY, if you are considering the Chicago Social Thought PhD, APPLY THERE! You will probably get sent to MAPSS anyway. I applied to the History PhD program last year, and was admitted to MAPSS. If your application is good but not good enough, they'll pawn you off onto MAPSS. I can only assume it works similarly at other universities with such programs.
  14. So far as I can tell, the only reason anyone should laugh at you is the fact that you are only applying to programs you must pay to attend. I'd suggest figuring out exactly what discipline you want to pursue and to find funded PhD programs to apply to in that field. Otherwise, you are entering a career with uncertain job prospects and likely $50,000 in debt, assuming you finish one of these MAs in one year, go on to a PhD program afterward and complete it (not all safe assumptions, either). Have fun paying that debt off with a non-tenure track position, likely without benefits, which pays you something comparable to what my assistant manager made when I worked at Domino's in college. Aim higher. Sorry to rain on your parade.
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