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FingersCrossedX

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FingersCrossedX last won the day on August 9 2012

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  1. I don't disagree with your advice, but take into consideration your strengths. For me, the quant was much easier because math has always come easier. I didn't really study at all for that section and got a great score. I spent all my time on the verbal because memorizing words and understanding strategies helped me raise my score by about 200 points. For me, all the math came back and I just looked back on the geometry a little. I think that the OP should look at their skills and decide which section is easier and which section is more important for their program. I mean a history program is going to care more about the verbal section. Bit if you're trying for a physics program for example, work on that quant score.
  2. There is no magic number. Look at the programs and see if any have a minimum score. Of course aim for the highest score possible, but don't freak out about the GRE. You have plenty of time before your test. Use it to study, jjust a little bit each day will help. Get a study book or look into a class if you feel that is the best way for you to go (courses are quite expensive though). However, don't rip all your hair out over this test. There are plenty of stories on this board of people with low GREs getting in to great programs. There are just as many from people with perfector near perfect GREs not getting in. Its not the deciding factor. Relax a little, but still take it seriously. You'll be fine.
  3. When your scores are sent to your institutions of choice, whether its at the testing center or later, all of your scores for the past 5 years will be reported. I would guess that some schools only take the most current scores into consideration, but some might still look at older scores. When I was studying for the GRE, I bought a test prep book. The strategies they give really did help. Then I bought a vocab book and memorized as many words as I could. I did it in about a month. I knew enough words to get a score I was really happy with. I needed both the strategies and the route memorization. However, if I took the test today, I'd do terribly on the verbal section as I have forgotten all of the words I memorized. That being said, it sounds like the rest of your application should be quite strong. If your GRE scores aren't great, go ahead and work on the rest of your app. Make that part very strong by starting on that SOP and reach out to possible recommendation writers. If your GRE is over 1000, you can get in, shoot for 1200 though. Good Luck on the test!
  4. You don't need a perfect GPA to get into a good grad program. Schools look at more than just your GPA. Is there a reason you struggled with grades earlier in your studies? Not so much an excuse but if you or a family member got sick, or you had some responsibility that took you away from your studies, it could help your case. Mention it in your SOP. Is there a reason you need to look outside your university for research opportunities? If you took a class from a professor and really liked the class, email him or her. Ask if they will be need student research assistants in the summer or next fall. Most likely their grad students will need people to help out. You will get a little class credit for doing it. In my experience, it was a super easy A. It will also get you a good recommender. My GPA wasn't great, but I had research experience and a great recommendation from undergrad by doing research (I too was a psych major). I was a teacher after I graduated and am going back for an education program, with that relevant work experience and my research experience I was accepted by a few great programs. No one part of your application will make or break you unless its really really bad. My best advice is to really look at each program and find a few that are great fits with what you want to study. Be specific about that in your SOP. That will get you further than you might think.
  5. If you will feel better retaking it and have the time to study, I say do it. Otherwise, the GRE is not that important. The GRE isn't a great indicator of graduate school performance and there are parts of the application that are much more important. The absolute best advice I can give you is to make sure that each school you apply to is a good fit for you and your research. Look at professors that you want to work with and make sure they are taking students on when you are applying. Even with a perfect GRE score, without a good fit you most likely won't get in. This spring when results started rolling in people would post a rejection along with VERY impressive stats GRE over 1400 publications, high GPA and such. I would bet a lot of money that they got rejected because of a lack of fit. Like I said, if it will make you feel more confident and you have the time to do it, retake the test. If its going to stress you out more than keeping what you have, I say just focus on researching schools and fine-tuning your statement of purpose.
  6. That makes total sense. I was a little late to the party so I figured you had already figured this out but 300 Euros is a lot to spend if you don't have to.
  7. Sorry, I'm really late reading through this thread but this post of your caught my attention. I saw that you're going to be in Miami. You really really don't need heavy winter stuff there. It doesn't get cold. This shows the average temperature for the year in Miami. The average lows are jacket weather. That's not to say it won't get colder every now and then, but there won't be snow. I'd suggest you bring maybe one coat, maybe a few jackets and some long sleeves but I would leave almost all winter stuff at home. If you are going back home during winter break you could always bring another 20 Kg bag back with you if you decide you need more winter clothes. That's just a suggestion though.
  8. Not to be a narcissist, but I'm bumping my own thread. It's not for my advice really, but the stuff other people wrote seems to be relevant to a lot of the questions new applicants are asking again, GRE questions, SoP, letters of recommendations, etc.
  9. If you go for another degree it would help. Just taking a few classes won't help because like President said they wouldn't go on your transcript. A second bachelors wouldn't take as long as the first and it would give you a solid foundation of intro courses. From what you said, it sounds like you don't have much of a background in CS, so I think the second bachelors is a good idea. Does your local CC offer four year degrees? I know the one where I grew up only had Associates degrees.
  10. No problem here. I use Firefox. I'm sure that's one of the four you tried though.
  11. For my SoP I started with how I got to where I am, told them why I want to go to grad school and tied it all up with why I specifically chose their school. In the part about why I want to go to grad school I spelled out my research interests. In the section about why that particular program, I explained why I was a good fit and if there was a professor I wanted to work with, I named him or her. With that format, I found it easy to fit all of that information in. Any other advice to impress adcoms? I have no idea. Having gone through this process all I can say is good luck. Choose the programs you apply to wisely, because fit is very important.
  12. I went to a large state school and took a lot of large classes too. I worked in the lab for one of my profs that taught a class I really liked. Psychology professors often need people to help run experiments and work in their labs. If you had a professor that you liked, you could email them and ask if they need help in their lab. Also going to office hours and getting to know a current professor could help. I feel your pain. I had to email professors to ask for LORs 4 years after I graduated. I didn't think any of them would remember me. I only emailed the professors I had gotten to know from working with them, but they remembered and had no problem helping me out. Just be sure to give them a month or two to write it.
  13. Is it worth it? I think only you can really decide that. For me personally, no. That's too much debt. That's a house, a very nice house in some places. Is there any other option financially? Is there a less expensive option that will give you less debt and allow you to work in your preferred area? I understand that you want to get the best education possible and you have some great programs to choose from, but I just feel like it's not that great a program if it will force you into a career that you won't like.
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