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edgirl last won the day on September 28 2012

edgirl had the most liked content!

About edgirl

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  1. My understanding is that, frankly, professional philosophers -- by which I mean those who are paid to profess in front of students -- at least at the better places, tend to be pretty skeptical of people who come in from other departments (Comp Lit, German, etc.) and give talks. My father, who teaches at a top Leiter department, is not particularly kind in his reviews of these talks, as he feels they generally either misuse or use superficially whatever philosophical constructs they're laying claim to. So based on that, and the comments of his friends and colleagues over the last 30 years, I would have to say that my guess is, if you want to end up in a philosophy department, you should really try to find one for your doctoral work. By all means, find a school that will let you take as many classes in your interest of field, but if your goal is a professorship in a philosophy department, I would stick with phil. (Of course, if you'd be happy to teach art history or poli sci or whatever, ignore all of this and go for it!) And I would also add that in philosophy, as in other grad areas, your advisor and LOR writers will ultimately likely be more important than the "rank" of the department, so the key is just to find the people doing what you want to do and doing it well, and then try your damndest to join them. My two cents, anyway, and admittedly I haven't followed my dad's career path, but I've spent a lot of time with profs and grad students over the years, so I just thought I'd throw this out there.
  2. I think you missed my point, which was that reading complex tests is actually the best preparation there is. (It's also super random that you picked that one book out of the list to slam.) That doesn't imply that in the short term test prep isn't useful; obviously if you've got two months or whatever, you might as well just cram. But for people planning ahead, or, like the OP, hitting a test-prep wall, there's no substitute for actually immersing yourself in good reading. I particularly stand by this given the emphasis on passage understanding rather than standalone vocab (as on the old test, with analogies). But, to each his own, and best of luck to everyone finding his/her own ideal study system.
  3. You can't go wrong with business casual. Always better to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed.
  4. Mostly Kaplan and Princeton Review (books, not courses), with some Barron's thrown in -- but Barron's, for me at least, was more useful for getting lots of practice on particular topics than it was for practicing for the test. For test-like questions, I used Kaplan and PR, and then did the ETS practice tests a week or so before my actual exam.
  5. I'm doing the master's program in QM at Penn GSE this year. It's a slightly weird mix of courses (e.g., regression/ANOVA, test construction, policy research), and depending on your stats/quant background it may well feel too introductory, although it is possible to replace core courses with higher-level ones if you've already taken equivalent classes. I think it's a better fit for people who have sort of broad education interests, are thinking about working as policy researchers or analysts, and want to be able to understand/do solid statistical analysis for such research. I think Columbia's programs are the most quantitatively rigorous and require the most quant background. But of course TC is expensive and offers kind of crappy financial aid. BC's ERME programs are also more straight quant, I think, than Penn's QM, though like Penn there is a broader focus on things like test construction rather than just a series of analysis courses. Feel free to PM me if you're thinking about Penn at all.
  6. I've gone back twice, once five years after undergrad and once nine years later. Of course, everyone's situation is different (especially in terms of what degree you pursue and to what use you plan to put it), but I can certainly keep pace academically with my younger classmates -- or in some cases, outpace them because of my real-world experience.
  7. Even if you don't need it, why not take the TOEFL if it might benefit you?
  8. The percentiles reported on any score reported are representative of a band of recent test-takers. Thus, percentiles move around every time ETS adjusts that band by adding test-takers from a new year and dropping the oldest set of scores. And as the new GRE settles in and folks figure how to teach to it and study for it, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the percentiles are moving around quite a bit. So if you decide three years from now to apply to new programs, you should expect that your percentiles will have changed again. From ETS's website: Percentile Rank Each GRE test score is reported with a corresponding percentile rank. A percentile rank for a score indicates the percentage of examinees who took that test and received a lower score. Regardless of when the reported scores were earned, the percentile ranks for General Test and Subject Test scores are based on the scores of all examinees who tested within a recent time period. http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/understand/
  9. This is going to sound harsh, though I'm not trying to be cruel. I feel like you're asking because you want honest feedback, so here's mine: Your 130 is likely going to doom your applications. It's not that the English faculty will necessarily care (although, frankly, they might shrink from a score that low on any section). But universities tend to have minimum GRE requirements for graduate admissions, whether or not specific programs do, and 130 isn't going to cut it for these requirements at any reputable school. As far as the subject test goes: if it's not required, just don't submit it. If it is required, then you need to retake it. A 420 puts you in the 3rd percentile. That is not where you want to be, nor is it an acceptable number to share with schools that require this test. If I were you, I would invest in some high-quality test prep (think course, not book). You may be a brilliant writer, but your scores are in a place where admission committees aren't going to get that far into your application. I hope you are able to improve your scores and find a great fit institution for yourself. Good luck!
  10. This isn't accurate anymore. The old GRE worked like this, but the new one is adaptive by section, not by question -- you can absolutely skip questions, either altogether or coming back to them later. So it's no longer essential to get the first few questions right, but it is key to do as well as you can on the first section of each type. (Not that anyone tries to do poorly, of course.)
  11. Yeah, I think the issue here is that, for example, a roll of 1 6 isn't the same as a roll of 6 1 -- they add up to the same sum, of course, but visually they're a different arrangement, and what you're being asked is how many successful arrangements (sum of 6) there are out of all the possible arrangements (36). In the second problem, 2x3 is the same as 3x2 -- the outcomes aren't distinct -- and this is different from the first problem because you're being asked about possible products, not about the arrangement of factors that gets you to that product. That is, you're being asked about how many possible totals there are, not the ways you can get to the total. (I hope that makes sense!) So I don't think it's a mistake, and I hope that's helpful. I'm sure other folks will jump in if they disagree with me!
  12. Really? I mean, you heard about this 5.5. requirement from departments directly? Because most schools care much less about AW and use other parts of your application (e.g., your writing sample) to judge writing ability.
  13. If you take the computer-based test, you'll get official results in about 2 weeks. Can be as soon as 10 days.
  14. I believe that in most engineering programs verbal isn't weighed as heavily. If you're nervous about asking professors/grad coordinators, at least try checking folks who shared their stats on the results forum here -- I imagine you'll find plenty of people with average verbal scores who were admitted to quant-heavy progams. As many people would no doubt add, the one caveat to this is that graduate schools as a whole tend to have GRE requirements you need to meet for admission and/or funding purposes, so that if your scores are too low -- even if a department doesn't care and wants to take you -- the school won't allow you in. You might want to check this more general question ("Are there GRE cutoffs for admission to the graduate school or for funding?") since it doesn't give away your scores and allows you to retake with your first scores hidden if you choose to.
  15. You won't say which school for anonymity, but you list your current city as Ithaca, NY? That's a good one. More to the point: your quant score is certainly high enough for English programs. The verbal seems a little low to me (though, as is obvious from my signature, I'm an ed person, not an English one anymore), but the best people to answer this question for you are really your current professors. If the other parts of your application are indeed quite strong, I would think those scores would be just fine.
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