Jump to content

GRE is making me want to give up grad school

Recommended Posts

This is my second time applying for grad school and it would be my third time taking the test.

I just can't seem to get the questions right, both quant and verbal. Out of the 10 verbal questions I solved, I got 2 questions right. 

I'm following magoosh 90day plan and i'm already two-three weeks behind because I have hard time focusing and it takes me forever to find answers to the questions. And when I do, I get the questions wrong, so I go back and spend too much time trying to understand wth I did wrong. 

This isn't rewarding at all. My scores always have been and it still is within the 20th 30th percentile.

I feel ashamed and I just don't want to do this.

I graduated with magna cum laude so I'm sure I'm not stupid but whenever I take the practice test I feel so dumb.

GRE is literally making me depressed. 

I don't even know what to do anymore. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had similar frustrations.  Very smart, but full of failure with the GRE.  Ironically, despite being a prolific reader, I was terrible at the verbal section, simply because the way they word things is really tricky.


I found that reading a lot about how the GRE is constructed helped me, and going over the specific areas where I was having trouble.  I wasn't worried about writing, so I just ignored studying for that, and focused on verbal and specific math competencies.


I agree with Resilient, though - my MA program didn't require a GRE, so I didn't take it.  Are you sure your schools/programs require it?  If not, I wouldn't. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depending on what field you're going into, there may be programs that do not take the GRE. I know that Biology/Biomed programs are largely starting to drop it, there's a list of programs that have dropped it already floating around this forum. I would imagine that there are other fields doing the same thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I feel you. I think it's important to keep in mind that GRE is NOT an objective evaluation of your intelligence. What the GRE evaluates is... well, your ability to take the GRE. It is so specific in its approach that pure intellect is not enough. Your ability to understand what is expected from you is key here.

Now, if you have tried everything and you can't mold your brain to fit into this ridiculously specific test, then that simply means your strengths lie somewhere else. Maybe focus on what you CAN improve: your personal statement, your writing sample aso… ask other people to review your application. I am not sure where you applied? if you only picked top universities, then your otherwise satisfying application might just not be enough in a high competition environment.

I hope you get better soon!

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is me now. I don't do well with standardized tests. I am writing mine next week and everything is so awful, and I haven't even practiced the AWA. I am thinking I need to reschedule but I am not sure there would be much difference from what i have now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're certainly not alone!

The main problem is that, when people finish high school, they seldom use any of the math they learned. So, after a few years, most people have forgotten pretty much everything they learned, which means they have to go back and re-learn a years and years worth of math concepts and strategies. Given this, I suggest a systematic (even methodical) approach, in which you take the time to master each topic/concept (e.g., percents, ratios, text completion, quantitative comparison questions, etc).

So, for each topic/concept, you should:

1) Learn the underlying concepts (rules, attributes, notation, etc.)

2) Learn GRE-specific strategies related to that topic

3) Practice dozens of questions all related to that one specific topic.

4) Don't stop working on that topic until you have mastered it

Then, and only then, move on to the next topic.

In addition to learning the core concepts and GRE-specific strategies, be sure to work on your endurance and test-taking skills (e.g., time management) by taking several practice tests. 



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I personally used magoosh and brought my verbal and quant scores up by like 6points? unfortunately all 3 attempts, my awa stayed the same. I cant write well without having time to get drunk, writing drunk ? damn ets and their no alcoholic drinks policy

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not alone @ghong. I took it for the second time today and still feel that my scores are not where they need to be. On the bright side, I approved my score 9 points from the first try (8 in Quant, 1 in verbal) using Magoosh. I know that it is hard to stay focused but I really credit my improvement to diligence and persistence. I watched every single quant video and did every single problem. There was 6 weeks between my first and second test, so it is possible to do with limited time. I will be trying again for a third time in three weeks.. Hoping to bump my score 3-5 points. 

Truthfully, there is nothing that you can do other than keep at it (or find programs that don't require it). I know that everyone is different, but knowing that I have no other option was really motivating for me and I seriously dedicated all of my free time to studying. Keep at it and know you are not alone in the struggle. I cannot tell you how many times I have cursed this damn test. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same feeling after taking the test. I was not happy with my quant score since I am from Engineering and also not fond of my verbal and AWA scores due to my high scores on the TOEFL test (it is a lot easier, I know). 

I really hope that a 3.0 on the AWA will not hurt my application so much or the other good factors such as the number of publications will help balance that negative part.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.