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sommersprossen

GRE should I retake?

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Hi,

I graduated in May and took the GRE for the first time at the end of August after about three weeks of prep (pretty much all math review). My scores were:

V: 660 (94th percentile)

Q: 620 (52nd percentile)

AW: 6.0 (99th percentile)

Undergrad GPA: 4.02 (I didn't have to take math....haha, just methods and I did fine!)

So, I want to apply to PhD programs in Political Science (IR/Comparative). I think. I am hesitant because of my math score. Had I studied vocab at all I think I could have scored much higher on that as well, but I guess my verbal is not as big of an issue. What is an issue is math...BIG problem there. So tell me, should I retake?

Allow me to add that I am currently working/living in a developing country and a retake would be highly inconvenient (if not impossible) until next year. Should I delay application and wait to retake and apply next year? It's so frustrating because I'm not sure what to do and grad applications aren't exactly cheap, especially on an NGO salary!

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Hello Sommersprossen!

First of all, let me congratulate you on making the decision on becoming a political scientist! :lol: I hope that you will soon become as disenchanted as the rest of us! :P

What was your GPA scale as an undergrad? I've never seen anyone have above a 4.0, since there are no AP classes in college (well, they're all AP classes, technically).

If you're looking to go into IR (great choice, BTW), you're really going to need to get that math score up. I'm not sure what level you're shooting for, but for a top-10, you need at least above a 700 to even be really considered. Then you'll need around a 750 to be considered seriously.

I would recommend getting these two books:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/141955221X/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0BJ0Y54JSQ5SR6A3Y0E5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607144972/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0BJ0Y54JSQ5SR6A3Y0E5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

I used something similar to the second one when I took the GMAT (when I thought I wanted to go into business), and it was perfect.

Note that if you wait another year, they're COMPLETELY changing the GRE, so you may want to look into what those changes are going to be before you make that decision.

http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/know

Good luck! What areas are you thinking of researching and what programs are you looking at applying to?

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Yeah, I'm interested in the 4.02 thing as well...

And what developing country are you in right now/what NGO are you working for? Sorry for being nosy, I'm just an Africanist and former employee of a major government donor so I'm curious.

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Yeah, I'm interested in the 4.02 thing as well...

And what developing country are you in right now/what NGO are you working for? Sorry for being nosy, I'm just an Africanist and former employee of a major government donor so I'm curious.

Some schools, including my own, give A+ as the highest grade. A+ = 4.3

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Yep, my school used to go by the 4.3 scale but it got scraped after 1998.

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Yeah, my school used the 4.33 scale and I got a few A+'s in polisci....and that's what I thought about the math. Sigh. It's always been my Achilles heel! I'm working in South Asia currently--and debating if I have the money to take it again this year. Anyhow, my main interests are migration/the political integration and involvement of immigrants in the developed world, globalization, and development. I want to get into the best program possible so I can someday find employment, basically. Princeton has a dual degree in PoliSci and Social Policy that would be my ideal, but with the math (and even verbal) as it stands I know that's out of reach. I'm also applying to some MA programs in Europe in Migration Studies, actually. But the GRE doesn't come into play there!

Thanks for the advice! :)

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