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High GPA, very low GRE for local school, chances?


Sazerac

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Taking the GRE soon (based on past practice exams I don't expect to do very well on the math). Sub 1000 combined, maybe sub 900...I really am not getting the math... (I don't do well on tests like this. I scored 830 on the SAT in High School)

Recent undergrad, graduated with 3.85 GPA (Tulane U), 36 years old, strong letters of recommendation, etc

Wanted MA at Univ. of New Orleans (its local, the price is right and the head of the program has been very informative with me in email)

Edited by Sazerac
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Taking the GRE soon (based on past practice exams I don't expect to do very well on the math). Sub 1000 combined, maybe sub 900...I really am not getting the math... (I don't do well on tests like this. I scored 830 on the SAT in High School)

Recent undergrad, graduated with 3.85 GPA (Tulane U), 36 years old, strong letters of recommendation, etc

Wanted MA at Univ. of New Orleans (its local, the price is right and the head of the program has been very informative with me in email)

I have a very tentative idea about how adcoms work, but if I were admitting anyone to any graduate program, I would scoff at such a score.

I imagine you're applying for the 2012 cycle based on the timing of this post. So, my question to you is why on earth are you planning on taking the GRE now? You should not hold yourself to such a low standard and take a shitty GRE as a given. You have about 7-8 months to take the GRE. In that time you could completely master the test. My quant GRE score jumped a solid 200 points after studying one month. You're obviously not averse to handwork given your success at tulane, so just buck up and kick ass on the GRE.

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Actually the deadline for fall admissions for UNO is June 1.

I paid for and took a Kaplan class last summer...and the class literally drove me to tears. My Verbal tests were in the 570-670 range...my quant were 380-410

I absolutely struggled through this math in high school and I'm wickedly adverse to it now (tho I am working through my Kaplan book and Barron's GRE book 4-5 hours a day now).

I just flat out don't believe I will ever get this math (this is the same math I got a C in high school...and that was a hard earned C)

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Actually the deadline for fall admissions for UNO is June 1.

I paid for and took a Kaplan class last summer...and the class literally drove me to tears. My Verbal tests were in the 570-670 range...my quant were 380-410

I absolutely struggled through this math in high school and I'm wickedly adverse to it now (tho I am working through my Kaplan book and Barron's GRE book 4-5 hours a day now).

I just flat out don't believe I will ever get this math (this is the same math I got a C in high school...and that was a hard earned C)

This is going to be a very blunt answer. I apologize if I sound rude.

Even at an unranked school, statistics is very important. If you're struggling with the high-school level math on the GRE, you will have even greater difficulties with the math required for a graduate political science degree. Even if UNO doesn't emphasize much in the way of advanced statistics, you'll need the math knowledge to understand the works of authors in any of the subfields (except theory). Basically, I'm advising you think long and hard about whether a graduate degree in political science is feasible or desirable.

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If math isn't your strength, you may be well served by programs outside the U.S. For example, Canada has master's programs that don't require you to submit GRE scores, and are generally much less quantitatively oriented than U.S. programs.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought I'd update this...

I took the GRE 2 weeks ago. I studied about 5 hours a day for 6 weeks on the math (I didn't so much as look at verbal). My math score went up 110 pts from when I took the Kaplan class (I found Kaplan useless). My verbal was at best meh but I think I scored where I needed to be.

Verbal: 530

Quan: 490. I didn't knock it out of the park but considering I had been scoring around 380 on my practice tests...I'm happy)

(1000 combined was considered competitive, I got a 1020).

3.85 undergrad GPA

Letters of recommendation have been turned in...now I wait.

(However I feel much better about this now...my GRE turned out better than expected and my GPA is very high)

Edited by Sazerac
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This is going to be a very blunt answer. I apologize if I sound rude.

Even at an unranked school, statistics is very important. If you're struggling with the high-school level math on the GRE, you will have even greater difficulties with the math required for a graduate political science degree. Even if UNO doesn't emphasize much in the way of advanced statistics, you'll need the math knowledge to understand the works of authors in any of the subfields (except theory). Basically, I'm advising you think long and hard about whether a graduate degree in political science is feasible or desirable.

I'm not sure I agree with this argument. I get that a low quant score might prevent admission based on whatever criteria is in place, but I don't know that a low quant score reflects an inability to be successful in statistics. I've taken two stats classes as an undergrad and easily aced both of them--it all came very naturally to me. At the same time, I find myself in the same situation as the OP here, in that I'm not "getting" a lot of the quantitative material. In my practice book, I've managed to answer about 50% of the questions correctly, and I'm thinking about 1/3 of the correct answers were total guesses. Stats is easy. Algebra, not so much.

That said, I do agree that it may be necessary to raise your quant score if you hope to gain admission into a program, but given the early deadline, it sounds like there's nothing more that can be done, other than to wait it out and hope for the best, and make another attempt next year if needed.

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