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Terrible Verbal GRE score... what should I do?

The Grand Taco

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Took the GRE this morning. Felt like I did really well on the analytical writing part (but we'll see), and got an unofficial math score of 800 (woot!). However, with an all time, abysmally low score of 410 on the Verbal, I didn't really have much reason to rejoice. I'm about to register for the GRE again since I know I can do so much better than that on the verbal, but I was looking for a few pieces of advice.

1) The new GRE is coming in August, and since the format is changing, the antonyms and analogies will be gone (which I think is one of the main reasons for the really low score I made). My experimental section was an example of the new verbal, and to me it was significantly easier than the real version (I'm not sure if they just gave me easy questions because my score was so low, or not :P ). Not to mention, the 50% deal is really tempting. However, I'm now used to the format of the old GRE and it might be a hassle trying to learn the new format, and with some of the changes made to the math, I don't know if my score would be as outstanding. Any advice on which one you think I should take?

2) I mainly studied for the GRE by taking some practice tests, memorizing ~300 vocab words and becoming familiar with other esoteric ones I came across, and doing lots of practice problems for the antonyms and analogies. However, I don't feel like any level of preparation would have prepared me for some of the words I saw when I test today. That, combined with poor guessing on questions I narrowed to 2-3 choices and me running out of time (had 2 minutes left with 6 questions remaining... 4 of those were reading comprehension questions), netted me a really bad score. I was aiming for a 550, and that will be the score I continue to aim for (or whatever is deemed to be the equivalent on the new GRE if I choose to take that). Anyone have any good preparation tips or inspiration stories on huge improvements?


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Hm... I think that since you are a chemical engineer, your verbal score does not really matter. If the rest of your application (LOR, SOP and GPA) are all fine, this verbal score won't count for much. But that's just my opinion, I would be interested to know what others think. What was your percentile score, btw?

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Thanks for the quick reply... it only gave me unofficial scores without percentiles when I took the exam, but from a quick google search, the 410 verbal is somewhere between the 35-40 percentile, so not so good.

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