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Retake GRE? Average quant score.


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Hello, long-time lurker here making my first post. I just took the GRE yesterday. I was quite pleased with my verbal (167) but pretty disappointed with my quant (159), which was much less than I had predicted based on my practice exams, etc. Obviously I'm still waiting on the AWA score, but I'm fairly confident in that regard. Anyway, I was wondering, before I shell out the money for another test, if I should retake it to up my quant score if I intend on applying to: Tufts - Fletcher (MALD, Map Your Future), Korbel, LSE, Maxwell, and SPEA. I will graduate with a minor in Economics, so perhaps that would balance it out on applications, but I'm leaning towards not pressing my luck... I think I should just take it again because there's really nothing to lose (except maybe a decrease in my verbal if I get unlucky). Other relevant info: large state school, 3.82 GPA (I'm currently in my Senior year); Majors in Political Science, International Studies, and Spanish; Minors in History and Economics; Honors; a whole slew of volunteer/extracurricular stuff relating to my area of study; haven't written my SOP yet, but I should have strong LOR (one from an associate professor at Korbel who taught me at my undergrad school).

Tl;dr - 167V, 159Q: should I retake it for Fletcher, Korbel, etc.?

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I would retake it and stay focused more on the weakness areas. Usually for some one scoring in the range of 159/160 + the weaknesses could be ignoring tricks in the straightforwardly set questions like number of factors in 27 (simple example to ease calculations) --> 3^3 --> (3+1) --> 4 factors --> 27,9,3,1 / Mark answer as 4 <BUM!> trick by ETS factors not specified +ve/-ve, hence 4*2=8 factors including -ve factors too, should have marked 8.

such straightforwardly set questions check our limitations re certain issues including math of GRE.

Next, look for the areas (by trying to remember a bit the domain tested) which took most time (meaning not 10 minutes, but above 2 mins) from you in test. Coordinate geometry for example, what was in there some silly distance formula application which you didn't remember always and considered useless but could help you decipher the VIC type of question related to the topic. Some word problem involving speeds, ratios?

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Thanks for the response! Yeah, I had issues with seemingly simple concepts that never gave me problems before. I think another month of preparation, paying attention to what you metioned (tricks ETS puts in, what took the most time etc.), would help immensely. It was also, I think, an issue of confidence - I was constantly doubting my answers, and that made me very strained for time by the end. Anyway, thanks again!

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actually being doubtful even at the verge of your perfection is a good sign. It only implies you are perceptive to traps

if you were strained for time by the end of exam, provided you double checked the marked answers, this could be attributed to wrong strategy selected. I think some one has asked me about such issues in test but for different exam - GMAT. Here what was my response in PM to that individual.

Question: Hay Hi...I have been following your posts from long time in BTG. I need one help, where can I get some info on ball-parking, backward solving methods for Quant. I really need it. Though I am a 42-45 Quant scorer but I need to improve my speed.

comment: ball-parking and back-ward solving are the strategy types used in GMAt quant section when the questions are challenging.

Answer: ball-parking is just approximation in solution process and back-ward solving is the combination of plug-in values/substitution. Some questions may be very cumbersome to come with the final answer, and if you have decent fundas and practiced math for a long time, by first approaching the question it should be clear whether you can solve it the way you selected or this will take forever. If the latter is a case at hand (forever, difficult subtle way solution is needed) you should start looking for substitution immediately to save time and come with at least some meaningful answer rather wasting minutes on the obdurately formulated problem.

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I think you're more than fine for Korbel:

"Average GRE scores (including International students' scores) under the new scoring system are: 160 (verbal), 155 (quantitative) and 5.0 (analytical). The average scores under the old scoring system are: 600 (verbal), 600 (quantitative) and 5.0 (analytical). The average GPA for incoming Josef Korbel School students is 3.6/4.0."

However, I do think you should retake for Tufts if you want a better shot.

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