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GRE damage control


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I haven't taken the GRE yet but it will be train wreck.  This is undeniable.  I have a history of spectacular failures when it comes to testing.   Math is not my friend, has never been my friend and never will be my friend.  However, I might be able to do okay on the verbal and analytic writing.  I know I can have my LOR address my GRE scores but are there any other ways to do damage control?  Will coming from a non-American undergrad program after a 7 or 8 year break from school affect the way my scores are perceived? 

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First things first--calm down and don't psych yourself out. GRE scores are one of many aspects of an application and the value of the test depends on many factors: are you applying to MA, MS or PhDs? What major are you applying to? An engineering program will view the math more highly than most humanities programs (unless you want to use quantitative methods in your research).

Also, why not take an extra month or two and do an intensive study of the math portion instead of predetermining your score? The ETS website has math reviews tailored to the test, so you won't have to relearn everything. If your program cares more about verbal, why not focus on that and get a really high score? I've been told by some schools I'm applying to that quant is barely looked at unless you get, like, 20th percentile but even then other aspects of your application can smooth things over (I study history).

Depending on the program, the GRE is usually used as a cutoff (like at some programs you need a combined verbal and quant of 310 to even have your app looked at) or for funding. It's not as important as your SOP or writing sample. Take the test, aim for above 310, then focus on the aspects of your application that are weighted more.

Best of luck!

Edited by ashiepoo72
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If we like it or not, its my observation that the GRE is very simple material and you have plenty of time to study for it. If you can't study enough in a few months time to get 6-7/10 questions right on both the quant and the verbal then there is one of two things: 1) you have some learning disability 2)major flaws in your education. The things you will learn in graduate school are much harder, but, you will be expected to do simple tasks in a timely manner. People often say the GRE has nothing to do with what you will learn in graduate school, on the contrary, in graduate school you are expected to do basic things with ease so you have more time learn the harder stuff. 


I am not saying a bad GRE score means your dumb, that isn't true. What it really means is you are lazy. There is no such thing as a 'math person' when it comes to the GRE, the GRE is high school level math if you weren't good at math in high school. If you were good at math in high school, you took geometry in 9th grade and pre calc in 10th and took calculus the remaining years. So its not even hard high school math! The truth is that what 'math people' study you really have no idea if you are using that phrase. What you must believe is that your intelligence is malleable by the act of studying, you can get better at math!


The only one  you are fooling is yourself. Grow some balls.


Good luck.

Edited by GeoDUDE!
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