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bahh 660q/440v

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Hey there,

I'd retake it. There's no reason you can't work on/enhance the rest of your application while preparing for the GRE. I know it's been said before, but the GRE -- especially the verbal -- is something for which you can prepare.

Ok, your quant score is at the acceptable level for the schools to which you're thinking of applying, but your verbal can, and should be, brought up a bit. This is not to say that your verbal score will "break" your application -- it won't. However, with something like the GRE score, which is well within your power to better, why not try? I don't know how you went about preparing, but flashcards -- despite the high schoolish nature of them -- work, and practicing word analogies and reading comp series ad nauseum also works. And, say you feel that your 660 quant is fine for you, or that it's reflective of your quantitative ability at this juncture, KNOW that you can just let the time run out on the math section (or any section for that matter, to my understanding) and NOT answer a single problem. By doing this, you'll be given an NS (No Score) on your GRE score report for the section on which you failed to answer a single question. If you're concerned about the possibility of doing worse on the quant, it might be best to do this. This will allow you to focus exclusively on the verbal section during your studies. Alternatively, if you're not happy with either score, try to nail both sections.

Anyway, sorry for the Kafka-esque nature of my reply. This is only my advice; others may say to refrain from taking it again or that the GRE isn't at all important. In any event, I think you should continue to work on the rest of your application AND bring up your GRE verbal score. Best of luck to you! :)

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thanks eastofeden. I am deffinetly going to retake the GRE next month. Around how many words did you memorize for the GRE? I memorized about 500~ and I still did not know a lot of the words in the antonym and analogy questions.

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I think that's great you're going in for round two :D

Honestly, I made flashcards for over 950 words. It's pretty sad now b/c I don't remember about half of them! Because there were so many words, I merely memorized them through repetition, not actually learning the words. (I'll probably kick myself later in life when I realize that I probably should have truly learned the words, but oh well.) At the beginning, I seriously felt stupid for not knowing so many words, but when I took the test, there literally wasn't one word for which I wasn't able to immediately produce a definition and then manipulate to solve both the analogies and fill in the blanks. Also, when I began memorizing the words, I even included words whose meanings I was only slightly familiar with. If I didn't know a word 100%, I made a flashcard for it. Sadly, when my friends saw my flashcards, they said things like, "Oh my god, you don't know what such-and-such means!", which was a bit humiliating. Even though many say the GRE doesn't matter and you need not worry, I don't regret the studying. When I took initial diagnostics tests in the books I bought, I was scoring between 550-590. After studying for about three months, I scored over 700 on the actual GRE. Of course, I have no idea if my GRE was heavily factored into admissions decisions. Clearly I'm a big proponent of memorizing those GRE words. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

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Hey barbecue,

If you haven't already signed up and paid for the GRE next month, I would advise waiting at least another month before diving back into it. While on one hand you don't want to lose the information you've tried to retain in studying for your most recent GRE effort, you don't want to burn yourself out on the other hand. Give yourself enough time to study properly, without rushing through the process and stressing yourself out more than I can imagine you already are (remember to BREATHE!).

One more idea for the verbal section: sign up for Word of the Day on m-w.com and dictionary.com. Every morning you will receive two words in your email inbox that you can add to your vocabulary. Each entry includes definition, etymology and sample use in a sentence (or three). Great way to add a couple of words a day without feeling overloaded.

Finally: you haven't included here how long you've been out of undergrad, what kind of work experience you have, etc. If you are still young (less than five years out of undergrad), you will definitely want to bump that verbal score up by about 200 points, and maybe increase your quant score as well (I only say this because the past year's admissions round was one of the most competitive in a while [due in part to the economy], and I don't foresee relative admissions standards going down next year. Bring your A-game). If, on the other hand, you finished your bachelor's degree in the 80s or 90s and have a significant number of relevant work-experience years under your belt, be sure to highlight your accomplishments in the "real world" to offset a less-than-ideal verbal score.

Best of luck!

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