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Re-Take GRE? 158V and 162Q. YAY MAGOOSH!


JaneJ25
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Hi all! First post on the Grad Cafe forum. Hoping to get a little advice on whether or not I should re-take the GRE. Applying for Masters in Urban/Regional Planning for September 2016 start. 

First, I definitely recommend Magoosh for GRE prep (in addition to Manhattan books). I started 3.5 weeks ago and I've been really impressed with both companies' materials.

Anyhow, I took the GRE today and scored 158V and 162Q. These were below average on my practice tests and I know I can score 160+ on verbal and was scoring 162-165 on Quant, but I'm not sure if it's worth it to re-take..

Target Schools:
- Berkeley (GRE average 161V/158Q) 
- UCLA (GRE min. 148Q)
- USC (GRE median 150V, 152Q)
- Harvard (unknown? - 158V, 157Q according to one website)
- Columbia (unknown? - 158V, 155Q according to one website)

Aside from that here are my stats:
- 3.85 GPA (Major in Geography) 
- 158V and 162Q (AW not known yet...)
- 2 years work experience in urban policy 
- LORs went to Harvard and UCLA planning (does this even matter?)

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! 

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Nice grades, I see that there are good enough.

BTW, can you help me in Verbal? I'm really suffering from it, I do not know how to get score in 150 zone!

Hi Abohammed! Have you checked out Magoosh or Manhattan Prep? I think they're comprehensive review. Is it the vocabulary or is it the RC that's giving you trouble? For vocab, my only strategy was memorizing as much of the word lists that Magoosh/Manhattan has (there's a really good app for GRE Vocab developed by Magoosh). RC - I suppose getting familiar with the question types, and practicing "active reading" with articles from The Economist, NYT. 

Good luck with your review!

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Hi Abohammed! Have you checked out Magoosh or Manhattan Prep? I think they're comprehensive review. Is it the vocabulary or is it the RC that's giving you trouble? For vocab, my only strategy was memorizing as much of the word lists that Magoosh/Manhattan has (there's a really good app for GRE Vocab developed by Magoosh). RC - I suppose getting familiar with the question types, and practicing "active reading" with articles from The Economist, NYT. 

Good luck with your review!

It seems that RC is easier for me than Vocab questions.

Actually, I will try to get 20/20 for RC and 5/20 for vocab!

I memorized perfectly the first 5 pages in Magoosh word list (common words), and I subscribed in Magoosh from 2 weeks and I'm studying from it extremely!  

However, I still face a trouble in solving vocabs question............ 

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Your scores sound very good given that you're in the right ranges for accepted students in each program. I doubt if improving a few points in a retake is a good use of your time. Amazing GRE scores won't get you in to a program, but bad scores might raise some eyebrows or keep you out - in your case your scores are more than fine so I don't think they will hold you back. I'd focus on the rest of the application components. 

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Why not retake? If you don't mind paying for the test again, retaking makes sense to me given that you've scored higher in practice. I am assuming that your practice score was from an ETS computer test? If not, then I would want to hear your ETS computer test practice score: if it's a few points higher than your real test, you might as well take the real test again. The Magoosh and Manhattan tests are not the real thing, so I wouldn't put as much stock in those scores.

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  • 1 month later...

Why not retake? If you don't mind paying for the test again, retaking makes sense to me given that you've scored higher in practice. I am assuming that your practice score was from an ETS computer test? If not, then I would want to hear your ETS computer test practice score: if it's a few points higher than your real test, you might as well take the real test again. The Magoosh and Manhattan tests are not the real thing, so I wouldn't put as much stock in those scores.

Update: Thanks for the advice, Vince. I ended up re-taking and scored 163V/166Q/5.5AW. Close enough! If I get rejected, at least I can say I did all I could on the GRE front. :)

ETS PowerPrep 164V 165Q
Manhattan 1 163V 162Q
Manhattan 2 164V 164Q
Magoosh 1 162V 164Q

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On 10/27/2015, 5:01:14, JaneJ25 said:

Update: Thanks for the advice, Vince. I ended up re-taking and scored 163V/166Q/5.5AW. Close enough! If I get rejected, at least I can say I did all I could on the GRE front. :)

ETS PowerPrep 164V 165Q
Manhattan 1 163V 162Q
Manhattan 2 164V 164Q
Magoosh 1 162V 164Q

I am taking the GRE next week. Been studying for about 1.5 months from Manhattan and Magoosh. Two questions:

 

1. What was your last minute study schedule like? 

2. I scored a 160 on the Manhattan Prep mock, and a 166 on the ETS POWERPREP II - Any emphasis as to which I should believe? I'm so nervous!!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Jane,

I'm not sure you will get this as you are probably well into your second year of a masters program. But in the case that you (or any other similar students) see this, I am in a similar situation.

I'm planning on taking the GRE in early November and apply to urban planning programs for next September (2018). I was wondering if anyone could elaborate on GRE scores they had and what Masters of Urban planning programs they got into. I'm looking for a better idea of what I need to get into some of the top schools?

Also, note that my GPA is lower than yours (cum. 3.7/4.0) and I only have university research and internship experience.

 

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