FranzFan Posted November 2, 2015 Share Posted November 2, 2015 Hi there, I know, another 'should I re-take the test' thread, but i would welcome your thoughts.. i took the GRE today and got a 166 V and 156 quant. Obviously I am very happy with the verbal as, according to the scale, that puts me in the top 4%. The quant I am a little disappointed with. In practice tests I was averaging 158. It's not my strong point and I have worked very hard to bring the score up from a start point of around 150. If I re-take I wouldn't expect to get more than 160 at the very best, unless I totally fluked it. I have done literally hundreds of hours of practice so I have to face the facts that there is only so much I can do. So the question is, should I try and re-take? If I do, I would most likely get around 164V and 158Q. Would this be significantly better than what I already have, or does the very high verbal score offset the relatively low quant score enough to make a re-take pointless? I am applying for public policy and administration programmes, so quant is not absolutely essential, but the curriculum is generally fairly quant-heavy so I fear my quant score may hold me back. I am applying to a few ivy league schools and a few good public schools. For context, I have very good referees, around 3.5 GPA, Oxford degree, 5 years work experience. Cheers Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jolie717 Posted November 3, 2015 Share Posted November 3, 2015 8 hours ago, FranzFan said: Hi there, I know, another 'should I re-take the test' thread, but i would welcome your thoughts.. i took the GRE today and got a 166 V and 156 quant. Obviously I am very happy with the verbal as, according to the scale, that puts me in the top 4%. The quant I am a little disappointed with. In practice tests I was averaging 158. It's not my strong point and I have worked very hard to bring the score up from a start point of around 150. If I re-take I wouldn't expect to get more than 160 at the very best, unless I totally fluked it. I have done literally hundreds of hours of practice so I have to face the facts that there is only so much I can do. So the question is, should I try and re-take? If I do, I would most likely get around 164V and 158Q. Would this be significantly better than what I already have, or does the very high verbal score offset the relatively low quant score enough to make a re-take pointless? I am applying for public policy and administration programmes, so quant is not absolutely essential, but the curriculum is generally fairly quant-heavy so I fear my quant score may hold me back. I am applying to a few ivy league schools and a few good public schools. For context, I have very good referees, around 3.5 GPA, Oxford degree, 5 years work experience. Cheers Well - you and I have the same scores, but different majors! I'm still debating too. But it's my low AW I'm not happy with. I'm convinced I could get above 160 quant if I retake as I didn't have time to review all of the math. However a high quant is not necessarily needed in my field (speech and language pathology) so I'm still on the fence. I feel like AW is the area we have the least control over, but since I did zero to prep for it maybe that's a bad excuse. Sigh... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

St0chastic Posted November 3, 2015 Share Posted November 3, 2015 Hi FranzFan, I took the GRE last Friday so I thought I would chime in with my two cents. As with you, math is not my forte. With around a month of intense review, I was able to score a 170 V/168 Q despite making some silly careless mistakes on the quant section (this is why you should always double check your work, especially if you are error prone like I am!). Here's what I did: --The math content on Khan Academy from arithmetic through Algebra II. --The Magoosh lesson videos, two times. --All of the Magoosh practice problems + many of the problems on their blog. --All of the math problems in the Manhattan 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems. --The ETS Math Review: https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_math_review.pdf --The problems in the Official GRE Guide and Official Practice Question Books: http://www.amazon.com/Official-GRE-Super-Power-Pack/dp/0071841814/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446570522&sr=1-1&keywords=official+gre --The official practice tests offered by ETS. After doing that many practice problems, you are bound to improve your mathematical problem solving. The key is learning the different problem types and then just learning to identify those problem types on the test. Through sheer rote practice, you will eventually be able to solve 95% of GRE problems effortlessly. Then it's just a matter of honing your execution so that you don't make careless mistakes while working out the problems (this is my weakness). Also, when reviewing the answers to practice problems, make sure you understand the approach taken in the solution. By watching the Magoosh answer videos to their practice problems and reading the Manhattan solution explanations, I learned a number of tricks that helped me solve problems more efficiently and/or gave me a deeper mathematical understanding. I did this for all problems, including those I answered correctly. Of course, the best thing to do is see what the average scores of admitted students are for the programs you are applying to. If your score is in the target range, you may not need a higher score. Especially with an Oxford degree and 5 years of work experience, you might already be a competitive enough applicant that a middle-of-the-road quant score won't matter...but I can't speak for admissions committees. All I can say is that if you do retake the test, make sure that you master the math concepts and then do thousands of practice problems until you can solve them in your sleep. Some might say this is overkill, but in my opinion that's the only surefire way to significantly improve your score. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jolie717 Posted November 7, 2015 Share Posted November 7, 2015 On November 3, 2015 at 2:52:24 PM, St0chastic said: Hi FranzFan, I took the GRE last Friday so I thought I would chime in with my two cents. As with you, math is not my forte. With around a month of intense review, I was able to score a 170 V/168 Q despite making some silly careless mistakes on the quant section (this is why you should always double check your work, especially if you are error prone like I am!). Here's what I did: --The math content on Khan Academy from arithmetic through Algebra II. --The Magoosh lesson videos, two times. --All of the Magoosh practice problems + many of the problems on their blog. --All of the math problems in the Manhattan 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems. --The ETS Math Review: https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_math_review.pdf --The problems in the Official GRE Guide and Official Practice Question Books: http://www.amazon.com/Official-GRE-Super-Power-Pack/dp/0071841814/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446570522&sr=1-1&keywords=official+gre --The official practice tests offered by ETS. After doing that many practice problems, you are bound to improve your mathematical problem solving. The key is learning the different problem types and then just learning to identify those problem types on the test. Through sheer rote practice, you will eventually be able to solve 95% of GRE problems effortlessly. Then it's just a matter of honing your execution so that you don't make careless mistakes while working out the problems (this is my weakness). Also, when reviewing the answers to practice problems, make sure you understand the approach taken in the solution. By watching the Magoosh answer videos to their practice problems and reading the Manhattan solution explanations, I learned a number of tricks that helped me solve problems more efficiently and/or gave me a deeper mathematical understanding. I did this for all problems, including those I answered correctly. Of course, the best thing to do is see what the average scores of admitted students are for the programs you are applying to. If your score is in the target range, you may not need a higher score. Especially with an Oxford degree and 5 years of work experience, you might already be a competitive enough applicant that a middle-of-the-road quant score won't matter...but I can't speak for admissions committees. All I can say is that if you do retake the test, make sure that you master the math concepts and then do thousands of practice problems until you can solve them in your sleep. Some might say this is overkill, but in my opinion that's the only surefire way to significantly improve your score. Out of curiosity - approximately how many hours did this take? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

St0chastic Posted November 7, 2015 Share Posted November 7, 2015 (edited) 10 hours ago, Jolie717 said: Out of curiosity - approximately how many hours did this take? Not going to lie, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-200 hours...but I probably could have studied 1/4 as much and still done decently. If you want to do things more efficiently, I would recommend 1) watching all of the Magoosh math lesson videos at 1.5X speed 2) doing at least half of the Magoosh practice problems 3) doing all of the official math problems written by ETS. This can be done pretty easily in 2-3 weeks if you're dedicated. If you just want to score better than 160, you can skip combinations/permuations problems. Using Khan Academy is probably overkill if you're using Magoosh, but learning things from multiple sources is a great way to reinforce your learning. I did all of the problems in the Manhattan 5 lb. book over the course of a week which helped me get more rote practice. Spending this amount of time studying for just one test is probably totally unnecessary for most applicants, but if you're determined to get a high score and you aren't a natural math whiz, in my opinion distributed practice spaced over the span of a few weeks or months is the only surefire way to do so. The math on the GRE can be mastered as with any other procedural skill e.g. learning an instrument or learning to sketch, but it's probably going to take more than a weekend of intense studying if you don't already possess a keen number sense. Edited November 7, 2015 by St0chastic Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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