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Is the GRE subject test in literature recommended for masters applicants in English? I ask because the programs I've looked into don't require it (Villanova, Columbia, Georgetown, BC, etc.), but haven't mentioned anything about whether they recommend it.

Edited by Janrod
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On August 9, 2016 at 9:33 AM, Wyatt's Terps said:

I just retook it, and scored a bit WORSE than the last time. My scores were already fine, and a strong argument could be made that I didn't need to retake it at all, but I thought that perhaps a couple of years of additional academic immersion might bump up my verbal to the loftier heights of the high-160s, rather than the more pedestrian low-mid 160s. Alas, it was not to be. So another $200 and multiple hours of studying down the drain. It's annoying, because I truly have an excellent vocabulary, but I suppose standardized testing just isn't my cup of 

A.) Coffee
B.) Warm water
C.) Tea
D.) Ovaltine
E.) Hot cocoa

1) hahahaha @ this brilliant multiple choice question

2) oh no! to be completely transparent my verbal went down a little the 3rd time I took it, but my writing went up which was the reason I took it again. 

still, I'm confident that GRE scores are not super important. Necessary, and important, but not super important. Take heart, everyone!

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Hey guys, did much stalking of the 2016 thread last year, but never posted, so I just want to say in advance that many comments on this forum have been very enlightening, so a general thank you to all posters!

Does anyone know if there are any resources where we can see examples of successful SoPs? I was 0/7 on apps last year, so a complete overhaul is called for I think.

On literary theory in the writing sample, has any one heard anything about using multiple types of theories in an essay? My WS is an extract from my undergraduate dissertation, and I actually use three different theories in my argument: reader-response, intertextuality theory and, well, Roland Barthes (his post-structuralist writings on history mainly). During the writing process I was concerned about this making the dissertation seem a bit all over the place, but my supervisor assured me using multiple theories wasn't an issue. Then, when I got my feedback, the only critique was that the argument 'could have been more explicitly theorised'. Now, its likely that my execution, rather than the concept itself, was poor in integrating different theories into one argument, but I still have doubts about it making my WS seem lacking in focus.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

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- GRE - taken and survived (67th% on the math after having not done algebra in seven years. come at me.)* 

- Professors have agreed to write letters of recommendation

- Revising an old paper for my writing sample and beginning to face the horrifying spectre of statements of purpose. 

Trying to snag myself a spot in an MA + PhD track in Rhetoric and Composition to study language and exclusivity and how that translates into the classroom. I have a year of writing center experience, a semester of a TAship in Intro to Lit, and I recently learned that a paper I published in my school's research journal** has made it onto Pinterest. If that's not a good omen, I don't know what is. 

I'm looking at UMASS Amherst, Pitt, OSU, UMD, Northeastern, Northwestern, Oregon, Austin, Nebraska, Carnegie Mellon. It's going to be a fun year, it seems.*** Best of luck to all of you. I believe in you! 

*I have absolutely no idea how that happened.

**how's that for a prestigious publication, eh?

***how do you know I'm getting excited for graduate school? Even my forum posts have footnotes. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm quite amused (mirthlessly) by the fact that ETS' website has been malfunctioning for nearly two weeks. The amount of money they rake in is astonishing, yet their transition to a new system has been plagued by technical glitches. I haven't been able to order score reports, or make any basic changes to my appointment. I would be annoyed, if not angry, if it weren't so typical -- we're forced to jump through a series of unnecessary hoops...and when those hoops break, we're hooped.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/2/2016 at 5:03 PM, erosanddust said:

EDIT: Sorry, aob981! I totally got your interests confused with the Rhetoric applicant in the other thread I was just reading, so my input is largely moot. I'll keep my original comment below should anyone be interested in the links I've included.

I'm not (nor do I know any people who are) studying Rhetoric, so I won't try to address your other questions. Re: your writing sample, I just wanted to point out a line on OSU's Prospective Students' Guide: "The topic of the writing sample does not have to be an exact match: an applicant in rhetoric, for instance, might gain admittance if she submits an essay about a film – but almost certainly, the essay would have to use rhetorical analysis in interpreting the film"

Of course this is a rather straightforward point & it's here coming from just one school, but I thought it might be a helpful addition to the good advice that others have already offered about the purpose of the Writing Sample.

Speaking of that OSU guide, I found it really helpful because it's very transparent about the admissions process & what they are looking for in each part of the application. Duke's SOP Guidelines on their FAQ page were similarly helpful. Has anyone come across any other great Prospective PhD Student pages?

Actually found Princeton's "Statement of Academic Purpose" instruction page quite useful as it's so concise and to the point. Yes I love every word from their website haha!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/17/2016 at 11:20 PM, empress-marmot said:

You guessed right! Somewhere amid thesis stuff, summer funding (yay!) stuff, conference stuff, and grading stuff, I'm fitting PhD program stuff in somewhere.

I really like my school's PhD program, but I'll apply to a few others. I'm looking at the writing and rhetoric programs, as well as programs in professional/technical communication. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. 

It's nice to share another application season with you, WT! I'm looking forward to this fall (probably because it's six months away, and that doesn't even register on my panic-o-meter yet). 

Consider applying to UNC-Chapel Hill's PhD Program in English (with a focus on rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies)! We have a small but mighty group of rhetoric, composition, and literacy grad students and four tenure-line faculty who are extremely supportive. We meet regularly as a writing group and have many fun adventures traveling to conferences, applying for grants, and co-authoring publications. For more information, see our website: http://writing.unc.edu/node/16

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this forum after being abused by the GRE Literature test this past weekend.  Wow am I late to the party.   I spent the last two months obsessively studying for the subject test only to find that nothing I studied was on the test! Yay!  Dear future test takers, without violating my solemn oath to ETS to not help other people in a meaningful way, let me just instruct you to pry your ossified hands away from the Princeton Review book and focus on reading comprehension.  Pick the densest, most horrible passages and poems and work on reading and analyzing them quickly.  

After not even getting to 50 questions (did anybody else have this problem??), I'm panicking about other other aspect of my application.  Can someone please tell me I don't need to retake the General GRE? I got a 170 verbal but my baffling 4 on the the analytical writing has me drowning in self-doubt.  

Sincerely,

desperately seeking consolation 

Edited by LouisePlease
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2 hours ago, LouisePlease said:

I found this forum after being abused by the GRE Literature test this past weekend.  Wow am I late to the party.   I spent the last two months obsessively studying for the subject test only to find that nothing I studied was on the test! Yay!  Dear future test takers, without violating my solemn oath to ETS to not help other people in a meaningful way, let me just instruct you to pry your ossified hands away from the Princeton Review book and focus on reading comprehension.  Pick the densest, most horrible passages and poems and work on reading and analyzing them quickly.  

After not even getting to 50 questions (did anybody else have this problem??), I'm panicking about other other aspect of my application.  Can someone please tell me I don't need to retake the General GRE? I got a 170 verbal but my baffling 4 on the the analytical writing has me drowning in self-doubt.  

Sincerely,

desperately seeking consolation 

While I've been there when it comes to test stress and know exactly how you feel, fret not! 

(1) Yeah, the review books have not caught up to the structure of the new GRE Subject Test in Literature. The examples I had in the book I used were all shorter excerpts with one to three questions, whereas the test I took in 2014 featured longer excerpts with six to ten questions. 

(2) Leaving that many questions blank isn't an inherent issue. In fact, most people leave a block of questions blank, since it's better to leave them blank than risk the negative points derived from missing an answer. I'd say I left between 30-40 blank.

(3) A 170 on verbal is awesome; you should feel confident in that part of your application. The analytical writing, while not unimportant, is curiously not a feature I see mentioned in most grad program admission sites. I think maybe one mentioned an "ideal" minimum of 4.5, but that was an anomaly. (I applied to 13 programs.) That 4 shouldn't give you too much pause; the verbal section is almost universally what departments focus on as far as I understand. (I wonder if this is because the GRE favors a particular "form" of essay, meaning that if you write an excellent essay that isn't in their desired format, you could end up doing more poorly than you deserve.)

My subject test score was blah (55th percentile) and my verbal/writing scores were good but not top-tier (164/5.5), and I got into one of my top programs. Don't psych yourself out too much over the tests, especially given your superlative verbal score. 

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Hi Everybody,

I am new to this forum, please excuse if i have not followed its conventions.

I am planning to apply for MS in Statistics in Fall, 2017.

Please share your thoughts for my profile.

B. Tech. + M. Tech. (Dual Degree) in Biotechnology & Biochemical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur

CGPA - 7.68

GRE - 320 ( V - 154, Q -166)

TOEFL -98 (R-26,L-25,S-23,W-24)

Experience - 1.5 year job experience in Cognizant Technology Solutions (US based firm)

 

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1 hour ago, yohesh92 said:

Hi Everybody,

I am new to this forum, please excuse if i have not followed its conventions.

I am planning to apply for MS in Statistics in Fall, 2017.

Please share your thoughts for my profile.

B. Tech. + M. Tech. (Dual Degree) in Biotechnology & Biochemical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur

CGPA - 7.68

GRE - 320 ( V - 154, Q -166)

TOEFL -98 (R-26,L-25,S-23,W-24)

Experience - 1.5 year job experience in Cognizant Technology Solutions (US based firm)

 

You might get a better understanding of evaluations if you posted in the Applied Sciences and Math section. We're probably not the best people to evaluate non-literature/English departments as each department have different expectations of their applicants. I know that programs usually post a miniumum for TOEFL for non-native speakers which you'll want to make sure you meet the minimum on prior to applying.

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On 10/31/2016 at 0:53 PM, silenus_thescribe said:

While I've been there when it comes to test stress and know exactly how you feel, fret not! 

(1) Yeah, the review books have not caught up to the structure of the new GRE Subject Test in Literature. The examples I had in the book I used were all shorter excerpts with one to three questions, whereas the test I took in 2014 featured longer excerpts with six to ten questions. 

(2) Leaving that many questions blank isn't an inherent issue. In fact, most people leave a block of questions blank, since it's better to leave them blank than risk the negative points derived from missing an answer. I'd say I left between 30-40 blank.

(3) A 170 on verbal is awesome; you should feel confident in that part of your application. The analytical writing, while not unimportant, is curiously not a feature I see mentioned in most grad program admission sites. I think maybe one mentioned an "ideal" minimum of 4.5, but that was an anomaly. (I applied to 13 programs.) That 4 shouldn't give you too much pause; the verbal section is almost universally what departments focus on as far as I understand. (I wonder if this is because the GRE favors a particular "form" of essay, meaning that if you write an excellent essay that isn't in their desired format, you could end up doing more poorly than you deserve.)

My subject test score was blah (55th percentile) and my verbal/writing scores were good but not top-tier (164/5.5), and I got into one of my top programs. Don't psych yourself out too much over the tests, especially given your superlative verbal score. 

Thank you for your thoughtful response!  This application process has me confusing up from down so I think i just needed someone to confirm what I already know.

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Does anyone know how to navigate applying to programs at schools with multiple campuses? I've wondered about this for a few places, but am thinking specifically of OSU right now. I'm assuming that the program is housed on the main/largest campus, but I'm realizing now that I have faculty who I am interested in working with across several of OSU's campuses. Is there much opportunity for that kind of work, or should I be restricting my faculty search to a single campus?

This is probably a dumb question, but having consistently gone to relatively small schools, I've never run into this before.

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7 hours ago, erosanddust said:

Does anyone know how to navigate applying to programs at schools with multiple campuses? I've wondered about this for a few places, but am thinking specifically of OSU right now. I'm assuming that the program is housed on the main/largest campus, but I'm realizing now that I have faculty who I am interested in working with across several of OSU's campuses. Is there much opportunity for that kind of work, or should I be restricting my faculty search to a single campus?

This is probably a dumb question, but having consistently gone to relatively small schools, I've never run into this before.

This is a great question to ask the department/faculty in question. It's often going to be specific to the school, professor and even you whether someone is able/willing to work with you. At OSU, for example, I know a prof that worked with people at multiple campuses before he retired.

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19 hours ago, erosanddust said:

Does anyone know how to navigate applying to programs at schools with multiple campuses? I've wondered about this for a few places, but am thinking specifically of OSU right now. I'm assuming that the program is housed on the main/largest campus, but I'm realizing now that I have faculty who I am interested in working with across several of OSU's campuses. Is there much opportunity for that kind of work, or should I be restricting my faculty search to a single campus?

In the last couple of years, the English department here at OSU has made a big push advertising itself as "five branches [or whatever the number is], one department." From that, you'd think there'd be pretty strong ties between the Columbus campus and our branches. But my own sense is that the connections between folks in Columbus and those in Marion, Lima, etc. vary quite a bit. In my own period (early modern), for example, we have four or five people working across the various branch campuses. One of them regularly attends our workshops, dissertation seminars, and lectures here in Columbus; I wouldn't have an problem asking her to serve on my committee or read over my work. But as far as the other early modernists go, I haven't so much as seen an email from them. 

So, to answer your last question, it depends. As always, your best bet is to email an appropriate period specialist in the department and ask. 

Edited by Ramus
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  • 2 weeks later...

Fall 2017 applicants with an interest in the eighteenth century might find useful this announcement, which appeared in a list-serve that I'm subscribed to (see below). For the record, you can search or subscribe to the list-serve (and other 18th C resources) here on this web site.  This is not my main scholarly field, but I'll take this opportunity to plug the University of Maryland's very good faculty with specialization in the eighteenth century - Tita Chico is an excellent teacher and scholar, and if I were in 18th C I would want her as an advisor.  I don't check in here often, but I found grad cafe a very useful resource when I was applying, and I'm happy to answer questions (gholmes at umd dot edu).  I'm also happy to talk about 19th C American, my little corner of the world.

 

Dear List,

I write to announce that now that the University of New Hampshire will be hosting the ASECS journal Eighteenth-Century Studies, the English department will be seeking to recruit Ph.D. students in the field of the long eighteenth-century, broadly conceived to include British, Irish, Early American, Transatlantic, and other Anglophone literary and cultural studies.  Enrollment of such students at UNH may lead to opportunities to participate in our UNH 18th-Century Interdisciplinary Seminar as well as in the activities of the journal.  UNH is proud to have several leading faculty in the period in the departments of English, History, Art History, Philosophy, and Modern Languages who participate in the seminar and work with graduate students from English and other departments.

The deadline for applications is January 15, and information on applying can be found here: http://cola.unh.edu/english/graduate-programs

We would be grateful if you could circulate this announcement to interested students, and please do not hesitate to have them contact me with questions.

Sincerely,

Dr. Sean Moore|
Associate Professor of English|
University of New Hampshire|
Hamilton Smith Hall|
Durham, NH 03824|
 

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The feeling immediately after submitting the last of your thirteen (!) applications:

giphy.gif

The feeling from approximately thirty seconds later for the next three months:

giphy.gif

 

Stay strong, friends. It's a long and emotional ride.

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Congrats @Wyatt's Terps! I'm both looking forward and terrified of that moment next year. (Did you add a school last minute?)

I just got my results back on the GRE lit. I got a score in the 74th percentile. I'm confused and amazed. I'm still petrified I'll get rejected into every school I apply to despite how good a fit I think it is. My school list is still a mess.

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