Jump to content
digits2006

Venting

Recommended Posts

Well I know many people are going to think that I am a asshole, but who cares. First, I am just an average student. 1100 on Gre and a 3.47 GPA. Luckily I have gotten a grant and done some research to make me competitive for PhD Programs. I love this forum and have been on here for over a year now and I have found something that really bugs me. It really bugs me when someone makes a topic asking if they have a good chance of getting into grad school. I click on it and they are like.. I have a 1500 on the GRE and a 3.89 and 2 years of research and 5 presentations and 2 publications. Sometimes I think these people just get on here to hear nice things about themselves. If you don't know that you are going to be competitive for grad school, you should not be applying. All these people are asking these questions as I sit here with a 1100 and a 3.47. I should be the one asking people for advice not these people with near perfect grades and research experience. That is just my venting on the forums. I know some of you might jump on my back but i mean if you have a near perfect score on everything, why should i comment on how well you think you will do. Okay, I guess i am done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People in academia have pretty big egos. This is just the beginning :P

I myself have a 1590 GRE, 3.98 GPA, 9 years research experience, and only 4 first author publications. I'm really worried, especially about my GRE score, do you think I'll get in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People in academia have pretty big egos. This is just the beginning :P

I myself have a 1590 GRE, 3.98 GPA, 9 years research experience, and only 4 first author publications. I'm really worried, especially about my GRE score, do you think I'll get in?

With only 4 publications? Not likely. You'd need at least a 1591 to make up for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digits, I have thought the same thing MANY times. While I do think some of the people who make those posts are just overly anxious and genuinely do want some reassurance that they can get into top programs, I also think some people just like to post their stellar stats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People in academia have pretty big egos. This is just the beginning :P

I myself have a 1590 GRE, 3.98 GPA, 9 years research experience, and only 4 first author publications. I'm really worried, especially about my GRE score, do you think I'll get in?

You didn't say anything about your analytical writing score. Is it under 6? Then you definitely won't get in. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hear hear! I actually (archly) commented on somebody's post to that same effect, a couple weeks ago..

This actually reminds me of a facebook acquaintance of mine, major attention-seeker drama-queen type of character.

the other day, she put a 'vent' on her status about how her gpa is one decimal under the record for her grade or something... fair enough. except she listed her gpa (on 4.0 scale) as... 4.6

yeah. clearly we in canada don't really use gpas and hence have little to no idea what the actual scale is...

but some poor american friend of hers proceeded to write a weepy comment about how hers was *only* a 3.87.

seriously, this is getting ridiculous! i feel like the "my grades suck soooo bad!" is becoming the academic version of the infamous teenaged girl "I'm soooo faaaat!" <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hear hear! I actually (archly) commented on somebody's post to that same effect, a couple weeks ago..

This actually reminds me of a facebook acquaintance of mine, major attention-seeker drama-queen type of character.

the other day, she put a 'vent' on her status about how her gpa is one decimal under the record for her grade or something... fair enough. except she listed her gpa (on 4.0 scale) as... 4.6

yeah. clearly we in canada don't really use gpas and hence have little to no idea what the actual scale is...

but some poor american friend of hers proceeded to write a weepy comment about how hers was *only* a 3.87.

seriously, this is getting ridiculous! i feel like the "my grades suck soooo bad!" is becoming the academic version of the infamous teenaged girl "I'm soooo faaaat!" <_<

LOL

Yes at that final analogy. It's perfect.

I just refuse to look at those. Let all the perfect scorers commiserate with each other. They don't need me to pile one. One of my all time favorites is "my dad's friend is the admissions director at Stellar Uni and over dinner last night he told me that the wrong stamp will totally ruin my chances. After my dad wrote another donation check I totally broke down crying because I totally used an Elvis stamp on my apps! Should I call them and see if I can resubmit?"

Or along those lines where it's pretty obvious that they are living in a whole 'nother reality that I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll join in here. I have thought the exact same thing. I'm a pretty average guy (3.9 GPA, 1120 GRE, a few small awards, but nothing huge) and when I look at those posts, the cynic in me says, "They just want attention." If you have a 1300+ GRE and a 3.98, you're gonna get in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

unsure.gif i always thought that grades, GRE and other numerical parts of the application are things that don't matter too much when they're above the OK line, but start to ruin things when they're bad. then again, what do I know...

But for sure, they're great because it actually gives you a reason to whine about sth while waiting for the results and obviously a great excuse if you don't get accepted...

I think my numbers are good enough, so I'm a lot more anxious :D-- I should be worried about sth, right, but what???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What bothers me is when people say "I was soooooo disappointed with my GRE score. I was getting 1600s on my practice tests but then I only managed a 720/750! Eugh, I'm so disgusted with my self, is it even worth applying ANYWHERE?"

I see the reason for it though. I work my hiney off for my grades and yet will still probably be rejected everywhere due to lack of necessary language preparation. So I understand why people who feel the same way as I do might fish for compliments because the realization that not everyone wants them in their program (or that no one wants them in their program) might be quite harsh coming at the end of a lifetime of positive encouragements and "Great job!" enthusiasm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're a cynical bunch laugh.gif. As you'll soon be aware, even those with amazing stats (all around, not just numbers) will be in for some disappointments. Getting in is by no means a sure thing.

But good luck to everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I felt guilty for being annoyed with those posters, but now I feel better! Actually, in a way, their posts were quite uplifting. It's like, hey, everyone's worried, not just me. It made me feel a little less alone in the process...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're a cynical bunch laugh.gif. As you'll soon be aware, even those with amazing stats (all around, not just numbers) will be in for some disappointments. Getting in is by no means a sure thing.

But good luck to everyone!

C'mon, everyone's panicking and wants some reassuring information. For those of you worried about numbers, it seems like they get you to the table? And are maybe tie breakers? Funding? Who the fuck knows? A lot of what I hear, how well your SoP is written doesn't even matter that much. It's fit fit fit. I think? I mean we're all shooting in the dark. I know that the scores don't matter so much because several of the programs I wanted to go to which seemed like they might work for me emailed me back. Granted, I didn't email every program and by its nature its a selected sample, but of those programs, two said not to apply, two said apply but we probably won't accept you, one (a program with a 5% admit rate) said you'd be a good fit. That is, they said this based on the idea of my project, not my scores or actually SoP or anything. Not even the idea of my project, but the broad topic.

One thing though is that this board is overwhelmingly positive. A lot of helpful encouraging people are on here, "Oh you'll do fine" "Did you check out this program? It could be cool for your interests" "Next time you take the GRE do this" "You could improve your SoP like this" etc. etc. No one says shit like, "With those scores you think you're going to get in? Are you mildly retarded?" or "Don't apply there, it's second tier and we all know that second tier colleges are training grounds for lecherous perverts who will only ever get non-tenured jobs at community colleges in rural Alaska" You should check out the law school boards my roommate looks at. I don't understand them even because it's all this intense, pejorative slang. Did you know that TTT stands for "Third-tier toilet"? Nor did I. Under their influence, my roommate started to explain to me the immorality of second tier schools offering law degrees. Their students will never be able to pay back their debts, he said, because top firms only hire people from the top 14 law schools. It was ridiculous that this otherwise smart kid didn't even stop to think about what a small percentage of cases those top firms actually handle. While their is plenty of fishing for compliments and preening here, it's not as bad as I would expect; this place has its downsides, but I have been quite impressed by the levels of civility and helpfulness here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad to see I am not the only one annoyed by the fishing for compliments.

Anyway, I think the GPA and GRE are only there as a pre-selective hurdle, but as long as you do not have a below 3.0 GPA and 1100 GRE, you should be fine for the first step. I think what really makes the difference are the LoRs. The SoP enables you to give a clearer image of yourself especially for international students; and it will be more important for litterary applicants than for scientific applicants, I think. Also, the reputation of the unis you attended plays a part as well (it's not the same if you come from Cornell or from some obscure uni in the middle of Tadjikistan). But I stick with the LoRs, if you have good recommendations from respected faculty, you will go a long way.

Just my 2 cents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing though is that this board is overwhelmingly positive. A lot of helpful encouraging people are on here, "Oh you'll do fine" "Did you check out this program? It could be cool for your interests" "Next time you take the GRE do this" "You could improve your SoP like this" etc. etc. No one says shit like, "With those scores you think you're going to get in? Are you mildly retarded?" or "Don't apply there, it's second tier and we all know that second tier colleges are training grounds for lecherous perverts who will only ever get non-tenured jobs at community colleges in rural Alaska" You should check out the law school boards my roommate looks at. I don't understand them even because it's all this intense, pejorative slang. Did you know that TTT stands for "Third-tier toilet"? Nor did I. Under their influence, my roommate started to explain to me the immorality of second tier schools offering law degrees. Their students will never be able to pay back their debts, he said, because top firms only hire people from the top 14 law schools. It was ridiculous that this otherwise smart kid didn't even stop to think about what a small percentage of cases those top firms actually handle. While their is plenty of fishing for compliments and preening here, it's not as bad as I would expect; this place has its downsides, but I have been quite impressed by the levels of civility and helpfulness here.

I completely agree with you, that's why I like this forum. I was feeling fairly confident until I went onto some other boards that convinced me I needed a near-perfect GRE quantitative score to get into my programs. Then I realized it consists of mostly of people who really have no idea what they're talking about, they're not on adcoms, but they speak with an air of authority. THAT'S annoying. I'll take the positivity & encouragement I see on here (and the YMMV qualifications of course!) any day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find all of the "What are my chances?" posts confounding. I just want to say, "Dude--almost all of us are applicants, too. How would we know what your chances are?" All we can do is virtually hold a poster's hand, say s/he is special when we've really got no idea, and speculate wildly. At the same time, I get it. Because we're all freaked out (see below).

As far as the people with stellar grades: look, they get stressed, too. I know it sucks, because we're all comparing ourselves to one another. But everyone here has something or other to be justifiably anxious about, whether s/he had a 4.0 or a 2.0.

I will say that we're all shooting in the dark, and it is nice to know that other people are obsessing as much (or more! ha!) than I am about this. Very few of my friends and none of my family members "get" what this process entails (my sister thinks that applying to PhD programs in English is no different--in any way at all--from applying to business school, and gets pissy when I tell her otherwise). So I appreciate being able to hang around this forum with all of my comrades-in-applications.

Edited by Pamphilia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What bothers me is when people say "I was soooooo disappointed with my GRE score. I was getting 1600s on my practice tests but then I only managed a 720/750! Eugh, I'm so disgusted with my self, is it even worth applying ANYWHERE?"

I see the reason for it though. I work my hiney off for my grades and yet will still probably be rejected everywhere due to lack of necessary language preparation. So I understand why people who feel the same way as I do might fish for compliments because the realization that not everyone wants them in their program (or that no one wants them in their program) might be quite harsh coming at the end of a lifetime of positive encouragements and "Great job!" enthusiasm.

+1 - I hate seeing people whine about scores in the 700's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing though is that this board is overwhelmingly positive. A lot of helpful encouraging people are on here, "Oh you'll do fine" "Did you check out this program? It could be cool for your interests" "Next time you take the GRE do this" "You could improve your SoP like this" etc. etc. No one says shit like, "With those scores you think you're going to get in? Are you mildly retarded?" or "Don't apply there, it's second tier and we all know that second tier colleges are training grounds for lecherous perverts who will only ever get non-tenured jobs at community colleges in rural Alaska" You should check out the law school boards my roommate looks at. I don't understand them even because it's all this intense, pejorative slang. Did you know that TTT stands for "Third-tier toilet"? Nor did I. Under their influence, my roommate started to explain to me the immorality of second tier schools offering law degrees. Their students will never be able to pay back their debts, he said, because top firms only hire people from the top 14 law schools. It was ridiculous that this otherwise smart kid didn't even stop to think about what a small percentage of cases those top firms actually handle. While their is plenty of fishing for compliments and preening here, it's not as bad as I would expect; this place has its downsides, but I have been quite impressed by the levels of civility and helpfulness here.

I know EXACTLY what boards you speak of! LOL

In my former life I was planning on returning to school to go to law school. LSAT taken and everything. I had the worst experiences on those boards. They actually helped me decide not to go. I figured if LS was full asses like that I'd never make it. Not because I could not do the work -- I actually think I'd kick arse -- but because I'd end up killing one of those spoiled, obnoxious, myopic gunners with a sharpened debit card to the throat. I had one dude who stalked my email AND my lj to tell me how wrong I was for being black and thus, uh, making his burden harder? Or something. Forget my totally respectable 161. /eyeroll

He went so far as to mock my dead daughter. No lie.

So, yes, this is a much better environment than that. I think that bodes well for the field. I imagine that some of the high scoring posters here would maybe do well in law school? That kind of appendage measuring seems to be rewarded in that system.

Edited by coyabean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just out of curiosity, what other boards are you all referring to?

Man I hate to advertise for them. Just google law school board. There are two majors that will pop up. You'll know them when you see them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man I hate to advertise for them. Just google law school board. There are two majors that will pop up. You'll know them when you see them.

Yikes! I have a cousin that went to law school, and when word got around that I was applying to grad school she called me (we're not very close) to tell me NOT to go to law school. I'm glad I'm applying to MFA programs, hopefully they won't be quite so scary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a law degree. Admissions are highly based on numbers. If you compare your gpa and LSAT scores to the school's averages, you have a good idea whether you will get in or not. So much easier and reassuring. It can be very frustrating when people refuse to believe that Ph.D. program admissions are different, and that you might actually be well qualified and not get in.

(Not that anyone has been following my other posts, but yes I have been both to law school and a previous Ph.D. program.)

Since the topic is "venting," I would like to vent about the application process:

1. I am annoyed when people suggest that it is somehow frivolous to decide where to apply based on a program's ranking rather than "fit." The program's ranking is what determines what kind of job you will get. It isn't just about prestige--it has immense practical importance.

2. The concept of "fit" is kind of annoying in general given that you haven't even started the program, haven't taken any classes, etc. Interests evolve. I'd love to compare people's dissertation topics with their original statements of purpose. I bet you would find a lot of people in a completely different place. I don't think having narrowed your interests down to one particular topic before you even take one graduate class means that you will be a better graduate student in the end.

2. I've also seen a few posts lately about applying close to the deadlines, and whether that would hurt your chances too much. I understand not considering an application if it is past the deadline. But if you make the deadline, why should it matter whether you got it in that day or three weeks before? I actually don't think departments make distinctions like that, but it would be totally unfair if they did. That is in effect a kind of rolling admissions, and should be stated in their admissions procedures--something like, "applications will be accepted until ____, but we view early submission of the application favorably," or something like that. (Of course, I speak as someone who submitted my first application today, on the deadline exactly.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I am annoyed when people suggest that it is somehow frivolous to decide where to apply based on a program's ranking rather than "fit." The program's ranking is what determines what kind of job you will get. It isn't just about prestige--it has immense practical importance.

In this same vein, I get annoyed when advised to focus on fit more than location of the school. The program could be absolutely perfect for me, but if my family and I are miserable in the town we are living in, that is going to affect my chances of success. I was able to find enough programs that address the fit question within the areas I would want to live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this same vein, I get annoyed when advised to focus on fit more than location of the school. The program could be absolutely perfect for me, but if my family and I are miserable in the town we are living in, that is going to affect my chances of success. I was able to find enough programs that address the fit question within the areas I would want to live.

This is totally fair. Although this obviously isn't your case, I've spoken with some peers who have simply said, "Yeah, I'd like to go to school on the west coast so I can go surfing." That seems like a pretty bad idea and hopefully those people get weeded out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.