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I've noticed that most people take the GRE in August or September, but would the end of October, in your opinion, be too late to take mine? I can see why most people take it in August or September, as a majority are still in undergrad and trying to get it out of the way before their semester gets crazy. However, I'm out of undergrad, I work part-time, and I don't have any other obligations. Outside of work, I basically have unlimited time to prep for my apps. 

I want to take mine on the 21st or 28th of October. I figured those dates give me enough time to do some prep for the math comfortably, but if I need to retake, I will have time to retake (albeit close to the deadline) and have the scores get to my schools in time. 

Thanks in advance

Edited by miami421

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Mid October might be a bit safer if you think you will need to retake (though hopefully if you are using that intervening time well, you will not need to.) You can retake the GRE every 21 days, but it sometimes takes up to 2 weeks to get scores back for the writing portion.  If any of your application deadlines are due December 1 that is cutting it awfully close.

That being said, it should not be a serious problem waiting a bit longer to take it.

I am curious as to why you mention improving your math score specifically.  From reading a number of other threads around here it matters much less for history, except occasionally for funding at some schools.  You might be better served focusing on the rest of your application (writing sample, SOP) unless you expect to completely fail.

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47 minutes ago, Banzailizard said:

I am curious as to why you mention improving your math score specifically.  From reading a number of other threads around here it matters much less for history, except occasionally for funding at some schools.  You might be better served focusing on the rest of your application (writing sample, SOP) unless you expect to completely fail.

My history with test these types of standardized tests is that I score highly on verbal and very low on the quantitative (like 40-50 percentile). The average lowest quantitative score I've seen that PhD programs will accept (at least the ones I am applying to) is 148. I'm testing around that score right now, and I'm pretty sure I can score that on test day, but I'm not completely confident in that assertion. 

 

The people around here saying that quantitative matters much less seem to score in the 152 and above, so of course they can say it didn't matter in their app. They hit the mark where the quantitive was just looked over. I think where I am scoring in quantitative is enough to send a red flag to schools that care about these types of scores. 

Edited by miami421

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I took it in early September because it coincided with a easy-going moment at work. I had to retake it and work-wise and date-wise I could sit for it in mid-November, which was a very narrow window for deadlines. 

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4 hours ago, miami421 said:

I've noticed that most people take the GRE in August or September, but would the end of October, in your opinion, be too late to take mine? I can see why most people take it in August or September, as a majority are still in undergrad and trying to get it out of the way before their semester gets crazy. However, I'm out of undergrad, I work part-time, and I don't have any other obligations. Outside of work, I basically have unlimited time to prep for my apps. 

I want to take mine on the 21st or 28th of October. I figured those dates give me enough time to do some prep for the math comfortably, but if I need to retake, I will have time to retake (albeit close to the deadline) and have the scores get to my schools in time. 

Thanks in advance

Given your specific concerns and your flexible schedule, I recommend that you increase your prep tempo now so that you can take the exam sooner. If you're not satisfied with the score you receive, you will have enough time to rest (a bit), regroup, refocus, and study more.

Notwithstanding your concerns about sending a red flag, please don't let the GRE distract you from other elements of your applications, especially your SOP and your relationships with POIs writing LORs.

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7 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

Notwithstanding your concerns about sending a red flag, please don't let the GRE distract you from other elements of your applications, especially your SOP and your relationships with POIs writing LORs.

GRE is only a small portion of my daily activities, so it is not getting in the way of editing my WS and SOP. 

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the last bit. I understand POIs to mean the person I am interested in working under at a given university. LORs come from professors I have worked with. Thus, I don't see how POIs are writing LORs.

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3 hours ago, miami421 said:

The average lowest quantitative score I've seen that PhD programs will accept (at least the ones I am applying to) is 148. I'm testing around that score right now, and I'm pretty sure I can score that on test day, but I'm not completely confident in that assertion.

FWIW, my quant score was 145, so...

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30 minutes ago, nhhistorynut said:

FWIW, my quant score was 145, so...

That's interesting and somewhat relieving. 

I have a hunch that a lot of these universities inflate their scores. Obviously I will still try to do my best, but it would be more helpful is schools were more honest and transparent about score records. Some schools are, but the vast majority aren't.    

Edited by miami421

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2 hours ago, miami421 said:

Thus, I don't see how POIs are writing LORs.

Yeah, that should have been caught in the editing.

 

 

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Based on my readings in Quora and The Grad Cafe, most people do suggest a minimum of 3 months of preparation for the GRE. So, I suggest taking into consideration your length of time to prepare. :)

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On 10/10/2017 at 5:53 PM, miami421 said:

Update: unofficial score of 168V/149Q.

I'm ecstatic!

Congrats, you killed it!  I'm taking mine November 8th and I'm pretty terrified.  =)  I've been putting in the time studying for it, but so many other elements of the application process leech time away from preparation, it seems.  I'd be happy with anything above a low 160, and thrilled with a 165 or above!

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11 hours ago, fortsibut said:

Congrats, you killed it!  I'm taking mine November 8th and I'm pretty terrified.  =)  I've been putting in the time studying for it, but so many other elements of the application process leech time away from preparation, it seems.  I'd be happy with anything above a low 160, and thrilled with a 165 or above!

Thanks!

You can break into the 160s easily if you have a wide vocabulary. I already had a wide vocabulary before I started studying, but the Magoosh flacshcard app really help me find the holes in my lexicon. I just went through the app and created my own list based on the words I didn't know. 

I would say, since I'm guessing are applying to programs that require writing, to also do a couple mock essays. Going in blind for that section would have been terrible. We're used to writing with all the time in the world, but that section only gives you 30 minutes for each essay. I got a 5 on the analytical writing, and I think I could have done better had I practiced more for it. 

Good luck!

Edited by miami421

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Yep, I'm applying to history doctoral programs, so I'll have to work on the writing as well; I've been focusing mainly on the verbal so far.  I'm not too worried about the quant section as long as I'm at least around a 150.  Did you use anything besides the Magoosh apps to prepare for the verbal section?  (Princeton books, etc.)

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17 hours ago, fortsibut said:

Yep, I'm applying to history doctoral programs, so I'll have to work on the writing as well; I've been focusing mainly on the verbal so far.  I'm not too worried about the quant section as long as I'm at least around a 150.  Did you use anything besides the Magoosh apps to prepare for the verbal section?  (Princeton books, etc.)

Just Magoosh, couple of Manhattan books, and the free PTs given by ETS. 

I also read a lot of aldaily.com, which has GRE-like articles. 

Edited by miami421

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On 10/20/2017 at 4:02 PM, miami421 said:

Just Magoosh, couple of Manhattan books, and the free PTs given by ETS. 

I also read a lot of aldaily.com, which has GRE-like articles. 

Took it today:  V 167, Q 150.  I was absolutely losing it with joy when I saw the results.  Not too worried about the quant section...it's not ideal, but it shouldn't matter too much.

EDIT:  How long did it take for your official scores to arrive?

Edited by fortsibut

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15 hours ago, fortsibut said:

Took it today:  V 167, Q 150.  I was absolutely losing it with joy when I saw the results.  Not too worried about the quant section...it's not ideal, but it shouldn't matter too much.

EDIT:  How long did it take for your official scores to arrive?

About 8 -9 days week days (not business). Definitely not the 10 business days they said. 

Make sure to send them out to your schools now if you haven't already! I sent my last batch yesterday. 

Edited by astroid88

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11 hours ago, astroid88 said:

About 8 -9 days week days (not business). Definitely not the 10 business days they said. 

Make sure to send them out to your schools now if you haven't already! I sent my last batch yesterday. 

Thanks for the response!  Only four of my five target schools take GRE scores, so I set them up to be sent yesterday at the end of the test.  (I'm just hoping my AW score turns out to be higher than it felt like when I wrote the essays.)  Now to work on the rest of my application materials and wait for the official scores....

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10 hours ago, fortsibut said:

(I'm just hoping my AW score turns out to be higher than it felt like when I wrote the essays.)  

Those things are annoying and formulaic. I consider myself a decent writer, but I ended up getting a 5. Now I don't think it's a terrible score, but it's definitely not representative of my ability. I guess that's what the WS and PS are for.. 

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On 11/10/2017 at 12:30 PM, astroid88 said:

Those things are annoying and formulaic. I consider myself a decent writer, but I ended up getting a 5. Now I don't think it's a terrible score, but it's definitely not representative of my ability. I guess that's what the WS and PS are for.. 

Ended up with a 4.5.  I'm ok with that, although I was hoping for a 5+.  I spent a lot more time working on verbal than I did on the AW, and I guess it showed.  I honestly wish that I had spent more time on quant; a 150 isn't terrible for someone going into history, but I would have felt a lot better with 155+.

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This forum is making me question whether my scores are good enough to be accepted at all. I received a 157V and 151Q with a 5 as my writing score. I know that they aren't that great but I don't think they are bad enough for me to be immediately disqualified from admittance, are they?

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1 hour ago, SFischer said:

This forum is making me question whether my scores are good enough to be accepted at all. I received a 157V and 151Q with a 5 as my writing score. I know that they aren't that great but I don't think they are bad enough for me to be immediately disqualified from admittance, are they?

I think writing samples and personal statements are much more important. 

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On 11/21/2017 at 4:18 PM, SFischer said:

This forum is making me question whether my scores are good enough to be accepted at all. I received a 157V and 151Q with a 5 as my writing score. I know that they aren't that great but I don't think they are bad enough for me to be immediately disqualified from admittance, are they?

I'd imagine your target programs have a lot to do with your odds.  I honestly don't know how competitive medieval programs are, but you're going to have an easier chance getting into a non-terminal MA program than a terminal MA or PhD program with somewhat lower scores.  As asteroid88 pointed out, fit is probably going to be what makes or breaks your application; if the other elements of your app are on point and you can make a great case that you'd be a great fit for the program, your scores alone don't seem (to me) to be low enough to disqualify you.

I wouldn't really be qualified to assess your chances even if you have provided more information since you're not in my subfield, but listing a few of your target schools might help others to give you advice.  Your numbers would probably seem low to an Ivy or other top 10 program, but might be competitive at other schools that would be good fits for you.  My 150Q score would probably make schools like Harvard and Yale pass on me due to the fact that they have a lot of options (just "prestige" examples, they're not good fits for me so that's another story), even though most history programs aren't all that concerned with applicants' quant scores.  The best schools just have bigger pools of top-tier candidates.

Not sure if you've checked out https://www.thegradcafe.com/survey/ yet, but it can give you some idea of what scores/grades/etc. past candidates have (at least claimed to have) had when they applied to particular programs, and the search function works well.  That'd at least give you a baseline.

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