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Thread: GRE Scores

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    GRE Scores

    I'm looking to apply to Harvard, MIT, and UPENN next year, but can't seem to find information regarding how GRE scores are reviewed. Do the schools take your top scores overall? Do they take the top scores in each section? Or do they average?

    If anyone has been accepted into the aforementioned schools, any application tips? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    GRE scores are only one piece of the whole admissions puzzle. Every school looks at them in a different way, some ask for a minumum score and others don't require it too. Look in the "Application Blues" thread from Oct-Dec and there are a lot of posts regarding this.

    Cheers!
    Kim

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    Thanks Kim.

    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek
    GRE scores are only one piece of the whole admissions puzzle. Every school looks at them in a different way, some ask for a minumum score and others don't require it too. Look in the "Application Blues" thread from Oct-Dec and there are a lot of posts regarding this.

    Cheers!
    Kim

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    What are "typical" GRE scores? What is considered a good score for the most part?
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  5. #5
    Also is it worth taking a Prep Course for the GRE's or is that just Bullocks? I have a Computer program that claims it's as good but who can really tell with those things.

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    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    The prep book really helped me since it had be SO long since I'd taken a test. It helped me get back into that mindset.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    The prep book really helped me since it had be SO long since I'd taken a test. It helped me get back into that mindset.
    Yeah it's been a couple of years for me since I've taken a test too... good point!

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    Cyburbian fructa's avatar
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    Hey Big Green--

    As someone who's earned a fair bit of cash privately tutoring people who are to take standardized tests -- many of whom were simultaneously enrolled in and dissatisfied with prep courses -- the courses are not worth it. Get ahold of a prep book -- heck, borrow one from the library -- and figure out what your weak points are. For the GRE, make a comprehensive vocabulary list (I've got a good one for a starting point & can email you a copy if you like -- I ended up going through the dictionary (OK, I'm a big geek) and writing down words I didn't know) & a set of flashcards several months in advance, get in the habit of using them. If you need math review, there are good refresher-course algebra & geometry books in any barnes & noble or borders, and that's about as advanced as the math on the GRE gets. The average prep course A) makes tests seem harder than they really are, and B) just goes through a prep book, word by word. Save yourself some money. It's really not worth it, especially since there's really no strategy (skipping hard questions & going back to them later, etc.) with the computerized tests. You've got to do every question you get and do them in order -- so your best bet is just to know your stuff.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I did an online version of a prep course and felt it was worth the $$. It helped to that a benefactor paid for half for me For me it was most useful for the math portion because let's face it....Political Science isn't about math (although it should be, but that's another thread!). I also though it was good to get familiar with the way the computerized exam is and to run through a few of the practice tests. Previous people mentioned the word lists/dictionary and that's a good idea, the verbal part is pretty much either you know it or you don't. ETS will send you a CD-Rom with 2 practice exams, a math review, and an analytical writing example.

    In the end.....Quant: 550, Verbal: 560, AWA: 5.5

    Not too bad for never having taken any kind of standardized test.

    Cheers!
    Kim

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    Fructa,

    Would you mind sending me your list? THanks in advance.

    Aqx34@aol.com

    Quote Originally posted by fructa
    Hey Big Green--

    As someone who's earned a fair bit of cash privately tutoring people who are to take standardized tests -- many of whom were simultaneously enrolled in and dissatisfied with prep courses -- the courses are not worth it. Get ahold of a prep book -- heck, borrow one from the library -- and figure out what your weak points are. For the GRE, make a comprehensive vocabulary list (I've got a good one for a starting point & can email you a copy if you like -- I ended up going through the dictionary (OK, I'm a big geek) and writing down words I didn't know) & a set of flashcards several months in advance, get in the habit of using them. If you need math review, there are good refresher-course algebra & geometry books in any barnes & noble or borders, and that's about as advanced as the math on the GRE gets. The average prep course A) makes tests seem harder than they really are, and B) just goes through a prep book, word by word. Save yourself some money. It's really not worth it, especially since there's really no strategy (skipping hard questions & going back to them later, etc.) with the computerized tests. You've got to do every question you get and do them in order -- so your best bet is just to know your stuff.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian fructa's avatar
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    sure thing, I'll get it to you in the next day or so.

    Also, I seem to remember downloading a free prep software program ('cause it was free) that had practice sets of different kinds of math problems, and two sample tests that acted like the CAT tests. <grin> it also had a very reassuring section that plotted your score graphically against the scores of PhD students in many different subjects, so you could see where you were based on the curve. I found that program on the www.ets.org website; it's called Powerprep.

    The University of California also has great GRE prep areas that you can use for free. More vocabulary drilling (although their word list is fairly small and you can get through it rather quickly), sets of math problems to work through, etc. Available here: http://www1.ucgateways.org/gre/

    Berkeley also posts a downloadable GRE wordlist here: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wwu/downloads/wordlist.xls.

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    Quote Originally posted by jjunke
    I'm looking to apply to Harvard, MIT, and UPENN next year, but can't seem to find information regarding how GRE scores are reviewed. Do the schools take your top scores overall? Do they take the top scores in each section? Or do they average?
    On my applications I listed only my scores from the first GRE I took because they were higher than the 2nd testing. But ETS reported both sets of scores to my schools and the schools generally showed both sets of scores when I checked the info they had for me. So I suspect they look at the scores overall instead of most recent, best, or top in each section.
    One tip- I learned at the UPenn open house that the little money Penn gives out for merit based aid is primarily awarded based on GRE scores. Although my GREs were pretty good and I still didn't get enough to whittle down their outrageous tuition. So it was all for naught.

  13. #13
    As far as preparation is concerned, the Powerprep Software from ETS is probably the best prep material you'll find....but I recommend holding off and using a prep book (Kaplan's are, in my opinion, the best) for all but the final 2-3 weeks before the test. Also, there is no need to take a prep course. Frankly, going to class cuts in to the amount of time you'll need to memorize the vocab.

    As for how much weight the GRE holds in the admissions process, I'm beginning to believe that if your application is well rounded and shows considerable focus (through your statement and recs.) your GRE score begins to matter less and less....and this comes from one who did ok on the GRE (1260, 5.5 AW) but was still offered admission to some highly competitive programs.
    Last edited by mk1515; 29 Mar 2006 at 12:52 PM.

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