Who has taken the GRE test?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by The Chicken Lady, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    In two years, I'll be done with my master's program (I'm a part-time student), and my plan after that is to begin work on my Ph.D. In order to do that, I need to take the GRE test, and I want a really good score! [​IMG] (I didn't need the GRE to get in for my master's because I was an undergrad student at the same university).

    I'm starting to study now because I want time to retake the test if I need to, and scores last for a few years. I also don't want to be studying for and worrying about the GRE at the same time I'm writing my master's thesis.

    Any tips or hints about taking the GRE that I can't learn from a book? I'd love your thoughts.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Don't worry about it. It was easy easy easy easy. The math section was from material from like 10th grade. Granted, doing an engineering major for my BS, the basic math principals are always used, it was easy stuff that you'd even use while shopping. The engish and writing were a bit more challenging, but nothing too bad. Analogies are a bear, but it's on a computer and when you suck, they just give you easier ones. LOL I took it about 18 months ago and bought a book to study... but never opened it.

    For the sciences, your GRE scores are a tiny fraction of what gets you in for a PhD. Past work, publications, references, and your grades in Major courses are the majority of what really matters. And becides, if you have a lab lined up, and have talked to admissions in the department you want to get in and you jive with the people there, scores really don't matter.

    So my best advice is to use those social networking skills and talk to the people you want to work with and the people who make the admission decisions. Work the system as a number is often nearly meaningless if they have a face and person with enthuiasm standing in front of it.
  3. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    The math part is the part that scares me, especially because I can't use a calculator. [​IMG] I'm an English teacher, my master's program is in K-12 reading, and I'm looking at a Ph.D. program in Language and Literacy. (...quite the far cry from engineering, so you can see why math makes me nervous!) [​IMG] I'm interested in content area reading strategies, family/lifelong literacy and working with students and families living in poverty.

    Thanks for the advice about networking! That makes very good sense. My advisor, who is also one of my professors, got her Ph.D. from a school where I am interested in going, so that might be a good place for me to start. Perhaps she can give me some tips or help me get in touch with people.

    As for publishing something... I haven't done anything like that yet. I guess I'll have to speak with someone in my field who would know if that matters for Ph.D. admissions in education; I imagine it's different in every field.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Ah yes, differnet fields will have HUGE differences for their PhD admissions guidelines. Unless you are doing research in what you're doing now, doubt publiciatoins are that important. In academic research, it's a "publish or perish" type of world. I'm sure you'll blow english and writing ont he GRE out of the water though. Serously though, 90% of the math on the test can be done even without the provided pencil and paper. Don't stress.

    Networking is your best friend. Not sure what kind of work you do in engish Masters, but if you had a science masters, you would have your principal investigator write you a really nice reccomendation letter and send the word down though the academic grapevine. So I guess in your case you'd want to find the person you work the closest with and have them write the key letter of reccomendation. Ideally, it would be someone who could judge how well you would do in a PhD program like a professor rather than boss at work, unless of course, your professor is your boss. :p
  5. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    You only need an 1100 to get in PhD program. I was easy - I did that with hardly any studying at all and I got done like an hour and a half early.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  6. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    Rent the movie Spies Like Us with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, they have alot of test taking tips.

    Do a few practice tests to help manage your time with taking the test. To get accepted into a PhD program your best bet is go and talk to some of the professors you might want as a major professor.
  7. turnerstar31

    turnerstar31 Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    I do not have to take that either but I have heard that if you score high enough that some schools would give you a scholarship to their school. I might take it after I get done with my masters but am not to sure about that.
    Good luck with it.

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