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GRE Verbal --- retake?

VicboothVicbooth Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
edited July 2007 in Graduate School
I took the GRE this morning. I got a 580v --- and I am trying to go to grad school for English. Could I still get an RA/TA'ship with this score combined with other credentials (3.86 overall, 3.97 major, graduate course, honors thesis, sort of assistantship thing with professor...)

I will retake if I get below a 5 on the analytical section. Would a 5.5/6 on analytical make up for a 580v?

Thanks.
Post edited by Vicbooth on
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Replies to: GRE Verbal --- retake?

  • saxsax Registered User Posts: 5,428 Senior Member
    A 580 is at the 64% mark for future English Lit majors ftp://ftp.ets.org/pub/gre/994994.pdf

    This puts you above the average but not a lot. Can you look at some college english grad dept's that you may be interested in and see what scores they acccepted
  • DespSeekPhdDespSeekPhd Registered User Posts: 991 Member
    I can't imagine an English dept. giving a TA/RA to someone with that score. Unis look at the verbal far more than the AW, so your AW score will not make up for it. You will need to retake to get a funded position.

    Mind you, the information from ETS (the link from sax) notes what majors are intended - not necessarily successful. That means that a person can take the GRE and put "English lit" in their personal info, but may not get funding or even be accepted. a 580 is very, very low for an English major. If I were you, I'd be shooting for at least a 640. Study those GRE words - the Barron's list is helpful. You can easily bring up your score 60 points or more. Good luck!
  • VicboothVicbooth Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I studied 1000 words. One was actually on the exam. I don't know if this is always the case; I tend to believe I have a fairly decent vocabulary.

    I'm sure I could do better. The only reasons I wouldn't take it again are money and the fact that I would have to redo AWA --- It would be embarrassing to do worse.

    Thanks ---
  • saxsax Registered User Posts: 5,428 Senior Member
    The correlation between gre scores and how someone does in their program are pretty low. I seriously would spend time on line looking at different programs and their expectations. Sometimes they are just happy you took the darn thing and are much more interested in what you have done in undergrad.
  • skysky Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    The correlation between gre scores and how someone does in their program are pretty low. I seriously would spend time on line looking at different programs and their expectations. Sometimes they are just happy you took the darn thing and are much more interested in what you have done in undergrad.

    While I won't debate that, funding decisions are often made using the GRE as a substantiative aspect in that decision. It's simply expected that math/engineering grad students get quantitative scores in the mid 700s. The same types of scores are expected of English/humanities students in the verbal section. To simply accept a score that is significantly lower than your peers puts you at a disadvantage in competitive programs or for competitive spots (ie. ones that are fully funded).
  • VicboothVicbooth Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I will most likely take the GRE again. If I do mediocre again, I will just hope somewhere will accept me with funding. I'm aiming for a state school either way.
  • VicboothVicbooth Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Also, if I were to get a 6 on the AWA, do I have to take that section again? If so, why?
  • VicboothVicbooth Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    One more thing: I don't want to excuse my poor performance on verbal --- but please tell me --- is the word thing just luck? I have a decent vocabulary and studied (as I said before, 1000 words, including the high frequency list and a flashcard book) and only 1 was on the exam.

    Has anyone else taken the GRE and had the same experience? If so, upon retaking, was the case still the same?
  • skysky Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Did you answer all of the questions? Not answering all of the questions will hurt you significantly.

    Are you familiar with all of the tactics in taking the computer adaptive version of the test?

    As far as your other question goes, yes, you will have to take the writing portion of the test again even if you got a 6. Neither ETS nor the programs you are applying to wants to see that you deliberately not take certain sections so that you could concentrate on a single section at the expense of the rest.
  • DespSeekPhdDespSeekPhd Registered User Posts: 991 Member
    "The correlation between gre scores and how someone does in their program are pretty low. I seriously would spend time on line looking at different programs and their expectations. Sometimes they are just happy you took the darn thing and are much more interested in what you have done in undergrad."

    Except the programs that will accept such low scores are not likely to be very good programs. Going to a poorly regarded program will hurt the OP's future career chances. Better to retake the GRE. Whether it is a good indicator of grad school success is besides the point. It IS used in admissions and funding decisions; that is the concern.
  • VicboothVicbooth Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I hear what you're saying DeepSeekPhd.

    However, my professor has told me that going into English is a bit different --- that articles published during grad school basically trump all else; a published MA/Ph.D candidate from a state uni is just as valuable if not moreso than a grad student at an Ivy League school. I intend to go to a state university. In this case, a 580, I'm assuming, is still too low.
  • DespSeekPhdDespSeekPhd Registered User Posts: 991 Member
    I guess I'd ask what happens when those Ivy League grads publish, too? It isn't as if their advisors are going to let them sit on their butts, relying on the name of their institution. In any case, An Ivy League isn't necessarily the gold standard, depending on your particular subfield. Competition for English jobs is brutal - even more brutal than history jobs, and that's saying something. Competition for grad school spots, even at state schools (and state school does not necessarily equate with "lesser program" - many of the best programs are at state schools) is brutal as well, especially for funded spots. The GRE is basically used as a basic cutoff and then again to determine funding.
  • naurunauru Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    The importance of GRE scores is inversely correlated with the reputation of the department/institution to which you are applying. So take a look at your list of schools. If they are not top of the top schools, you should retake it. If they are, then your ability to memorize thousands of words is the last thing they will care about when evaluating your application.
  • WilliamCWilliamC Registered User Posts: 785 Member
    As a data point, the University of Minnesota English GRE scores are here:

    http://www.grad.umn.edu/data/stats/ad/1027600.html#gre

    Another data point might be Ohio State's published fellowship eligibility:

    http://www.gradsch.ohio-state.edu/Depo/PDF/Fell_Announce.pdf

    Note that when they say 75th percentile they mean the average of the verbal and quantative percentiles. Just add 'em up and divide by two. (yes, I called to ask.)

    I think you need at least another 100 points plus a decent score on the Quant.
  • DespSeekPhdDespSeekPhd Registered User Posts: 991 Member
    I'd also guess that as opposed to dividing by 2, the verbal scores tend to be higher than the quant scores for English applicants, and that the verbal scores are looked at far more closely than the quant scores. I know for history, the quant scores are basically ignored as long as they are respectable (in the 600s), but the verbal is expected to be rather high. I would imagine English is the same.
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