710 Verbal, 790 Quantitative, and a 5.0 on the Analytical Writing.
I’m *definitely *happy with these scores, and I do not want to take that fucking test ever again!
I’ll be applying for grad school, hoping to get into a good program in fall 2009. I was thinking about business, but after a long talk with some business profs, it looks like I’m going to be going for a degree in education so that I can pursue a library career in bibliographic instruction.
I’ve actually got mixed feelings about these scores. On one hand, I’m stoked, because I never thought I’d score this high. I was looking to hit the mean scores on both with a slightly higher than average score on the writing portion. On the other hand I’ve read the comments of one poster in a GRE thread a few weeks back who opined that she might have been rejected from a grad school program in education because her scores were too high. I’m not sure that would happen to me; my scores are good, but they’re not that good. Still, I’m a worrywart by nature.
Oh, and if anyone’s actually thinking about putting themselves through this bullshit, a few notes:
There are a lot of great textbooks out there on how to prep for the GRE’s. Buy, borrow, or steal a few and attack the sample problems with everything you’ve got. GRE textbooks definitely make the difference, even if you’ve already got the math and vocab down. They prepare you for all the nasty little surprises the testmakers–who have to suffer from autism and personality disorders, judging by the questions they think up–prepare for you, probably while rubbing their hands and cackling with glee, all because you happened to lose your virginity before you were 37.
A word on the Verbal section. Some of the textbooks state that you don’t need to memorize vocabulary words to ace the Verbal section, and that a well-read student should be able to ace it without a problem. This is bullshit. Go through those lists, pick out any vocabulary word you don’t know and memorize that shit. I went through all the vocab lists I could find in the books, plus some on the web, plus all the vocab that popped up on the sample tests that I didn’t know off the top of my head, and I studied, studied, studied, until I had those fuckers down. It saved my ass on the test.
My math scores surprised me, because I always considered myself awful at the subject. The books helped here, too. I should say that they did not prepare me for everything I saw on the test, but they gave me enough of a primer so that I could decipher the harder shit and make educated guesses. Work the algebra. You’ll need it for the word problems. A couple of years ago, before I ever even thought about going back to grad school, I decided out of the blue to teach myself some math just to see how far I could get. I managed to make it through Algebra I and II, Trig (no trig on the GRE’s, btw), and even some very basic calculus, and I’m sure this helped when taking the test. One of the things that helped the most was this book on word problems. If your algebra isn’t that great, pay special attention to that in the GRE textbooks. The geometry is pretty basic, but make sure you know all your area formulas, for both 2 and 3D shapes (The textbooks cover them pretty well.).
I have no idea if this is true for all the tests, but overall, stacking the actual test against the textbooks, I’d say that the Verbal questions were easier on the test than they were in the book, and the math questions were way harder on the test than they were in the book. Again, that just might have been mine.
So glad to have that out of the way!