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Posts Tagged ‘Humanities’

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Today, October 28, 2010 I took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) at a test site in Tokyo. Previously, I took the exam for entrance to my Master’s program at the University of Oregon. In preparation for applying to PhD schools I opted to take the exam again. The immediate score I received was 1070 (590 Verbal Reasoning 480 Quantitative Reasoning). Anyone familiar with the format knows that it takes around four hours and is composed of three sections and four parts. Writing Assessment (Perspective & Critique), Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. My major weakness is mathematics or the quantitative reasoning section. As a student in the humanities it has been sometime since mathematics played any part in my academic circle.

Neither score I received will set the world on fire as each section ranges from 200-800 points. While I scored higher on my verbal reasoning score it does not place me in the top percentile of people who take the GRE. This score is only a part of my application and I have excelled in the majority of other academic areas, but I still feel a bit cold about my results.

My work ethic for the test was very strong and I even had the help of my sweetheart back in Oregon, but that was betrayed by the limited time I provided myself for preparation. Fearing the deadline for admissions this year I hastily decided to take the exam at the end of October, having only registered on the sixth of that month. This left merely three weeks to prepare. While I had taken the test before and was familiar with it, I had forgotten many of the trips and more detailed elements of this test. On top of which many of the math concepts I learned in high school had completely escaped me.

Part of me is happy to have achieved a relatively strong verbal score, but I know I need more time in both areas to succeed. Talking with my girlfriend, who is not a native English speaker, she spent nearly a year preparing herself for the exam. Her score was around 1200, getting a perfect 800 in the math section and a 400 in the verbal section. While I cannot compare myself to her score I can understand that with a longer prep period I know I could achieve much more than I did today.

I have a lot more work to do, but today felt a little sad knowing that even though I worked hard, I needed to give myself much more time to prepare for this portion of the application process. Even though the future is uncertain, I will do my best in all the other areas of my application and keep working hard.

Until next time, cheers!

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