It has changed. Under the new system my scores would have translated to 165 quantitative, 169 verbal. It appears that 169 verbal is unusual in many schools although it is only 3% higher than 165 in terms of percentile (95/98).

But many of those who actually go to graduate school, have very high quantitative scores, significantly higher than mine, and verbal scores that could really make one wonder. Why is the verbal portion so comparatively challenging?

(My LSAT score, on the other hand, is 160 and puts me in the 80th percentile, which explains why I am not truly competitive for that.)




Filed under Questions

5 responses to “GRE

  1. human

    I have always been good at these tests, and I don’t know why exactly. But preparing for the GRE I got the Princeton Review book — which explains how the test designers want/intend you to approach the questions, and then provides strategies for arriving at the right answer more quickly than if you did it the “right” way — and I practiced for about six weeks. I scored very well, 790, which I don’t know what it would be in the new scale but basically it means I missed one question at the very end of the test.

    The math on the GRE is actually less advanced than the math on the SAT, so I have read, because the idea is that you’ve probably forgotten a fair bit of the math you learned in high school, if you were not in a math or science field. I scored pretty high on that without even really trying.

    The writing bit is utterly formulaic and stupid.

    • Z

      790 would be 170 on the new scale, i.e. the top. I didn’t study for the GRE but I took it senior year of college, so I was very used to tests and remembered math well, knew more of it than I had in high school.

  2. Angry Professor

    The new GRE scale is not yet well calibrated. The quant portion has on average higher scores in part because of the large number of ESL students who take it who do very well on the quant but not as well on the verbal. I would also speculate (but might be wrong) that the quant portion can be studied for, but the verbal portion not so much, again leading to a disparity between quant and verbal scores. It is generally accepted that the quant scores are about 1/2 a standard deviation higher than the verbal scores.

    Z, I feel as though my study of French has stalled out. I can NOT produce the language, except in my writing, which I think is at about the level of a lycéenne. I’m taking an upper-level conversation class this term, but unless I know the topic in advance I cannot speak at a level above FR101. Any suggestions? Maybe I’m just too old.

  3. Z

    GRE, that is interesting.

    French, I think you probably do actually speak above FR101 and I think you are normal. There is a long period in intermediate language learning where you feel stalled out and you almost give up. Then one day you wake up and you are advanced.

    Are you watching films-tv and do you have a conversation partner outside class? These two things would help!

    • Angry Professor

      Thanks, Z. Yes, I do watch films (I subscribe to TV5 Monde) and I listen to FranceInfo on my “programming” days. I volunteer at my daughter’s school once a week, an afternoon in which I can speak nothing but French. (I speak French much better to children than to adults.) I also try to visit RFI’s “Français Facile” and work those listening exercises, as well as those at “7 Jours,” which is on my phone. This has helped my comprehension immensely, but I haven’t seen much influence on my speech production.

      I will be in France for a good part of the summer, far from tourist-friendly areas. Hopefully that also will help. But there is no getting around the fact that I am old.

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