Seeing scores before sending them

astro_ice
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:56 pm

Seeing scores before sending them

Postby astro_ice » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:13 am

It's not possible to actually see our scores befor choosing our 4 free score reports to send, is it? Has anyone successfully done this before?
Thanks in advance.

TakeruK
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Seeing scores before sending them

Postby TakeruK » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:52 am

For the subject test or the general GRE?

For the Subject GRE, since you have to identify the four free schools prior to taking the test, and it takes several weeks to get your scores, you will not be able to see the scores before you select your free schools. More info/source: https://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/scoreselect/

For the General GRE, if you take the exam on the computer then you will be able to see your Verbal and Quantitative scores prior to selecting which schools to send your scores to. But if you take the exam on paper then it is like the subject test---you can't see the scores before you choose who gets them. More info/source: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/send/

There are many different strategies/advice you could employ for selecting the four free schools in the cases where you cannot see your score ahead of time. For example,

1. Don't worry about it and send to the four schools you are the most interested in. If you are not planning on retaking the test, then you'll have to send this score anyways, no matter what it is. So, just send them to the schools you will apply to for sure and take advantage of the free score reports.

2. If you're applying to a large number of schools, then you can probably rank how interested you are in each school and then send them to the bottom 4 of your list of schools that you are certain to apply to. This lets you ensure you use all your free reports but also lets you retake the exam for your top choice schools, if necessary.

3. A variation on the above is to research the schools you're applying to more closely and send the free score reports depending on how much each schools cares about the Subject GRE score. Then you could either send the score reports to the schools that care about them the most or the least, depending on whether you want to maximize your chances at retaking and getting a better score (send free reports to the schools that care about it the least), or if you want to ensure you send as few reports as possible (send free reports to the schools that care about it more).

4. If money isn't an issue for you and if you plan on retaking the test for the ideal score, then don't send any free score reports.

A few additional notes/thoughts:

- Years ago, before ScoreSelect, people basically just did Option 1. Back then, sending a score report meant they saw all of our test scores, so there was no need to fret too much about which schools gets the free reports since even if you retook the test, the school would see both scores. Since most people do not plan on taking the test more than once, with ScoreSelect, I think Options 1 or 2 make the most sense.

- Note that many programs, especially those in astronomy, are now either not requiring or even not accepting Physics GRE scores, so don't waste your free reports on those schools.

- In addition, a bunch of programs are also happy to just receive an unofficial score report or accept self-reported scores and will only want an official report once you are accepted. If you can identify these programs, you might want to not send the free report to them and instead just pay the 27 USD only after you are accepted and decide that you want to go there.

astro_ice
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: Seeing scores before sending them

Postby astro_ice » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:47 pm

Yep, just the subject test. That clarified a lot of things; it would have been nice to at least see our scores before sending them, especially if they offer a score select option. Oh well.
Thank you so much for your helpful response!

TakeruK
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Seeing scores before sending them

Postby TakeruK » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:34 pm

astro_ice wrote:Yep, just the subject test. That clarified a lot of things; it would have been nice to at least see our scores before sending them, especially if they offer a score select option. Oh well.
Thank you so much for your helpful response!


The cynical side of me think that ScoreSelect, while marketed to be "helpful" for applicant, is really just another way to get more money from applicants who are able to spend it. Without ScoreSelect, there was less incentive to retake the test since the school will see all of your scores anyways. With ScoreSelect, some applicants might want to retake the exam because there is a potential to raise the score. And of course, if you want to take advantage of the full potential, then you wouldn't use your free score reports at all, since you would want to see which score is better and only send the better score.

The less cynical side of me has no opinion on whether ETS implemented ScoreSelect as a way to get more money, however, I believe that adding these $$ options just widens the gap between applicants who are able to spend tons of money on the test and disadvantages those who have limited time and/or money. I think it does more harm than good, for applicants.

astro_ice
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: Seeing scores before sending them

Postby astro_ice » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:17 am

TakeruK wrote:
astro_ice wrote:Yep, just the subject test. That clarified a lot of things; it would have been nice to at least see our scores before sending them, especially if they offer a score select option. Oh well.
Thank you so much for your helpful response!


The cynical side of me think that ScoreSelect, while marketed to be "helpful" for applicant, is really just another way to get more money from applicants who are able to spend it. Without ScoreSelect, there was less incentive to retake the test since the school will see all of your scores anyways. With ScoreSelect, some applicants might want to retake the exam because there is a potential to raise the score. And of course, if you want to take advantage of the full potential, then you wouldn't use your free score reports at all, since you would want to see which score is better and only send the better score.

The less cynical side of me has no opinion on whether ETS implemented ScoreSelect as a way to get more money, however, I believe that adding these $$ options just widens the gap between applicants who are able to spend tons of money on the test and disadvantages those who have limited time and/or money. I think it does more harm than good, for applicants.



Lol honestly I don't doubt that ETS has an end goal of making as much money at the expense of every applicant there is. Otherwise there's no reason to only offer free score reports before we even take the test and charge us overpriced reports afterwards. Unfortunately, companies like ETS and Pearson (just to name a few) are set out to make a profit, not help academia, as the universities probably try to do. I do agree its unfair for those who can't really afford the testing fees, for most of us it's a lot but payable, but in some cases it's really unfortunate. Oh well. At least the helpful advice you and many others offer on this site is free :wink:

TakeruK
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Seeing scores before sending them

Postby TakeruK » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:50 am

astro_ice wrote: I do agree its unfair for those who can't really afford the testing fees, for most of us it's a lot but payable, but in some cases it's really unfortunate.


I advocate for the removal of all GREs from admission consideration. For the ones that can't pay it or would cause undue hardship or for those where these tests represent a hard barrier to applying. I'm back in Canada now where we mostly don't use the GRE at all, but if I ever end up as a faculty member at a school using the GRE, I will work to remove it! And I'll be encouraging all of my friends, who are starting faculty positions or will be in a few years, to do the same :)




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