Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

jbb
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:57 pm

Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby jbb » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:08 pm

Hello everyone,

I did fairly well on the general GRE the first time. Unfortunately, I did not do as well on the math as I had thought I might and so I'm giving the test another go in a week. I'm wondering, what are your opinions of skipping the writing and verbal sections and only retaking the math sections? Obviously I'd send in both test scores, it's just that I really don't want to spend the full 4.5 hours to retake the whole test when the only score I really need to improve is the math. I'm curious to see what people think about doing this.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby Catria » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:16 pm

Depends on whether the desired schools will superscore or not. If the schools you wish to apply to superscore the general GRE, and you made sure all the schools on your list will superscore, then you may retake only the math portion. However, if they don't, then you're out of luck.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby TakeruK » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:17 pm

In my opinion only, doing this would reflect poorly on you, because if you were inconsistent on your quantitative score, then what if you were inconsistent on your verbal and writing score as well? I would also say that the general GRE's comparison metric is designed to compare you to other test takers that took the entire 4.5 hour test, so not doing so would mean you are not comparing the same things. This might be partly why ETS does not allow you to pick and choose score from different test dates.

But that's just my opinion. Catria mentions that some schools only care about the best score in each section, so obviously not all schools will share my opinion, but just putting it out there!

astroprof
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby astroprof » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:02 pm

This is a bad idea. As a member of the admissions committee, I would ignore the results from a GRE test if only one section had a reasonable score and the other sections were at 0-percentile. My assumption would be that something had gone wrong during the test, but that the scores could not be cancelled for some reason. By the way, this is a more favorable assumption than what you are describing here, where it appears that you are unwilling to invest 4 hours to do well on a test that will help determine the trajectory of your future career. If you are not willing to re-take the entire test, then you should not re-take the test at all. General GRE scores are usually given low weight by Physics and Astronomy graduate programs, so unless you really, really bombed the quantitative section, there is no need to spend the money/time retaking the general test.

wompwomp
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby wompwomp » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:39 pm

Terrible idea.

First, a lot of schools have web forms where you have to manually enter your gre scores. They ask you to specify the date the test was taken. Mixing and matching scores here is dishonest.

Second, a zero in any section in the GRE is a big big question mark.

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:33 pm

If you are really unhappy with the score just retake the entire test. I am sure they will just pick the highest scores from each. Unless if you really really mess up the General GREs, it is not going to matter much for physics admissions. So you might not have to re-take it.



FYI, you will not get a zero on the verbal section if you leave it blank, you will get a 130. Which is going to make your application look worse because it dipped pretty badly. 0 in writing will suck too... That 130 could mean you answered every question but got them all wrong. No one is going to know that you just left them all blank. Obviously you are not going to tell the admissions committee that the reasons for your minimum marks for the other parts is because you didn't want to waste your time...

slowdweller
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:47 am

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby slowdweller » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:36 am

Actually, there is some misinformation in this thread. If you leave all of verbal blank, you won't get a 130, or 0%, but instead you'll get an NS, which means "no score". Let me quote the ETS directly:

NS — No Score. Indicates that no questions were answered.


I think you would still get a 0 on the essay if you leave it blank, however.

I was actually in a similar situation. I did okay my first time around (157V, 164Q, 4.5W). Thought my Q score could have been much higher but was happy with the other two. I wanted to improve my Q score, so I registered for a second go, but I also really didn't want to waste another 4.5 hours of my life taking this stupid test, so I was considering doing only the Q sections... But then I sucked it up and just took it, and surprisingly my score went up in all three sections (159V, 167Q, 5W). So just take the test dude.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby TakeruK » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:23 pm

You also get a NS if you "produce no text whatsoever" in your AW essays (https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general ... criptions/)

But as I said above and everyone else said, just take the whole test!

slowdweller
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:47 am

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby slowdweller » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:27 pm

Also, the website says (not a direct quote) that NS's will not be reported. So if you make sure you leave everything blank for the other sections, only your Q section will be scored and reported. So if you do it, it probably won't hurt your application (at most it'll cause some confusion). But you should really take it anyway, unless your other scores are already very high.

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:35 pm

Sorry for the initial incorrect information about the 130. I took a practice exam online provided by the ETS software and I got a 130 after leaving all verbal blank. Maybe that was a fluke.

jbb
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:57 pm

Re: Retaking Only Math Part of General GRE?

Postby jbb » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:31 pm

Thanks for all the input everyone. I will just suck it up and take the entire test again. I still think it's a huge waste of time and effort but it seems there are a lot of different perspectives on this that I hadn't considered. And of course, I don't want it to hurt my application.




Return to “Tests and Scores”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest