general GRE

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Indigojoker
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:42 pm

general GRE

Postby Indigojoker » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:48 pm

Hi all. I am looking to apply to top physics programs in the US (I am a domestic male, not a minority). I just took the general GRE and canceled them because I messed up bad half way through the exam. I plan on taking them again, but I was wondering if grad schools see this cancellation and whether this will hurt me in anyway? Thanks for the response.


[question answered, they do not show up on record] <- which begs the question, why not just retake it until you feel like you have a confident score? then again, that's 140 every time one retakes the exam....
Last edited by Indigojoker on Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ibbgs
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Re: general GRE

Postby ibbgs » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:56 pm

as far as I know no one can ever see that cancellation. I think that is the point of giving you the option to cancel before you get our scores back.

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grae313
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Re: general GRE

Postby grae313 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:07 am

To answer your second question, most people take the generals within a few months of the application deadlines. Retaking the GRE takes money, time, and you have to repeat the whole grueling, miserable experience. So retaking it depends on a) whether you did horribly enough that it is worth it to retake, and b) whether retaking it is actually possible due to time and financial constraints.

Also, with the two practice exams ETS sends out, it seems like the only time you'd be surprised by your scores is if something really terrible happened. I'd imagine most people go into it knowing what to expect. My actual scores were almost identical to my practice exam scores.

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quizivex
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Re: general GRE

Postby quizivex » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:22 am

Here's my input, which may have some useful lessons in it.

It's true that your score report will not reveal that you took the test if you canceled the scores... so there's no penalty for canceling except the cost of the test and the inconvenience of having to take it again. Therefore, I highly suggest that you take the exam early enough that you can cancel the scores if you feel you did poorly and still have enough time to retake the test the next calendar month without missing app deadlines. Unless you're poor, the $140 is nothing compared to the importance of your grad school application... I look at it this way: Within the high expense of the test, you're paying for the right to cancel the scores without anyone knowing you took it.

The best time to take it is of course the summer. Assuming your semester ends in May, I suggest reviewing for the test afterward and taking it at end of June... and therefore if you have a bad day, you can simply register to take the test again as early as July 1st ... that'd let you jump right back in without having to continue studying the material or worrying about the exam for an extended time. (The official ETS policy is you can take the test once per calendar month)...

Students should even consider taking it the summer after soph year or over winter break of junior year. This wouldn't leave you less prepared since you could already ace the math section back in high school, and any skills you may gain for the verbal/writing sections in college would be through the core humanities courses which you already took your first two years... DO THE GENERAL GRE EARLY WHEN THERE ARE NOT AS MANY THINGS COMPETING FOR YOUR TIME & ATTENTION!!!!!

I took it May 26 after soph year... I had reviewed vocab words and done the ETS practice tests... but I was thrown off by a few things at the testing center... They gave us earmuffs there so I figured I'd put them on but they were uncomfortable and the seal it made in my ears made me dizzy... especially since just a few days before I had a seizure after seeing a horribly disturbing scene in what seemed like an harmless family movie. Even though I never had a seizure before, the state revoked my license for 6 months which pissed me off to no end and made me miserable... Another thnig that flustered me at the test was that for the 10 minute break after the writing section, I sat there and the 10-min clock ran to zero but the test didn't resume... I sat there longer, hit some keys but nothing happened... I was getting really worried, thinking I did something wrong... eventually I left the room and complained to the proctors. Turns out they expect the students to leave the room during the break and they resume your test when you come back... anyway, that combined with my existing nervousness didn't help me focus... I canceled the test less than half way thru and left. At that time I thought this would show up on my report but was later pleasently surprised when it didn't.... Anyway, I went home, registered to retake the test June 1st, and creamed it, getting the same score I got on the practice test I took May 25th...

A few days later I caught a plane to go to my REU program in Idaho, feeling way better than I would have if I had finished the test the first time and got bad scores...

PS: I suggest the same thing for the Physics GRE, take it in OCTOBER, so you'd have a chance to retake it in Nov.

Indigojoker
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Re: general GRE

Postby Indigojoker » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:44 am

I already registered for another exam next week, which is on the same month. ETS states: "You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month and no more than five times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously."

Should I reschedule? The computer system did not stop be from registering again, but I was unaware at the time of registration that I could not register twice in the same month.

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grae313
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Re: general GRE

Postby grae313 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:35 pm

Indigojoker wrote:I already registered for another exam next week, which is on the same month. ETS states: "You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month and no more than five times within any 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously."

Should I reschedule? The computer system did not stop be from registering again, but I was unaware at the time of registration that I could not register twice in the same month.


It says you can't take it twice in the same month. Reschedule it.

Indigojoker
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Re: general GRE

Postby Indigojoker » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:36 pm

Oh my... I can only reschedule 10 days in advance...

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quizivex
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Re: general GRE

Postby quizivex » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:37 pm

Call ETS on Monday and ask them what you should do... but by all means, don't take the test that day... You should cancel the test even though you won't get your money back, cuz you could get banned from taking any of their tests in the future if you violate that "once per month" rule... Each month's test uses the same pool of questions... A student taking the test twice in the same month would make ETS think they're trying to cheat...

Indigojoker
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:42 pm

Re: general GRE

Postby Indigojoker » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:44 pm

thanks for the advice... this is just not my weekend.




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