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econyun
09-04-2007, 04:13 AM
Hello All,
I would like to ask whether it does matter if I got 300 in verbal and 800 in Math part for my application to Econ phd ?

studentecon
09-04-2007, 04:34 AM
Hello All,
I would like to ask whether it does matter if I got 300 in verbal and 800 in Math part for my application to Econ phd ?

It does

TopDog
09-04-2007, 04:54 AM
the verbal part doesn't matter match but when it gets so low then it sends red signals. i also wonder how you propose to do it. the math questions are also in english so unless you intentionally flunk the verbal to make a point or just bcos you think it's useless i don't see how you will get an 800q and 300v.

corpfin2006
09-04-2007, 05:24 AM
I also thought that the verbal part were useless, so I just skipped all the questions and got V320. My other scores, however, are Q800 and AWA6.0. On top of that, my degree is from England. So, do I have to re-take the GRE?!?!

TopDog
09-04-2007, 05:53 AM
I also thought that the verbal part were useless, so I just skipped all the questions and got V320. My other scores, however, are Q800 and AWA6.0. On top of that, my degree is from England. So, do I have to re-take the GRE?!?!

oh what a perfect score you could have had.just imagine 700v,800q, 6.0v. the admission process is all about impressions and you don't miss any opportunity to strut your feathers. i think the uselessness of the verbal is taken too far. but since you have already gotten your voluntary 320v, i'd suggest that you not risk your perfect quant score by retaking the test, given your u.k. education on top of things. others might think otherwise though...but i still wonder what you did that for.

corpfin2006
09-04-2007, 06:05 AM
I had two days to prepare the GRE, so I asked professors whether the verbal score counted for anything. All of them (top 5!) said no. But I guess they were being attentive to the fact that I studied in both the US and the UK.

SquareSquare
09-04-2007, 06:58 AM
Verbal 300 in GER
Hello All,
I would like to ask whether it does matter if I got 300 in verbal and 800 in Math part for my application to Econ phd ?

Contrary to what other people are saying, my feeling is it does not matter. I mean, if you are a student from a village in remote country of ******* then they might care. Or if you are international student who was doing math and statistics only, they might care. But if you got a degree that required some written work or if you are native speaker... why would they care?

TruDog
09-04-2007, 10:36 AM
Contrary to what other people are saying, my feeling is it does not matter. I mean, if you are a student from a village in remote country of ******* then they might care. Or if you are international student who was doing math and statistics only, they might care. But if you got a degree that required some written work or if you are native speaker... why would they care?

I disagree, because of the undergraduate degree from an English-speaking country. That suggests that the OP still doesn't know English well, even after being immersed in the language for several years. That's a likely red flag.

SquareSquare
09-04-2007, 12:02 PM
I disagree, because of the undergraduate degree from an English-speaking country. That suggests that the OP still doesn't know English well, even after being immersed in the language for several years. That's a likely red flag.

Agree to disagree. IMO, high V signals you're good with words, low V could be that you just didn't bother learning what pernicious or bellicose means . Yah, yah for some people these are the first words they use after waking up and GRE vocab is essential for reading the Economist... but you don't need sophisticated English to complete PhD thesis.

OP should just ask the department secretary or something. Some departments even offer English for non-native speakers classes (through some sort of language center at their university).

While someone here might know, there also is a possibility of mis-information. Coming straight from what the chair of a top graduate program said...

buckykatt
09-04-2007, 06:39 PM
I also thought that the verbal part were useless, so I just skipped all the questions and got V320.

Actually, if you didn't answer anything at all on the verbal, you should have received a no score (NS) on that section. And that, IMHO, wouldn't look as bad as a 320. If I were an adcom member I'd think, hey, this is a rational test taker who knows that the verbal score isn't important and chose to save their energy for the other sections. But if I saw someone get a 320 I'd wonder how they ever made it through a good school. (Though I'd give them the benefit of the doubt anyway if English wasn't their native language.)

In general, my take is that a low GRE verbal doesn't hurt you much if at all with admissions, but a very high score might help you stand out; also, it might make a difference when it comes time to compete for fellowships that are funded university-wide rather than by the economics department itself.

buckykatt
09-04-2007, 06:43 PM
low V could be that you just didn't bother learning what pernicious or bellicose means . Yah, yah for some people these are the first words they use after waking up and GRE vocab is essential for reading the Economist... but you don't need sophisticated English to complete PhD thesis.


Not to sound like a snob, but if English is your first language and you don't already know what "pernicious" means, I wouldn't consider you well-educated. As for whether being able to write and speak well is important... let's just say that I just hope you are my competition when it comes times to go on the market and give job talks. I'll be very happy to have you make me look good. :rolleyes:

econphilomath
09-04-2007, 09:00 PM
Not to sound like a snob, ........



let's just say that I just hope you are my competition when it comes times to go on the market and give job talks. I'll be very happy to have you make me look good.



At least you write like a snob... hopefully the job market experience will make you a bit more humble.

Anyway...back on the subject relevant to this post, I think a 300 verbal score probably sticks out too much. (not that I have not heard this from the dean of admissions, its just my opinion)
You won't be getting in anywhere due to a 800 quant score or a 6 on the writing but you could get left out somewhere because of an outrageously low verbal score. As an international student, we were told that the verbal score is not important but to NEVER skip over the questions and get a 300 and should try our best (without studying very much) and get 450-500 so as to look decent enough.

asquare
09-04-2007, 09:16 PM
This post is going to get me in trouble, but here goes...

Admissions committees don't have many ways to directly compare one applicant to another. Different schools have different grading scales, levels of difficulty, grade inflation, etc. LORs and other aspects of the application are not objective. The GRE is pretty much the only direct comparison that adcoms can draw between two applicants.

Add to this the fact that quantitative GRE scores for econ PhD applicants are clustered towards the top of the scale, often so close that the differences are not statistically significant. Then, there are two elements of the application that are directly comparable between applicants, and provide some reasonable distribution. These are the GRE verbal, and the GRE AWA.

Now, the GRE verbal and AWA are not, by any means, the most important part of the application. But there are plenty of people out there who believe that standardized tests measure intelligence, not just achievement or test-taking ability (if you don't believe me that people think this about GRE scores, Google "GRE IQ" and see what you get; bottom line is that there is strong correlation between IQ and total GRE score, take it for what it is worth). So it isn't unreasonable for the admissions committee to think that there is some relevant information in the verbal score. And given the absence of other, objective, ways to directly compare students, it's also not unreasonable to guess that they might look at the verbal and AWA scores of students on the margin.

At the very least, a 300 on the verbal conveys one of three things, none good: that the applicant has serious problems with the English language, that the applicant doesn't take the test (and therefore possibly the admissions process or graduate school) seriously, or that the applicant got bad advice (and may have gotten bad advice about other aspects of graduate school). You should be able to score about a 300 with good reasoning skills and knowledge of basic English grammar, (and possibly a little practice) even if you aren't a vocabulary whiz. A verbal score of 300 is arround the 6th percentile (see here (http://www.powerscore.com/gre/scoringscale.htm)). And that is not a signal you want to send to the admissions committee, even if knowing big words doesn't help you do economic research.

Dannyb19
09-04-2007, 10:20 PM
I don't know what "pernicious" means and english is my first language.

econyun
09-04-2007, 10:47 PM
Well, I raised this question: 300 verbal vs 800 Math

because I am going to take GRE on 3rd Oct.

I just worried that my English or Vocab is not good to sustain 300 level.

I am studying in a Canadian University(McGill U) but English or French are not my mother languages.

I raised the question since I took a look over the exam questions and I found I m not sure about the answers of 99% question...

just confuse annoy vex irk chaff fluster fret ruffle

anyway, thanks you guys for your kind assistance and advice.

Luckykid
09-04-2007, 11:33 PM
I don't know what "pernicious" means and english is my first language.
same here, but I guess I am an uneducated moron who shall bow at the feet of buckykatt and their awesome interview skills.

:rolleyes:

Roy

corpfin2006
09-05-2007, 12:05 AM
Okay, okay, I sense I am in big trouble for having mediocre English-speaking skills, so I barely speak two languages. As funny as that is for a European graduate, I do not want to be cut off at certain schools for that. So, can an impeccable TOEFL score compensate for the low GRE verbal? Or is there anything else that people will look at to understand that I simply did not take the verbal section seriously, i.e. the English used in my SOP or statements by my recommenders commenting on my spoken English?

Zoethor2
09-05-2007, 12:06 AM
Well, I raised this question: 300 verbal vs 800 Math

because I am going to take GRE on 3rd Oct.

I just worried that my English or Vocab is not good to sustain 300 level.

I am studying in a Canadian University(McGill U) but English or French are not my mother languages.

I raised the question since I took a look over the exam questions and I found I m not sure about the answers of 99% question...

just confuse annoy vex irk chaff fluster fret ruffle

anyway, thanks you guys for your kind assistance and advice.

Econyun -- I would say not to sweat it too much. If English isn't your first language, you ought to submit TOESL scores as well as the GRE, and my (extremely limited) understanding is that the TOESL may help to mitigate a poor verbal GRE. My read of this thread is that many people were responding to the question with an underlying assumption of a native English speaker.

TruDog
09-05-2007, 12:22 AM
Okay, okay, I sense I am in big trouble for having mediocre English-speaking skills, so I barely speak two languages. As funny as that is for a European graduate, I do not want to be cut off at certain schools for that. So, can an impeccable TOEFL score compensate for the low GRE verbal? Or is there anything else that people will look at to understand that I simply did not take the verbal section seriously, i.e. the English used in my SOP or statements by my recommenders commenting on my spoken English?

Yes, and yes. You might also want to consider retaking the GRE, if you feel really confident in your quantitative ability.

studentecon
09-05-2007, 01:03 AM
Okay, okay, I sense I am in big trouble for having mediocre English-speaking skills, so I barely speak two languages. As funny as that is for a European graduate, I do not want to be cut off at certain schools for that. So, can an impeccable TOEFL score compensate for the low GRE verbal? Or is there anything else that people will look at to understand that I simply did not take the verbal section seriously, i.e. the English used in my SOP or statements by my recommenders commenting on my spoken English?

It's not a matter of English (only). It's true that in economics, math ability is far more important than verbal ability, at least for doing top notch research. And of course the TOEFL score demonstrates the basic ability to speak and read English, which is all needed to enter a PhD.

The problem with a low GRE verbal (and I mean a really low, like in the 300s) is that you cannot expect to outsmart the system by simply ''cheating'' in the GRE (where by cheating I mean either intentionally skipping the verbal on the day of the test or intentionally skipping reading for the verbal). GRE math is a joke for any serious applicant, but a very bad verbal signals one's incapacity to score the barely minimum needed or inability to play by the prescribed rules and complete the math portion just as every other normal applicant. There are too many people out there with nearly perfect backrounds, so a low verbal score just makes the life of the reviewing committee easier.

For this reason, and except for very rare and admittedly special cases, a N/A or an extremely low verbal score (e.g. below 10%) will put one in the reject pile in any top place.

corpfin2006
09-05-2007, 04:47 AM
I must say that this contradicts what professors from top 5 schools told me. They even said that the GRE verbal is not even included in their admissions formulae. So, I am a bit confused here...

SquareSquare
09-05-2007, 05:09 AM
At the very least, a 300 on the verbal conveys one of three things, none good

asquare has made good posts previously, and his advice is more of a conservative, safe-bet kind. Re-reading my previous statement that "low GREV is not important", I'll revise and qualify it: two twins apply to the same grad. school, they are both good, everything is the same on applications but one got higher V. If there's place for only one of them, the higher V gets in since there are no objective reasons for the contrary.

Now assume we don't have a can-opener, then comparison is more difficult and lower V could be due to many reasons and among them the ones asquare mentioned. Given you are already on the test, skipping the section is not wise unless your time is much more important than any additional information higher V could convey (e.g. you are a brain surgeon and your wife is about to give birth so you need to finish GRE asap and drive her to hospital). I thought the OP already took the test, got low V and didn't want that to discourage him from applying.

Since he still has some time it would be sensible to make a few flash-cards.

PS:

As for whether being able to write and speak well is important... let's just say that I just hope you are my competition when it comes times to go on the market and give job talks. I'll be very happy to have you make me look good.

Let's do a revealed preference approach: attend any lecture by a recently hired continental European or Asian or South American or African assistant professor. Chances are their English will not be 'perfect'. Yet they were hired. So I wouldn't place much on one's language skills as a determinant of a job talk outcome. I went to a few (as an observer) and they were far from a GRE vocab grill.

SquareSquare
09-05-2007, 05:14 AM
Error 402: Demand has finally caught up with Supply.

buckykatt
09-07-2007, 03:34 AM
At least you write like a snob... hopefully the job market experience will make you a bit more humble.


I've been working for 22 years now and, no, it hasn't made me more humble. Less, if anything. I suppose we all have our faults.

But I hope it's clear to anyone who read my remark in context that I was responding to a poster who was dismissive of the idea that an economist needs to be able to write and speak well. Other things equal, those of us who take communicating our research seriously are going to outperform those who don't--within the academy and even more so in the world at large. I'm certainly not trying to belittle someone who hasn't had the opportunity to acquire the relevant skills in their native language (never mind a second or third!); but to dismiss the need for them is just plain foolish, if you ask me.

econphilomath
09-07-2007, 12:40 PM
I've been working for 22 years now and, no, it hasn't made me more humble. Less, if anything. I suppose we all have our faults.

But I hope it's clear to anyone who read my remark in context that I was responding to a poster who was dismissive of the idea that an economist needs to be able to write and speak well. Other things equal, those of us who take communicating our research seriously are going to outperform those who don't--within the academy and even more so in the world at large. I'm certainly not trying to belittle someone who hasn't had the opportunity to acquire the relevant skills in their native language (never mind a second or third!); but to dismiss the need for them is just plain foolish, if you ask me.

I agree, but I think you made the point much better now. (without looking down on everyone from the olympus.)

Dannyb19
09-07-2007, 03:19 PM
Communicating your research has very little to do with the GRE verbal score. I got a 510V score, which is really bad, and I doubt I will ever have trouble communicating my research in any forum. I would say the AWA is a much better gauge of one's ability to communicate ideas, althouh still not a great metric.

The GRE verbal is a vocab test, and having a large vocabulary doesn't mean you are a clear and concise communicator. That said, a guy in my program went 800Q 770V 6.0AWA, and I really do think it helped him with the adcoms, moreso than I would have thought prior anyway.

buckykatt
09-07-2007, 05:36 PM
Communicating your research has very little to do with the GRE verbal score.


Well, it's like that old joke: my brother thinks he's a chicken; I'd take him to see a shrink, but we need the eggs.

snappythecrab
09-07-2007, 05:37 PM
Not to sound like a snob, but if English is your first language and you don't already know what "pernicious" means, I wouldn't consider you well-educated.


Have you ever considered that other people may have different priorities other than your own, and that among those vocabulary memorization falls quite low? To dismiss somebody as uneducated because they do not know or cannot recall an arbitrary definition is, IMHO, the epitome of ignorance. ...I think your comments were pretty insulting.

(FWIW, did you know that out of the 86,800 most commonly used workds in the english language, pernicious ranks 21,088?)

buckykatt
09-07-2007, 06:06 PM
Have you ever considered that other people may have different priorities other than your own, and that among those vocabulary memorization falls quite low? To dismiss somebody as uneducated because they do not know or cannot recall an arbitrary definition is, IMHO, the epitome of ignorance. ...I think your comments were pretty insulting.

(FWIW, did you know that out of the 86,800 most commonly used workds in the english language, pernicious ranks 21,088?)

Of course I've considered that. An educated person shouldn't need to memorize words in order to build a vocabulary that includes relatively-common words like "pernicious". They should should have developed that knowledge in the course of their education, through reading a variety of challenging texts. (For example, if you've read Smith, you already know that "truck" is more than something you see on the highway and you don't need to memorize the definition of the verb form.) Of course, "pernicious" and "bellicose" may just happen to be words you don't know; but they're representative of the kind of words all of us here ought to know. The statistics I've seen suggest that a typical educated speaker of English has a vocabulary of around 25,000 words, so expecting a Ph.D. candidate to recognize the 21,088th most commonly-used word word in our language doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

I'm sorry you feel insulted, but I think it's unfair to take offense at a simple statement of fact. I certainly don't dismiss someone because they're uneducated. I do business with and socialize with plenty of people who are uneducated (some of whom, sad to say, hold a college degree). Being a grown-up, I know better than to conflate education with worth--or even competence.

IMHO, if you don't have the vocabulary expected of a well-educated speaker of your native language you ought to be upset with your professors, not with me. You paid good money for your college education, didn't you?

snappythecrab
09-08-2007, 06:32 AM
An educated person shouldn't need to memorize words in order to build a vocabulary that includes relatively-common words like "pernicious".

Ironic that you seemingly don't know the meaning of "memorize," though given that its usage puts it close to 40000, I can understand how an uneducated person such as yourself may not know that it simply means to commit to memory. Perhaps we should, as W. Brock would say, refresh your recollection as to the meaning of "rote"?

I don't feel insulted because I do not recognize or know the word "pernicious" (indeed I do, thanks to Frank Zappa). As somebody that does not consider their vocabulary a strong point and is proud of their education, I do find it quite insulting that my education is called into question because I may not recall the definition of an arbitrary word. And though you may consider yourself an adult, given your age, I find your position on this is rather juvenile, or in the least is rather indicative of something quite amiss mentally. You seem quite full of yourself, or at least you come across as so herein. Grad school will likely be a very rude awakening for you.

buckykatt
09-08-2007, 08:52 AM
If you're determined to be insulted and you're willing to misconstrue what I've written in order to do so, I guess there's not much I can say to you...

Luckykid
09-08-2007, 01:49 PM
Ironic that you seemingly don't know the meaning of "memorize," though given that its usage puts it close to 40000, I can understand how an uneducated person such as yourself may not know that it simply means to commit to memory. Perhaps we should, as W. Brock would say, refresh your recollection as to the meaning of "rote"?

I don't feel insulted because I do not recognize or know the word "pernicious" (indeed I do, thanks to Frank Zappa). As somebody that does not consider their vocabulary a strong point and is proud of their education, I do find it quite insulting that my education is called into question because I may not recall the definition of an arbitrary word. And though you may consider yourself an adult, given your age, I find your position on this is rather juvenile, or in the least is rather indicative of something quite amiss mentally. You seem quite full of yourself, or at least you come across as so herein. Grad school will likely be a very rude awakening for you.

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter...

Roy

Karina 07
09-09-2007, 03:08 AM
Of course I've considered that. An educated person shouldn't need to memorize words in order to build a vocabulary that includes relatively-common words like "pernicious".

Agree.

The GRE verbal, believe it or not, was not designed to be a test of how well people used flashcards and memorized words that they'll never need to use.

The fact that people have used flashcards to get a higher score doesn't change this fact.

In actuality, all those people who compare GRE with IQ (as controversial as that is) find that the verbal score is the most highly correlated with IQ. The idea is that smart people will recognize words that they have heard sometime or other, or have read sometime or other, and that just by those chance encounters they will learn their meaning quickly. Thus, the GRE verbal doesn't focus on TOTALLY outlandish words (when was the last time you saw a long, biological term or whatever on there?). It uses words people can be expected to have come across. Nobody here was like "I've never seen the word 'pernicious' before", even if a lot can't specify what *exactly* it means. ETS also likes to test secondary meanings of words, again under the assumption that smarter people will have distinguished between different usages.

Clearly, there are different kinds of intelligence, and economics mostly needs math. Clearly, the GRE is not a spectacular measure of such an amorphous thing as intelligence. And clearly, this one particular kind of intelligence isn't necessarily going to be the deciding factor for many jobs, as other things will be more important (although, ceteris paribus, it may well still have *some* value -- we're just not all thinking of cases where all else truly is equal).

But at the end of the day, the verbal does mean *something* (and yes, I've known people who've gotten fairly high scores without studying), even if not *much*, and so there's reason to try on the GRE verbal. There's also the additional reason someone previously mentioned -- a good score doesn't necessarily mean you put a lot of effort into studying, but a bad score may indicate you don't care/may not put effort into other things either.