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Smileysquared
02-02-2008, 07:27 PM
Hi guys. I wrote the GRE exam this morning and I am tuly depressed. It isn't because the exam was difficult but rather we were distracted by the music emanating from the trucks during our Carnival. To top it all off students in the other classrooms were given additional time to compensate for it while we were not. We have the paper based exam, It comprises of 2 Mathematics sections to be completed within a time frame of 30mins for each (there are 30 questions in each section) and 2 verbal sections (there are 38 questions in each to be completed within 30 minutes for each section). I didn't finish the first math section and had to guess for like the remaining 5. I really don't know what to do. I am scared to even see what my score looks like-below 750 in Maths for me is a total failure-please note this is only because my first degree is in Econ and Math. The analytical section was good finished my first essay in like 20 minutes and there wasn't any noise.
Any suggestions?

pevdoki1
02-02-2008, 07:30 PM
Is retaking an option?

Smileysquared
02-02-2008, 07:32 PM
I can't retake the exam unless I plan to apply for admission to universities next year. The paper based exam is offered only two times for the year. The other date is in late October.

pevdoki1
02-02-2008, 07:36 PM
What about the computer-based exam? Is it not offered in your country? If you can't retake and get a Q score below a certain threshold (say, 750) just apply to lower-ranked schools. But keep in mind that it's your application as a whole that's most important.

Smileysquared
02-02-2008, 07:41 PM
No we don't have computer based testing. As for the applications I really wanted a scholarship and I think my score will work against me.
Thanks for the suggestions.

Ricardinho
02-02-2008, 07:45 PM
Is October too late for the next application cycle? It shouldn't be.

Luckykid
02-02-2008, 08:37 PM
Why not fly to the US and take it. Stand by tickets are only like $300 or so.


Roy

buckykatt
02-02-2008, 09:04 PM
If the noise was truly bad, and if other students were given extra time, then this sounds to me like a situation where it might be appropriate to contact ETS and complain.

Smileysquared
02-02-2008, 09:11 PM
Flying to the states is kinda out of the question at this point for a number of reasons. I thought about contacting ETS but the question arises to whom do I send it to. I looked on the website under the contact us section. They have a fax number but I am not sure if this is the correct contact for this situation.

YoungEconomist
02-02-2008, 09:15 PM
You don't know your scores yet right? If so, then don't jump to any conclusions. When I immediately finished the exam, I wasn't very optimistic about my scores, as there were certain quant questions that confused me (and I was sick that day). I said to myself, "Oh well, I can always retake it. And worse case scenario I can still get my PhD from a low ranked program." Then the score popped on the screen and I was so relieved to see I scored a 780.

Have faith, you may have done much better than you think.

Smileysquared
02-02-2008, 09:26 PM
What a coincidence-I'm sick too :) I will see how it goes-I am supposed to get my score in six weeks. What bothers me about it is that I came out of the exam not 100% sure of my results unlike every other exam I did in my life and that scares me. Thanks you all for the kind words.......

econorama
02-02-2008, 10:55 PM
If you're thinking of getting in touch with ETS, do it as soon as possible. The more you stall on it, the easier it will be for them to say that they can't find anyone who can verify your story. ("Carnival? What Carnival?")

From what I've seen, ETS isn't very good about addressing problems like what you've experienced after the fact. For SAT kids, the best they offer is to let the student take the test again the next month for free. Except that for you, that would be October. They're not going to just add a few points onto your score to be nice. They might attach a note to your scores explaining the poor test conditions, but you can't assume grad departments will actually notice it.

Sorry that I'm being so negative, but I've never been given any reasons to think ETS will ever be helpful. I would still get in touch with them on Monday and see what they say. The worst they can do is nothing.

econphilomath
02-02-2008, 11:11 PM
Can you vist a country near by to retake the test next month? I had to travel 5 hrs by car to get a test date on time for TOFEL because there where no test dates available.

jenizaro
02-02-2008, 11:17 PM
Can you vist a country near by to retake the test next month? I had to travel 5 hrs by car to get a test date on time for TOFEL because there where no test dates available.

Sounds familiar. I had to take a flight to another country and then travel by bus like 10 hours to a nearby city (5 going, 5 returning) to take the TOEFL. Fortunately, I did good on it.

Smileysquared
02-03-2008, 01:31 PM
I don't think I can visit a nearby country because we are all developing countries in this region and more likely than not if Trinidad has a paper based test so will the other Caribbean countries.
I already emailed ETS. I hope that they respond. They can't ask what Carnival because our Carnival began on Friday and ends on Tuesday. I will also call and see what they say.
Take care guys!

Mr.Keen
02-04-2008, 03:54 AM
I don't think I can visit a nearby country because we are all developing countries in this region and more likely than not if Trinidad has a paper based test so will the other Caribbean countries.
I already emailed ETS. I hope that they respond. They can't ask what Carnival because our Carnival began on Friday and ends on Tuesday. I will also call and see what they say.
Take care guys!

Gotta love'em CONCACAF countries.

Epictetus
02-04-2008, 08:38 AM
You want to talk to someone at ETS who is in charge of issues related to test integrity or testing irregularities. The situation you were in definitely qualifies.

Here is some info from Contacting the GRE® Program (http://www.ets.org/portal/site/ets/menuitem.1488512ecfd5b8849a77b13bc3921509/?vgnextoid=ebf42d3631df4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCR D&vgnextchannel=ca8946f1674f4010VgnVCM10000022f95190 RCRD)
Test Center Complaints

Complaints should be received no later than seven days after your test date. Allow four to six weeks for a response.

GRE Test Administration Services
ETS
Mail Stop 34-Q
Princeton, NJ 08541
Fax: 1-609-771-7710
You should also call 1-609-771-7670 or 1-866-473-4373 and ask to talk to someone in charge of testing conditions and/or test integrity to register your complaint that way.

Make sure to mention that different testing rooms got different conditions -- that's a big no-no. They value test integrity highly at ETS and will probably make an effort to make it right.

Smileysquared
02-04-2008, 12:11 PM
I did see that part of the website but I don't have access to a fax machine until Wednesday so I used the email address that is on ETS website for irregularities. I will definately call them also. Will try to fax them also.
Thanks for the assistance.

sxsunxin
02-04-2008, 07:04 PM
are u in China? try about Hong Kong


Hi guys. I wrote the GRE exam this morning and I am tuly depressed. It isn't because the exam was difficult but rather we were distracted by the music emanating from the trucks during our Carnival. To top it all off students in the other classrooms were given additional time to compensate for it while we were not. We have the paper based exam, It comprises of 2 Mathematics sections to be completed within a time frame of 30mins for each (there are 30 questions in each section) and 2 verbal sections (there are 38 questions in each to be completed within 30 minutes for each section). I didn't finish the first math section and had to guess for like the remaining 5. I really don't know what to do. I am scared to even see what my score looks like-below 750 in Maths for me is a total failure-please note this is only because my first degree is in Econ and Math. The analytical section was good finished my first essay in like 20 minutes and there wasn't any noise.
Any suggestions?

JackMA
02-04-2008, 10:07 PM
I think Oct is not so bad. You may prepare all your documents ahead of time. after finishing your exam, just send them out.


I can't retake the exam unless I plan to apply for admission to universities next year. The paper based exam is offered only two times for the year. The other date is in late October.

polkaparty
02-04-2008, 10:15 PM
are u in China? try about Hong Kong

He or she is from Trinidad & Tobago (see the side bar). Surely some country in South America offers computer testing?

econphilomath
02-04-2008, 10:17 PM
What about Jamaica ? I'm not sure about Venezuela or Colombia (they are closer) but a quick look at the list at ETS shows you don't have to go all th way to the US. At least in Jamaica, they have test dates for the internet based test all through February and March.
The flight on Caribbean Airlines is 200 bucks. So stop being depressed and do something about it. Its your future and it won't wait for you to decide what to do about it.

Sure, you can feel depressed about being set back $300+ but not because your future academic career has been affected in any serious manner. Sooo Suck It Up, Soldier!

Mr.Keen
02-04-2008, 10:24 PM
How hard would it be to take it in Venezuela? Even Colombia, Panama or Puerto Rico might be feasible options.

C152dude
02-04-2008, 10:29 PM
What about Caracas? They have year-round testing.

JackMA
02-04-2008, 10:44 PM
Sure, you can feel depressed about being set back $300+ but not because your future academic career has been affected in any serious manner. Sooo Suck It Up, Soldier!

I like these words!

buckykatt
02-05-2008, 12:17 AM
The flight on Caribbean Airlines is 200 bucks. So stop being depressed and do something about it. Its your future and it won't wait for you to decide what to do about it.


Of course, for some of us $300+ is a lot of money... But econphilomath is correct: it is ultimately up to you to take charge of your situation. Looking at total costs of obtaining a Ph.D. (in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, counting forgone income) and the potential payoff to attending a better program, a few hundred dollars is a drop in the bucket and a sound investment.

Me, I'd still get on ETS' case and get them to refund the fee and delete the bad test scores. But that's about the most I'd expect them to do, so you still need a plan for retaking the test and getting the score you deserve.

veroniquaz
02-05-2008, 09:47 AM
Before spending 300+ which really IS a lot of money, wait for the results. It might not be as bad as you think. I had a horrible feeling twice (GRE, TOEFL) and I did very well twice. I had something similar to the OPs situation going on when I wrote my TOEFL. Well, no carnival, but I almost froze down during the test. It was at the beginning of October, but it was freezing in Prague and the university where we wrote the test on a Saturday did not have the heating on during weekends. So I wrote the TOEFL in my jacket and gloves. In addition during the whole 4 hours of the test we were not allowed to go to toilet or eat or drink anything. So I was starving, freezing and well... I was really angry and wrote to ETS to complain about the conditions, but I never received an answer. I heard this is their common attitude to complaints. Nevertheless, I stopped caring when I received my score.

I had a completely opposite situation writing the GRE. It was during the summer, absurdly hot and the room where we were writing it did not have any air condition. But somehow ETS managed to cook an 800Q out of me (and I almost canceled my scores), so I did not complain after this time. Complaints time started when my universities did not receive the scores, but that is another story...

Bottomline: write a complaint now, wait for the score, if you like it, take it, if you dont bombard ETS with phone calls and be really pushy. If they dont let you test for free, suck it up and look for another date. I dont see there is much else you can do. Good luck!

Smileysquared
02-06-2008, 01:37 PM
Thank you all. I have decided to follow a strategy similar to what Veroniquaz has put forward. I will wait and see what happens. I have already submitted my complaint to ETS via phone and email. Will send a letter through the mail tomorrow. Thanks again and good luck to you all with your applications.