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I met with an admissions counselor at a good school and she said anything over 600 is okay, although obviously the higher the better. I think that a 650 is just about as good as any school could hope for in a student with an all around solid application. Great job! I'm too chicken to call just yet....
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Congrats on your score, Bookgov! Thats really good! I did horribly. I was in the 60's, percentile-wise, and not above 600. (though almost) For me, I just hope that schools pay more attention to the fact that I've been in law school for 3 years and working in the field of law for 1 year...so, my head was out of literature for a long time. I studied, though!! And I usually do well on these tests!!! Humph. I was pretty disappointed. :( I would have taken it again if I had known my score with enough time to schedule the December exam. I did talk to a friend at Emory who told me that people at Emory had scores similar to mine, and they won't pay *that* much attention to a lower score, if the rest of the application is fabulous. (which I *hope* they think mine is!! Hope, hope, hope!!) The other thing to remember is that some schools do not require the subject test -- Duke, Columbia, etc. That makes me feel better about the whole thing. :)
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i scored 680 (91%), but i was really mad, because i was shooting for above 700. also, right after i walked out of the room, on the drive home, i realized the answers to four questions that i left blank. AAAAARGH! i know i shouldn't be let down, but unlike most people applying, and most people on this and other forums, i have a sub-par GPA. also, unlike many applicants, i do not have an MA, nor do i have any type of post-undergrad experience. so, really, a high GRE was something i was hoping to use to compensate for these other failings.
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Scraggle, I'm with you. I called finally and got my score--580/65th percentile. I was so so so disappointed, but what can we do? If anything, I think it just proves what a crapshoot these tests are: my recommendations are great, my Verbal score was in the 95th percentile, and my GPA (both overall and in the English program) was 3.9--and I studied a lot. I "should" have done well on this test. Hopefully our low-ish scores will be overlooked in light of the rest of our applications. [FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][FONT=Verdana]Good luck to everyone![/FONT] [/SIZE][/FONT]
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I do feel a bit better, knowing I'm not the only one out there that was disappointed. It does seem like schools don't obsess over this score, thankfully! I guess we will find out by where we get in... I took the regular GRE finally, and freaked out and almost cancelled my score. I begrudgingly kept it, and was so surprised when I got a 700 on the verbal! It felt like every question was horrid...I'm just thankful that I have a decent regular GRE score, to make up for feeling bad about the GRE Lit. I also don't really know what my GPA is - technically I have a 3.6 at my BA granting university, Duke -- but I took courses from other places (a semester of study abroad English courses, and others too) whose grades didn't get factored into the Duke GPA...they were just "TR" on my transcript. So, the transcripts from those other schools show that I got many A's that aren't factored into my Duke GPA. So, what do schools want to know, when they ask for cumulative undergraduate GPA? One that includes the letter grades from ALL schools? I just filled out Berkeley's application on the 11th, and it was fairly maddening. (I'm doing them all at the last minute because I'm NUTS and JUST finished my final, final, final draft of my writing sample) I hope all of our hard work actually pays off, and we get into some schools! *hopes intently*
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  • 4 weeks later...
I was crushed to learn that I scored very poorly on my English Literature GRE. I have otherwise a pretty strong application, I think. Is there any chance of me getting into a top English PhD program? I have already put my applications in, but am considering pulling them and waiting to reapply when I can retake the test. Any thoughts?
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Who knows what will happen to us. My 700 on the verbal turned out to be in the 97th percentile. That is the only good score I have to offer! My analytical writing score was 5.5, but that was only 87th percentile...and my GRE Lit and math scores were abysmal. We will just have to see what happens. I really hope that I get admitted somewhere. I applied to 14 schools. The schools are: Duke, Cornell, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, U of Michigan, U of Illinois, U of Pennsylvania, Emory, Brown, Columbia, U of Rochester, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. I really have no idea how these schools will react to my application. It is very strong, except for the GRE Lit score and the weird, patchy GRE general score of 97th percentile in verbal and 28th percentile in math. (that was a long story, lets just say I didn't answer most of the math questions...) It would be extremely petty for schools like Harvard to winnow me out immediately just because of my patchy GRE scores, but its possible that they will. Or, they could use it as a tie-breaker and eliminate me further along at the end of their comparing and choosing. I'm trying not to get my hopes up. *covers face* I just hope one of my alma maters allows me through their doors.... I wish someone who went through this process already could pop in and tell us all that its going to be okay in the end!
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I applied to Columbia- I have a really kind of niched interest (Holocaust representation in literature), so I limited the schools that I applied to to departments with faculty in that area. Hopefully, these departments will look past my score, but I have heard that they use the GRE lit score to elminate applications right off the bat. I am not hopeful, but since my applications are already in, I am playing the waiting game. Thanks for responding to my post; it has been very difficult putting all of this together with minimal information available (in my opinion) about whether or not I am a good candidate or a likely candidate for admission. If you want to discuss this further, let me know and I'll give you my email address. It would be nice to talk to someone else who has been through the process.
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I applied to Columbia- I have a really kind of niched interest (Holocaust representation in literature), so I limited the schools that I applied to to departments with faculty in that area. Hopefully, these departments will look past my score, but I have heard that they use the GRE lit score to elminate applications right off the bat. I am not hopeful, but since my applications are already in, I am playing the waiting game. Thanks for responding to my post; it has been very difficult putting all of this together with minimal information available (in my opinion) about whether or not I am a good candidate or a likely candidate for admission. If you want to discuss this further, let me know and I'll give you my email address. It would be nice to talk to someone else who has been through the process.
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Oh god- I loved so many- Zender was unbelievable (particular interests- Lit. of the South and Shakespeare), Abbott is great (Elizabethan literature), Simpson is brilliant (Wordsworth, Victorian lit), Hicks is a riot (literature of California), Chaganti is also really neat (Chaucer). Van Leer is enthralling (homosexual literature, and Puritan literature, which by the way he made interesting so that tells you what kind of professor he is), and Shershow helped me to understand and enjoy modern literary theory, which is impressive; those individuals really blew me away. The department is also very accomodating and really willing to help their students. On the other hand, there are reallyl a few you should stay away from- I would be happy to let you know who those might be outside of a public forum. Anyway, good luck with applications and if I can be of further help, let me know. I'm not too optimistic with mine- I applied to 6 schools, but I just don't have the GRE subject test scores down. I can't see them justifying accepting my application over someone else who does. But I did establish contact with professors who shared my interests, so maybe they will fight for me.
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