Wednesday, June 2, 2010


From October 17th 2008

I just took the GRE. It's probably the most common test for people that have finished a Bachelor's degree and are soon to be applying for grad school. It's a glorified ACT or SAT really.

Anyway, I got a 600 on the quantitative section, and a 650 on the verbal section. The Essay results have not come in yet. I was a little bit upset at myself, because I made some pacing errors as I went through the test. On the practice test I was just shy of 1400, so to have 1250 is kind of depressing. It's still above the average, but I'm sure I could have done better. Oh well.

Edit: 12/27/2010 Islena took the GRE and it didn't go very well for her. It seems obvious to me that anyone that learns English as an adult already past their school years is going to have difficulties with English over the long term. Through her result we can see that the GRE is measuring things that don't have bearing on how an individual will do in grad school. Her GPA is around 3.5 or so. She can do grad school just fine. The GRE is made to measure English through checking understanding of extremely difficult vocabulary even for native English speakers. It uses shades of meaning in archaic words that don't get used by anyone except people that want to impress others with their vocabulary. Even the math section is set up, for the most part, in story questions, where a high level of English proficiency is required, and one missed word results in an incorrect answer. It's frustrating to me that a test that doesn't measure what it wants to measure, and has been proven by ETS' own research that it isn't a good indicator of future graduate school success, gets used in about half of US universities as a measure for accepting or rejecting applicants.

This is one way in which those that conform to majority culture in terms of studying in English, growing up in families and communities where intelligence and school are top priorities, and attending schools that are more effective in teaching. There are many famous inventors and scientists from other countries that didn't speak English natively, like Albert Einstein. All of these people that didn't learn English until they were adults would bomb the GRE. All the native English speakers that ace it, would score extremely low if they had to take it in another language. Language has a huge bearing on the GRE results, but has no bearing on a person's intelligence or ability to perform at a job.

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