Need fast answers regarding GRE

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Need fast answers regarding GRE
By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 12:04 am: Edit

Never having attended grad school, we're clueless to help our son, who's thinking of applying. We've figured out applications run on approximately the same schedule as undergrad applications, but we haven't figured out how the GRE works. To complicate things, our son is in Hong Kong, not coming home until Dec. 20. I thought he could take them Oct. 23, but apparently it's more complicated over there and requires two or three parts. Anybody have a clue about this? Or any other advice on taking the GRE? We're talking verbal genius, math flunky here. Will that matter if he's not trying to get into math oriented programs? Is studying the way to go? Test courses? I would geuninely appreciate advice. Thanks.

By Tokenadult (Tokenadult) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit

If your son is well read he should fare fine on the GRE verbal section. The GRE did NOT seem to me to be a lot harder than the SAT I. The GRE split administration applies to China (including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) and to Taiwan and to Korea.

This has been to prevent cheating.

The math on the GRE is actually not hard on a worldwide basis (Chinese students call it "junior high math," which it literally is in terms of the Chinese standard math curriculum) but it is challenging for an American not used to thinking about math. For someone pursuing a nonquantitative graduate subject of study, the math GRE score doesn't matter a lot.

I NEVER advise taking test-taking courses: they are a HUGE waste of money. Rather, just work the old test you find in the information booklet about the test.

Good luck to your son.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 12:36 am: Edit

I think the GRE has three parts:
Verbal, analytical and quantitative. If your son is interested in something like history, anthropology, English, then the verbal and analytical will be scrutinized. For majors including math, science, but also economics, sociology and political science, I believe the quantitative score will also count. Most departments make their selections in late January or early February at the latest, so the GRE scores need to be available by early January.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 12:48 am: Edit

Thanks, Marite and Tokenadult. From looking at Token's link, it seems he's already missed the dates to do the first parts in Hong Kong before finishing the third on Oct. 23. His undergrad degrees are in Chinese and Political Science. He's been in Hong Kong for two years now, tutoring English and studying Cantonese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He writes in the Chinese alphabet and reads newspapers and books. This must be good for something!

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:27 am: Edit

He should contact the graduate admissions office of the universities he is interested in and ask them this question. It is possible they will require him to take the GRE in order to matriculate but will not hold it against him if he does not have the scores at the time of the application. But most universities, I believe, will not waive the requirement altogether.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 09:32 am: Edit

Please do not think I am being sarcastic or harsh. Your son should be able to manage his own graduate school admissions process even from Hong Kong by using the Internet and contacting grad schools if he has specific questions.

You also could help him out by purchasing a book on grad school admissions and mailing it to him.

While it's normal for students to need parents' help in applying for undergrad, by grad school, students should be able to manage the process themselves. At this point, IMO, parents take a back seat and let students direct their own way to reach their goals.

Students who really aren't able to do this probably aren't ready for the independence of being in grad school. Since your son is able to live in Hong Kong, which I imagine is far from you, I bet he is able to take on well his graduate school applications.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit

Don't sorry, Northstarmom, I know you're not being sarcastic or harsh. You're absolutely right! And hands off is the policy I've been trying to stick to. I shipped him a box of "how-to-get-into-grad-school" books a couple of months back because he didn't have access to them there and that was supposed to be it. Lips zipped. Then, out of curiosity, I hit the GRE search button and looked just enough to see that apparently Oct. 23 was the day it would be given in Hong Kong. So I figured he'd either do it or not. Then he mentioned the GRE, I said something about wasn't it on October 23 and he wanted to know where I'd gotten that date because he was under the impression he could schedule the test for any day he wanted. That led to me seeing that this is apparently the case for the first two parts of the test but they had to have been completed by Sept 18 in order to finish up by Oct. 23. So, that's that. He's already missed it. And now, whatever will be, will be. We have learned from experience with him that in spite of him saying he wants to go to grad school, this may be his way of showing that he's not ready to make that decision yet. I hope he can figure it out!

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 03:05 pm: Edit


Hmmm... Even if he were stateside, he could not just walk in any day he wanted and take the GRE (or the SAT, or any other test)!

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit

Marite-- in Hong Kong, though, they did mention this, being able to schedule the first parts of the test on your own. Seems to be moot at this point anyway.

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