Andrew Magrath (biggrumpy) wrote,
Andrew Magrath

GRE and Grad School

So my loyal readers, and only friends, on December 11th I will be taking the GRE - General Examination, which I hate that it is called that because when you spell out the entire acronym it becomes the Graduate Record Examination - General Examination. Really? Really?!? That's what your calling your test? Ohh well.

I got a week to adapt my sleeping routine to an earlier wakeup time. And I should probably run through a practice test or two. It shouldn't be that hard looking at the practice problems I have seen. Think the ACT/SATs only slightly harder and you get the idea. Because I am taking the general examination (my program only requires that) I should do pretty well. I test well on this kind of stuff, and have a good head for mental math (no calculators on the general) and reading shortcuts.

I've decided to go with the Philosophy & History of Science Program. My main school picks would be MIT or UC Berkley. MIT because, well, it's MIT! I remember looking there for my undergraduate school shopping and knowing it was way WAY too big for my desires as an undergrad, but thinking "I'll be back here!" So we will see. I'm also looking into Berkley because it will be a lot like Oberlin (Berkley is the Oberlin of the west (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, Oberlin is NOT the Berkley of the east)). I know some people in the area and LA would be an easy long weekend trip away (which would open up another group of friends). So I think in many ways socially Berkley would be the better choice, but it is hard to turn down the mystique and more or less lifetime goal of attending MIT. But first I gotta get accepted!

I'm thinking University of Pittsburgh as a great safety school. It has a high acceptance rate for the program I am interested in and also a good reputation. Plus, with Jeff there I have a built in friend base. The absolute desperation safety school would be the the University of Wisconsin, they accept 70% of applicants. It sounds fun, but if I only got in there I may consider waiting a semester, polishing up my GRE scores or whatever needs it, and trying again with my bigger name schools. Also how much money they intend to throw (or not throw) my way will factor in.

Who knows! I certainly don't.

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