GRE Snacks 22 – Setting your target GRE score

Tyler York
gre snacks podcast

Shouldn’t you try to get the highest GRE score possible on all sections? Not necessarily. Remember, your main goal is to have a GRE score that doesn’t get you rejected from your first choice program. The bar that you need to clear varies dramatically – not just from school to school, but from program to program within a school. Orion shares how he advises his clients to best set their target GRE scores.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to maximize your score on the GRE exam, check out Achievable’s GRE course.

GRE Snacks 22 – Setting your target GRE score

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Welcome to GRE snacks. Snackin episodes about the GRE exam in graduate school admission. I'm Tyler founder of course you can check out our course at achievable. Me for free and the put code podcast. Get your 10% off at checkout. Let's get started. So for today we're going to talk about something that's actually I think very important topic. How to determine your target GRE score. So Ryan why don't you kick ass off with that? It's super important. Sometimes when I talk with students in my initial consultation and I asked him about, you know, what, their target GRE scores, are they force close to perfect as is, I need to. And while there is some truth that hire, GRE score is obviously preferable to a lower. GRE score is also just as true that most

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student don't need to score as highly as they may believe in order to be competitive at the programs that are applying to

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Another thing to keep in mind is that the GRE score is not a ticket into grad school? No, I didn't get into grad school as a result of their GRE score. I got a perfect score on a test. I was still rejected for more programs and I got accepted to. So it's not like a golden ticket into the Chocolate Factory. Nobody is the origin of the GRE. It's more like a golden ticket out. If you don't get it. That's right to keep and to reject otherwise qualified applicants, because depending on the program, they might have to reject up to 95% of the applicants. And the easiest way they can do that without getting sued is the fall on more objective quantifiable, metrics like GPA and GRE.

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So the goal here is to get a good enough score and that is dependent, not on the overall measure of the tasks. But on the competition at the programs that you're applying to write. So it's really, really important for students to do some due diligence and some research before entering to the GRE process in the reason for that is because knowing what your target scores are lets. You know when you get to stop and let and I've I've been in this industry for a long time. I like to GRE, I think it's fun. It's a series of puzzles that I get to bust my brain on Andover common.

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You know, but I can appreciate that. Not everybody loves the GRE and test prep, can be boring for. Some people can be expensive, is there. There's lots of other things that people would rather be doing so why not make sure that you're not doing more prepped and absolutely necessary to get the outcome that you desire. Knowing your target scores in advance will save you time energy and money in the long run. So it's imperative that we have some clarity over what they're trying to get to and it's close to perfect as possible is is not really that clear? Okay. Yeah. Also I think it probably makes a big difference because the target scores for the program that you're applying to or going to differ by like want and verbal splits pretty drastically. Depending on what program you're flying trolls in the college and then also you know it kind of it's like like you said, the goal is to make the cut off so if you're already hitting a Quant score, that's as good as your purse.

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Dental that you've researched for your college Target, then you should be just studying more with the verbal, right? And then, if you don't do that, you might end up overshooting, like, literally York want and under shooting your verbal Nido, get in actually very very accurate Tyler because what I found is that overshooting your target routing. Your competition does not. Substantially were significantly, increased students chances of getting I'm getting an acceptance. So it's like your cup runneth over. Once you reached that limit you just pouring and it's spilling out. It's not actually, you know, increasing the capacity.

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Of your achievement, you understand. And I G or expectations differ significantly from college to college or even Department to Department within a given University. People just say, oh I'm applying to Harvard a Harvard graduate school for example. So I need to get as close to perfect as possible cuz Harvard University Ivy League school, but I have worked with many students who have gotten into graduate-level programs at Harvard Square in the 150s because there's a great deal of variability with respect to the competitiveness of graduate school programs.

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Within Harvard University, Harvard Business, it's in the top 10 business schools in the world, but like you want to go to Harvard for health administration. I'm sure they have a graduate program for that to get your Master's in public administration or public health. Even though it's obviously associated with the super brand-name University. So the competitiveness of that program is probably going to be less than a top-10 program for an mph elsewhere. Yeah, that's actually, that's a good analogy. I had a friend who was choosing between Emory nursing school, and Yale, and like, Emery is the number one nursing school in the country. It's like number one and then yells, like 25. But it's the yayo right in for the Dilemma. Like basically like her family was like go with you because it's yelling like everyone is in the nurse.

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Just like Emery is obviously the best, right? It's just it totally depends and also for anyone who has gone to Harvard for like their medical graduate school. We did not research that before. So if you guys are, so please accept our apology. But yeah, I think in general it's also important because even within a school say I went to Carnegie Mellon, Carnegie mellon's business school, having a good verbal scores are they important Carnegie mellon's Computer Science school or they're like, statistics, graduate school. Having a really good Quan score. Is much more important than having a good verbal score in general than War hard science to your degree is from where the quantitative score matters and the more soft science or liberal arts. See it is the more the purple Square mattress just in general.

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Okay. So how do you actually get clarity into what your target score should be right? Sometimes I asked students to reach out to universities and they say, oh, I tried and I didn't really get any good information from them. I said, okay, well, what did you ask? Should I get in order to be compared to that University? Seems like that should be the question that you asked for a very good question to ask admissions department at universities. And here's why. Because anything and admissions program puts down in writing is legally binding and if they were to say, hey you need to get a 160. That's our expectation for applicants for admission to this program and the send that to you in an email and you were to get above a 160 and you were still rejected from that program, at least open to litigation. You can say, hey, I met your explicit expectations for performance and I was still rejected. What gives it because of my demographics is it? Because of my statement

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My personal statement, this could be potentially discriminatory. So if you ask a program what they're looking for, they're going to give you a really big wishy-washy response. Something like well you know, we like to take into consideration the entire applicant in the GRE is just one part of the whole admissions process and we look at this that or the other and oh, well, would you look at the time? I, I got to go so they they don't really give you a hard and fast answer, and they shouldn't because it paints them into a corner unnecessarily. So, does that mean you can't get better information as a prospective student, not necessarily. You just have to ask a better question and a better question to ask admissions programs. Is this the question you want to ask is what was the median score of successful applicants to last year's entering class? Say that again. What was the median score of successful applicants to last year's entering class? There are three key compose this question.

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The first and most important is that past tense were talking about last year with the most recent years, they have on record, this is no longer, an expectation is no longer something legally binding. It's a fact that happened and these programs absolutely have this number at their disposal because they submitted to ranking programs. Like US News & World Report every year and Jerry swerczek bookings comprise, approximately 1/8 of a graduate programs ranking in, u.s. News & World Report according to US News & World Report, disclose this information. So 12 and a half percent of a programs ranking is how high their median, GRE scores are relative to other departments are the programs in the country.

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So it's a fact that they have at their disposal. Also, we're talkin about successful applicants because, obviously, we don't care about the ones who didn't get in the ones who do get in, or actually your competition and a median median. Exactly. The median is really The Sweet Spot because if you can score at or around that level, that means that you're beating out half the people. Most of the people who successfully got into that program, nephew can beat out most the people who got in your good on that message. So anything above that median, it sort of like your cup runneth over. Like I said before and unless you're applying to a top ranked business school program which some of you might be Burmese are actually very very high.

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But for the vast majority of grad school programs, they're potentially much lower than you might think even at brand-name, world-renowned universities. So get that information. Now that said you can ask that question and they still might not tell you the answer. They have no like they're not compelled to give you that day. So it kind of depends on who you get on the phone and what kind of mood they're in. It's generally better to kind of a possible, build a relationship with a professor or somebody on the admissions committee members at a university that you're interested in applying to before you ask this question to build a relationship. First, you're much more likely to get the information that you're looking for. A diagnostic test on a Cheeto boy, can find out where you currently are now you have an idea of your Baseline and your targets and obviously in the bathroom. Okay? So there's going to be a gap between Baseline and ideal condition

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I said that Gap more or less reveal how much time and how hard you need to work to get to where you need to be. You need to figure out the size of time. So you can plan appropriately. Hopefully, they go bang this out in a month or so get what you need, move on with your life. Cuz you know what, I find out that Gap is larger than yet, then you anticipated too late in your process. That's going to push everything back. But at least a year and be potentially demoralizing expensive to do. So this is designed to help stop the bleeding, right? I know it's really hard to do this, but do you have a general sense of like, if you need to make up Five Points then you should prepare to study 40 hours or some kind of like Benchmark for that. I can't do that. I'm sorry. I asked that question because it's like, 35 to a 140 you can do. Almost everybody can do fairly

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In like a week or two, but going from like a 165, your 170 could take months. So generally the closer you get to the ceiling of a test the more time and effort and energy. You have to put in to make small right near the point of this is to try and figure out like how far you are from your goal and how long you need to study, right? Like that's kind of the purpose of this exercise. And so if you're looking at say I need to go from 1:45 to 160 like a 15-point gap. You should have seemed that the first five points will take a lot less time than the last five point. And so you should kind of plan accordingly around that as well. I think that's I can get behind that statement.

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Probably some kind of curve if we have data.

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Great. Alright, thanks a Ryan. This is Ben, Jerry snacks hosted by a Ryan from Stellar GRE and Tyler. From achievable, it's usable in a Ryan, a partner to build a great, GRE course you can try for free, that you will. Me and use the code podcast to get 10% off at. Check out if you have any questions or topic that you'd like to discuss in a future episode, please contact. Tyler at Tyler, at achievable. Me with the subject line podcast topic.

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