GRE scores:(total obfuscation)

William R. Pearson wrp at
Mon Feb 7 19:50:37 EST 1994

In article <2j6akg$mvb at>,
Chris Finelli <finelli at> wrote:

>What do you do with a student who has completed a tough undergrad. curiculum,
>and really turned on in their jr. and sr. years, with a 3.0-3.5.  Who also
>has Superb undergrad research ability, but VERY low GRE scores.  

>According to some who have reponded this person wouldn't make the first cut,
>even though they will most likely do very well in grad. school.

	An applicant with a good undergrad research history and strong
recommendations will almost certainly get into graduate school. Most
schools count undergraduate (or post-graduate) research experience and
research recommendations higher than anything else.  In my experience,
a student with VERY low GRE scores (< 600 math, < 500 verbal) has less
than 1 chance in 5 of passing the first year courses.  Then there are
the journal clubs, the proposal defenses, the thesis, the
post-doctoral grant application, etc. Like it or not, these "rights of
passage" are very demanding.

	One of the more democratic features of graduate training in
the life sciences is the fact that regardless of which graduate school
you go to, if you have a productive graduate career the odds are very
good that you can get an excellent post-doctoral fellowship at a
school with a very strong reputation. And it is your post-doctoral
productivity and the recommendations you get from the post-doctoral
institution that count the most in looking for "real" jobs.

Bill Pearson

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