GRE scores:(total obfuscation)

klier at cobra.uni.edu klier at cobra.uni.edu
Tue Feb 8 16:37:46 EST 1994


In article <2j6akg$mvb at tbone.biol.scarolina.edu>, finelli at tbone.biol.scarolina.edu (Chris Finelli) writes:
> 
> 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.  

> I realize there will be some exceptions to the general trends in test scoring
> and weghting at grad. schools.  Have any of you come across this before?
> Are allowances made for people who just panic at standardized tests?

IMHO, good GRE scores have some validity.  They may or may not predict
success in grad school, but they will predict ability to deal with standarized
testing situations, and may predict ability to cope with graduate coursework.

"Bad" GRE scores, however, may mean that the person does not take
standardized tests well, or was not testing well that day, or they may
mean that the person will not cope well with expected coursework.

I've been on a couple of graduate admissions committees, and worked in
the graduate admissions office at one of the Univ. of California
campuses.  It appeared to me that the usual matrix was something
like:

Good grades, good GREs   --> admit
Good grades, good school, bad GREs  --> admit if reasonable explanation
                                         seems to be available

Poor grades, poor GREs  --> deny admission
Poor grades, good GREs --> possibly admit, but only with 
                                        a very good explanation


In many cases, because of differing grading schemes, GRE scores were
the only "comparable" information available on candidates.  In cases
where transcripts were difficult to evaluate (e.g., narrative
transcripts), there seemed to be greater reliance on GRE scores
on the part of committee members.

Kay Klier  Biology Dept  UNI




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