Monday, September 27, 2010

Grad school saga update

So my math GRE score wasn't low enough for me to cry myself to sleep tonight, but was probably lower than it should be. I got a 780 when I took it out of undergrad and got lower than that this time. I've heard my score described as "the edge" of what's considered - that if you don't try again after a score like that it raises eyebrows.

So what the hell - I'll probably try again in October. I just choked early on the test, but then rushed through and had ten minutes left for the last two questions! Keeping my composure could have probably gotten me the same score I got back in undergrad. The material wasn't particularly bad - like I said I just choked.

I've promptly forgotten what my verbal score even was - and I only finished two and a half hours ago. It really doesn't count for much in this business. It was fine, I just forget what it was.

By the way - any advice on applying to grad schools for the next couple months would be greatly appreciated. I'm applying to U. Maryland (College Park), Johns Hopkins, Georgetown University, and American University. That offers a good range of acceptance challenges, I think. I took a lot of the graduate econ sequence at George Washington Univeristy while I was getting my master's in public policy, so it seems silly to apply there and retake that. Kate and I are pretty wedded to the Northern Virginia area (and she just started a new job here), which explains the narrow range of schools I'm applying to. Needless to say, George Mason University is doing a lot of interesting work, but I don't think it would be a good fit for an investment as substantial as a doctoral program. I'll show up to events, exchange with them on blogs, and interact where I can, but I don't think it would be a good idea to attend.


  1. In Mason's defense, in PoliSci we deal with a few of their economists on a routine basis. The person doing the closest to my work is Stratmann, and Cowen's, well, he's always showing up in PS blogs. Buchanan and Tullock were there, and they're what the serious rat choicers in the RDU set cite.

    Otherwise, good look with the process --- you'll be fine, particularly with some of those schools listed.

  2. Hi Jenn!
    I'm not surprised you're interacting with them a lot. They are very oriented towards institutional economics and public choice, of course. Also very plugged into the Ostrom/Bloomington school that I imagine appeals to a lot of your poli-sci people. I think all that stuff is great, and I also like Buchanan a lot. What I clash with more is their economics - their Austrian school work. They do interesting stuff, but (1.) it's not something I'd want to study, and (2.) it's something I'd end up disagreeing with my professors on all the time even if I did want to study it. In other words, I don't think George Mason requires a defense - I just think it's not the right fit for me.

    I'll have to check in with Stratmann - I'm not sure who he is.

    Where are you in the process? You've gotta be ABD at this point, right? What are you writing about?


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