Hi! Please help!

I was just wondering, - I am going to apply to phd Program in Comparative Literature. As you can imagine my knowledge of math is slim to non-existent.

However, my Program still requires GRE. (Dammit!)

I did pass TOEFL ibt pretty high (99%), I am not worried much about verbal part of the exam (may be I should), but quantitative portion is a big concern since at the moment I cannot score even 200 .

I got several months to prepare, but I got a question… How realistically I can score 400-500 on math part if I am a total zero in math? And how much is “enough” to score in math if your major is Comparative Literature?

I was digging the website of my university for hours and all I found is that “GRE is required of all applicants”. No statistics on “how much” is required, nothing to compare myself with… Total zero… May be I am damn, but my perception is that I will score nicely (hopefully) in verbal part and “screw” my math … And then still get accepted since its CL, not Computer Science… But may be I am wrong and someone can point me in a right direction? Thanks in advance for any comments or thoughts on this issue!

I don’t think being a “total zero in math” prevents you from getting the top score in the math section. The math part really includes only basic math concepts, like exponentials, solving equations with 1-2 variables, how many degrees are there in a triangle or really fundamental probability calculations.

The problem is rather being fast in mental arithmetic and finding the fastest way to the solutions. But you can exercise both with good books (I liked “GRE for dummies”).

If you have enough time to exercise for the math section (maybe 2 hours a day for 2 month), you can get 700-800 in the math section, even if you are really bad in math.

Thanks a lot for the answer. Although asking my question I was rather hoping to get the response in something like “If you don’t have a dog , you probably don’t need it anyway” mode… Instead you say “If you don’t have a dog you can get it”… But your sincerity is appreciated, I am such a mentally challenged a$$ when it comes to science, just one though of studying math makes me squill…

Ranting aside, if anyone knows, heard something, has an opinion on the issue “how much” is enough? I mean its Comparative Literature, for God’s sake, I know I am repeating myself, but I just want to catch this last shred of hope - may be they expect “not so great” math results from humanitarian folks? Or doesn’t matter what less then 600 is a lousy score?

I am really really bad at math…

You would have to ask somebody else about this matter. I really don’t know how much the quantitative score affects applications to Literature universities, it might be entirely irrelevant, but it could also be that applications with total scores beneath (e.g.) 1400 are not even looked at.

I think that there are those who come here and give answers that will make you think you can just go ahead and score 800 on the GRE…be carefull!!..these people may be sooo clever that thats all the time they needed to study to score 800 point or the had lady luck sitting on thier shoulder

FIRST of all in a literature program you will not be using maths. If you can score 99th percentile on verbal you can balance out the bad math score…

Also the math score is mainly logic and the way to ace it is PRACTICE PRATICE PRATICE, till you feel comfortable enough to walk into an exam room and get those same score… If you dont get it, go back REVIEW REVIEW…the trick lies in getting something wrong and spending enough time to review those ones you got wrong and even those once you got right. SOmething getting it right was luck and you still want to know how to solve it.

Using the powerprep and the GRE 10th EDITION is a great place to start. If you are bad in MATHS you will need KAPLAN 2009 PREMIER EDITION…the questions in there are VERY VERY SIMILAR TO the GRE 10TH edition , however these come with EPLANATIONS GALORE. I will say take a diagnostic test, figure out which areas of math you are really bad at and then focus on learning those all over again…just like being in high school. Go back and retake the test and see if you score higher and what more you need to study.

The thing is acknowledging how bad you are and then knowing what to study based on what appears in the test. Powerprep can give you an idea of your scores on test day. You need to redo these test over and over and over till you are happy and confident that you can explain those answers in your sleep and if given the same questions you can use the same logic to find the answer.

SEE ITS BRAIN AEROBICS and you need to teach your brains to exercise like the ETS instructor, once you train your brain , making the connections becomes faster and you also gain by thinking through faster. Dont make the mistake of thinking that you can follow another persons time line and how much the got to measure your score…each brain is different and you have to get yours to behave like ETS and the timing is entirely up to you. You wont know how much time till you sit down to try out the questions.

But really if the math is bad you need to aim in 99th percentile for Verbal. Anyone in an english speaking country and that is required to take the Toefl can get 99%…you you need to realise that is not a GREAT feat. However a 99th percentile in GRE will be GREAT…and if you are in literature (ENGLISH lit) no school will forgive poor GRE verbal scores because they will question your ability to write and at the higher level publish well written documents…you also need to shine in the AWA!!