Applelinguist … the apple that started it all

linguistics information for everyone

4.3 GRE

leave a comment »

Ah, the GRE. An examination in three parts: verbal, quantitative, and writing. None of which have anything to do with linguistics! But don’t let that deter you from taking it; it hasn’t stopped any grad department except MIT from requiring a GRE score.

To register to take the GRE, first visit their website, There you will soon discover that you need to call 1-800-GRE-CALL with your credit card handy. You’ll probably sign up to take the test in this really sketchy neighborhood in Boston. Unless you’re a true Luddite, you’re going to be taking the GRE on the computer. This is really annoying when you’re doing the math section, because you can’t do basic things like draw on the diagrams. You also can’t use a calculator, so please review the multiplication table (seriously, it’s embarrassing). Most annoyingly, you can’t return to a question once you’ve answered it, which means you can’t skip questions and return to them later. The one nice thing about testing on the computer, however, is that you get your scores back immediately (except for the writing, obviously, unless vast advances in linguistics are made in the near future).

Preparing for the test is pretty simple. Review very basic math stuff, and hope that you know some words for the verbal. The verbal section on the GRE can be relatively easy or pretty freaking hard, depending on the vocab they decide to throw at you, so just pray that you get lucky. The most useful thing you can do to prepare is to familiarize yourself with the computer format of the test. You can do this by downloading the GRE’s own prep software, POWERPREP, at

One thing to remember, before you go take the test, is to think of four schools that you’d like your scores sent to; after you take the test, you can choose to have your scores sent to four schools for free. If you don’t list any schools, you’ll have to pay for those score reports later.

Should I take a Subject Test?

As of now, there’s no subject test for linguistics. There is a test for psych, so if you’re going into cog sci and you’ve done enough psych, you might want to consider taking that one. Similarly, if you’ve done a bunch of computer science classes and you’re going into computational linguistics, feel free to take the computer science subject test.


Written by applelinguist

January 7, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: