English Prof Retakes GRE

Michael Bérubé, an Ivy educated PhD now teaching English at Penn State, retakes the GRE to see how the test — and he — stack up 28 years after his first encounter with said placement exam.  While he’s got a lot of gripes about the exam, and despite having not grappled with survey material in years, he actually vastly improved his performance.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I wonder what the effect of stress is on performance and whether his stress level would have been higher then or now.

    I’m guessing that it would have been higher then because if he had done poorly on his latter day try he’d never have published the results.

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    Yeah,

    And I like to think that after 28 years of working for a living, raising my my family, paying taxes, I would score higher on a citizenship test than some college intellectual could score on a self-serving intellectual evaluation.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    Interesting link, but the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT measure your relative ability to be a good student. What would be really interesting would be to see doctors, lawyers, P.E.s, and accountants retake their licensing exams. The results would suggest the extent to which these exams test knowledge essential for the occupation versus serving to restrict entry into the field.

  4. Drew says:

    In the past two years I’ve had two spine surgeries to remove herniated discs. This is the type of procedure where you can’t make a mistake.

    Did I look at the surgeon’s practitioner record? Yes. Hmmm. Internship at the Texas Back Institute. Good. Do doctors go to this guy when they need this procedure? Yes. Hmm. Good. Oh, people fly in from all over the world to see his techniques? Good.

    Did I look at his entrance exams? Nope.

  5. Josh says:

    I’m guessing that it would have been higher then because if he had done poorly on his latter day try he’d never have published the results.

    Damn, that’s a pretty casual accusation of intellectual dishonesty. And without a single shred of evidence to back it up, too.

  6. steve s says:

    some college intellectual

    LOL got your Palin 2012 bumper sticker yet Enils?

  7. steve s says:

    And I like to think that after 28 years of working for a living, raising my my family, paying taxes, I would score higher on a citizenship test

    I don’t think that. I do all that stuff. Fill out my 1040. Take the kids to day care. Go through the drive through at Starbucks. Work on my business. and none of that prepares me to know whether the 7th amendment pertained to voting rights.

    BTW, I have taken the test before, just for kicks. Barely passed with an 85. You can take a version of it here.

    It’s a good thing the test isn’t given to citizens. Most of my Kentucky conservative christian relatives would have been deported long before they got the chance to vote for Bush for the second time.