Monthly Archive for July, 2012

School Spotlight: Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development

Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education & Human Development

“Our well-rounded community includes five unique departments, a top-ranked graduate school, national research centers, and the largest undergraduate major at Vanderbilt…Peabody professors are well-known scholars and practitioners who actively mentor students. Our undergraduate, master’s, Ed.D., Ph.D., and professional development programs all attract people who share a deep concern for the human condition and education.” Continue reading “School Spotlight: Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development” »

Sometimes it is Greek: Vernal

Tulips are one of many vernal flowers.

Each week, “It’s not GREek!” will discuss a new word likely to appear on the GRE.  We aim not only to give you a new word to memorize, but also to provide you with some background and etymological history to help you remember it.  At the end of the post, we will also give you a sentence with a few other new words to add to your flash cards.  By following this weekly series, you should be more prepared than ever to tackle the sentence completion, sentence equivalencies, and reading comprehension questions on test day.

This Week’s Word:  Vernal Continue reading “Sometimes it is Greek: Vernal” »

Economic Value of an Advanced Degree

Will going to graduate school and obtaining an advanced degree lead to a higher salary?  According to the ETS Commission on Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers, an advanced degree can double or triple your lifetime earnings.

Here are the expected lifetime earnings for each degree calculated by the commission:

Degree Lifetime Earnings
no high school diploma $973,000
high school diploma $1.3 million
bachelor’s degree $2.3 million
master’s degree $2.7 million
doctoral degree $3.3 million

Continue reading “Economic Value of an Advanced Degree” »

Sometimes it is Greek: Rostrum

The rostrum is the place from which the Speaker of the House presides over Congress.

Each week, “It’s not GREek!” will discuss a new word likely to appear on the GRE.  We aim not only to give you a new word to memorize, but also to provide you with some background and etymological history to help you remember it.  At the end of the post, we will also give you a sentence with a few other new words to add to your flash cards.  By following this weekly series, you should be more prepared than ever to tackle the sentence completion, sentence equivalencies, and reading comprehension questions on test day.

This Week’s Word:  Rostrum

Why put your pretty self on a pedestal when you can stand regal and roaring on a rostrum?

Rostrum is one of those GRE words with a million meanings, but the most commonly-used definition is a stage or raised platform for public speakings.  In ancient Rome, a rostrum was a platform for public orators.  Other words for such a structure include dais, podium and tribune.

Outside the world of public speaking, a rostrum can be the curved end of a ship’s prow or seafaring vessel.  It can also be any animal’s bodily part shaped like a bird’s bill, ranging from a dolphin’s snout to the beak of various insects and arachnids.

How did one word come to take on such varied meanings?  For our answer, we need look no farther than its Latin etymology.

In ancient Rome, the rostrum–platform stand for public speakers in the Forum–was decorated with the beaks of ships taken in the Roman republic’s first naval victory over Antium.  We get our animal snout meaning from another Latin verb, rodere, which means to gnaw.

Sample Sentence:

Instead of ransacking Rome, the ruthlessly rambunctious ruffians remonstrated the remaining Romans with raucous speeches and songs atop the city’s rostrum.

Miss last week’s “Sometimes it is Greek?” Check it out here.  Want more GRE vocabulary? Click here for the free TestMasters GRE vocabulary list with over 2,000 words!

Can I get into graduate school with a low GPA? Part 1

Is your college GPA abysmal? Are you worried this will keep you from being able to attend graduate school? While a low college GPA will limit your graduate school options, it does not necessarily mean you have to kiss your graduate school dreams goodbye.  Here are some suggestions for how to compensate for a low undergraduate GPA in your graduate school application.

Be realistic. Many of the top graduate programs will do an initial culling of the applicant pool based solely on their GPA and GRE scores.  A low average undergraduate GPA for admitted students can bring down program rankings, and many of the top programs receive far too many applications to truly be able to consider each application individually. If your GPA does not make the initial cut, then you will not be considered for admission.  Before you send in your application, call the program and ask them if there is an undergraduate GPA cutoff.  Make sure the programs you apply to are willing to evaluate your application as a whole. Continue reading “Can I get into graduate school with a low GPA? Part 1” »

Sometimes it is Greek: Testator/Testatrix

Each week, “It’s not GREek!” will discuss a new word likely to appear on the GRE.  We aim not only to give you a new word to memorize, but also to provide you with some background and etymological history to help you remember it.  At the end of the post, we will also give you a sentence with a few other new words to add to your flash cards.  By following this weekly series, you should be more prepared than ever to tackle the sentence completion, sentence equivalencies, and reading comprehension questions on test day.

This Week’s Word:  Testator/Testatrix

What better day to contemplate morbid things such as writing your will in your 20s than Friday the 13th?

Some students have said graduate school will be the death of them.  Before going to your premature graduate school grave, have you considered writing your last will and testament? If so, you are either a testator or testatrix, depending on your gender.

A testator is a man who has written a will and a testatrix is a woman who has written a will.

Like most terminology derived from legalese, the origins of testator are Latin, from the verb testari, which means “to make a will,” “be witness,” or “declare.”  A slew of related words come from these roots, including:
testacy – the status of being testate, in other words, having executed a will
intestacy – the status of not having made a will, or having died without a valid will
Testament, testimonial, testimony, and testify also share similar roots.

So don’t remain in a state of intestacy!  Find a lawyer and write that last will and testament before it’s too late. *Cue ominous music.*

Sample Sentence:

Tammy tried  to terminate her state of intestacy with a simple testament but was thwarted by the discovery of a trove of family treasures she had to tactfully distribute amongst her children.

Miss last week’s “Sometimes it is Greek?” Check it out here.  Want more GRE vocabulary? Click here for the free TestMasters GRE vocabulary list with over 2,000 words!

Sample Sentence Completion Problem!

Below is sample sentence completion problem that has appeared on the verbal reasoning section of a past GRE, along with a solution.

PROBLEM:
Number theory is rich in problems of an especially —– sort: they are tantalizingly simple to state but —– difficult to solve.
(A) cryptic..deceptively
(B) spurious..equally
(C) abstruse..ostensibly
(D) elegant..rarely
(E) vexing..notoriously Continue reading “Sample Sentence Completion Problem!” »

Sometimes it is Greek: Tergiversation

There is no tergiversation in this court!

Each week, “It’s not GREek!” will discuss a new word likely to appear on the GRE.  We aim not only to give you a new word to memorize, but also to provide you with some background and etymological history to help you remember it.  At the end of the post, we will also give you a sentence with a few other new words to add to your flash cards.  By following this weekly series, you should be more prepared than ever to tackle the sentence completion, sentence equivalencies, and reading comprehension questions on test day.

This Week’s Word:  Tergiversation Continue reading “Sometimes it is Greek: Tergiversation” »