The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

My Photo
Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Friday, December 30, 2005

Funny Yankee Rebel Quiz

Please complete this humorous quiz to see where you stand. I received a rating of 39%, that is, a Yankee (I'm from Canada, but that's almost the same as the northeastern U.S.). Click on the pic.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The GRE Puzzle is Complete

I received my score for the GRE subject test in English Literature which I wrote on November 12. After my unexpected success on the Verbal part of the general test, I was hoping for a very good mark. I was kinda disappointed to have in fact received a 630 (80th percentile). It's still probably a good score, but with my knowledge of the field I should have done better. Knowing my luck I probably filled in some incorrect bubbles on the scantron (curse the man who invented those!! I hate them so much). I certainly received more incorrect answers than I thought, which reduced my correct number of answers from 166 to 159. So for those out there thinking of writing the test, don't guess at all!! I made some educated guesses. Maybe I should have gone through the test once and answered everything I knew for sure and then worried about the not-so-sure ones.
At the same time, this changes absolutely nothing since most of my applications are in and the rest are due in a few weeks. The subject test won't be offered again until April, but I doubt an 80th percentile warrants a re-write (whereas, say, a 60th percentile would).

I can't even say how important these exams are. I know the General test is required by every school in the United States and some don't want anything to do with the subject test (as the name suggests, it is subjective, especially the English one, which probably explains why the average score for the test is 530ish whereas the averages for scientific subject tests are in the high 600s). Most departmental websites give the impression that the exams, at least the subject test, are not all that important (factors such as GPA and especially letters are more important). But departments are known to lie, after all, and their admissions process is even more secretive and corrupt than the papal elections.

All in all, my combined score on the verbal section and subject test is 1350, which should be good enough. Anyway, I don't want anything to do with any school that admits or refuses students on the basis of a single exam.

ADDENDUM: Why this guy has never written the GRE English subject test is beyond me. He would destroy it!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not so great schools, funny

Just saw this link on Appalachian is HOTHOTHOT. Haven't watched the video yet, but the commentary and pictures are hilarious. Needless to say I'm not applying here :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Grade Point Average??

I'm still in the process of applying to my "beloved" schools. I'm sending out my application for U Penn tomorrow and University of Toronto on thursday (competition for both are fierce to say the least; my fate's in the hands of the gods now). I was wondering if anyone out there could help me with GPA converstion. York University, my alma mater (I think that's what it is: we don't use American terminology up here) uses a 9 point scale. Thus an 8/9 is an A, a 7/9 is a B+, a 6 is a B, and a 9 is an A+. I think my MA GPA on the 4 point scale is 3.8, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. Here is a list of my grades: Many thanks for any help!

2 A+'s, both in half year courses
an A in a full year course
A in a half year course
2 A-'s, both in half year courses
a B+ in a half year course