Who aces the GREs?

A chart of GRE Scores By Academic Field posted at Carpe Diem shows would-be PhDs in education ranked just below communications candidates and just above those seeking a doctorate in public administration.  That’s the bottom of the chart: Physicists and mathematicians have the highest combined, verbal, quantitative and analytical scores.

Meanwhile, Captain Capitalism has a chart on virginity by major taken from a survey of Wellesley students, which is a few years old.

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  1. That virginity by major link isn’t working.

  2. Thanks, Frank. I’ve fixed it.

  3. Charles R. Williams says:

    Go to you local university library and read the dissertations written by doctoral candidates in education.

  4. Homeschooling Granny says:

    Brian Rude has some very interesting things to say about the imprecise terminology and the lack of observation-based science in education. His article “A Personal Indictment of Ed Schools” can be found at http://www.brianrude.com/indict-ed.htm
    He seems to suggest that it is not so who goes to ed schools as how they are taught there.

    I have questioned whether tests such as the GRE measure the qualities that make a good teacher. Isn’t teaching something of a performance art and are performance artists measured by GREs? Does the GRE pick up on the attitude and skills that would indicate success in working with five and six year olds?

  5. Homeschooling Granny –

    The GRE doesn’t pick up on the skills you talk about, but then very rarely would somebody be getting a PhD in education to be an elementary school teacher. Instead, the PhDs in education are the ones who are going to be the future functionaries of the Ed Schools from whence fads such as whole language and learning styles emanate.

    The fact that the dimmest bulbs in our colleges self-select themselves as being the ones who should influence the education of future generations explains many of the edu-fads we see, as well as our continued failure to improve educational outcomes across disadvantaged populations (a few bright spots notwithstanding).

  6. I need to expand the pool of schools which I am considering for my Ph.d. Most of them–state schools–wouldn’t accept a candidate in my field with a combined V+Q score of less than 1200 and a few require 1300. Where are all these schools that offer Ph.d. programs for candidates with combined V+Q scores under 1000?!?


  7. This can’t be a surprise to anyone that has dealt with Schools of Education. But since their reason for existence it to generate people that can get grant money for stupid things like “whole language reading instruction” – and do it time and again – having a precise vocabulary or math skills are contraindicated.

    I had a friend years ago at a university in Alabama that told me about how his math department and the some people from the School of Education did a joint project on math education for primary schools. He said that everyone on the math side thought that the “educators” were dumb, but somehow the math people did almost all of the work, and the School of Education got almost all of the money. He also found out later that this had happened more than once in the past. There are some things that the GRE doesn’t measure…

    I thought that the virginity link was fun. Being a mathematician, I can agree with the results – those computer scientists are a crazy group! There was one famous CS person, call them X, who swung both ways, and the grad students in CS at Stanford decided to compute the X number for everyone in the department, which was number of steps between a person and X, where a distance of 1 meant that you had personally had sex with X. They discovered that all of the grad students (or perhaps it was everyone) in the department had X numbers that were fairly small, and if I recall, this was just counting people in the same department. Nerdy and promiscuous, it’s a great combination!

    There is something similar in math, called the Erdos number, but there the link is if you have written a joint paper with someone – in case you care, mine is probably 3. We’re less fun, but we have fewer STD’s.

  8. I made a mistake. I checked, and my Erdos number is actually 2.