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[personal profile] netmouse

Looking for my college transcript in my files, I just ran across the printed report of my 1996 General GRE results. Verbal 740, Analytical 750, and Quantitative 690. (All my standardized test scores are also online, here.)

I was reminded that being better than 98-99% of other test takers in my verbal score has simply been a fact of life since... whenever it was that I first started taking them. Third grade, I think (at which point I tested at a high school graduate level) And I am remembering a conversation, walking across the Grinnell Campus, about these GRE test scores.

I was disappointed that my Quantitative score was only 690.

My boyfriend couldn't understand my disappointment. He pointed out that my Quantitative score was better than 79% percent of other people who took the GRE, which is all people applying for grad school. That was an achievement, was his point, and he wasn't wrong. I cheered up a little at the time, but I still can't shake the overall sense that I am (comparatively) weak in math.

I honestly wonder if this is an overlooked component to why perfectly smart middle school girls tend to self-evaluate as "not that good in math" at the same ability level where boys are more likely to be proud of their math skills. Boy are less likely to have had strong linguistic skills from an early age, so they don't have that portion of their own skill set and self-confidence to compare their math skills to.

Date: 2017-05-14 09:38 pm (UTC)
echoweaver: (Default)
From: [personal profile] echoweaver
I think this is part of it. Women tend to have higher verbal scores than math. I, like you, scored very high in verbal and lower but well in math. I think I scored 62% percentile on the Computer Science GRE and was disappointed. But that's pretty specialized, and the result was pushing the top 3rd.

I also tend to think that it's a self-confidence thing. We feel we have something to prove in math, even to ourselves, and that makes the comparative lower score seem more damning.

Date: 2017-05-17 09:26 pm (UTC)
spikethemuffin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] spikethemuffin
I've been not-replying to this for several days, simply because it blew my mind. It literally never occurred to me that "scoring lower on maths than verbals" did not somehow negate "scores better on math than most." (Partly, I think, because there was this unexamined Pavlovian thing that sees "79%" and thinks, "That's terrible, that's a low C.'") (Edited to put the close paren in and also to say that if this is IS a gender thing, maybe AMABs are more socialized to think in terms of win/lose, and AFABs are told "just fucking try harder, okay? You're embarrassing yourself and me," no matter how well they do.) (ANNND edited to add the OTHER close paren and erase the trans-erasure in my initial reply.)

Would you mind if I linked to this on my own journal?
Edited Date: 2017-05-17 09:32 pm (UTC)

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