Sunday, December 12, 2010

GRE scores and majors

Really interesting plot from Razib Khan's Gene Expressions blog regarding GRE scores and majors (see his blog post for more information and plots).  The GREs (Graduate Record Exams) are exams undergraduates take when applying for graduate school (similar to the SATs that high school students take to get into college).  Quant refers to the quantitative portions of the GRE (think math and logical reasoning skills) and verbal is self-explanatory.  Click plot for a larger image.

Social workers probably can't understand this plot (just kidding!), philosophers are great with language (ever read philosophers?  They use their skills for evil), and math and physics majors have great quantitative skills (no surprise there).  Anthropologists (blogged about yesterday) and psychologists are not so good at math (art and performance majors outscore them in quant for god's sake - is this why these two fields are filled with so much woo?).  Unfortunately, education majors all seem to be below the mean.

Earth science (my field) and biology are middle of the road.  Pretty weak in quant when compared to hard sciences like chemistry and physics and those in technical fields like engineering and computer science.  Of course these are generalities.  Someone majoring in geology but going into geophysics, for example, would have to have great math skills.  It's a liability for field geologists, on the other hand, to be very bright (they actually enjoy wearing the same set of underwear for weeks on end and have killed off most of their brain cells with alcohol).

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