Originally Posted by cmc271
I didn't take the prep course but I've always done well on standardized tests. I took a couple of the free practice tests I found online and used a workbook a little to brush up on my math skills.
Likewise. I didn't spend any money preparing for the GRE. I'd recommend using any free material you can find online. The money spent on prep courses would be better served taking the test again if you don't like your first score. In particular, I don't see much benefit in studying for the vocabulary portion. You're better off trying going on instinct rather than trying to recall big words. The only process I used was to try and break the words down to derive meaning. I scored much higher on the math portion than I expected considering I hadn't taken a course since high school. Take what you know and apply reasoning the best you can. Given your educational background, I would think you would be more apt to do that compared to some of us.
As far as paying for school, the obvious answer is an assistantship. That didn't do a whole lot to ease the financial strain for me as I still have a boat load of student loans. It depends on your priorities for the future. Growing up the way I did, $60k seems rich to me even with the insane monthly payments I'll be making on loans. Considering that I will be living with a combined income, I'd have to really question my mindset and maturity if I couldn't live comfortably within means even at the minimum salary. Please don't take that to mean I'm encouraging debt. Above all else, stay the hell away from private loans. I have witnessed horror stories where friends were living on scrapes just to pay the interest. In choosing a program, I'd take the less expensive option without any hesitation whatsoever. There are superior programs, but you have every opportunity to become a skilled clinician depending on your work ethic and ability to branch out. I am in a program that is supposedly bottom tier and I have yet to hear from any past graduates who struggled to get a job at least close to their preferred location. I can't speak for transitioning from Canada, however..
As for your application, there are several ways you can make yourself stand out. rEliseMe had a post somewhere on this forum detailing ideas. Volunteering is a good start, but think of ideas that other incoming students would likely never consider. I'm sure that you could piggy back a research study and add published work to your application. Work tirelessly on your letter of intent. Talk about your hearing loss, but not in a sympathetic light. Maybe discuss how you're going to use it to better the profession and advocate for professionals with hearing impairment. Have you talked to the professors at Wayne St? They should know you by first name. Google them and see what common ground you have with their interests to gain an edge. Many Phd's do online seminars/lectures. Attend them and make your presence known. There are countless other ideas that can bridge the gap if you feel you're lacking in marks or the GRE. The important thing is to make the decision to commit to audiology (or not) and move forward. Do that and you have nothing to worry about.