The Great Grad School Thread

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Saro, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    HELLO OKAY i just took my GRE and i think i did okay???? 164 verbal 158 quant. for other stem folks, is that, like...fine? i have research experience, am taking my gap year currently to do more research things, and like a 3.6gpa & departmental honors in physics
    a few schools im looking at seem to have a 160 cutoff for the quant portion but i really. don't want to retake it. should i get in touch with the departments or just not apply to those schools or is 158 quant actually worth trying to improve to 160+ or ???
  2. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    * disclaimer: I Could Be Wrong, I Am Just One Person With One Experience And Also A Biologist, No One Cares If We Can Do Math (not true but y'know) *

    I would say that taking it again would not be worthwhile. Contacting the director of admissions/someone similar from the department and asking about the cutoffs. Are they absolute? Are they recommendations? Will a score just slightly below automatically exclude you from consideration, despite other factors that may recommend you for a position? You might not be able to get answers to all those questions, but it could help you narrow your application pool. If a program would exclude you just for that, I would guess that it might not be the most welcoming program (might not be true! but seems more likely) and you'd probably be better off going somewhere else anyway. In general, from what I understand, many programs do take a number of factors into consideration (GPA, work, personal history, etc.) and there's a lot of effort happening right now to actually remove the GRE as a requirement for programs, so it's even possible that when you apply it won't even be necessary. (Wishful thinking....)

    I personally would hold off on retaking it, especially since you're pretty close score-wise to the cutoffs you saw, at least until you've talked to some people. If there's a program that's perfect for you and they absolutely will not even consider you it may be worthwhile to do it again? But otherwise I would save the money/time/effort for something else.

    (I have actually 0 memory of my GRE scores at this point or else I would relay that info as well)
  3. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I second the suggestion of contacting departments you're interested in before retaking. You're so close to the cutoff that with your research experience and GPA you could probably convince them. Unless it's a super-competitive program, the 160 probably isn't a hard cutoff.
    Are you interested in the departments as a whole, or are there specific people you're interested in working with? If there are specific people, contacting them first instead of the grad chair or the department head might be worthwhile, to perhaps get an inside advocate.
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