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About geononymous

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  1. Not directly related to this, but wanted to mention it anyway. A huge problem with especially, internationally renowned, big-name professors is that there are people (applicants with great connections) already in line to work with them. I think it could be an issue if one applies to top-tier programs, where the density of such advisors is higher. If an influential professor wants to accept a student, they could break all tangible rules set forth by the admissions committee. However, an ordinary applicant with otherwise stellar credentials has no chance. When a potential advisor receives 60 to 80 applications from potential candidates that are specifically interested in working with them primarily, you can imagine how wild the decision-making process can get.
  2. An interesting read: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2008/01/29/the-other-side-of-graduate-admissions/#.XH2CVVNKjOQ
  3. Thanks for the update! Actually, my case is very unusual. I have very focused research interests and am already pursuing them in another institution. I am not expecting an interview. It should be a yes or no. Also, I think which research group you're applying to does play a role in the decision-making process. Some professors may want to get it over with pretty quickly, while others may prioritize things differently. All professors are usually busy as hell.
  4. Any hope remaining for Penn State Geosciences and Rice EEPS PhD programs? Is it already too late for their first round of selection?
  5. COPYING from publicly available GradCafe post (a Standford Applied Physics PhD Admit for Fall 2019): "Yay! Didn't expected but has a strong letter of recommendation and a good GPA. No publication. Really low GRE(haven't seen the one who accepted with such low GRE scores). No interview."
  6. @rockwizard : Unfortunately, @chasebf has got it right mostly, especially their first response in this thread. I do think that the human mind is very complex and no tests could adequately judge its abilities. Having said that, adcom will definitely want to base their decision on something more concrete, e.g., your GRE score. Now, great thing about the US is this: it is super rich and can entertain all sorts of possibilities. Meaning, there are professors who will dismiss GRE right away. But, there are others who will NOT budge a tad bit if you could not pass their threshold. Personally, I am suffering from my bad GRE quant score (155). Usually, I take more time thinking about even the simplest things. I do think it is a strength because it allows me to get a deeper understanding of any concept or topic. However, anyone can disagree and refuse me to offer an opportunity based on just that. It is what it is. Apart from all that, you truly need to think really hard about a career in planetary science. Given the funding situation, it is like hunger games. Even a Caltech Ph.D. can't necessarily save you from the real world. My two cents.
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