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ResNol

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  1. New faculty can be some of the best mentors, because they will have more time to spend with you. Also, you will be one of the first graduate students with them, that makes it a little special. However, I noticed last cycle that some of the new faculty were the most critical/anxious when at interview weekend. You also have to be prepared to not have many of your questions a, answered, since there won't be any current graduate students to ask and most students won't know the professor.
  2. Can you describe what your last app cycle was like? How many places did you apply to, did you get interviews, wait listed or rejected, what's changed since your last cycle (ie, number of manuscripts..etc). I would say you sound pretty competitive right now, the GRE scores should be above most cut-off scores and I've seen people with lower GREs get accepted. Even if your manuscripts aren't close to being completed you can still talk about them during your interviews and use them to your advantage. I would say you likely need to evaluate these aspects of your application: 1. LOR - Make sure your letters are in good shape, this means making sure you are asking the right people and giving them plenty of time to write. If you can, try to diversity your letters as much as you can. For example, a research person, a clinical person and then a third to whomever can give the strongest review. 2. Personal Statement - Make sure this is rock solid. Describe specifically what you're interested in research wise and WHY you are interested in that. Show passion for what it is you want to study. One thing that is good to add in, or at least you should ask yourself, is why a clinical PhD and not just research? Given that a clinical degree is a lot more work and generally longer, you should try to figure out why the clinical aspect helps your career goals and benefits your research. Also, ask as many people as you can to read and edit your statement. 3. Research Interest and Faculty - Make sure your research interests are narrowed down enough, you don't need to know specifically exactly what, but it does need to be narrowed. A lot of programs do first year projects and by the end of your second year you likely will have to do a thesis, so programs want to make sure you can meet those deadlines. It will also help you find how faculty you will fit in nicely with. Which leads to picking faculty, make sure you find people that you fit in with research interests. Faculty research fit is crucial. If you feel ready to enter a program, I would say reevaluate your application materials and apply again, you should be pretty competitive.
  3. Impressive verbal and writing scores! From what I gathered from this last cycle was that programs are putting less and less stock in GRE scores. I scored much lower than you on the quant (somewhere in the 30s for percentile) and lower on the verbal section as well and still managed to get interviews and acceptances. As others have suggested, if you can't get the score up to the 60s you still can get into programs, even your top choice. I even saw programs interview me and others even though they said they had high cutoff scores. Just make sure the other parts of your application are really strong and you prep for the interviews which can make or break applicants. However, if you can focus on getting that score higher it will make your application cycle a lot easier and less stressful.
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