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5 minutes ago, YONO (You only need one) said:

Does anybody else have high GRE scores in one subject but really low scores in another? Do any schools use a combined score? Do lots of schools have official cutoffs? Not sure what to expect

As with a number of others here, I have high score in one (90s for verbal, 70s for quant) and a rubbish score in another (50s for awa . I got one interview. So I think there might be some saving grace. Might need review after this cycle is over hahah

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18 minutes ago, YONO (You only need one) said:

Does anybody else have high GRE scores in one subject but really low scores in another? Do any schools use a combined score? Do lots of schools have official cutoffs? Not sure what to expect

My verbal was very high, my quant was very mediocre but my total was 320. One school I applied to said they expected 310 minimum. I have gotten one interview weekend invite so far, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I think most places will look at your whole application, not just your scores. 

Most schools don’t have official cutoffs. At least for the non-clinical programs. 

Edited by Psyhopeful
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5 minutes ago, Psyhopeful said:

My verbal was very high, my quant was very mediocre but my total was 320. One school I applied to said they expected 310 minimum. I have gotten one interview weekend invite so far, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I think most places will look at your whole application, not just your scores. 

Most schools don’t have official cutoffs. At least for the non-clinical programs. 

I'm applying only to clinical programs ?. My combined score is over 310 but my quant was lower than 50th percentile lol. I think the rest of my application is strong but hope my application doesn't get thrown in the trash because of my quant score. 

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1 minute ago, YONO (You only need one) said:

I'm applying only to clinical programs ?. My combined score is over 310 but my quant was lower than 50th percentile lol. I think the rest of my application is strong but hope my application doesn't get thrown in the trash because of my quant score. 

It's all about the programs you apply to, honestly. I have a VERY low quant (below 50th) and I still got a phone interview with my program.

However, I would take some school's statements of "not having an official cutoff" for GREs with a grain of salt. If you are applying to programs where the average GRE for applicants in the past was in the 80th percentile or above, realistically they will probably continue to take applicants with very high GRE scores. These numbers are averages of course, and there's always a chance, but the best plan is to be strategic about what programs you apply to. Many programs really aren't as concerned with GRE scores and can offer you a fantastic education, but the Ivys may not be as interested, simply because they get so many applications every year that they do have to cut people based on test scores. 

I don't mean for this to sound discouraging, and I hope it doesn't come off this way - my first round of applications I reached way too far, and didn't hear from a single program. This year (with he same abysmal score) I got a phone interview from one of my top two programs within a week of applications being out, because I was able to look at schools whose main focus was not GREs. Don't give up hope!! 

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13 minutes ago, YONO (You only need one) said:

I'm applying only to clinical programs ?. My combined score is over 310 but my quant was lower than 50th percentile lol. I think the rest of my application is strong but hope my application doesn't get thrown in the trash because of my quant score. 

I think the weight given to one section vs. another section from the GRE depends on the type of concentration within clinical psych, the structure of the program, and/or the type of research the faculty member does. Considering most clinical psych PhD programs are very research oriented, some more than others, the quant score will be important. From what I understand from people in the field (I work in a department of psychiatry at a school of medicine) It won't be as important in PsyD programs. Some clinical psych PhD programs have curriculum that are very quant heavy so naturally they will give more weight to the quant GRE score. For example, I applied last year and when I did not get into a program I asked for feedback on how to improve my application and a few programs told me that my verbal GRE was great (90+ percentile) but my quant GRE score (54th percentile) needed to be improved because they are quant heavy programs and they have found that the quant GRE score is a predictor of success in their program. I have also found that individual faculty members may have minimums/preferred scores that differ from the program minimums. I should also mention, the rest of my application is very strong (first author publications, several second author publications, masters degree with an empirical thesis, high undergrad GPA, currently working in the field etc.) but for the types of programs I have applied to, they do place weight on that quant GRE score so much that it really seems as if it prevented me from having success last year. Needless to say, I retook the GRE prior to this application cycle.

Edited by PsychM
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4 minutes ago, PsychM said:

I think the weight given to one section vs. another section from the GRE depends on the type of concentration within clinical psych, the structure of the program, and/or the type of research the faculty member does. Considering most clinical psych PhD programs are very research oriented, some more than others, the quant score will be important. From what I understand from people in the field (I work in a department of psychiatry at a school of medicine) It won't be as important in PsyD programs. Some clinical psych PhD programs have curriculum that are very quant heavy so naturally they will give more weight to the quant GRE score. For example, I applied last year and when I did not get into a program I asked for feedback on how to improve my application and a few programs told me that my verbal GRE was great (90+ percentile) but my quant GRE score (54th percentile) needed to be improved because they are quant heavy programs and they have found that the quant GRE score is a predictor of success in their program. I have also found that individual faculty members may have minimums/preferred scores that differ from the program minimums. I should also mention, the rest of my application is very strong (first author publications, several second author publications, masters degree with an empirical thesis, high undergrad GPA, currently working in the field etc.) but for the types of programs I have applied to, they do place weight on that quant GRE score so much that it really seems as if it prevented me from having success last year. Needless to say, I retook the GRE prior to this application cycle.

I have heard mixed things about quant scores as well. Definitely depends on the school, but I know of some who say that they focus more heavily on your grades in your stats courses than they do your quant score (and this was information from a very research-intensive PI on the admissions committee).

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Meh. I have 90+ percentile scores in both verbal and AWA, but my quant score is very bad (above 50 but not by...a whole lot). I have As in all my stats and research methods classes though... I'm applying for developmental, not clinical but I'm starting to get nervous. :( My current professor in undergrad has told me that she knows from inside sources that one of my POIs is very aware and very interested in my application, but I haven't heard anything from that school so idk...I hope my app didn't die in committee. 

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12 minutes ago, chopper.wife said:

I have heard mixed things about quant scores as well. Definitely depends on the school, but I know of some who say that they focus more heavily on your grades in your stats courses than they do your quant score (and this was information from a very research-intensive PI on the admissions committee).

My current professor mentor has said that they don’t consider the quant so much unless it’s alarmingly low. It’s more about if they are torn between two and one is better all around. Research experience, interest, and gpa are all more important. They’re in social psych though. 

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10 minutes ago, Psyhopeful said:

My current professor mentor has said that they don’t consider the quant so much unless it’s alarmingly low. It’s more about if they are torn between two and one is better all around. Research experience, interest, and gpa are all more important. They’re in social psych though. 

Social psych is a very different world than clinical psych, unfortunately. 

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25 minutes ago, chopper.wife said:

I have heard mixed things about quant scores as well. Definitely depends on the school, but I know of some who say that they focus more heavily on your grades in your stats courses than they do your quant score (and this was information from a very research-intensive PI on the admissions committee).

It is very mixed indeed. I am clinical psych with concentrations in neuropsych/clinical neuroscience topics and those types of programs definitely seem to put weight on the quant score, and the GRE as a whole, more than others. And I also applied to a program that doesn't require the GRE at all anymore because they have found it to disadvantage a wide variety of people. It's a shame more programs don't see that it certainly does put many people at a disadvantage!

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GREs are really school dependent. I talked to one of the people on Michigan’s admissions committee and they said they don’t even request to see it, it’s just a grad school requirement from the school itself. Minnesota on the other hand cared about it, especially the subject test

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Unfortunately, some schools will use the GREs as an easy metric to just drop some applicants quickly. If a program gets hundreds of quality applications, they are not going to individually read each one. Sometimes they "trim the fat" using some sort of minimum GPA and GRE to make the pile more manageable. A faculty at my current program was mentioning possibly needing to do that this year based on the number of applications. 

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1 hour ago, YONO (You only need one) said:

Does anybody else have high GRE scores in one subject but really low scores in another? Do any schools use a combined score? Do lots of schools have official cutoffs? Not sure what to expect

I am in the same boat as you. I have V: 162, Q:150, AW: 5. I did a lot better on my practice tests but I just have really bad test anxiety. I got one interview so far. I'm afraid of my app being disregarded too. But if a school does that, they are probably not for me. I am currently in a Master's program and got A's in two recent advanced statistic courses that are the same courses that the PhD students take - which I think should weigh more than GRE quant scores, as the actual math I'll be using is statistics! But, hey we'll see. 

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2 minutes ago, Hk328 said:

Unfortunately, some schools will use the GREs as an easy metric to just drop some applicants quickly. If a program gets hundreds of quality applications, they are not going to individually read each one. Sometimes they "trim the fat" using some sort of minimum GPA and GRE to make the pile more manageable. A faculty at my current program was mentioning possibly needing to do that this year based on the number of applications. 

I think this is why it’s good to email your POI before your application is submitted. That way even if your scores aren’t great, they might look out for your app and read it anyway.

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25 minutes ago, Hk328 said:

Unfortunately, some schools will use the GREs as an easy metric to just drop some applicants quickly. If a program gets hundreds of quality applications, they are not going to individually read each one. Sometimes they "trim the fat" using some sort of minimum GPA and GRE to make the pile more manageable. A faculty at my current program was mentioning possibly needing to do that this year based on the number of applications. 

This doesn't seem to be a very good method, as research match, fit, and motivation should be a researchers main concern when selecting a mentee. I wouldn't even want to work with people who make selections this way. Although, they should be honest and admit this could be part of the admissions process so as to not waste my money. 

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9 minutes ago, AceRad said:

This doesn't seem to be a very good method, as research match, fit, and motivation should be a researchers main concern when selecting a mentee. I wouldn't even want to work with people who make selections this way. Although, they should be honest and admit this could be part of the admissions process so as to not waste my money. 

This is usually done before it gets to the POI. When you have 300 applicants and 8 spots or less, you are likely to have your pick of tons of great applicants. Statistically, they don't need to thoroughly read 300 applications when they can pull 30-50 high quality applicants to interview from a list of 150 rather than 300. 

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I knew someone who the PI personally rooted for her to the admissions committee, really wanted her to get in, etc., and then the school said no, because she'd applied for the clinical program which historically had quite high scores, GPAs, etc., and since she didn't, she would reflect badly on their program's rankings and they didn't want anything to negatively affect their ability to get accreditation and so on. This is a prestigious R1 school (would rather not say which one) with a strong clinical program -- but I was shocked that the PI personally put their neck out for her and the school still said no due to testing metrics. So, it really does seem like it matters a whole lot more than it should in clinical.

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45 minutes ago, veileddreamer said:

I knew someone who the PI personally rooted for her to the admissions committee, really wanted her to get in, etc., and then the school said no, because she'd applied for the clinical program which historically had quite high scores, GPAs, etc., and since she didn't, she would reflect badly on their program's rankings and they didn't want anything to negatively affect their ability to get accreditation and so on. This is a prestigious R1 school (would rather not say which one) with a strong clinical program -- but I was shocked that the PI personally put their neck out for her and the school still said no due to testing metrics. So, it really does seem like it matters a whole lot more than it should in clinical.

I've heard this is the case for many schools with admissions panels; if the committee doesn't like you, it doesn't matter how much your POI advocates on your behalf. Its so annoying, because you're applying to work with a single person meanwhile the whole department has to vet you, and they might not even know the significance of your work relative to your POI's line of research. 

2 hours ago, PsychM said:

I think the weight given to one section vs. another section from the GRE depends on the type of concentration within clinical psych, the structure of the program, and/or the type of research the faculty member does. Considering most clinical psych PhD programs are very research oriented, some more than others, the quant score will be important. From what I understand from people in the field (I work in a department of psychiatry at a school of medicine) It won't be as important in PsyD programs. Some clinical psych PhD programs have curriculum that are very quant heavy so naturally they will give more weight to the quant GRE score. For example, I applied last year and when I did not get into a program I asked for feedback on how to improve my application and a few programs told me that my verbal GRE was great (90+ percentile) but my quant GRE score (54th percentile) needed to be improved because they are quant heavy programs and they have found that the quant GRE score is a predictor of success in their program. I have also found that individual faculty members may have minimums/preferred scores that differ from the program minimums. I should also mention, the rest of my application is very strong (first author publications, several second author publications, masters degree with an empirical thesis, high undergrad GPA, currently working in the field etc.) but for the types of programs I have applied to, they do place weight on that quant GRE score so much that it really seems as if it prevented me from having success last year. Needless to say, I retook the GRE prior to this application cycle.

This is likely to be my fate as well, thanks for sharing your experiences. It makes rejection all that much easier knowing what talented candidates have been cut over something as *seemingly* arbitrary as a test score. 

 

/sigh

Edited by higaisha
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