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Retaking the GRE for high-level BioMed


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I am not sure if I should retake the GRE. I am looking into very ambitious Biomedical Sciences programs in the USA. I am looking at Gerstner Sloan Kettering, Mt. Sinai, Duke, and MIT to name a few. I have considerable research experience and a 3.7 GPA, but my GRE scores were mid-range: 161 Verbal, 163 Quant, 4.5 Analytical Writing.

For admissions statistics, I am still within the range of scores of admitted students, but a grad student in my lab suggested I should retake the test because he didn't think the scores were good enough to get into the places I was looking at. Please advise.

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I have been told in the past that your GRE score won't improve much unless you do something drastically different in your studying. If you didn't study very much the first time, and this time you commit to studying hard, then you might improve. But otherwise it is unlikely to make much difference.

That being said, my GRE scores were 162 Verbal, 159 Quant, 4.5 AW with an undergraduate GPA of 3.4, and I was admitted to some schools on that level. Programs don't rely heavily on GRE scores to make decisions. If your undergrad GPA was lower, then a high GRE would help. Your GPA is pretty high, and your GRE scores are well above average. I don't imagine you have anything to worry about.

As far as strengthening your application, I think your numbers look good, and now you should focus on things like publications, presentations, conferences, etc. You didn't mention anything about those, so you may already have all that, but I'd advise putting your effort in there. And make sure you get really strong LORs.

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