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So I recently graduated with my BA in Communication Disorders. Average Gpa (3.5), average Gre score (147 quant, 153 verbal and a 3 on writing). Tons of  volunteer experience with leadership positions. Conducted and kept up with research in Modified Barium studies under a professor. It’s looking like I’m taking a gap year but I’m not sure how to improve my application. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m open to anything! Thank you!!  

Edited by AVSchilling1995
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26 minutes ago, CBG321 said:

Study super hard and retake your GRE!  That's really all you can do at this point, you can continue to maintain relationships with professors so your LORS aren't average too.  Maybe some lab work would help.  Good luck!

I’m just not sure how much I can raise my Gre scores! But of course realistically my only options are to build experience or the Gre!

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I would agree with raising GRE scores. It is worth studying extremely hard one more time to see if you can raise at least your quantitative and writing a little more. I bought a Kaplan book because I never knew Magoosh existed. It gave good tips and tricks on how to go about the questions and what the scorers will be looking for in writing responses. I think it would be well worth your time to try that. 

Other than that, maybe some volunteer or work experience in something related? I know a lot of people work as an aide or volunteer at camps for individuals with CP or Autism. That could be something you could look into. Also more shadowing hours at all different settings. Then perhaps you could have one of those SLPs write a LOR for you. Then you could say you have X amount of hours in a bunch of settings! 

Best of luck to you!

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I would also look at your personal essays and really think about why you want to be an SLP.  What is it that you are hoping to gain by joining the profession?  What qualities and skills do you have to offer the profession? Why do you want to attend that specific school for grad school?  Faculty members on these admission committees read 50-100+ essays.  Make sure yours stands out.

Additionally, review the essay prompts.  Did you answer the questions asked (and all parts of the questions)?  One of the schools where I applied asked specifically for experience with diverse learners from a variety of cultures, languages, socio-economic statuses, and disabilities.  I made sure I devoted a paragraph to each of those demographics. 

Did you follow guidelines for margins, fonts, font size, word count, and number of pages?

The admissions committees want to hear your story of becoming an SLP and how they fit into that story.  So tell a story.  Make sure your story is more than, "I want to be an SLP so I can help people."  Teachers help people. Nurses and doctors help people.  OTs and PTs help people.  Hairdressers help people.  Massage therapists help people.  Firefighters and police officers help people.  What is it that you can get out of being an SLP that you can get in any other profession?  Why is this career path the right one for you? 

How will attending school X help you reach that goal (other than the fact that they'll be the one granting your degree)?  Maybe you respond positively to their philosophy behind therapy.  Maybe they have an amazing professor whose research interests align with yours.  Maybe they have a specialty or certification that is only available at that school.

If you are able to give solid answers to all of these questions, you should be able to write a fantastic essay.

Finally, after you've written it, proofread it.  Have others proofread it.  Then proofread it again.  Nothing gets you in the reject pile faster than misspelling your own name, the school's name (or using the wrong school name), and/or a ton of typos.  Make sure your essays are neat in presentation and look professional.  One professor I met told a story of a prospective student who had hand-written his/her essay in pencil on looseleaf paper that also had food stains on it.  I am pretty sure that student was not admitted.

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@AVSchilling1995 I had very similar gre scores to you/you had some higher schools than me. I took the gre 3 times and only raised my score maybe by 2 points and went from a 3.5 to 4. I know myself that I am not a good standardized test taker so I tried to improve my application in other ways. I would advice widen the schools you are applying to (area, public vs private, etc). What really helped me was widening my search and applying to schools all over and schools that had a fewer number of applicants applying. This gives you a chance to stand out. You could also try applying to schools that don't require the GRE. There is a forum on here where people were listing schools that didn't require the gre. Also beef up your letters of recommendation. I went from 3 to 4 to help stand out and give the professors an idea of who I am personally. Hope this helps! :)

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I think your research experience sounds like something that could be really great if you work it into your personal statements in the right way. We need more swallowing research in the field! Did that prof also write one of your letters of rec? Maybe get some guidance from a professor or a coach on your personal statements. 

Like people above said, focus on raising your GRE scores if you can. It looks like your combined is a 300, which is pretty close to average. So that's not bad! Maybe focus on getting your writing up to a 4, or at least a 3.5. Not to toot my own horn, but I studied hardcore with Magoosh and boosted my score by a lot. http://www.thespeechblog.com/how-i-boosted-my-gre-score-by-15-points/ 

If you're taking a gap year, can you work as an SLP-A? That is a great way to boost your clinical experience which would really round out your awesome research experience. 

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