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AW score of 4 -- what to do?


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I plan to apply for PhD in Philosophy in the U.S. -- currently thinking about: Columbia, Chicago, Stanford, Virginia, Northwestern, Illinois, and Brown. 

Both my verbal and quant are 162, and I'm happy with them. But I just got my result for AW today -- 4, in the 59th percentile. (I was expecting at least a 4.5, as I'm quite good at writing papers -- rather bummed out at this point.) I'm not sure what to do. Should I retake the test, basically for the sake of getting a (slightly) better AW score -- even though of course, I would need to study for verbal and quant again?

I know GRE is only a (less important) component of the application, and to be honest I would rather spend my time focusing on SOP and writing sample. But my worry is that a AW score of 4 seems to be a bit low for Philosophy in particular. 

Edited by syee
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I wouldn't worry about this at all. Programs don't care about your AW score, since you'll be submitting a writing sample which will be much better evidence of your writing ability. Focus on your writing sample and don't bother retaking unless you think you can improve verbal and/or quant.

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Thanks @TruthInFiction (Yes, truth in fiction indeed, and may I add, about both the author and the world.)

That's a good point: they will have something concrete to read. Part of me is suspecting my AW responses weren't written in the way ETS-markers prefer/want me to, though I guess they could have been a bit more elaborated. Also, 162-162-4 as a whole doesn't look that bad to me, and shouldn't make them less inclined to take a closer look at my application. 

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