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emilymstar

Professors are telling me to not retake the GRE... any thoughts on this?

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I've had two professors so far tell me that I should forget about retaking the GRE. I got a 159V, 144Q and 4.5AW. One of my professors pointed out that is IS a a standardized test, so they're meant to give you the same-ish score every time you take it. Of course I know it's possible with lot's of studying to improve quant, but I'm taking a full load right now and doing research and have two jobs. It's been really difficult to get any meaningful studying time in, especially with how much I need to learn for math. 

As far as my other stats, I have a high 3.7 GPA (may end up at 3.8 by the end of this semester) and my in-major is 3.9. I've been working the whole time I've been in school so unfortunately I haven't done much shadowing or volunteering, but I do have at least two professors who will write me really solid letters. I'm also good at writing so I know that I can write good personal statements.

Anyway my main question is, should I just forget about the GRE and just focus on my classes and other parts of my application? If so, how can I best strengthen what I have in the time I have left? 

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I guess it depends on when you plan to take the GRE again. If you know you cannot put forth the needed time to study, then I really wouldn't waste your money and take it again. I studied for about 10 hours a week (only for quant) for 2 months before I took my GRE again and only raised my quant score by 3 points. 

Maybe focus on getting a third outstanding letter of rec and writing a great statement of purpose. It helps the schools look beyond your scores. Your other scores are great, and the quant score is least important so I think you would be fine without taking the GRE again. 

I know how awful the quant section can be, don't worry too much, I think the other portions of your application will make up for it! 

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You are right - your quant GRE score can be raised, contrary to what you have been advised. I used to think like your professors until I was convinced by a GRE tutor that repeated practice and timing are everything on the Quant section. If you don't have much time to study, you may want to apply and see what happens before deciding to re-take the GRE since more emphasis tends to be placed on verbal scores in this field, and you already have a great verbal and AW score, as well as a high GPA.

Edited by Optimistic000

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I would say its up to you! I did some general quantitative studying for a month. Maybe an hour a day or a month. I refreshed myself on everything I should know but haven't practiced since high school. I will be honest, it was very minimal studying. I didn't put in nearly as much effort as I should have but I raised my score 8 points.. So in my case, all I needed was a brush up on all the things I haven't really thought of. I used a Kaplan book! 

You know yourself though! If you think you would really need to study to raise your score, and you can't commit to that, don't waste your money!

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