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I took my GRE last week and managed a laughable 298 (V- 151, Q- 147, AWA- 4.0). Should I consider retaking the GRE given that the combined score is below 300? I am not sure if the committee would be interested in reviewing my application to begin with. Anyone who how this works other than the generic "GRE scores aren't everything but try to get the best possible score". Thanks

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  • 2 months later...

If I were you, I would honestly retake it if you have the funds. While a lot of people will say they don't matter, I know when I applied that I didn't want to take that chance. Especially if you're applying to master's programs, where GRE scores are often used to consider students for funding/teaching opportunities.

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On 11/16/2019 at 2:08 AM, bonesandbakes said:

If I were you, I would honestly retake it if you have the funds. While a lot of people will say they don't matter, I know when I applied that I didn't want to take that chance. Especially if you're applying to master's programs, where GRE scores are often used to consider students for funding/teaching opportunities.

Thanks so much for your response, @bonesandbakes. I am an international applicant and I will be applying having done an MA and M.Phil. I have been told by some people that certain committees do not even review an application if the GRE scores are below a certain threshold-a threshold I don't think I meet. Would you know if this is the case? I honestly do not have the funds to retake the test. However, I have (at least I think) managed to establish a correspondence with POIs in departments that I want to apply to. Besides this, I really am putting all the eggs in the SOP/ LOR/ Writing sample baskets and hoping for the best. 

Edited by I Dont Know what I'm doing
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If you are applying for a PhD, I would say don't worry about the department not reading your application because of your GRE score. If you have established relationships with POIs (and hopefully done a phone/skype call), email them after you submit your application letting them know that it's submitted and thanking them for their help and support. With that reminder, they should be on the look out for your application specifically, and it should get read. Generally professors don't have a correspondence with that many potential PhD students, so they'll want to look at your application. That being said, I don't know of any PhD programs that have a GRE score cutoff so your application should be read regardless. If you have (a) great SOP/LORs/writing samples then that'll help, but contact with the POI will really be one of the most important pieces for getting in (at least it was for me, as a biological anthropologist. If you are cultural, it may be slightly different). However, if you are just really similar to another candidate they're considering and the only significant difference is that they have a great GRE score, that might lead to them picking the other person.

Basically, what I'm saying is that if you're applying for a PhD, there shouldn't be any cutoffs for getting your application read. And at the end of the day, if you don't have the funds to take the exam again, then that's that. Grad school is cool and all but you shouldn't go into any sort of debt just applying. Focus on your application materials and your relationship with the POI. At the end of the day, there's no perfect recipe for getting in, and I can say I know there are people in my competitive PhD program that got GRE scores around yours. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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