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j_anna

GRE Scores for PhD in Anthropology?

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Hi all, 

I was hoping to get some input about your experiences with the GRE and cultural anthro programs. I'm planning to apply to CUNY GC, NYU (doesn't require GRE), UPenn, and a few others. My GRE scores are 159V/154Q/4.5AW. To give you a bit more information about my background: I am finishing a second MA right now, received a Fulbright grant four years ago, and have research and teaching experience. I just want to make sure that the GRE is not the reason I'm rejected.  

In your experience, is the GRE given a lot of weight in the application? If you had similar scores, what were your experiences with admissions? Any thoughts are very much appreciated! 

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From everything that I have heard about GRE scores is that they are not a make or break factor in an application. There is much more of an emphasis on your statement and prior experience, which it seems as though you have enough of, so I wouldn't worry to much! 

I had similar scores to yours last time I was applying and didn't have any problems.Though I mostly applied to MA programs along with one PhD. I didn't get into the PhD program but I was originally waitlisted if that's any help. 

If you're really nervous there is still quite a bit of time so you can alway retake. I did that to quiet the little nagging voice in my head but it probably wasn't worth in the end for me just to gain 2 points. But that is always an option.

 

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Hi there,

 

I just wanted to second what amlyn above says--there is much more weight given to your personal statement and your interview. I don't think I heard admissions committee members mention GRE scores once last year.

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Agreed with above - the emphasis is on the personal statement. GRE scores are more of the graduate school's requirement, and even then for a good candidate - especially one from a disadvantaged background - they can argue the case. My quant score was lower than yours and didn't meet the minimum for one of the programs I applied to, and I still got in. Focus on making your statement clear, compelling, and emphasizing fit within the department.

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It was advised to me when I was applying that it is important to have a good GRE score if you are applying to any larger terminal master's programs. In these larger programs where not everyone is funded, there may be cutoffs for who gets fellowships/TA opportunities based on GRE and GPA. For that reason, I took the GRE a second time when I was applying. I do think its also a good intro for when you reach out to PIs, as it unfortunately does make PIs believe more in your academic abilities. It is also sadly true that especially if you're applying from undergrad, a lot of applicants have similar backgrounds. If the decision is between you and someone who's very similar with a higher GRE score, odds are they will be offered the position.

The first time I took the GRE, my scores were around yours, and I was able to get them higher by taking the GRE a second time, which I do think helped me get into the programs I did. That said, I know there are people in my cohort that got scores around yours who did get in (but several of them were accepted off the wait list). @j_anna, I am currently at UPenn, so if you want to talk about the anth department/program here feel free to PM me :)

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