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Hi soooo I have applied to 12 PhD Clinical Psychology programs. Yes 12! And now I am worried even that isn't enough because I literally haven't heard a thing from any of them. I haven't received any rejection emails, but I haven't received any interviews/acceptance emails. I check the results page and for a lot of schools, other people seem to have received interviews sooooo does this mean I'm out? I am new to this. I am also really discouraged. I thought I was a competitive applicant with the exception of my GRE scores but I am just in limbo and worried that I didn't even get into any program. I only need one of course...but it's been radio silence. So I haven't received emails about interviews but I also haven't received emails about rejections....anyone know what this means or have any insight to share?

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Hellloooo welcome to the fam! 

Generally, schools won't send official rejections until they've gotten their incoming class put together, so around April. Some schools will send rejections to their hard no's and not send anything to their maybes just in case. There's really no way to know. I know of a few schools that do interviews in early March, so their interview invites might still be floating around, but for the most part, they will have been sent out by now. 

Don't be discouraged! For almost all applicants, the first round does not work out (myself included). 12 is a pretty typical number of schools to apply to, honestly, and some people will recommend at least 15. You probably are a great applicant, but the problem is that you're up against thousands of other great applicants for a really limited number of spots. Think 1-5% acceptance rates at most major universities for Clinical Psych. 

Overall, it seems likely that most invites are out, but there can be an occasional person who gets invited after interviews or gets pulled off the maybe list. It's hard to say because each school is so different. It's a real frustrating process. 

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Is it really true that most dont get in their first round? Or are you talking more about clinical?

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@penguinqueen thanks for that info. Now just to process. All the money wasted. And I can’t even think of anything else I can do to make me more competitive for the next round. I just feel lost. 

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7 hours ago, AMiche said:

@penguinqueen thanks for that info. Now just to process. All the money wasted. And I can’t even think of anything else I can do to make me more competitive for the next round. I just feel lost. 

I would retake the GRE if you think that was a clear weakness and continue building your CV. It really sucks but it’s all you can do if you plan to apply again. You didn’t mention your specific research achievements but unfortunately, there’s always room to grow, despite thinking you’re competitive, when the field is so competitive for clinical psych. 

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9 hours ago, AMiche said:

@penguinqueen thanks for that info. Now just to process. All the money wasted. And I can’t even think of anything else I can do to make me more competitive for the next round. I just feel lost. 

I know how frustrating and upsetting this process is, but try and remember that each year offers new opportunities bc different labs will be accepting students. If you already feel you are competitive, imagine how much more competitive you’ll be this time next year AND youll have the chance to apply to new labs that might fit your interests even better.

I agree with above poster that you should definitely focus on your GRE in the meantime. This is my second time applying, and the first time I thought my low GREs would be balanced out by my high GPA and experiences etc. That did not happen and I was shocked. I got 2 interviews, 1 waitlist and 1 acceptance at a program I did not like. I applied again this year with GRE scores right around the mean of the programs I applied to, and I’ve received an interview at every place I applied except for 1 (including schools I didn’t get interviews at last time). I really truly think that even if schools don’t advertise that they have cutoffs, low GRE scores are a very easy way to cut down on applications and avoid having to read every single one. If you can just get your GRE score to blend in with the rest (doesn’t necessarily need to be outstanding), you give yourself The opportunity to have your application actually read. Focus as much time as possible this next round on getting your GRE up and if you’re as competitive as you’ve stated, I’m sure next year will be better!

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2 hours ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

I would retake the GRE if you think that was a clear weakness and continue building your CV. It really sucks but it’s all you can do if you plan to apply again. You didn’t mention your specific research achievements but unfortunately, there’s always room to grow, despite thinking you’re competitive, when the field is so competitive for clinical psych. 

I've already taken it four times. Twice five years ago so I waited and took it again twice this year. I studied for an entire year, went through all of the books, literally no progress. My scores are stuck at 154 verbal, 154/161 math and 5 writing. And my GPA is 3.62/4.0/4.0/3.9 (I took courses from four institutions to graduate early.

Edited by AMiche

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45 minutes ago, AMiche said:

I've already taken it four times. Twice five years ago so I waited and took it again twice this year. I studied for an entire year, went through all of the books, literally no progress. My scores are stuck at 154 verbal, 154/161 math and 5 writing. And my GPA is 3.62/4.0/4.0/3.9 (I took courses from four institutions to graduate early.

What are you doing to study? Sounds like you may need to switch up your technique. Gregmat (YouTube and reddit) has been really helpful for people who get stuck in a rut. It’s expensive, but I got a private tutor through Kaplan and that really helped me too after not being able to improve.

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58 minutes ago, Psychintraining said:

What are you doing to study? Sounds like you may need to switch up your technique. Gregmat (YouTube and reddit) has been really helpful for people who get stuck in a rut. It’s expensive, but I got a private tutor through Kaplan and that really helped me too after not being able to improve.

Haha I went through all of the prep books, and I actually also tutor the SAT/ACT and know a lot of the strategies particularly for math are the same. Idk. I go in and I actually feel  confident and run through the strategies before every test and make sure I am in a good headspace and then the results come out as if I have never done a single thing.

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What is your publication/poster track record? Your GRE isn't that bad to bring down your application by itself. Sure, improving the verbal to be north of 160 would help, but an average GRE can be counter-balanced by strong research productivity (as evidenced usually by final products). The research match with your prospective mentors is also important; PIs don't usually take on trainees who have backgrounds that are not aligned with their current and future lines of work. 

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1 hour ago, thelmaneb said:

What is the PI initials for the person who was accepted to Copsych at Wisconsin Madison? Can you DM me?

Wrong forum, try the general and/or interview invite forum

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On 1/30/2020 at 9:56 AM, AMiche said:

I've already taken it four times. Twice five years ago so I waited and took it again twice this year. I studied for an entire year, went through all of the books, literally no progress. My scores are stuck at 154 verbal, 154/161 math and 5 writing. And my GPA is 3.62/4.0/4.0/3.9 (I took courses from four institutions to graduate early.

I’m new to this thread but I wanted to share some info that may be useful. I don’t think your GRE score or GPA are holding you back. In most cases, especially for social sciences, the more important aspects of your application are your personal statement, faculty fit, and potential as a researcher/scholar. Your letters of recommendation are also really important. Your GRE score is likely considered much less important than those things. Your GPA is solid. 

The reason I say this is because I’ve also applied to PhD programs this cycle— all 3 are top 25 social work programs and this is my first time applying. I’ve received 1 acceptance, 1 interview invitation, and haven’t heard back from the other yet. I took the GRE once and my scores were 150 verbal, 140 quant, and 5 in writing. Yes, you read that correctly! I didn’t study much and put little stock into the GRE based on what my mentors said. I really think it comes down to the faculty fit and your personal statement.

I hope you hear back soon! Interviews are still happening and there are likely more invitations to be sent out. Fingers crossed!

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5 hours ago, BrendonSW said:

I’m new to this thread but I wanted to share some info that may be useful. I don’t think your GRE score or GPA are holding you back. In most cases, especially for social sciences, the more important aspects of your application are your personal statement, faculty fit, and potential as a researcher/scholar. Your letters of recommendation are also really important. Your GRE score is likely considered much less important than those things. Your GPA is solid. 

The reason I say this is because I’ve also applied to PhD programs this cycle— all 3 are top 25 social work programs and this is my first time applying. I’ve received 1 acceptance, 1 interview invitation, and haven’t heard back from the other yet. I took the GRE once and my scores were 150 verbal, 140 quant, and 5 in writing. Yes, you read that correctly! I didn’t study much and put little stock into the GRE based on what my mentors said. I really think it comes down to the faculty fit and your personal statement.

I hope you hear back soon! Interviews are still happening and there are likely more invitations to be sent out. Fingers crossed!

Unfortunately, you are wrong about the GRE not mattering. In Psych, it is often used to screen people out to the sheer number of applicants and small amount of spots. Social Work is a completely different field. To be blunt, your GRE scores would not get you interviews in a clinical psych program. Your advice is well-intentioned, but misguided here. Many schools won't even look at scores below the 50th percentile and rarely accept people even that low. Look at the stats of accepted people in clinical. It's eye opening. 

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8 minutes ago, Psychtime said:

Unfortunately, you are wrong about the GRE not mattering. In Psych, it is often used to screen people out to the sheer number of applicants and small amount of spots. Social Work is a completely different field. To be blunt, your GRE scores would not get you interviews in a clinical psych program. Your advice is well-intentioned, but misguided here. Many schools won't even look at scores below the 50th percentile and rarely accept people even that low. Look at the stats of accepted people in clinical. It's eye opening. 

I'm not in clinical, which I understand is different, but I am applying to Psych PhD programs (with pretty good success) and my quant score was very much not 50%+, so I think there will always be exceptions to the rules and you never know what that secret sauce is. All we can do is share our own experiences.

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19 minutes ago, Psychtime said:

Unfortunately, you are wrong about the GRE not mattering. In Psych, it is often used to screen people out to the sheer number of applicants and small amount of spots. Social Work is a completely different field. To be blunt, your GRE scores would not get you interviews in a clinical psych program. Your advice is well-intentioned, but misguided here. Many schools won't even look at scores below the 50th percentile and rarely accept people even that low. Look at the stats of accepted people in clinical. It's eye opening. 

This is a little harsh, bruv. I applied to 10 clinical psych programs this year, all R1, and have gotten 4 interviews so far (still waiting to hear from several schools). Although my verbal was strong, my quant was in the 43rd percentile. I have great research experience, rec letters, etc. that I think balance it out.

The point is, AMiche, it's more complex than any of us on this side of the game really understand and you can drive yourself wild trying to pinpoint the exact thing that excluded you from the process. I can't tell you whether or not to retake the GRE but have a mentor or someone review your application and see what feedback they have! And know that another year applying is another year building your CV. Good luck comrade!!! 

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Honestly, the thing about asking people on here if your GRE scores are good enough is that literally no one can say anything for sure. We're not on any admissions committees. We can't see your application in its entirety. My impression is that schools (in Canada, at least) are starting to move away from using the GRE as any kind of be all, end all, but some schools probably really care. Anectodally, I know plenty of people in clinical psych programs who did poorly on the quantitative section. One of the smartest people I know who is incredibly productive and successful now scored at the 40th percentile. I know someone in a highly rated program whose quantitative score was at the 24th percentile. Her POI doesn't care about GRE scores and cared much more about her research experience, grades, and letters of recommendation.

21 minutes ago, psyhopeful2020 said:

This is a little harsh, bruv. I applied to 10 clinical psych programs this year, all R1, and have gotten 4 interviews so far (still waiting to hear from several schools). Although my verbal was strong, my quant was in the 43rd percentile. I have great research experience, rec letters, etc. that I think balance it out.

The point is, AMiche, it's more complex than any of us on this side of the game really understand and you can drive yourself wild trying to pinpoint the exact thing that excluded you from the process. I can't tell you whether or not to retake the GRE but have a mentor or someone review your application and see what feedback they have! And know that another year applying is another year building your CV. Good luck comrade!!! 

^ Totally agree with everything said here!

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1 hour ago, Psychtime said:

Unfortunately, you are wrong about the GRE not mattering. In Psych, it is often used to screen people out to the sheer number of applicants and small amount of spots. Social Work is a completely different field. To be blunt, your GRE scores would not get you interviews in a clinical psych program. Your advice is well-intentioned, but misguided here. Many schools won't even look at scores below the 50th percentile and rarely accept people even that low. Look at the stats of accepted people in clinical. It's eye opening. 

Hi there! I never said that the GRE doesn’t matter— I’m just saying that it is one aspect of your overall application. I actually have a friend who is in a clinical psych program (it is a top program) and their GRE scores would be considered below average. When applying to almost any program, you are evaluated as a package. Sure, a 140 quant score will likely rule you out from the beginning, but having a score a little below average likely will not. And you’re absolutely right, social work is a very different field, so my advice isn’t as accurate as someone in clinical psych. But I will still stand by the opinion that you are evaluated holistically and that a GRE score slightly below average typically will not get you rejected.

A 154 verbal score and a 161 quant score likely won’t get you ruled out of most programs @AMiche

Edited by BrendonSW

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18 minutes ago, sparrow123 said:

Honestly, the thing about asking people on here if your GRE scores are good enough is that literally no one can say anything for sure. We're not on any admissions committees. We can't see your application in its entirety. My impression is that schools (in Canada, at least) are starting to move away from using the GRE as any kind of be all, end all, but some schools probably really care. Anectodally, I know plenty of people in clinical psych programs who did poorly on the quantitative section. One of the smartest people I know who is incredibly productive and successful now scored at the 40th percentile. I know someone in a highly rated program whose quantitative score was at the 24th percentile. Her POI doesn't care about GRE scores and cared much more about her research experience, grades, and letters of recommendation.

^ Totally agree with everything said here!

Absolutely this! 

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17 minutes ago, BrendonSW said:

Hi there! I never said that the GRE doesn’t matter— I’m just saying that it is one aspect of your overall application. I actually have a friend who is in a clinical psych program (it is a top 10 program) and their GRE scores would be considered below average. When applying to almost any program, you are evaluated as a package. Sure, a 140 quant score will likely rule you out from the beginning, but having a score a little below average likely will not. And you’re absolutely right, social work is a very different field, so my advice isn’t as accurate as someone in clinical psych. But I will still stand by the opinion that you are evaluated holistically and that a GRE score slightly below average typically will not get you rejected.

A 154 verbal score and a 161 quant score likely won’t get you ruled out of most programs @AMiche

(There’s no “ranking” of clinical psych programs because a top choice for me who’s interested in neuropsych isnt going to be a top choice for someone with other interests so I wouldn’t take this advice with much weight at all). 
 

I do agree that applications are reviewed holistically. I’m a clinical psych grad student at a R1 and my quant score was below the 50th percentile with my other scores being 85 percentile verbal & 99 percentile writing. But my mentor did have to advocate for me to be invited to interview because they were concerned with my low quant score. It does matter but matters less if your research match is stellar and you have great letters and research experience, etc. 

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If you look at the program’s posted data, it will show average GRE scores for the program. So while there are some outliers, in general you are unlikely to get into a program if the average scores are say 160 V and 160 Q if you scored in the 140s. Because if you had a good shot with those scores, their averages would be lower. I didn’t say I agree with the process. But it’s the reality. Sure, there are amazing exceptions to this, but in general the GRE matters a lot for MOST applicants. It sucks. And by all means you can keep trying with low scores, but it’s not as likely to work. When a program gets 300 applications for 3 spots, an easy way to cull the list is to remove those with scores below a threshold. It happens all the time. Should it? No. But it does. To pretend otherwise is either wishful thinking or just being naive. Even my master’s program has cutoffs they won’t look at people below. Again, there are exceptions. But that’s what they are. Exceptions. I’m just the messenger. I didn’t design this system. Nor do I agree with it. But telling the poster a 150 V and 140 Q will get them in just does them a disservice in my opinion. That quant score is likely lethal at almost any programs. When I looked it up, it’s the 8th percentile. That’s vastly lower than 50th percentile. That means 92% of people did better. That’s not going to help at all. 

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1 hour ago, Psychtime said:

If you look at the program’s posted data, it will show average GRE scores for the program. So while there are some outliers, in general you are unlikely to get into a program if the average scores are say 160 V and 160 Q if you scored in the 140s. Because if you had a good shot with those scores, their averages would be lower. I didn’t say I agree with the process. But it’s the reality. Sure, there are amazing exceptions to this, but in general the GRE matters a lot for MOST applicants. It sucks. And by all means you can keep trying with low scores, but it’s not as likely to work. When a program gets 300 applications for 3 spots, an easy way to cull the list is to remove those with scores below a threshold. It happens all the time. Should it? No. But it does. To pretend otherwise is either wishful thinking or just being naive. Even my master’s program has cutoffs they won’t look at people below. Again, there are exceptions. But that’s what they are. Exceptions. I’m just the messenger. I didn’t design this system. Nor do I agree with it. But telling the poster a 150 V and 140 Q will get them in just does them a disservice in my opinion. That quant score is likely lethal at almost any programs. When I looked it up, it’s the 8th percentile. That’s vastly lower than 50th percentile. That means 92% of people did better. That’s not going to help at all. 

I would agree with this. 
 

 

The reality is that none of us know, we aren’t admissions committees. But looking at historical averages for the programs you apply to is, I think, the best option for most applicants. 
 

GRE being fair or not is a completely different topic of discussion, but the reality is that it IS frequently used for narrowing down the pool. 

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