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So as you may know, a lot of programs are going to waive mandatory GRE requirements (e.g., this sheet with all American schools who are waiving GREs, credits to @PsychApplicant2), making scores optional to submit this cycle (i.e., for 2021 admissions). GRE scores are used as a screening measure for most schools to get past initial review and onto being considered for interviews. In absence of that initial screening measure, will GPA be more highly weighted? Will GREs be used as an final step to compare several applicants already closely matched on research fit? Emphasis on GREs differs by program and by PI, so as others have discussed here, the absence of a GRE submission doesn't mean that your application will be evaluated GRE blind. Choosing to/not to submit a score may be more of a strategic decision than anything.

Discuss below what this means for your application, and whether or not you plan to submit GRE scores. Personally--I'm on the fence. My GRE was not good, and i'd like to re-write, but if all schools eventually do make it optional, taking time to rewrite would be better spent writing pubs. I'd be banking on my CV to override the lack of GRE score--and this is a bit risky.

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hoping responses to optional GRE scores follows the trend from biomed (e.g., https://vanderbiltbiomedg.com/2019/09/21/is-optional-really-optional-for-submitting-gre-scores/)

I think those are all arguments for making it optional and not banning it outright, and the fact that those arguments are helping programs justify making it mandatory is unfair. The evidence i've seen

So as you may know, a lot of programs are going to waive mandatory GRE requirements (e.g., this sheet with all American schools who are waiving GREs, credits to @PsychApplicant2), making scores option

Personally, I'm retaking my GRE later in July. I took it last year and scored way below any average score of the programs I'm applying to. I think the GRE should not be used to keep a candidate out. GPA, research experience, personal statement, glowing LORs, etc, should be considered. If someone has a ton of research experience but really crappy GRE scores, why should they be denied over someone who has decent GRE scores but not as much research experience? I'm not in the room during these decisions, but I know PI's that are fine to take someone based on their GRE. I could rant on and on about how the GRE isn't a predictor of future success, blah blah blah. We all know that. I will say I would be much happier to take the Psych GRE or something similar, such as medical students have to take their MCAT and dental students their DAT and law students the LSAT, and so on. For my program (clinical psych), I really struggle to see how the GRE means anything (perhaps besides the AWA section). Rant over lol

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I'm about midway through my program, so this change doesn't affect me directly. However, I really echo @PsychApplicant2 in that the general GRE is absolutely useless for clinical psychology programs (among others). Research has shown that it is only predictive of graduate school success for middle-class white males, so as scientists, I'm not sure why PIs are relying on such an invalid measure for student selection. The cost is prohibitive for many people are within a lower economic threshold (the test itself and the cost of sending scores alone are high, without factoring in prep materials) and it doesn't succesfully predict what it claims to predict. Hopefully this shift will help finally kick this stupid test to the curb once and for all. 

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Just now, PsyDuck90 said:

I'm about midway through my program, so this change doesn't affect me directly. However, I really echo @PsychApplicant2 in that the general GRE is absolutely useless for clinical psychology programs (among others). Research has shown that it is only predictive of graduate school success for middle-class white males, so as scientists, I'm not sure why PIs are relying on such an invalid measure for student selection. The cost is prohibitive for many people are within a lower economic threshold (the test itself and the cost of sending scores alone are high, without factoring in prep materials) and it doesn't succesfully predict what it claims to predict. Hopefully this shift will help finally kick this stupid test to the curb once and for all. 

I agree, and I hope this will bring a change for all schools to finally get rid of the GRE, or at least make sending it, optional (i.e., if your GPA is low but you want to supplement that with a high GRE score). I've been studying for about a month and it just feels completely useless. I feel as though my GRE is going to be my Achilles heel that gets my application tossed in the trash, even though I have relevant experience and a good GPA. 

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While I agree that the GRE is useless in that it's not very predictive of performance in graduate school, especially in psychology, I would be wary of choosing not to take the GRE just because schools are waiving the requirement. GRE scores can help offset a lackluster GPA, and they may use submitted GRE scores as a final determinate of interview decisions if applicants are similar in other ways. 

I'm hoping that waiving the requirement this year translates into more programs removing the requirement completely, but only time will tell. I think it will end up being a personal choice whether to submit or not, and it could affect applicants differently depending on the programs you are applying to. It's so difficult to say what the weight of importance will be as schools aren't always forthcoming with that information. 

Personally, I've already taken the GRE and have acceptable scores, so I'll be submitting mine. I am using this as an opportunity to apply to schools that normally require the subject GRE but are waiving the requirement this year, as I've had terrible luck trying to schedule the subject test, and I already have a masters in clinical psych so I hope that provides evidence of mastery. 

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I think it is positive to see programs waiving the GRE requirement and agree with others that it is a useless, meaningless test and time would be better spent revising for the GRE Psychology test or writing publications/gaining research experience. At the moment there seems to be inconsistency in terms of programs waiving it vs. programs not requiring it altogether. This is slightly irritating and I think programs should decides between requiring the GRE or not requiring it - keeping it optional simply does little as applicants will still feel pressure to take the test and submit scores, given how highly competitive it is generally. If programs want to to help during an already stressful time in life they would be better off removing the requirement completely. I think in late summer or early Fall we will know more about the GRE requirement. That being said if you have already prepared and bought the study packages, theres no harm in taking it because if you don't get accepted this year you might have to take the GRE next year if programs go back to requiring it.

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As much as I would rejoice to see the general GRE go by the wayside (with perhaps the exception of those with a poor GPA taking it), I'm afraid that, for those schools that make it "optional", there will still be a negative bias for those applicants that did not include it. If the ad comms are deciding between two otherwise equal candidates , but one took the test and the other didn't, what's stopping them from selecting the person who did submit test scores, simply because that's the only filter left to them? I don't see how keeping submissions optional as opposed to completely unrequested and unaccepted will encourage fair consideration for all applicants.

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1 hour ago, EileanDonan said:

As much as I would rejoice to see the general GRE go by the wayside (with perhaps the exception of those with a poor GPA taking it), I'm afraid that, for those schools that make it "optional", there will still be a negative bias for those applicants that did not include it. If the ad comms are deciding between two otherwise equal candidates , but one took the test and the other didn't, what's stopping them from selecting the person who did submit test scores, simply because that's the only filter left to them? I don't see how keeping submissions optional as opposed to completely unrequested and unaccepted will encourage fair consideration for all applicants.

Have to agree with this. The only way I see it being beneficial is if an applicant has a weak point in their application and wants to submit high GRE scores to make up for it. Otherwise, I completely agree. Schools should either be GRE blind or require it. This application cycle is going to be rough.

Edited by PsychApplicant2
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2 hours ago, EileanDonan said:

As much as I would rejoice to see the general GRE go by the wayside (with perhaps the exception of those with a poor GPA taking it), I'm afraid that, for those schools that make it "optional", there will still be a negative bias for those applicants that did not include it. If the ad comms are deciding between two otherwise equal candidates , but one took the test and the other didn't, what's stopping them from selecting the person who did submit test scores, simply because that's the only filter left to them? I don't see how keeping submissions optional as opposed to completely unrequested and unaccepted will encourage fair consideration for all applicants.

This is true and I have lots of hopeful applicants ask me how programs will factor in the GRE if not everyone submits scores. Truth be told, as grad students, we don't know. I HIGHLY doubt departments/faculty have figured it out either 😕

I'm all for removing the GRE completely. Currently working with various grad students across Canada to remove the GRE, ideally completely. Seriously, us grad students want to get rid of it almost as much as applicants do! 😅

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Does anyone know what the status is for GRE Psychology scores in Canada? Do universities still encourage it? I know this test is not offered online, and registration begins tomorrow for it.

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7 hours ago, higaisha said:

hoping responses to optional GRE scores follows the trend from biomed (e.g., https://vanderbiltbiomedg.com/2019/09/21/is-optional-really-optional-for-submitting-gre-scores/)

This is great thank you! Currently preparing a pres to my Department on removing the GRE. If any folx come across studies/literature/stats, pls DM me. Would greatly appreciate it!

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I believe Yale just lifted their GRE requirements too? Have they always been GRE optional? As per their website: " Providing scores on the GRE Aptitude Test is optional, as are scores on the GRE Psychology Subject Test."

Edited by PsychApplicant2
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2 hours ago, PsychApplicant2 said:

I believe Yale just lifted their GRE requirements too? Have they always been GRE optional? As per their website: " Providing scores on the GRE Aptitude Test is optional, as are scores on the GRE Psychology Subject Test."

Just saw this too, but the clinical specific admissions page hasn't been updated as they still discuss weighing GRE scores. 

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On 6/29/2020 at 2:49 PM, higaisha said:

So as you may know, a lot of programs are going to waive mandatory GRE requirements (e.g., this sheet with all American schools who are waiving GREs, credits to @PsychApplicant2), making scores optional to submit this cycle (i.e., for 2021 admissions). GRE scores are used as a screening measure for most schools to get past initial review and onto being considered for interviews. In absence of that initial screening measure, will GPA be more highly weighted? Will GREs be used as an final step to compare several applicants already closely matched on research fit? Emphasis on GREs differs by program and by PI, so as others have discussed here, the absence of a GRE submission doesn't mean that your application will be evaluated GRE blind. Choosing to/not to submit a score may be more of a strategic decision than anything.

Discuss below what this means for your application, and whether or not you plan to submit GRE scores. Personally--I'm on the fence. My GRE was not good, and i'd like to re-write, but if all schools eventually do make it optional, taking time to rewrite would be better spent writing pubs. I'd be banking on my CV to override the lack of GRE score--and this is a bit risky.

Ah finally found the person who created the other list (thank you @PsychApplicant2, we used your list)

A current student and I (not a student) created a list for programs in US and Canada 
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1f6ZyVGn-opa_ijRyntHxfJJkaSNya4h-bwEDeDGInv4/edit#gid=0

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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone!

I came across this petition online which is asking universities/colleges to waive the GRE requirement for 2021 admissions to graduate schools. Feel free to sign and share with whoever else is looking to have this requirement waived. Hopefully if enough attention comes to the issue, universities will feel pressure to reconsider their stance on the GRE this year. Here it is below:

http://chng.it/gdZgDdmQC4

Edited by justpsychedtobehere
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Another interesting point I've seen is the implication of making schools be GRE-blind instead of GRE-waived. For example, will some students be favored more because they submitted their GRE scores vs others who didn't? I think the only good solution is to make this application season GRE blind, to decrease bias, since there are PI's who favor the GRE when they admit students. Curious about everyone else's thoughts on this!

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GRE is optional for Clinical Psych and Applied Social Psychology at UWindsor (email sent to current students/faculty). Website being updated soon to reflect this change.

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On 7/2/2020 at 5:50 PM, PsychApplicant2 said:

Another interesting point I've seen is the implication of making schools be GRE-blind instead of GRE-waived. For example, will some students be favored more because they submitted their GRE scores vs others who didn't? I think the only good solution is to make this application season GRE blind, to decrease bias, since there are PI's who favor the GRE when they admit students. Curious about everyone else's thoughts on this!

That's one concern I have re: schools waiving but still accepting GRE scores. I do think until schools are completely blind to GRE scores it's in applicant's best interest to submit scores. However, I don't think that is realistically something that will happen this cycle. 

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On 7/2/2020 at 8:50 PM, PsychApplicant2 said:

Another interesting point I've seen is the implication of making schools be GRE-blind instead of GRE-waived. For example, will some students be favored more because they submitted their GRE scores vs others who didn't? I think the only good solution is to make this application season GRE blind, to decrease bias, since there are PI's who favor the GRE when they admit students. Curious about everyone else's thoughts on this!

Exactly. I'm really concerned about this because the closest "open" GRE center by me is 5 hours away and I can't do the take home test due to internet inconsistencies. I just think school's shouldn't consider even looking at GRE's this cycle at all due to the current ongoing pandemic affecting the whole nation differently. GRE testing being "optional" is also so annoying because of the bias that exists between an applicant that has submitted their scores vs. the applicant that didn't... 

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8 hours ago, psychcoffeegal said:

Exactly. I'm really concerned about this because the closest "open" GRE center by me is 5 hours away and I can't do the take home test due to internet inconsistencies. I just think school's shouldn't consider even looking at GRE's this cycle at all due to the current ongoing pandemic affecting the whole nation differently. GRE testing being "optional" is also so annoying because of the bias that exists between an applicant that has submitted their scores vs. the applicant that didn't... 

I agree, and as well even for those who have taken it at home I have read a lot of reports of technical issues with the proctor system prior to the test resulting in the test time being significantly longer - this additional stress could definitely impact negatively on scores. I plan to take the GRE at home because a test centre is not close by but I'm not feeling confident about the process!

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5 hours ago, psychapplicant21 said:

I agree, and as well even for those who have taken it at home I have read a lot of reports of technical issues with the proctor system prior to the test resulting in the test time being significantly longer - this additional stress could definitely impact negatively on scores. I plan to take the GRE at home because a test centre is not close by but I'm not feeling confident about the process!

The GRE is described as an "objective measure". There's no way it can be objective this year with the pandemic/technical issues at home. Whenever I see a website that says "we still require the GRE, just take it at home" I have to admit, it's a little off-putting. Banish the GRE! Lol

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1 hour ago, PsychApplicant2 said:

The GRE is described as an "objective measure". There's no way it can be objective this year with the pandemic/technical issues at home. Whenever I see a website that says "we still require the GRE, just take it at home" I have to admit, it's a little off-putting. Banish the GRE! Lol

Honestly, I have to wonder what would happen if we all (non-psych included) collectively refused to take and/or send in our scores to programs. Would that be enough of a final push against the GRE, or would schools just shrug and not accept students for a year? Sigh.

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