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Grad School Chances/GRE Help


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Hi everybody! 

I am relatively new to this forum and have spent all morning reading through posts all morning! I know my post will likely get lost in the sea of similar posts, but I would really appreciate some words of encouragement. I am currently going into my final semester of undergrad (majoring in CSD, graduating December 2020), I have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and a CSD GPA of 3.9. I do not feel very confident in my personal statement, but I still have time to doll it up a bit more. I am currently volunteering as a teletherapy aide for a summer literacy program for a private speech clinic, have worked as a summer camp counselor, and do volunteering at elementary schools to work on reading and writing with students. I have taken clinical courses that entailed creating and carrying out lesson plans in an atypical preschool classroom, as well as giving 30 minutes worth of speech therapy to a client in my schools clinic.  I am also a member of a sorority on campus as well as a NSSLHA member. 

My main area of concern are my GRE scores. I took it on 6/28/20 and I am currently scheduled to retake it on 8/29. My scores were as follows: V 152 / Q 137 (yikes, I know) / AW 5. My #1 school states that GRE scores are optional, but a majority of my other considerations require a score to be sent in but no minimum score. I feel rather confident in my verbal and writing score, but my QR score is pretty rough and I don't feel very confident in it going much higher. Do I take it again just to see? I'm awful at standardized tests in general, and will be crushed if my verbal or writing score goes down the next time I take it. Is it true that CSD programs don't really worry about the QR score?

To whoever read this far, I truly appreciate it. It's so easy to feel so poorly about yourself during this application process, and I am really having some major self-doubt. With these overall stats, do I stand a chance? I never thought I would be so passionate about a career field and I cannot see myself doing anything else. 

 

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You are definitely competitive for many schools with your GPA and verbal/writing scores on the GRE. I would move ahead with your GRE retake on 8/29 and focus the next few weeks on purely Quant prep. If you haven't used GregMat I would recommend that as a free resource along with the ETS Quant Book and Manhattan 5lb book - do a couple hours of quant questions a day and try your best to learn how to do all questions you get wrong. Mix in some of the official ETS Powerprep practice tests - same drill w correcting any mistakes. With focused prep work you can definitely improve your quant! Also, I've found many of the programs I'm applying to superscore (take your best scores by section across multiple tests) - their websites usually don't say so ask the schools you are applying to. You will also have the choice of whether or not to send either test score so don't worry about doing worse.

Edited by slpforme
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I also think you’re a competitive candidate with those grades and your experience! I’m not good at standardized tests either. I took my GRE once and got an average score and wished for the best. I got too anxious to take it again but I’d say retake it and see if you can do better. It never hurts to try and see. The Manhattan Prep GRE books are amazing and a great tool!! They have 8 different books based on which areas you need the most help in. You should give them a try! And work on that personal statement!! I honestly believe that’s what got be accepted into grad school. If you don’t mind, could you tell me what you do as a teletherapy aide? Sounds interesting.

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I think you're a very competitive candidate grade and experience wise. I am also a terrible standardized test taker, especially when it comes to math. The first time I took the GRE I scored a 137 on my quant and I ended up being able to bump it up to a 140 the second time (Magoosh really helped & the free practice tests from ETS  you can add to your cart when you sign up for the GRE). I would recommend you take it again and try your best to get it up at least to a 140. Additionally, for a lot of schools you can send 2 test scores and they will take the highest of each. I was really worried applying with a low quant score, but I ended up getting into 3 out of the 6 schools I applied. Additionally, I would recommend making your personal statements amazing, you still have plenty of time. FYI this is coming from the perspective of a person who applied to all Midwestern schools, everywhere is different competition wise. Best of luck, you got this!

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4 hours ago, slpforme said:

You are definitely competitive for many schools with your GPA and verbal/writing scores on the GRE. I would move ahead with your GRE retake on 8/29 and focus the next few weeks on purely Quant prep. If you haven't used GregMat I would recommend that as a free resource along with the ETS Quant Book and Manhattan 5lb book - do a couple hours of quant questions a day and try your best to learn how to do all questions you get wrong. Mix in some of the official ETS Powerprep practice tests - same drill w correcting any mistakes. With focused prep work you can definitely improve your quant! Also, I've found many of the programs I'm applying to superscore (take your best scores by section across multiple tests) - their websites usually don't say so ask the schools you are applying to. You will also have the choice of whether or not to send either test score so don't worry about doing worse.

Thank you for the kind words! I'll definitely have to take a look at GregMat, I haven't heard of that before! I also wasn't aware about that superscore stuff, I'll have to do a bit more research on what the schools I am applying to say. Thank you again!

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1 hour ago, futurespeechie96 said:

I think you're a very competitive candidate grade and experience wise. I am also a terrible standardized test taker, especially when it comes to math. The first time I took the GRE I scored a 137 on my quant and I ended up being able to bump it up to a 140 the second time (Magoosh really helped & the free practice tests from ETS  you can add to your cart when you sign up for the GRE). I would recommend you take it again and try your best to get it up at least to a 140. Additionally, for a lot of schools you can send 2 test scores and they will take the highest of each. I was really worried applying with a low quant score, but I ended up getting into 3 out of the 6 schools I applied. Additionally, I would recommend making your personal statements amazing, you still have plenty of time. FYI this is coming from the perspective of a person who applied to all Midwestern schools, everywhere is different competition wise. Best of luck, you got this!

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one that struggles with standardized testing hahah. I will have to really dedicate some time into the Magoosh prep stuff and it's nice to know that you felt like it bumped up your score! It's cool to hear from a fellow midwesterner, would you say its different from everywhere else competition wise in a positive or negative way? Thank you so much for the kind words!!

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2 hours ago, Cece93 said:

I also think you’re a competitive candidate with those grades and your experience! I’m not good at standardized tests either. I took my GRE once and got an average score and wished for the best. I got too anxious to take it again but I’d say retake it and see if you can do better. It never hurts to try and see. The Manhattan Prep GRE books are amazing and a great tool!! They have 8 different books based on which areas you need the most help in. You should give them a try! And work on that personal statement!! I honestly believe that’s what got be accepted into grad school. If you don’t mind, could you tell me what you do as a teletherapy aide? Sounds interesting.

I'll definitely look into the Manhattan Prep GRE books, I'm willing to try any and everything at this point, haha! Do you have any tips on feeling more confident in a personal statement? I struggle writing about myself, and I really never had that "aha" moment, but each additional experience I have in the field just makes me feel more and more confident that this is where I belong. The teletherapy aide position is definitely interesting! Outside of COVID-19 times, it would be sort of like a summer class kind of thing, but instead its been moved to be virtual (duh). BUT, we just work on targeting reading comprehension skills and phonological awareness. It's been a really cool experience and I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity.

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11 hours ago, snoozer said:

It's comforting to know I'm not the only one that struggles with standardized testing hahah. I will have to really dedicate some time into the Magoosh prep stuff and it's nice to know that you felt like it bumped up your score! It's cool to hear from a fellow midwesterner, would you say its different from everywhere else competition wise in a positive or negative way? Thank you so much for the kind words!!

Yes don't ever feel like you're the only one, cause there are tons of people who feel exactly like you do lol. But in regards to the Midwest being more positive or negative competition wise,  I would say more positive. It obliviously depends where you apply but I can tell you compared to California schools it's definitely more positive. Additionally with your stats & experiences, you have a really good chance of getting into a variety of different schools. If you have any questions about where I applied feel free to dm.

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19 hours ago, snoozer said:

I'll definitely look into the Manhattan Prep GRE books, I'm willing to try any and everything at this point, haha! Do you have any tips on feeling more confident in a personal statement? I struggle writing about myself, and I really never had that "aha" moment, but each additional experience I have in the field just makes me feel more and more confident that this is where I belong. The teletherapy aide position is definitely interesting! Outside of COVID-19 times, it would be sort of like a summer class kind of thing, but instead its been moved to be virtual (duh). BUT, we just work on targeting reading comprehension skills and phonological awareness. It's been a really cool experience and I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity.

For my template personal statement (that I wrote specifically for one college lol)  I wrote about how I became interested in speech and how that moment shaped my career choices. I became a preschool teaching assistant, worked with special needs older kids in an after school program and did ABA. I wrote about what I learned from them and how it fit into my life goals. I also tied it together with saying heyyyy look at all this broad experience I have. I’ll make a great speech therapist because I’m well rounded. Lol and I ended it with basically saying I will be a speech therapist and a good one and I think your school is the right fit for me and I you.  I applied pieces of this to each statement I wrote. It gave me a starting point for each one and honestly made me less anxious. If you can find someone to read your statements that’s a BIG help. My cousin picked them to shreds but we talked through each one and that made me really confident in what I wrote. Even when she didn’t pick them apart it helped to have someone just read it. 
 

 

Also thanks for the info! I love hearing about different form of speech therapy.

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It sounds like me and you are in a similar situation, and are actually similar people haha. I graduated from college this past May and while my undergraduate degree is not in communication disorders, I am currently taking pre-reqs for graduate school, and hoping to go in the fall of 2021. I have my cumulative GPA for undergrad was a 3.9 and so far for the pre-reqs have a 4.0. I just took my GRE yesterday and got a V-146 and Q-142 (still waiting on the writing). I have worked at a private speech therapy office before, and am just starting to write my personal statement, etc. for the application process. I'm also nervous to re-take the GRE, and am not even sure if I will at the moment. Im from the east and the school Im looking at most right now is Temple. Its optional there, but a lot of other ones require GRE scores. 

I totally agree with you that its tough not to get down on yourself in this process. I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone! 

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