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Low GRE do I still have a shot?


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I'm applying for a second time and despite what I think is a strong application I'm worried my GRE scores will hold me back. I got a 3.64 in my undergraduate (which was a Psychology degree from the UK) and a Distinction which is almost at 4.0 GPA in a two year research masters which included a one year research fellowship at an Ivy League university in the US. I also have over 3 years research experience working across several labs across the UK and US. I have two first-author papers currently under review, I'm currently writing a book chapter (first author) and another first author paper in progress. These papers are all closely aligned with my research interests for the Ph.D. I'm also trying to learn R. I have three LoRs that I believe are strong and each reference is from either an Assistant or Full Professor.

Unfortunately the one thing I'm struggling to improve on is the GRE. In 2018 I got 150V 153Q and 5.0AW. After retaking it this summer I got 151V 154Q and that was after 5 months of intense studying almost every day. I used Magoosh and did lots of practice tests. I did have problems this time round with ProctorU but I think that I'm just not a good "GRE test taker" and I don't feel confident investing more time studying because I'm doubtful it will pay off.

I know many programs are waiving the GRE but do I still have a shot at the more competitive programs? Or is that completely unrealistic?

Edited by psychapplicant21
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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for posting this. I can only say that my situation is the same and I have even a lower grade. My Undergrad is international too and did my masters in the U.S. This my 3rd round and not sure how else I can improve my GRE test. Have you decide something or receive feedback from your circle? I don't want to take the test anymore tbh

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21 hours ago, Rerun said:

Thank you for posting this. I can only say that my situation is the same and I have even a lower grade. My Undergrad is international too and did my masters in the U.S. This my 3rd round and not sure how else I can improve my GRE test. Have you decide something or receive feedback from your circle? I don't want to take the test anymore tbh

I will DM you!

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The rest of your application looks pretty good and while your scores may be lower than the averages at some schools, I think its worth it to apply. Committees tend to look at the whole package, and your undergrad/masters GPA look good and are a marker of your academic ability. The two things I could suggest to make your application stronger are to keep progressing on those papers you are working on, and spend the time learning R to proficiency. R in particular is a major plus to have in your repertoire and many POI's look at this experience favorably.

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23 hours ago, bubble_psych said:

The rest of your application looks pretty good and while your scores may be lower than the averages at some schools, I think its worth it to apply. Committees tend to look at the whole package, and your undergrad/masters GPA look good and are a marker of your academic ability. The two things I could suggest to make your application stronger are to keep progressing on those papers you are working on, and spend the time learning R to proficiency. R in particular is a major plus to have in your repertoire and many POI's look at this experience favorably.

Thank you so much for your helpful advice and encouragement :)

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