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Should I take the GRE?


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I'm planning to apply Biology Ph.D programs this coming fall, however, I am really conflicted on whether to take the GRE. I have begun compiling a list of schools/programs and, so far, a GRE score is not a required to apply to any of the programs. In fact, a few have explicitly mentioned that they won't consider them when doing admissions. However, my cumulative GPA will be a 3.2 when I submit my application and, I understand it, this is definitely on the lower side for Ph.D. programs. I have 2 summers worth of biological research (one being funded by the NSF) and will have 3 strong letters of recommendation (all from research mentors) by the time I submit my application. Additionally, I will have 4 semesters worth of research in a cellular biology lab come the end of this fall semester. Will my research experience and LORs be enough to make up for my low GPA or will it be better to just take the GRE? I also don't do really good with testing in general so I am not even sure after all the time, effort and money spent studying for the GRE will amount to a decent score.

Edit: I am an URM/URG if that helps. Also, I am presenting poster for my work this summer so I guess that counts as poster presentation as well.

Any advice is appreciated!

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