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Very High Verbal Very Low Quantitative


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Has anyone else with a high verbal and low quantitative score been accepted to a top humanities program? I just took the GRE and received a V770 Q430. My scores were not really surprising as I scored in the V640-800 Q380-520 on all my practise tests. This pattern is also reflected in my transcripts and undergraduate gpa which balances out to a 3.3 (excellent grades in humanities and non-econ social sciences courses and poor to near failing grades in the math/science/econ courses I was required to take). I am considering MA and Ph.d programs in History/East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Unlike my undergrad studies I should only be taking courses that speak to my strengths. How much stock do most humanities departments take in quantitative scores? Will I been hurt in admittance and fellowship chances? My overall application is strong in every aspect not related to math skills.

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I can relate the experience of a friend who is a Ph.D. student in Classics at a medium-sized and medium-ranked private university. This university is top-ranked only in a couple of extremely narrow specialties, related directly to the highly parochial interests of the university's sponsors.

My friend scored 800 Verbal and "very low" quantitative, so she told me. She was admitted with open arms, but was denied funding. This particular---non-top-ranked---university uses combined V+Q GRE scores as part of their mechanism to determine who receives the precious one or two funded fellowships in each humanities department.

If the top-ranked universities use similar methods, then you should expect to be admitted, but not funded, unless you can raise your math score considerably. The good news is you have a year to do it.

Good luck,


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My understanding is that if you apply to a program that offers the same funding package to everyone, then your quant score won't matter (given your field) either to the department or the graduate division. If there are "differential" university-wide funding packages given, usually at state schools, then you'll most likely be passed over for someone with higher combined scores. For admission purposes, your verbal score will get your application reviewed thoroughly by the adcom -- but most likely it will be other parts of your application that determine whether or not you are admitted.

Edited by milestones13
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