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"Horrendous" GRE Scores and GPA!

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Alright people I just had to write this and I hope many of you can relate.

I've found that many try to excuse their self-perceived low GRE scores and GPA's by saying they did horrible, sucked, bombed, etc. and then listing a decent number.

I think it would be great for everyone to just post they're numbers and just leave it at that. Personally I didn't have the highest of scores or GPA but to see people exaggerate how horrible there score/gpa was when it was 100 points (GRE) or .4 points (GPA) higher than what I have is really unpleasant and quite insulting. I can't be the only one who feels this way.

If you would like to comment on your scores or GPA's maybe you could say that it is below the median numbers for people in your field and leave out the superlatives. Remember that you are insulting everyone who has numbers below your "horrendous" scores.

Example: I basically failed the GRE with a 690V and 730Q....should I retake it?! :cry:

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..um, I scored 1050 and am in with funding at a decent university. I would hardly consider your scores failing.

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..um, I scored 1050 and am in with funding at a decent university. I would hardly consider your scores failing.

i believe the original poster's example of GRE scores was meant as an example of how ridiculous people sound by complaining about "low" GRE scores. I don't believe those were the OP's actual GRE scores.

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Example: I basically failed the GRE with a 690V and 730Q....should I retake it?! :cry:

It still beats the ten new topics per day, whining about the "problem" of having to choose between acceptances from Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and Penn, when there are a lot of sad people around here who got rejected to 10+ schools this year. Then again, we're probably taking our samples from the same pool of thinly-veiled braggarts. =)

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Lest we forget Cornell and MIT?!!! I think you may be right, our sample is probably compiled of workaholics who stress and worry about their top tier schools and which would make them look the best ten years from now. But there are always us normal folks who are elated with one acceptance to a good university.

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Ah, my apologies. I was accusing you of being one of them :wink:

I think those sorts of folks either have ridiculous standards for themselves or are looking for an affirmation of their brilliance (allegorically depicted by an exam none other).

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Ha. I agree. I was just happy to break 1000 on the GRE, have a 3.0 GPA, and get an acceptance into a top 10!

Like seriously.... pipe down. :) Or at least PM to other people who have similar dilemma as you and can sympathetize, not the rest of us who got unlucky this year.

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Ha. I agree. I was just happy to break 1000 on the GRE, have a 3.0 GPA, and get an acceptance into a top 10!

We're in the exact same boat, however I have yet to get accepted to the top 10 program I'm currently on their wait list :roll:

But it's nice to see regular folks out here, after seeing all these overacheivers I've been feeling like schools must be lowering their standards when they consider me.

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I got a 590V 690Q 6.0W and I asked many in my field if I should take them again, and everyone said they were fine. The other students in my Master's program scored less (on both the GRE and GPA) and got into a program before I did.

I haven't done the top-ten/safety school thing because I haven't found faculty who share my research interests at enough schools for that. But I got into a good school my advisor spoke highly about and may have a choice.

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I feel for you, especially because my under GPA was a near fail..I'm not going to say how low, let's just say most schools would frown at it. I did try to salvage by having better MA grades ( a very big reason I went to a MA program in my country first before applying for PhD in the US), but seeing people say Help! my-GPA-is-3.6/last 60 3.7-I-don't-know-what-to-do! isn't as annoying as I thought it would be, actually :roll: It just shows some people aim high and don't like to underachieve, whereas I'm a bit happy-go-lucky? One acceptance is good enough for me :D

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I know I did well on the GRE (670V 750Q). My complaint is that people scoring much lower then me are getting into top programs while I am getting rejected by places like Arizona and Missouri :evil:

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Here's one for discussion... I took the GRE more than 5 years ago when I applied for the MS program at the University I just a applied to a PhD program. I had intended to take the GMAT, but when I submitted my application, the PhD coordinator said "Don't worry about it. We should still have your GRE scores on record from before."

I told her that I didn't do that well on it (honestly I didn't) because I took it cold with no preparation at all. I just walked in and took it one day. The way they were scored back then, there was a verbal, quantitative AND an analytical section. It seems these days there is just the Verbal and Quant. I don't remember what the scores were and couldn't find my record of them, but I know they were just good enough for me to be accepted into the Masters program.

Now that I have not received a response yet, I'm really questioning if I should have taken the GMAT after 6 months of prep study. Was this a bone-head move to listen to the PhD coordinator and not take the GMAT? :shock:

I emailed the PhD coordinator a couple of times to follow up on whether or not she found my old GRE scores and if I should take the GMAT. She never replied. Am I doomed? :o

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Personally I didn't have the highest of scores or GPA but to see people exaggerate how horrible there score/gpa was when it was 100 points (GRE) or .4 points (GPA) higher than what I have is really unpleasant and quite insulting. I can't be the only one who feels this way.

Thank you! I was having the same senitments exactly- I'm so glad someone else brought it up. My GRE was 1240; I worked very hard for that score and I thought it was really good. I was getting really worried about competing with these people complaining about their 1300+ scores too, until I remembered that alot of people around these forums are trying to get into Ivies or schools with ridiculously high standards. I have different goals so it's not fair to compare myself to them.

My GPA is 3.6, but I've been told by most programs that they only look at your GPA over the last 2 years (60 hours) of your UG degree. That raises mine to almost a 3.9. Even if it was a 3.6, I would consider that very good.

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I haven't done the top-ten/safety school thing because I haven't found faculty who share my research interests at enough schools for that. But I got into a good school my advisor spoke highly about and may have a choice.

I think your awesome! So many people are solely concerned about rankings and put the 'fit' as secondary. I only ended up applying to very few programs solely because I know research interests are #1. Personally I would LOVE to have been able to apply to Stanford or Berkley but there were no faculty doing work that I knew I could fall in love with... and I refuse to be a drop out simply because I made an immature decision.

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until I remembered that alot of people around these forums are trying to get into Ivies or schools with ridiculously high standards.

Actually I've noticed that a lot of the top ranked programs in Psychology (with the exception of clinical psychology) are more concerned with the entire application...meaning much more than just numbers. Yet when I looked at what are considered the lower ranked programs they are all about numbers and weeding people out based on them. My belief is that this is why they are not as well ranked, they're missing out on some great applicants by being too short-sighted and the top programs are taking them.

Prior to submitting my app. to the Ivy I applied to the prof. I applied to work with told me they admissions committee wants to see something over 1100 but after that they're not looking too closely to the scores.

Unfortunately I feel like many students will feel they are not competitive enough for a top program because when you look at the middle tier ones they come off as looking so numbers driven and competitive that you think you need to lower your standards and that the mid ranked ones are a reach for you.

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I know I did well on the GRE (670V 750Q). My complaint is that people scoring much lower then me are getting into top programs while I am getting rejected by places like Arizona and Missouri :evil:

I think when that happens it can be one of two things:

A. The personal statement: This is so important! Maybe there was a typo (admissions committees hate that!) or maybe it wasn't conveying what you thought it was. I noticed almost everyone says that after they look over their personal statement, they are embarrassed that they even submitted it (I am including myself in this category). I think the majority of us mistakenly look @ grad. admissions as being similar to undergrad and that one essay isn't going to make much of a difference. BUT a lot of us find out the hard way that it does!

B. Letter of Recommendation: I've heard a story of one professor writing a letter of rec. for a student and after the student got rejected from all the programs they applied to they opened a rec. from a school they decided not to apply. The body of the recommendation was neutral but at the end the professor wrote on the bottom, "I would not recommend this student for a PhD." Personally I would have rather you just say no I won't write you a letter of recommendation than do something like that and waste ALL of my time, money and effort!

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The body of the recommendation was neutral but at the end the professor wrote on the bottom, "I would not recommend this student for a PhD." Personally I would have rather you just say no I won't write you a letter of recommendation than do something like that and waste ALL of my time, money and effort!

I'm surprised professors still do this. There have been successful lawsuits against people who "burn" their students, and I say good for the plaintiffs! A letter of recommendation is, by definition, a positive reference. The referee is recommending a person, not a course of action, to the admissions committee. While I would suggest you ask for a strong letter of reference, or a positive recommendation letter when you approach a professor, one should be able to assume that if someone writes a recommendation on your behalf, it should be generally positive.

Unless pushed, only the slimiest of individuals would agree to write a reference, only to fill it with negative, or even luke-warm, sentiments! People like that should not be given positions of power.

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B. Letter of Recommendation: I've heard a story of one professor writing a letter of rec. for a student and after the student got rejected from all the programs they applied to they opened a rec. from a school they decided not to apply. The body of the recommendation was neutral but at the end the professor wrote on the bottom, "I would not recommend this student for a PhD." Personally I would have rather you just say no I won't write you a letter of recommendation than do something like that and waste ALL of my time, money and effort!

Not to mention, why would they waste their own time? If you really don't believe the student should go, why not just tell the student? It seems... cruel.

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Not to mention, why would they waste their own time? If you really don't believe the student should go, why not just tell the student? It seems... cruel.

I once asked a supervisor at a nonprofit I volunteered at for a letter of recommendation. He gave me the run around, eventually agreeing to sign "anything I wrote and handed to him". Needless to say I backed out since it seemed like something easy for admissions to catch on to.

I ran into his son (a peer of mine at the university) a bit later after I'd stopped volunteering. He immediately apologized for his fathers actions, and then explained his "deeply conservative father" couldn't handle writing the letter for a "liberal" like me...Apparently my internships for democratic politicians had worried him an incredible amount. He was "too worried I'd have the chance to screw things up" after getting my public policy degree for him to contribute to my admissions.

I almost wanted to scream... I could not believe politics (and ones that I /never/ spoke about, outside of the fact my internships were on my resume) got in the way...

I ended up with a stellar academic reference from a GSI (TA) though, so all worked out very well.

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I think that's great that someone sued the recommender.

It's funny how after you say a certain word/phrase you almost forget the original meaning....it is a 'letter of recommendation' therefore you were only asked to recommend, not berate and denigrate.

...and I really don't understand why you would waste the time writing the letter in the first place either...what a bitter loser. Maybe the prof. felt their reputation was on the line and didn't want to send out bad students? Who knows?!

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after reading this, I think I am more thankful for a professor who (in the most polite matter possible) told me that she would not write me a recommendation because she did not believe I would excel in a graduate program.

I was crushed, I had her for 3 courses, earned As and high marks on my work, excluding one exam, which is what she cited as her reason! At the time I had been taking 7 courses a semester, which is what I did for a large part of my academic career, actually...

Anyway, I cried alot and decided to put off my application until I had established more varied and personal relationships with other academics...which thankfully I did...and even managed to get a mentor to help me out in all of this in the process!!

But I am glad that she did not agree and write a terrible letter...that would have been much worse!

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after reading this, I think I am more thankful for a professor who (in the most polite matter possible) told me that she would not write me a recommendation because she did not believe I would excel in a graduate program.

I was crushed, I had her for 3 courses, earned As and high marks on my work, excluding one exam, which is what she cited as her reason!

That professor was not worth the tears! To give such a petty reason such as you did poorly on one of my exams and that is why I think you will not excel in graduate school is ridiculous. You have to remember that Professors are human and have MANY flaws. It sucks when a professor tells you that because you assume they're right (it's much easier to believe the negative). I'm sure you could have found other professors that would vouch for you and tell you that you are going to excel.

After someone degrades you it's much harder to see the light. :idea: By light I mean that she was being ridiculously petty and should be ignored :!:

Best of luck in your grad school endeavors!!! :D

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That professor was not worth the tears! To give such a petty reason such as you did poorly on one of my exams and that is why I think you will not excel in graduate school is ridiculous. You have to remember that Professors are human and have MANY flaws. It sucks when a professor tells you that because you assume they're right (it's much easier to believe the negative). I'm sure you could have found other professors that would vouch for you and tell you that you are going to excel.

After someone degrades you it's much harder to see the light. :idea: By light I mean that she was being ridiculously petty and should be ignored :!:

Best of luck in your grad school endeavors!!! :D

It's tough to say for sure not knowing the difficulty of the exam or the student's performance. It could be that the exam was directly in his area of interest and he performed miserably on it. Would you still call the professor petty then?

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