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GRE Scores/Credentials for Top Programs


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Hey Everyone,

I'm applying to most of the top 10 programs in Sociology. I'm wonder what the GRE scores are of other students applying to top programs. My score was higher than I anticipated and i'm wondering if that has happened to other students. My scores were:

Verbal: 164 = 94 Percentile = 670 Old Scale

Quant: 153 = 65 Percentile = 680 Old Scale (didn't finish a section which ruined the score)

On the old scale this score is high enough not to be red flag to most programs. But i'm wondering if the scores will be inflated this year.

Additionally, I co-authored a published paper in a top Communications journal, co-authored an unpublished paper, and was awarded two national fellowships while writing my own paper (which is my writing sample). I have a BA with a 3.96 GPA and 3 letters from professors who know me extremely well.

Not to be pompous, because i'm actually surprised to be applying to top programs, but what are the credentials of some other students striving to get into top Sociology programs?

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tt503, you definitely seem like a strong candidate for sociology programs. I wish I could retake my GRE, but I am applying for Fall 2012. Unfortunately, the revised GRE scores were not so good.

Sociology27, I think you sound like a good candidate as well. You're GRE scores are really good.

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  • 3 weeks later...

1) They are probably still looking for similar percentages, though I'd also guess some of the professor on the admissions committee just won't know how to read the new scores.

2) GRE scores are probably overrated, especially in online fora like this. We like them because we can compare across applicants; they're not really testing much that has to do with sociology though. I got 1580 and got into one out of five programs I applied to. This girl on the forum last year

3) GRE scores are still important. At top ten programs with a lot of apps, I'd imagine probably a quarter to half the applicants don't even go before the full committee (that's what happens with junior faculty job applications for sure); they're just weeded out for some combination of low GPA, low GRE, unknown undergraduate institution, subliterate writing and maybe bad fit ("we don't do that here"). One girl I know at a top ten program said that one of her professors admitted that when he's on the admissions committee, he doesn't even look at ugrad GPA, only undergraduate school and GRE. I am not citing that story to indicate that it's common and GRE's are really important; I'm just trying to emphasize how capricious this whole process is. When I got here, I realized that I got in because impressed the adcomm liked me, and if the adcomm had been composed differently, the result might have been different. Two of the professors who really like me happen to have been on it together.

4) In my (top ten) program, of the 8 kids in my cohort, I think only one person had a publication coming in, and she was a lawyer and it was in some law journal from when she was in law school like 6 years before or something. I am sure a lot of you on this board read those guys up there, and got worried about publications. Don't be.

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