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Should I retake GRE?


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Hi everyone,

I am currently in a small-scale political science master program at a T-10 university. What plagues me is my GRE AW score is quite low as a polisci student and my verbal is not that good, at least below verbal score average of admitted students in some top programs: I just got my full GRE score, Verbal 162 (89%), Quant 169(98%), AW 4.5 (73%). And my TOFEL score is 115. Since there are only one and a half months left before 2013 fall application is closed, is it really meaningful to retake GRE to get scores like 165+165+5.5 or should I just emphasize on my SoP and WS? I heard that staff would throw an application into basket if the applicant fails to show a good standardized test score, especially for an international student. Is it really the case?


Edited by jasonkowk
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I suspect you are well above any cutoffs (although PoliSci folks should chime in if I'm wrong). I think your GRE scores are pretty dang good for an international student, and better than the average US applicant. I don't know a ton about the TOEFL, and won't comment on those scores. Try to put together a great SOP and writing sample. These items will be worth far more to the reviewers than the GRE AW score, as they will demonstrate your ability to think and write in English. I'm a native English speaker and got the same AW score (although in my case I think the percentile was much lower!).

Edited by Usmivka
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I don't know anything about how the TOEFL is viewed, but those GRE scores shouldn't preclude you from too many schools (in any). Ideally the verbal score would be a few points higher for the top programs (I doubt they care much about a 4.5 versus a 5.0/5.5 AW), but all of your scores are solid, and the math score is great, so if the rest of your application looks good, you should be in the running.

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