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Is analytic writing important for science majors?


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Hello, I am an international student applying for PhD in neuroscience programs, aiming for top schools.

I took GRE, received V161(86%), Q166(94%) and AW3.5(30%).

My V and Q scores seems okay, if not perfect, but I was pretty disappointed to have 3.5 on AW section. I honestly expected 4.0 or higher.

Anyway I really don't want to retake (and I think it's already late). How do you guys think having a poor AW score affect the decision in science majors?


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It depends on where you're applying. Many schools don't care about the AW, but some do. Check the programs' sites to see if they mention an AW cutoff or emphasize it in any way.

However, I think that if your SOP is strong and the rest of your app is solid, AW probably isn't a big deal.

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Like you, I performed well overall, but bombed the AW. I couldn't believe it! I was in shock for days. Retaking wasn't an option (b/c the new format debuted the following month).

I did well in my app process. BUT, I also covered my bases. I told 2 of my profs that my writing score was crap and asked them to mention my writing ability in their recs. If you have old lab reports/projects or your thesis, send it to these profs. I also wrote a killer SOP. After that, my AW probably didn't matter to any adcomms. When necessary, point your LOR profs in a certain direction. Let them cover some of your flaws (like a crappy score). They're on you side...use them. They can shift that score from "potential warning sign" to "anomaly worth ignoring".

Edited by Chai_latte
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