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Two scores... Now what?


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Hi guys,

I'm currently a first year grduate student studying masters in Korean studies. I just took my GRE and its... Not cool. I have the GRE score from last year, and I'm trying to figure out what to do.

Jan, 2012:

Verbal: 156

Quantitative: 161

Writing: 4.5

Feb, 2013:

Verbal: 153

Quantitative: 167

Writing: unknown

(The scores are not out yet...)

If I were to apply for the PhD admission of Fall 2015 (for East Asian Language Literature) what do you suggest? I am trying to figure out whether I should cancel this one and take one again before applying... Or just keep it and send in both scores...?

If I send in these two scores, would the grad schools only look at higher of the two?

My ideal/dream school is Columbia and yet I'm not sure how this will look... (They have a minimum score of 310)

My GPA is good and I know I'll have a good recommendation letters.

Help me out...? Thanks in advance!

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Your veral score is obviously what is bringing you down, so if you retook, that would be your focus.




Schools will have their own policy for how they interpret GRE scores.


Some only use GRE scores as a threshold bar, and everyone who scores 310 or so is roughly on equal footing while everyone below is rejected.  Others consider GRE scores considerably more heavily, it will vary from school to school.




On having multiple GRE scores, again different schools will have different policies.  Some average all GRE scores, some only look at the most recent.




All this said, GRE scores are only a part of the package, and if you have solid grades, references, and other items to go with the package, given your scores, you should still consider applying.

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Every school has their own policy on GRE submission.  They might look at the most recent test results, or pick the higher Q/V/AW, but that is totally up to them.  Since you are applying for a literature program, I'd consider re-taking the GRE and focus on the verbal portion, but keep up the other two portions as well, in case they go with your most recent test score.  I would not say that your scores are beyond the point of applying -- my verbal was only slightly higher than yours and my quantitative was lower, so it could just depend on the schools where you apply.  The GRE is no longer the "measuring stick" like it used to be.  Many schools realize that the GRE score really only shows how well you take the GRE, which does not necessarily give the best representation for how you will do in grad school.  Your SOP and LOR's will play a huge role in admissions, so focus on those.  


Good luck! 

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