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Is GRE AW very important?


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I know writing ability is extremely important to students in research oriented graduate programs and professors always think highly of it.

 

But why many programs stated that they select candidates based on scores of V and Q? Why they don't mention AW?

 

With 3.0 AW, I am worried if I can get admission, although my V and Q are good.

 

It seems that different people have different opinions about the importance of AW....

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I think AW is thought of as less important because your strength as a writer can be assessed pretty well from your statement of purpose. I've heard that people will often write a bad AW off as a fluke if your SOP is well written.

But SOP is the article having been revised by other people... So I think SOP cannot show the real ability of a writer...

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But SOP is the article having been revised by other people... So I think SOP cannot show the real ability of a writer...

 

I was worried about this going into it, given that writing is my strength but the lack of knowledge about the topic was daunting.

 

My understanding from my preparations is that this is as much about your ability to formulate and analyze arguments as it is about the actual ability to write well (i.e. grammar).  I have to agree with the above in that sense, even if the SOP isn't revised by others (mine sure wasn't) it's probably assumed to be well tailored and refined.

 

However, given zb13's comment I have no idea how this score gets weighed against thoroughly prepared writing samples. It's my hope as someone returning after a few years out of school this gives me a strength to capitalize on (score 5.5 on this) as compared to the very academic knowledge that has been long since forgotten despite my best attempts to rekindle it going into both the general and subject tests.

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But in actual writing situation, you're going to have the opportunity to edit, rewrite, etc. The AW seems to look at how well you can write a 5 paragraph essay in a short amount of time about a topic you don't know anything about. Given that, I'd say that the SOP is a much better indicator of writing abilities.

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If you were worried, why didnt you just submit a brief writing sample with your applications (formally or casually)? While only one of my schools actually requested it as part of their application, so far the POIs that have the most common research interests with mine actually asked to read it (and it's 30+ pages). So far I have gotten a favorable response and no one even mentions my AW score (which was only 4.0, as I screwed up the first topic).

 
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If you were worried, why didnt you just submit a brief writing sample with your applications (formally or casually)? While only one of my schools actually requested it as part of their application, so far the POIs that have the most common research interests with mine actually asked to read it (and it's 30+ pages). So far I have gotten a favorable response and no one even mentions my AW score (which was only 4.0, as I screwed up the first topic).

 

I'm an International student and my English writing ability is not good... I never wrote English papers. When a POI asked me to give her a writing sample, I translated one of my papers into English. I spent a lot of time on it (it's 20+ pages), but I think it only showed to her that my writing ability is bad.. Maybe next time I should write a brief writing sample so that I can let someone help me revise it... But I am not sure what kind of articles I should submit. I think academic papers are always long.

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