Jump to content
Guest Gnome Chomsky

rank the importance of application requirements

Recommended Posts

Guest Gnome Chomsky

GPA, GRE, LORs, publications, research experience, writing sample, etc. Rank them. Just for fun. I wouldn't know. I haven't applied yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been SO MANY discussions of this topic. Search the Applications forum.

Generally speaking (and the other threads you should search for will illustrate the exceptions):
GPA, GRE, TOEFL << LORs, writing sample, research experience, SOP

BUT: for grades (of all kinds on the left) there is sometimes a cutoff you need to get above to even be considered and in some cases to get priority for funding and TA/RA assignments.

For the intangibles, the ranking differs among fields and programs. A strong SOP and LORs will get you very far. In some fields the writing sample is crucial while in others it's not clear how important it is. Research experience and publications are good for proven research ability but mostly they will help you write a better SOP and get stronger LORs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the feedback anyone gets tends to emphasize what they did really well or really poorly.  For example, most POIs I met mentioned my LORs as a major strength, it was something that was brought up so consistently that by the end of my visits it felt like a running joke.  But I know other successful applicants who feel like the letters weren't a strength or a hurdle, just a placeholder in their application.  My GREs were solid but pretty meh, yet I feel like they don't matter that much because it didn't end up negatively influencing my applications. Overall I could rank these elements for you based on my experience but all I know is my one data point and I'd kinda feel like a crappy scientist trying to see a trend.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to go with:

 

SOP, Research experience, Publications/Conferences, LORs, GPA, GRE, without counting funding cutoffs and things. So, this is based on an already-competitive application. Just for fun. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  1. SOP - Both my positive and negative feedback from POIs and Univs. first spoke about my SOP and the fit (or lack of it, accordingly).
  2. Academic Background - Relevant courses taken seemed to matter far more than the actual GPA in my case, at least as per feedback I received.
  3. LORs - Quality of letter and how well the letter write knew me seemed to be more important than who (as in, how well known or in what position) wrote them.
  4. GRE/TOEFL - I think these mattered more being an International student than it would for domestic students.

Did not have relevant research experience and was not requested to submit writing samples, so cannot comment on those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My field tends to be flooded with applicants, so some schools automatically trash the bottom XX% of applications according to GPA/GRE, because they don't have resources to evaluate 500 full applications.  So I'd say GPA/GRE are definitely important because you need relatively high scores to even get your foot in the door.  

 

Again, speaking for my discipline, I think resume/experience is very important, followed by LORs, then transcripts, then SOP.  They seem to care more about the grammar/structure of the SOP, rather than the content.  The exception would be if you have unusually low scores or something else that you explain in the essay, in which case it could be quite influential!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are things that screen you out:  GRE and Grades

 

There are things that screen you in:  SOPs, LORs, and Research Experience.

 

Nobody gets admitted because they have a 620Q or a 3.2 GPA, but they could miss the cut because of those.

 

Once you make the cut, those two items come secondary to a well written SOP, really good LORs from profs who know you well, and evidence of your ability to do research.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest |||

Generally

 

GPA, Research exp (particularly if any publications), LOR, SOP

 

 

If schools require a GRE, its importance will vary significantly depending on field and could be placed almost anywhere in the importance rankings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would take a look at the results section. Some say GPA's and GRE's don't matter, but the stats say otherwise. People have told me that as long as I'm above a 3.5, with a good Q, and a V above 150, I should be all set. But these top schools work very hard to make sure their incoming grad students have excellent stats, so that they can put something like "our incoming class have an avg GPA of 3.9" or some stupid shit like that. I would mind the cutoff a little more than just an afterthought. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But I'm wondering if there's a way around that cutoff. If I were to get the attention of a professor or something, maybe I'll get past the firewall... Who knows. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.