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Should I retake the GRE to raise my Quant score?


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I took the GRE yesterday, and my unofficial scores given at the end of the test were: 160-Q and 168-V. I am planning to apply to Communications PhD programs this Fall (for Fall 2014 entry). I have a 3.97 GPA from my Master's degree. I know the Verbal score is solid, but I just don't know what kinds of Quant scores are considering acceptable for the kind of program I am interested in... I wanted to get at least 162 in Quant, so I am unsure as to whether to take it again.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks!!

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If it makes you feel any better, i scored a 147Q and my MA advisers keep telling me not to bother retaking the test and to focus on other parts of my applications.  As long as you reach 300 cumulatively, word is you'll be fine...Good luck!

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To the OP, I was accepted into several top programs in both Sociology and Communication with nearly identical scores. My understanding is that with a top score and an above average score, the GRE typically would not hold you back from being accepted into any programs. So I would recommend refraining from retaking it. The only possible exception I would see is if you are applying to stats heavy programs and are portraying yourself as having a ton of stats experience (e.g. that stats is already your specialty). 

 

I haven't heard of the 300 rule of thumb, and I would question its accuracy. According to ETS, a 150 on each score would be in the 44th percentile for Verbal and 41st for Quantitative: http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table1a.pdf

 

But I could be wrong, and as is often the case it depends on what type of programs you are planning on applying to.

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To the OP, I was accepted into several top programs in both Sociology and Communication with nearly identical scores. My understanding is that with a top score and an above average score, the GRE typically would not hold you back from being accepted into any programs. So I would recommend refraining from retaking it. The only possible exception I would see is if you are applying to stats heavy programs and are portraying yourself as having a ton of stats experience (e.g. that stats is already your specialty). 

 

I haven't heard of the 300 rule of thumb, and I would question its accuracy. According to ETS, a 150 on each score would be in the 44th percentile for Verbal and 41st for Quantitative: http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table1a.pdf

 

But I could be wrong, and as is often the case it depends on what type of programs you are planning on applying to.

 

The 300 comes from 1200 being the old rumored cutoff, as that was the conversion right after the scoring changed over.  I took the test during the transition and we saw our scores in both the 170 and 800 ranges. 

 

Unrelated, but thanks for posting that ets pdf -- since I took the test right after they changed the scoring, the percentiles have changed dramatically!  I know my math score was low, but when I took it it put me in the 40th percentile, but now that same score is the 29th percentile.  I guess I got screwed by taking the test so close to the changeover, which is why percentiles have changed so much after scores started to stabilize on the new test...

 

So what I'm saying is that I guess I have to retake.  UGH!

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I second what Scrabble2 said. My scores were similar to yours and I managed to get into some great programs. My advisor at the time told me that when he sits on the admissions committee, GRE scores are just an initial way of sorting through people (and even low scores, when combined with an otherwise stellar application, won't rule you out). Your scores are fine, so I wouldn't worry about it. 

 

My personal assessment of the process is that who you want to work with and who is recommending you (via rec letters) are the two factors that matter the most. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you, everyone! I have decided not to retake the test, and instead start focusing on preparing for the applications and meeting with departments and faculty (as well as my potential recommenders). I appreciate your feedback!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your scores are excellent! I wouldn't worry!

On a related note, @Nowaynohow, my quant score is the same as yours and I am reconsidering taking the test. I am worried that such a low quant score will kick me out of the running. My verbal score is in the 81st percentile, though it could have been hire had I not second guessed on one or two questions... Any advice?

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Your scores are excellent! I wouldn't worry!

On a related note, @Nowaynohow, my quant score is the same as yours and I am reconsidering taking the test. I am worried that such a low quant score will kick me out of the running. My verbal score is in the 81st percentile, though it could have been hire had I not second guessed on one or two questions... Any advice?

 

I just can't bring myself to take them again.  I have a family friend at Princeton Review and she told me if I'm not confident I can raise my quant score at least 5 points, I shouldn't bother and that the importance of the scores varies according to department overall.  Considering I have so much on my plate with the term starting and all, I have decided to chance it and just move forward knowing my weakspot. 

Good luck!

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