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Very strange GRE grades


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Okay, so I got my GRE results back. 168 V, 152 Q (ugh), both of which seemed pretty reasonable to me...but then 4.0 on the writing! I've been a strong writer throughout my studies. I'm also a native English speaker. This was shocking. I'm really upset and my first instinct is to retake, but I don't know if it's worth it. 


Here are some factors that might influence it:


- I have a great writing sample to submit, and my SOP has a good chance of being similarly strong once I've polished it up


- My recommendations will likely make reference to the essays I wrote for them, none of which were below an A, ever


- I also have some experience in the field I'm applying to, which I suspect is going to weigh heavily on the final decision (it's a profession-based MA, not strictly academic), and my GPA is okay (3.5 range)


- To retake the GRE, I would have to travel at least 5 hours by car/$400 worth of plane tickets to get to the nearest testing site. It would be extraordinarily difficult to arrange the time to do so, as well


- Only one of the colleges I'm applying to is in the States (my sig says UCLA, but the program has unfortunately been suspended there), and the other two are along the lines of "GRE? What GRE?"


- Some universities that offer this specific program, even in the US, don't require the GRE at all, which makes me wonder how important it is in the admissions process


- Pretty sure they're likely to disregard Quant (it's a humanities-oriented field - no math more complex than calculating a score on a student's paper)


- The deadline the GRE is required for is January 15th, so I would at least have the time to fit it in




Edited by RachaelMC
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Do not retake. I had the exact same problem--great verbal, 4 on the essay. I emailed the scores to the admissions advisor at my undergrad, asking what they'd reccomend. Reply: no need to retake. The essay is given miniscule weight for grad school admissions, apparently.

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you shouldn't worry about 4.0 on writing. Any strong writer would know that GRE writing is not indicative of one's writing ability. GRE writing section is a lot of fluff. Your statements and publications are much better representation of your actual writing ability. You also have a strong Verbal section so there is no way a reasonable person would hold your writing section score against you. I was lucky to get a 5 in writing on the test that I took a few days ago, but I wouldn't have been surprised had I got lower or higher than that knowing how random it is.

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