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Retake the GRE?


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Look at the schools you are interested in and see what their average for admitted students is (schools like UMN-TC publishes theirs in a spreadsheet).


This is a pretty sweet graph by Magoosh about average GRE scores per admitted applicants in different fields...

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I'd check out the results board on Gradcafe and look at the schools you're interested in. See what the GRE scores look like and how yours match up. 


That being said, they aren't everything. My GRE quant score is a fair bit lower (~ 6-10 percentile points) than the average in each program I applied to and it hasn't seemed to hold me back (although I have other things to "boost" my application, so to speak). 

Edited by Argon
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  • 2 months later...

Depends. If you have a strong case for admission with other credentials then these are not going to affect your chances. I recently saw someone with 167V 169Q getting rejected from GaTech.


But, if I had an average GPA, and aimed for the top schools, I would definitely retake.

Edited by sunny_9d
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It really depends on a lot of factors like your GPA (especially your major GPA), the strength of your LORs and your SOP,  your work and/or research experience (or lack thereof), your TOEFL/IELTS score, and the kind of applicants they got this time around (especially in your sub-field). While it is safer to practice a bit more and retake, take into account how long you still have before the deadlines of potential universities. Remember, you're investing extra time and money on this.


In case you've already applied and the deadlines have passed, contact your department if they allow you to send additional (updated) scores. Your scores aren't bad and a lot of people have been accepted with scores similar to yours.  You'd definitely need better scores if you were applying for PhD, but for Master's, yours is pretty much enough.


In my case, I hardly had enough time (one month, give or take) to prepare and got 152V/160Q/3.5AWA (my writing's gone pretty rusty) on my GRE and 110 (27R/27L/28S/28W) on my TOEFL iBT. While I honestly did expect to do better on my GRE (my powerprep scores were higher), these scores were enough to get me in. I had no time to practice further and retake, either.


If you have time, invest it in:

1. a better/stronger SOP

2. some research/work experience in your field

3. practicing for the GRE and then retaking it when you know you're ready.


Bonus: Network if you can. Contact professors and talk about your interests. They may or may not reply, though. Contact your undergrad professors in the field you want to be in, establish a friendly relationship, and ask them for advice and what's going on in the field nowadays. 

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