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Fall 2016 Application Advice!


Dx44
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Hello everyone!

 

I am working hard to get into an MSW program for Fall of 2016 and need some advice about the weight of our GRE scores in the application process! I recently took the GRE (after graduating May of 2014, have not taken a math class in 5 years!) and received the following scores:

 

Analytical: 4.0

Verbal: 152

Quantitative: 145

 

I know these numbers are not great, so I was wondering if it would be a smart decision to take the GRE again. My concerns of course are the cost and time it takes to study. While I am not the strongest studier, I would attempt to study harder than I did the first time around(which was close to none).

 

My other consideration is whether or not these scores will really weigh heavily since I graduated with an overall GPA of 3.3 and currently work in human services in multiple capacities (I have an internship with the American Red Cross in Client Casework, I work with children with autism with the school district as well as do in-home therapy, I am volunteer counseling intake provider, and a volunteer domestic violence victim advocate).

 

If the GRE score I have will bring me down a few notches in the application process then I want to take it again (and actually study hopefully), but if my experience outweighs the score, I'd rather not go through the pain in my wallet again.

 

I am looking to apply to UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, NCSU, SDSU, CSULB, CSUF, and Boston University (online).

 

Any advice helps, thank you all!

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Yes UNC Chapel Hill and Charlotte as well as SDSU require the GRE. Along with CSUF and CSULB, NCSU and Boston U do not.

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If you're set on applying to schools that require it, then yeah, it's probably not a bad idea to study hard and try again (unless they're only interested in the analytical section, in which case, you may be alright.) I know many schools use the GRE as a cut off, so it's generally in your best interest to get above the 50th percentile if you want to give yourself the best chances. Again, though, it will depend on the schools, and how strong the rest of your application is.

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If you feel the numbers are not reflective of your abilities, I would advise you to take it again.  Personally, I would not submit GRE scores that are indicative of an attempt I hadn't studied for.  The GRE is an exam you get much better at when you learn about it and practice it.  If you get a book and start doing practice tests, you'll see how much you improve just from experience with the exam.  It really doesn't take that much effort.

 

If you want to know where you currently stack up among others in the field, go here or here.

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Thank you both for your advice! I will most likely take it again. Now i'll just have to decide when and buckle down on the studying. It sounds like there is a general consensus about exposure to the test being one of the best ways to actually prepare.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes UNC Chapel Hill and Charlotte as well as SDSU require the GRE. Along with CSUF and CSULB, NCSU and Boston U do not.

 Hey there! I was accepted to SDSU with low GRE scores, so I wouldn't worry too much about your score (they only look at analytical anyways). I heavily focused on perfecting my resume/experiences and my SOP. If your GPA is over 3.0 and you have a lot of experience in the field, you're good to apply to SDSU.

 

Good luck, feel welcome to PM me if you have any more questions about SDSU. :)

 

PS. I wouldn't retake it, my scores were lower than yours and it wasn't a problem for SDSU (they desire a at least a 3.5 or higher on the AWA portion, 4.0 and above is preferred). Your GRE scores are solid for SDSU, not sure about how they evaluate it at UNCCH. Hope this helps!

Edited by Sh!zaam
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  • 1 month later...

UC Berkeley currently requires the GRE but there's talk of them getting rid of it. In the meantime, they don't look at the math score. Some of our math scores were in the 20th percentile! Admissions departments will give you information about how much weight they put on the scores, and sometimes they will tell you the range. This information should help you decide whether or not to retake that lame-o exam. Good luck!

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Hello everyone!

 

I am working hard to get into an MSW program for Fall of 2016 and need some advice about the weight of our GRE scores in the application process! I recently took the GRE (after graduating May of 2014, have not taken a math class in 5 years!) and received the following scores:

 

Analytical: 4.0

Verbal: 152

Quantitative: 145

 

I know these numbers are not great, so I was wondering if it would be a smart decision to take the GRE again. My concerns of course are the cost and time it takes to study. While I am not the strongest studier, I would attempt to study harder than I did the first time around(which was close to none).

 

My other consideration is whether or not these scores will really weigh heavily since I graduated with an overall GPA of 3.3 and currently work in human services in multiple capacities (I have an internship with the American Red Cross in Client Casework, I work with children with autism with the school district as well as do in-home therapy, I am volunteer counseling intake provider, and a volunteer domestic violence victim advocate).

 

If the GRE score I have will bring me down a few notches in the application process then I want to take it again (and actually study hopefully), but if my experience outweighs the score, I'd rather not go through the pain in my wallet again.

 

I am looking to apply to UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, NCSU, SDSU, CSULB, CSUF, and Boston University (online).

 

Any advice helps, thank you all!

You sound like a solid applicant! I have similar experience. I work with kids with autism, but mostly  in in-home therapy. I taught in a school setting before with some volunteer experience with teens.

 

I applied this year to CSULB as a student. The GRE was optional, so I  chose to omit my scores, and I still got in with my resume, SOP, and whatnot. I would follow the advice on this forum and really shape your experiences to one that would thrive in the social work setting.  I read up on the resources on the website to look over any program objectives and used that to communicate how my experience and social work align in my paper. Good luck!

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If you have the time and money, go ahead and study and the re-take it, why not. You have time. For me the GRE was not a major time factor compared to all the other app material.  I'm not in your field, but in the humanities the GRE is generally not heavily weighted in the app process. How you present yourself and your ideas are important. In my case, I took the GRE, then I studied lightly for a month, then I took it again and my overall score went up 6 points (iirc) and my AWA went from 4.0 to 5.0. But 4.0 is supposed to be "safe" so you are already there.

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  • 1 month later...

One comment on the GRE - my program at South Carolina does not require it, BUT if I wanted to do a dual degree, say MSW/MPH or MSW/MPA, those colleges do require GRE and the overall score may matter.

 

I realize this won't apply to most people, but just thought I'd mention it.

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I am looking to apply to UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, NCSU, SDSU, CSULB, CSUF, and Boston University (online).

 

Any advice helps, thank you all!

Dx44 - I am applying to many of the same programs for Fall 2016, have similar work experience, and I know a lot about NC MSW programs (been considering applying for 2 years), especially UNC-CHs program. I also went to UNC undergrad and still live in the Triangle area (UNC, NCSU,etc) We should chat! :) Happy to answer any questions you may have.

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