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Do Top-20 PS departments usually care about one's AWA score on the GRE? I am not a bad writer at all, but I don't do well with writing these formulaic essays for standardized tests. Both my SAT and ACT writing scores were not all that great, back in high school. I'm taking the GRE this week and have not prepared for the AWA at all. So, should I panic? 

Edited by CarolineMarie
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Good programs have a minimum cutoff somewhere just above 160/160/4.0.  Substantially beating the cutoff will not grant you extra credit.


Panic only if you cannot reach those scores.

Edited by law2phd
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  • 2 weeks later...

No. I got into Yale with a 4. Your performance on that test is not indicative of your ability to write at a high level. They have your SOP and in some cases a writing sample... These are much more important measures of your academic writing skills.

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