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Repost: Would love some advice on my new application season?


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Good day, everybody.

Forgive me, I had posted this in the Literary Arts section, but I do believe I was wrong to post it there. I feel that my questions are more aligned with the application process.

My goal is to get a PhD in English; it's something I have wanted for a very long time. I had a very bad application season last year, but I am willing to work hard and do it again. Right now, I'm subbing in high school and getting my standard teaching license; I do love teaching, and I think I want to teach high school for a bit before moving forward with the PhD.

But here's my profile, and I feel like a despicable candidate. :(

I graduated with a 3.9 GPA from NYU. I'm an African student from London, but I got my MA here in the US. My MA was in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and I sort of regret it. I should have gotten an MA in English Lit. 

I do have two solid recommendations from my NYU professors, but I am trying to seek a third. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but many of the professors at NYU don't like to help their students. They ignore emails and slam the office door in your face. (It's happened to me twice).

As for my GRE, my scores were abysmal. I was hospitalized twice for anxiety, and I think I'm starting to get it under control. Something about tests makes me tick. I plan to retake the GRE sometime next spring. I got a 5.5 in Analytical Writing, a 153 on Verbal, and a 146 in math.

For my personal statement, I think I have a solid idea for research, but I'm still perfecting it: I am willing to study 20th Century American and African American writers, focusing specifically on themes of masochism and violence as avenues for female expression.

I am not published.

I guess my biggest questions are as follows:

1- How do I get a third LOR from NYU?

2- What's the best GRE software you have used? I liked Magoosh and Manhattan Prep, but I'm interested in learning about others.

3- If I want to get into an English PhD program, how can I study for the Literature in English GRE?

4- What can I do to become a better candidate than last year?

5- Is there any way to remove the bad taste of last year's cycle from my mouth? :(


Thanks so much, everybody. Wishing you a happy beginning of the school year. Cheers.

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  • 3 months later...

A little late here I suppose, but how did your application process end up?  Its december right now so I think the deadlines have occured.  (Unless you applied for spring in which case you probably have got / are getting your admission decision).

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