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Bombed GRE Quant, perfect verbal, worth the retake?


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Hey everyone,

I just got my general GRE scores back and am trying to make sense of the mixed results. I bombed the quantitative section (got a 149 which places me in the 37th percentile), got a 170 (99th percentile) in the verbal and a 5 (93rd percentile) in writing. Is it worth taking the GRE again to show that I can (sort of) do math? I'm applying to top English and Spanish Literature PhD programs for next fall. My top choices are Harvard, Brown, NYU, Standford, Yale, and UC Berkeley.  

For more context, I completed my BA summa cum laude at a respectable women's college, have good recommendations, am a Phi Beta Kappa Society member (for what that's worth) and am currently working as a Fulbright ETA in a Spanish-speaking country.

This whole grad school process is new and very daunting to me so any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much. 

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Thanks for your advice. Still on the fence. I want my application to be as strong as possible, but it's a lot of time and money to re-take the test in a different country. 

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Would like to know if anyone else has anything to suggest. 

I'm going for history programmes (aiming for top 10) and got 163V and 147Q, and of course with that horrendous Quant score I am worried about admissions committees being iffy about my application,

I'm worried because I heard top schools care about both scores, and some people have suggested that a high Q score is a measure of brilliance. Not sure how true that is though...

Edited by MrMomo
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That is not true at all. The GRE doesn't test brilliance it tests how well you know the test. The GRE the the least important part of the application. I'm willing to bet that most if not all programs will care about one section over another. You two should just focus on the parts of your application that matter more like your PS, LOR and GPA

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