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yourruth

low GRE Verbal..no hope? 6th attempt

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Today, I took my 6th GRE in the previous 5 years... I have never been good enough, and ironically my score is going lower and lower. Today, I got V: 152, Q: 164.

My verbal scores has been vacillating from 151 to 159 whereas my math has been always good. My writing has been also terrible..always 3.0 except once.

Anyways, I am now so tired and thinking maybe GRE is not something for me. 

 

I have a score that is V: 151, Q: 170, AWA: 4.5. I am thinking about applying with this score. But I am not sure if it is good enough.

 

I want to do master or PhD in Computational Social Science, such as Computational Analytics in Public Policy at Chicago Univ. And yes, most of the programs I want to do are STEM. I did my bachelors in Business and masters in Social Work. I have been working as a research assistant in IT department working for research about community informatics. I also have a list of voluntary experiences and worked with a range of vulnerable people. I think my profile is pretty good. I received full tuition merit-based scholarship for this masters as well (I was one of two international students who got this scholarship). My GPA of this masters program is 3.9/4.0 and this school is among the top 5 in Australia. 

 

I am just so anxious about my verbal score since the programs accept students from a variety of majors even if they are STEM programs. Should I retake GRE? I have already taken GRE three times this year and verbal has never shown any progress, but only regression. I have put aside other work—my research assistant work, my personal research project, admission essay, etc.—and I am so jaded. Another thing is that I cannot be just satisfied with being accepted but need scholarship. Does GRE count much when assessing applicants for scholarship? Should I take another one???

 

 

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I don't know much about Computational Social Science. from engineering department or social science department?

Is English you mother tongue? If not, i think V: 151, Q: 170, AWA: 4.5 is quite good enough. Given AWA 4.5 is high enough and verbal is irrelevant for international students.

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Hi yourruth,

The Q170/V151/AWA4.5 is likely a competitive-enough score that you're probably fine applying with it. If you have a specific list of PhD Programs that you're interested in, then you should be able to research those Programs in more detail (and even contact them directly with any questions that you might have). If the general sense from the various Admissions Offices is that there's an issue with your score, then you'll know that you'll have to retest.

GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich

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6 hours ago, AmberKian said:

I don't know much about Computational Social Science. from engineering department or social science department?

Is English you mother tongue? If not, i think V: 151, Q: 170, AWA: 4.5 is quite good enough. Given AWA 4.5 is high enough and verbal is irrelevant for international students.

Thank you AmberKian. This sounds very hopeful! Yes, I am an international student. Is it true that verbal is not very relevant? I am finishing my two years of masters program in Australia and my GPA is very high ranked 95% among approximately 130 students. So I will be waived for TOEFL though. 

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5 hours ago, EMPOWERgreRichC said:

Hi yourruth,

The Q170/V151/AWA4.5 is likely a competitive-enough score that you're probably fine applying with it. If you have a specific list of PhD Programs that you're interested in, then you should be able to research those Programs in more detail (and even contact them directly with any questions that you might have). If the general sense from the various Admissions Offices is that there's an issue with your score, then you'll know that you'll have to retest.

GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich

Rich, Thank you so much! I have checked several schools in which I am interested and they all state on their website that they don't have any minimum GRE scores but most of accepted students have quite high scores... I will ask them directly if my score would hurt my application or any chance for scholarship.

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I have another question though. So, it is a huge relief that my verbal would not hurt my application, especially when I am an international student. But would it be still okay when I apply top tier schools? I know there are other factors, but would my verbal lower the chance of getting in to any top tier programs when they consider my application? I want to apply CAPP (Computational Analysis and Public Policy) at University of Chicago or similar programs in NYU, Columbia, etc.

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@yourruth I think it'll be okay, but the acceptance of scores is generally discipline-specific and sometimes program specific. In history (which is really the only discipline I can speak of confidently), it's unlikely that programs will care if your quantitative score is the middle to low 150s. My program is quite well-regarded in my sub-discipline, and I still managed to get accepted with competitive funding with a 151 quantitative score. 

Could a 151-152 hurt your chances? Maybe. It's hard to say. However, I would have been pretty confident applying to whatever program I would have liked if I had 170 verbal and 151 quantitative (the opposite of your score).

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Hi yourruth,

You're likely still fine applying with this score (even to 'Top' Programs). PhD Programs are looking for strong OVERALL applicants, so you'd likely be better served by making sure that the rest of your application is properly presented (than focusing on raising your GRE Verbal Score).

GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich

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To be honest, my GRE score was shameful: 143 V/170 Q/2.0 A, but I still got 2 acceptances (Computer Science). You should pay more attention to your recommendation letters and personal statement. Selecting the right schools and right professors also improve your chance a lot. And be confident. 

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A tad bit tangential to this, UChicago has another course -Masters in Computational Social Science which kicked off this year. It being relatively new, you might have heightened chances of going through! Also 152 seems ok enough. Write a convincing SOP.

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On 2016. 8. 18. at 3:58 PM, yourruth said:

Yes, I am an international student. Is it true that verbal is not very relevant? I am finishing my two years of masters program in Australia and my GPA is very high ranked 95% among approximately 130 students. So I will be waived for TOEFL though

 

I agree with everyone that your score with 170 q is good, but I also understand your nervousness. Obviously, writing a great SOP will overshadow the verbal score but if you're still nervous, I suggest taking the TOEFL even if you're exempt. I'm also an international student and I really didn't want to have to pay for TOEFL but some feedback I got from other international students was that if you get a good score, it will be helpful in alleviating possible concern over your English comprehension. Judging from your posts, getting an impressive TOEFL score shouldn't be too difficult with some practice and it would be one more positive thing to add to your portfolio. I'm eligible for exemption for some of the programs I'm applying to so I thought I'd save money on reporting fees and only submit to schools that don't waive TOEFL but I ended up getting a really good score so am just going to send it out to all schools. A number of friends who were nervous about either their verbal or AWA score have done the same. 

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