blc073

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Hi everyone,

Please bear with me, I’m new to this page and I’m a little embarrassed to be posting and subjecting myself to potentially painful responses LOL. Anyways, I’m applying to pathobiology programs at Hopkins, Boston U, and Columbia, but my GRE scores aren’t great. I’m pretty confident in the rest of my application - 3.6 GPA in undergrad, 3 years of breast cancer research with two publications - one first author and two AACR abstracts. I currently work at Memorial Sloan Kettering as the Biospecimen Coordinator for the Pancreas Center for almost two years, 3 awesome letters of rec all from MSK (Two from well known PI’s who happened to move their labs from Hopkins to Memorial Sloan Kettering where I work. One of those PI’s started a research autopsy program at Hopkins which I participate in at Sloan, harvesting organs from people with extensive disease. The third letter is from a medical oncologist who I created the workflow for a 18 million dollar multi-institutional grant for and speaks very highly of me). I’m very passionate about pathology and I’m positive that I displayed that in my SOP. My only concern is my GRE scores. I just barely broke 300 with verbal and quant, and got a 4.5 in the analytical writing, but I’m so nervous that the schools are going to see this part of my application and run. I did happen to hear from Boston already about reviewing my application and requesting my scores so they could fully evaluate my application before the December 1st deadline, so maybe that’s a good sign? Any positive thoughts? I’m so ready to move on to the next step in my career and THE WAITING IS KILLING ME!  Good luck to everyone else who is going through similar things, I’m definitely getting some grays from this process.

Edited by Jacklynnve

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1 hour ago, Jacklynnve said:

Hi everyone,

Please bear with me, I’m new to this page and I’m a little embarrassed to be posting and subjecting myself to potentially painful responses LOL. Anyways, I’m applying to pathobiology programs at Hopkins, Boston U, and Columbia, but my GRE scores aren’t great. I’m pretty confident in the rest of my application - 3.6 GPA in undergrad, 3 years of breast cancer research with two publications - one first author and two AACR abstracts. I currently work at Memorial Sloan Kettering as the Biospecimen Coordinator for the Pancreas Center for almost two years, 3 awesome letters of rec all from MSK (Two from well known PI’s who happened to move their labs from Hopkins to Memorial Sloan Kettering where I work. One of those PI’s started a research autopsy program at Hopkins which I participate in at Sloan, harvesting organs from people with extensive disease. The third letter is from a medical oncologist who I created the workflow for a 18 million dollar multi-institutional grant for and speaks very highly of me). I’m very passionate about pathology and I’m positive that I displayed that in my SOP. My only concern is my GRE scores. I just barely broke 300 with verbal and quant, and got a 4.5 in the analytical writing, but I’m so nervous that the schools are going to see this part of my application and run. I did happen to hear from Boston already about reviewing my application and requesting my scores so they could fully evaluate my application before the December 1st deadline, so maybe that’s a good sign? Any positive thoughts? I’m so ready to move on to the next step in my career and THE WAITING IS KILLING ME!  Good luck to everyone else who is going through similar things, I’m definitely getting some grays from this process.

 

3 is kind of a small number of programs to apply to, but I'm sure there is a reason those are the programs you're specifically aiming for.  I don't know what your chances are, but I wouldn't look into anything too closely right now since the first application deadline for many places isn't even here yet.  I think everything in your application looks good, but your GRE scores might hurt you.  If the adcomms are willing to look past that and look at the rest of your application, with good LoRs and statements, I think you'd be competitive.  There are programs out there that weigh GRE scores more heavily than others do (some programs are planning to remove the GRE requirement all together), and I don't know which direction the programs you're applying to will go in.  You might want to aim for schools where you have an excellent research fit who care about research experience/LoRs over a standardized test.

Anecdotally, I applied a few years ago with a 152V/149Q/3.5AWA.  I applied to a range of programs.  I had 4 years of research experience (both undergrad and working as a tech), GPA of 3.67, great LoRs and statements, so everything else looked good.  I was outright rejected at the top tier programs I applied to, but 3 of the mid to low-tier programs I applied to offered me interviews.  I didn't get in anywhere post-interview.  Whether I botched the interview or they had to cut people based off of other aspects of their application (i.e. my GRE scores), I'm not sure.  Either way, despite having abysmal GRE scores, I managed to get interviews somewhere.

This cycle I'm going in with a 152V/152Q/5.0AWA.  My scores still suck, but I just suck at taking standardized tests in general.  Sending positive vibes your way and best of luck with your applications!  The wait is killing me too!

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@Jacklynnve

The GRE is not a big deal, but anything below a 310 is cutting it close. I would have advised you to retake the exam. Alas, there is nothing to do about it now. 

Your GPA is fine and your research is stellar. Hopefully your SOP was cogent and in line with your background. Pathology isn't really a research area, so hopefully you narrowed down your interests to cancer biology, or anything more specific than pathology. 

Three programs is not nearly enough, especially when your three schools are two top tiers and another competitive private school. My advice: do what you need to do to get together another few hundred bucks and submit more applications. You still have time! Also, why are you not applying to GSK? 

Overall, you should be a competitive applicant. However, you should try to submit more applications. 

Edited by blc073

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@blc073 Thanks for your advice. I will definitely try to get in some more applications. I tried to stick to schools who have pathobiology programs with a focus in neoplasia or umbrella programs with pathology & laboratory medicine as a focus so GSK was not on my list.

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Okay, I have a weird/stupid question.  I have a couple interviews scheduled already, which I know is pretty early.  One of them is in mid January and the other in early March.  The one in March is the later interview weekend for that program (which is one of my top choices) and I'm wondering if that will put me at a disadvantage interviewing later, because they would have already admitted others by that time.  I already booked the other date with the other program, so I had to pick the later interview weekend.

Edited by StemCellFan

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