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315 GRE! Can I get into top universities?


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Hey everybody!

I have completed my M.Sc. degree in 2016, I'm applying for grad school in organic chemistry for Fall 2017. Brief resume:

Integrated MSc at Birla institute of technology Mesra,Ranchi,India

GPA: 8.6(on a scale of 10); chemGPA:9 (on a scale of 10); GRE 156V/159Q; chemGRE - have to write yet.

1 summer's research experience and final dissertation project(6- months)

First author on a paper submitted to Structural Chemistry-Springer(in review);Third author on a paper accepted in BMCL.

 Is my GRE score enough if I want to get into the best schools? How about this school list ?

 Caltech, UC Berkeley, UCI, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia,Yale, University of Illinois urbana

Are there any chances that I can get into these schools?


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  • 2 months later...

Sorry to say this, but you only have a chance for UIUC (Illinois). The rest are brutally competitive programs and you'll need atleast a top 10% GRE score to be competitive. Especially because you are a PhD student, the requirements are much higher (as opposed to a Masters student). 

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Not true.
Most programs don't care too much about GRE, it's usually only scrutinized to make up for GPA but yours is good. You have 2 papers, one of which is first author, which is far more important than your GPA or a standardized test which uses very few skills relevant to chemistry.

As an international applicant, however, your cGRE will likely be important so I hope you did well.

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Just want to reiterate that what The Dark Knight said isn't really true--I know two people with about the same GRE score as you who got into Harvard thanks to doing really well in math courses, great SOPs, and a great fit with existing faculty. The GRE score will not break you provided that you have great things going for you in other areas.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I really think GRE scores do not matter as much as GPA and research experience.

I got 164 Q (87%), 160 V (85%) on general. I got 750 on Chem GRE (65%). I honestly thought my Chem GRE score would screw me over. 

I applied for organic chemistry programs for Fall 2017. Got accepted to Princeton and Stanford two days ago. Waiting for some other schools. 

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it's not impossible. I m international student who got BS in US. I just had a ton of research experience under a big name lab at a pretigious state college. My GRE is only 316 and I got offer from Princeton on 1/19/17

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