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Hi there! I am currently an undergraduate senior studying Speech and Hearing Sciences and I am hoping to be admitted into a SLP graduate program for the Fall 2017 semester, but I am aware of the reality that this is a very competitive field. Now that I have started the application process, I am having trouble determining how I rank as a student. I don't personally know many people in SLP graduate programs, so I am hoping to get some advice from people who have experience in this area. 

I am a little concerned about my overall academic standing because although I have a pretty strong GPA (3.95), my GRE scores are less than impressive: V-151 Q-152 AW-3.5. I have only taken the GRE once and I am scheduled to take it again, but I am not confident that I will be able to raise my scores very much (standardized tests have always been a major weakness of mine). I do have some work experience; I am currently enrolled in a SLPA internship program which will allow me to obtain my SLPA certification by the time I graduate in May, I am also enrolled in a 2-semester long independent research project, I worked as an intern at Sylvan Learning Center (but not since 2013), and I have experience working as a habilitation therapist. My school advisor insists that I will be considered a competitive applicant, but after spending hours on the edfind website, I've found that I don't meet the minimum GRE requirements of many of the schools I'd like to attend. As a result, I currently have a list of 13 programs that I plan to apply to ranging from near top-tier schools all the way to low-ranked programs in schools I didn't know existed. 

Based on the information above, do I have a chance getting into competitive programs that are looking for high GRE scores? Would I be better off saving money by only applying to less competitive schools in undesirable areas? Any other advice on creating a strong application? I would really love to hear from people who have applied to SLP graduate programs before, and anything you may have learned from applying (whether you were accepted or not). Any advice helps! Thanks!!(:

 

(*On a final note: I know that if I don't get into grad school the first time around, it's not the end of the world. More experience working as an SLPA is never a bad thing, but as of right now, my goal is to do anything I can to get into school ASAP so that I can continue pursuing my passion. Thanks again!)

 

Edited by Slp_AZ

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Northern AZ has a summers-only program for working SLPA's and I've heard it isn't that competitive. If that isn't already on your list, I would definitely add it.

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You are competitive in every aspect but your GRE score. I know you said that you aren't sure if your score will improve much, but I thought the same and mine went up 7 points between the 2 attempts. Here is what I did: I looked over vocabulary. Just seeing a word and its meaning once or twice will make a big difference in contrast to just taking a shot in the dark in a lot of the vocab-oriented verbal questions. I also drilled math questions. Past a certain point you simply can't keep watching tutorial videos for problems, you need to do them in a timed setting over and over again. Doing this helped me take control of my poor time management in the quant section. Finally, regarding the AW: you need to make at least a 4, I think. I made a 5.5. Here are some suggestions: read the whole prompt. (no brainer, right?) then make sure you answer every aspect of the prompt fully in the discussion. Vary your sentence structure. Vary your vocab usage and avoid repetition. Avoid "I believe, I think" in the event that you must use first person language. (avoid if possible.) Counter your counters to bolster your argument while providing a multifaceted perspective of your subject/argument. Take the last minute to scan for obvious errors. 

 

I hope this helps. I get a lot of test anxiety and attribute that to my lower score the first time I took the test. Don't view your second round as a 4 hour span that will make or break you but rather an opportunity to improve. 

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10 hours ago, salvols said:

You are competitive in every aspect but your GRE score. I know you said that you aren't sure if your score will improve much, but I thought the same and mine went up 7 points between the 2 attempts. Here is what I did: I looked over vocabulary. Just seeing a word and its meaning once or twice will make a big difference in contrast to just taking a shot in the dark in a lot of the vocab-oriented verbal questions. I also drilled math questions. Past a certain point you simply can't keep watching tutorial videos for problems, you need to do them in a timed setting over and over again. Doing this helped me take control of my poor time management in the quant section. Finally, regarding the AW: you need to make at least a 4, I think. I made a 5.5. Here are some suggestions: read the whole prompt. (no brainer, right?) then make sure you answer every aspect of the prompt fully in the discussion. Vary your sentence structure. Vary your vocab usage and avoid repetition. Avoid "I believe, I think" in the event that you must use first person language. (avoid if possible.) Counter your counters to bolster your argument while providing a multifaceted perspective of your subject/argument. Take the last minute to scan for obvious errors. 

 

I hope this helps. I get a lot of test anxiety and attribute that to my lower score the first time I took the test. Don't view your second round as a 4 hour span that will make or break you but rather an opportunity to improve. 

Thank you for your advice on how to study for the exam the second time around, that is a huge help! It's encouraging to hear that someone else with test anxiety was able to improve their score so much! I really appreciate it!

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