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Low AWA for clinical psychology PhD


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Hi guys, I'll appriciate some advice. 

I'm an international student applying to Ph.D programs in clinical psychology. My GRE scores are V - 155 ; Q - 160, which are not brilliant but reasonable for most programs.

However, my AWA is 3.5 (42%), which is low. 

Do you know how much weight programs usually give to the AWA part ? is there a point of registering with such a score, or would my application probably not pass the first phase of the admission process ? 


Edited by flood25
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Hi flood25! 

I disagree with a 4 being the unofficial cutoff. I work with a clinical psychologist in academia, actually just sat down and talked with her about grad schools today. She said the first important thing is contacting the faculty and showing your interest and passion for the work that they do, most professors typically don't accept students they haven't connected with in some form. Second, GPA is the first cutoff, how high is your GPA? is it above 3.8? or 3.9 in your last two years? Third is the GRE cutoffs, you have a stellar quant and verbal which would be favorable. If you are able to compensate your low AW score with an outstanding SOP or personal statement then that one score may not hold you back. I say you should still apply to programs this year and make sure you emphasize your other strengths.

Good luck!!! :)

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I also agree that there isn't a cutoff for GRE scores - I've chatted with people in my program and have noticed a wide range. What matters more is fit to your supervisor and the program itself more than anything. Not to mention, you are an international student so the committee going through the applications will take that into consideration!

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Hi Wecanall and Jay, thank you for this valuable feedback. 

Yes, both my B.A and M.A GPA are above 3.9, and I have contacted faculty in all the programs  i'm applying to and they all invited me to apply. I was just worried the low AWA will result in my application failing to reach some initial cutoff, but I guess you're both right, I'll apply and hope for the best. So at the moment I'm working hard on my personal statement in hopes it could compensate for the AWA score, at least in part. 

Thank you for your support :)

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