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FALL 2018, Low GRE Verbal score, decent Quan and GPA


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Hey guys,

I am super stressed out about applying for Speech Language Pathology. 

Little background: I live in New York, graduated with BA in psychology in 2014, and working at a non-profit with children under 3 as a home-visitor for two years.

I am taking pre-requisites classes and at the same time I have currently been studying for GRE with Magoosh about one month and there is no improvement on my verbal section. 

My practice exam score: verbal143, quantitative153, and writing probably around 3.0. My undergrad GPA was 3.54.

It's so frustrating since I studied every day for more than 2 hours every single day. I don't know what I have done wrong. My math has increased but not verbal, I think it's mainly because English is not my first language. 

After reading many posts, I feel that my change of getting a program is nearly diminished.

I don't have outstanding scores, not as closely related work experiences, nor I would do well on interviews since I get anxiety attack for it.  

:(:(:(

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In my personal experience, Magoosh prepared me very well for the quantitative section but the verbal section was meh. I agree that a tutor may help. At least now you can focus specifically on the verbal section. Perhaps you can shadow an SLP to add on more experience in the field? There are other aspects of the application besides the GRE :)

Don't give up! This forum may sometimes be intimidating, but I think you will also find many hopeful stories of people who have worked hard and gotten into programs with "low" stats. Find those stories, focus on improving your application, and take a break from this website. Good luck! 

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I took the GRE twice because I did awful on verbal the first time (134). I used Magoosh and had no idea how to learn all those words! What helped me the few days before taking it the second time was realizing I wasn't prepared and that reading comprehension was half of the verbal section. So I figured if I could ace those questions I should get a 150, right? Ha. I had the 5 pound manhattan prep book in addition to Magoosh and studied reading comp only the days before and ended up getting a 149!

I'm not sure if that would be a good way for you to approach studying, but that helped me.

And I also started with the reading comp first during the test to give me time to do the section I felt more comfortable doing. And if I didn't have time for the rest, I would just pick random answers for the awful vocab words!

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Use GreenlightTestPrep!!! Same people who do the Magoosh videos give you the same videos but they are FREE!! And they are very responsive on their website GreenlightTestPrep.com. I highly recommend it. Definitely helped me a lot.

 

And also, see if you can practice with someone to prepare for interviews. Research how people with anxiety deal with interviews and see if anything others have done may be able to help you as well. Don't give up! I went to school and got my bachelors in 2015 in Psychology as well! And just like you, I did my prerequisites right after, and finished after a year. I always had experience working with children, but you may be surprised how much of your experience can relate the the SLP field! You need people skills, the abilities to build a rapport with individuals - whether children or adults (or both!), and so much more. 

 

Sounds to me like you need to write a knockout personal statement. Talk to your professors and definitely keep in touch with them throughout this process becaize they will be integral in helping you figure out how you can better market yourself as a graduate school candidate. Meet with a few of them and ask what they think colleges are looking for in a personal statement and once you have written one, go back to them and ask how you can make improvements. Go to the wiring center at your school and have them check it too! I had 6 or so people check each of my SOP for each school before I sent them in.

 

Definitely don't be discouraged though! My GRE stats were low (Q: 141, V: 152, AW: 3.5) and I got accepted into a school. You just need one! Just keep in mind that if you have below a 4.0 on your AW section, you may have to write an essay at the interviews as well. I live in NY and applied to schools here so if you have any questions, feel free to message me.

 

I would really suggest working on getting great letters of recommendation (make sure you meet with the professors to discuss it, don't just ask if they can write it), writing a great SOP, and really working on your interview skills because if you land an interview.. you're definitely going to want to make yourself shine! You have some time to work on all of these things so don't sell yourself short, you can do it! 

 

I'm not sure whether you should try to get a more related job or volunteer experience or not though since I'm not sure what your work entails. What do you do as a home visitor? And what other types of jobs do you have on your resume (if you don't mind me asking)? 

Edited by SpeechLaedy
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Like you, I am from out-of-field and took leveling courses.  

One thing to consider is that your practice GRE experience may not reflect your actual test experience.  I've heard of people having considerably different scores from their practice and actual GRE tests.  I took both of the ETS practice tests, but didn't look at the scores because I didn't want to create expectations one way or another - I have very high test anxiety and if I had a low score on my practice tests, it would have just contributed to that.  I viewed the practice tests as a way to get a feel for the test in order to get more comfortable with it, in addition to helping with time management.  Not looking at the scores is not the best advice for most people, but I knew it was right for me. 

I also used Magoosh for help with the verbal section, but I made my own flash cards with those words because, for me, the act of writing the words with the definitions makes an impact on memorization.  Additionally, I used the Kaplan GRE Premier.  After I read the Kaplan sections and made my flash cards I stopped studying for long periods of time and only studied in small bursts during workouts or intervals throughout the day.  I did some practice essays from the ETS question bank as I had time, but only approximately one every other week.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't despair because confidence plays a very big role in how well you'll do on your test (in my opinion) and if you go into your test expecting a low score, it will not serve you well during your actual exam.  Like most things, if you're not seeing results, change up what you're doing and find another approach.

I generally do average on standardized tests, and ended up getting 162 Verbal | 4 AW.  I got into the one and only school I applied to.  As SpeechLaedy posted, the GRE is not the only thing schools consider, so you can make sure your application is strong in other areas by getting good LORs and writing an impressive SOP.  Schools may also take into account that English is not your first language.

Another thing to consider is looking into applying to schools that do not require the GRE.  

Edited by SLP_Dreamer
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  • 1 month later...
On 5/31/2017 at 7:22 AM, SpeechLaedy said:

Use GreenlightTestPrep!!! Same people who do the Magoosh videos give you the same videos but they are FREE!! And they are very responsive on their website GreenlightTestPrep.com. I highly recommend it. Definitely helped me a lot.

 

And also, see if you can practice with someone to prepare for interviews. Research how people with anxiety deal with interviews and see if anything others have done may be able to help you as well. Don't give up! I went to school and got my bachelors in 2015 in Psychology as well! And just like you, I did my prerequisites right after, and finished after a year. I always had experience working with children, but you may be surprised how much of your experience can relate the the SLP field! You need people skills, the abilities to build a rapport with individuals - whether children or adults (or both!), and so much more. 

 

Sounds to me like you need to write a knockout personal statement. Talk to your professors and definitely keep in touch with them throughout this process becaize they will be integral in helping you figure out how you can better market yourself as a graduate school candidate. Meet with a few of them and ask what they think colleges are looking for in a personal statement and once you have written one, go back to them and ask how you can make improvements. Go to the wiring center at your school and have them check it too! I had 6 or so people check each of my SOP for each school before I sent them in.

 

Definitely don't be discouraged though! My GRE stats were low (Q: 141, V: 152, AW: 3.5) and I got accepted into a school. You just need one! Just keep in mind that if you have below a 4.0 on your AW section, you may have to write an essay at the interviews as well. I live in NY and applied to schools here so if you have any questions, feel free to message me.

 

I would really suggest working on getting great letters of recommendation (make sure you meet with the professors to discuss it, don't just ask if they can write it), writing a great SOP, and really working on your interview skills because if you land an interview.. you're definitely going to want to make yourself shine! You have some time to work on all of these things so don't sell yourself short, you can do it! 

 

I'm not sure whether you should try to get a more related job or volunteer experience or not though since I'm not sure what your work entails. What do you do as a home visitor? And what other types of jobs do you have on your resume (if you don't mind me asking)? 

Thank you very much for your encouragement. 

I just took my GRE today, it turned out V:152, Q: 153, AW is not known yet (i guess sth 3-3.5). I did better on verbal than I expected and worse on quantitative.

I am not sure whether I should take it again, since I still got time. 

Anyways, I do see that you have quite similar stats with mine, and the schools u applied are pretty much the one I was going to apply. Did you get an interview chance in any of the CUNYs? How did they go?

 

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On 6/3/2017 at 2:52 PM, SLP_Dreamer said:

Like you, I am from out-of-field and took leveling courses.  

One thing to consider is that your practice GRE experience may not reflect your actual test experience.  I've heard of people having considerably different scores from their practice and actual GRE tests.  I took both of the ETS practice tests, but didn't look at the scores because I didn't want to create expectations one way or another - I have very high test anxiety and if I had a low score on my practice tests, it would have just contributed to that.  I viewed the practice tests as a way to get a feel for the test in order to get more comfortable with it, in addition to helping with time management.  Not looking at the scores is not the best advice for most people, but I knew it was right for me. 

I also used Magoosh for help with the verbal section, but I made my own flash cards with those words because, for me, the act of writing the words with the definitions makes an impact on memorization.  Additionally, I used the Kaplan GRE Premier.  After I read the Kaplan sections and made my flash cards I stopped studying for long periods of time and only studied in small bursts during workouts or intervals throughout the day.  I did some practice essays from the ETS question bank as I had time, but only approximately one every other week.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't despair because confidence plays a very big role in how well you'll do on your test (in my opinion) and if you go into your test expecting a low score, it will not serve you well during your actual exam.  Like most things, if you're not seeing results, change up what you're doing and find another approach.

I generally do average on standardized tests, and ended up getting 162 Verbal | 4 AW.  I got into the one and only school I applied to.  As SpeechLaedy posted, the GRE is not the only thing schools consider, so you can make sure your application is strong in other areas by getting good LORs and writing an impressive SOP.  Schools may also take into account that English is not your first language.

Another thing to consider is looking into applying to schools that do not require the GRE.  

Thanks for sharing your story. GRE verbal score of 162 seemed to be very strong. They all say that GRE is not the only thing they look at, however, a good score does say sth about applicants. 

For me applying for just one school would be too risky, i might apply more than 5 schools just to make sure that I would get into one. 

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On 7/3/2017 at 7:39 PM, mumblejumble said:

Thank you very much for your encouragement. 

I just took my GRE today, it turned out V:152, Q: 153, AW is not known yet (i guess sth 3-3.5). I did better on verbal than I expected and worse on quantitative.

I am not sure whether I should take it again, since I still got time. 

Anyways, I do see that you have quite similar stats with mine, and the schools u applied are pretty much the one I was going to apply. Did you get an interview chance in any of the CUNYs? How did they go?

 

ALL the cunys shot me down with the quickness. But then again, I think I could've gotten at least an interview with Lehman if my statement of purpose had included my experience learning from the director of the program there when she was employed at Queens College. I didn't add anything about her or say anything I wanted to say due to time constraints. But ah well. I'd say to check out the typically accepted GRE scores at the specific CUNYs you're interested in on ASHA's Edfind to see if you're in the range. If you really want to get in one of them, you may want to make sure you're at the top of these ranges and possibly retake it. $200 is a lot to take out each time to retake, but at least in the long run, if you get into a CUNY, the amount you will pay as opposed to a private college will be much less. All the best!!

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Keep your grades up in your pre-req courses, and that could really help with your GRE score. Also one month is not that long to practice and study, especially with English not being your first language. Give it time. I found the Magoosh flashcards really helpful (in addition to outside reading) for building vocabulary. What is your native language? The fact that you speak another language could be really helpful too. We need more bilingual SLP's. Even if it's not Spanish :-) Good luck!

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On 7/8/2017 at 11:47 AM, WannabSLP124 said:

Keep your grades up in your pre-req courses, and that could really help with your GRE score. Also one month is not that long to practice and study, especially with English not being your first language. Give it time. I found the Magoosh flashcards really helpful (in addition to outside reading) for building vocabulary. What is your native language? The fact that you speak another language could be really helpful too. We need more bilingual SLP's. Even if it's not Spanish :-) Good luck!

I speak mandarin and also one dialect (not cantones) which is very popularly spoken in both Chinatowns: Manhattan and sunset park. 

I really hope that helps. 

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On 7/5/2017 at 4:04 PM, SpeechLaedy said:

ALL the cunys shot me down with the quickness. But then again, I think I could've gotten at least an interview with Lehman if my statement of purpose had included my experience learning from the director of the program there when she was employed at Queens College. I didn't add anything about her or say anything I wanted to say due to time constraints. But ah well. I'd say to check out the typically accepted GRE scores at the specific CUNYs you're interested in on ASHA's Edfind to see if you're in the range. If you really want to get in one of them, you may want to make sure you're at the top of these ranges and possibly retake it. $200 is a lot to take out each time to retake, but at least in the long run, if you get into a CUNY, the amount you will pay as opposed to a private college will be much less. All the best!!

I read ur other posts.

so are you going to LIU? 

I heard it's under probation. Does that affect you if you are enrolled? 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/13/2017 at 4:24 PM, mumblejumble said:

I read ur other posts.

so are you going to LIU? 

I heard it's under probation. Does that affect you if you are enrolled? 

LIU Brooklyn is under probation, not Post. I don't recall what the probation status means for current and prospective students, but I believe ASHA has a section on their website that explains it. And yes, I'll be attending LIU Post.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On May 29, 2017 at 6:04 PM, mumblejumble said:

Hey guys,

I am super stressed out about applying for Speech Language Pathology. 

Little background: I live in New York, graduated with BA in psychology in 2014, and working at a non-profit with children under 3 as a home-visitor for two years.

I am taking pre-requisites classes and at the same time I have currently been studying for GRE with Magoosh about one month and there is no improvement on my verbal section. 

My practice exam score: verbal143, quantitative153, and writing probably around 3.0. My undergrad GPA was 3.54.

It's so frustrating since I studied every day for more than 2 hours every single day. I don't know what I have done wrong. My math has increased but not verbal, I think it's mainly because English is not my first language. 

After reading many posts, I feel that my change of getting a program is nearly diminished.

I don't have outstanding scores, not as closely related work experiences, nor I would do well on interviews since I get anxiety attack for it.  

:(:(:(

Honestly, I know this is not the popular opinion but in my opinion the score you get on the GRE is not going to shift much.  I took it twice and got identical scores both times.  Do not worry yourself with continuously retaking this test and getting better scores.  We have similar scores and I was offered interviews at 4 schools and will be beginning my program (in NY) in two weeks ( and your GPA is wayyyy better than mine!).

Focus on strengthening other aspects of your application; employment, volunteer work, statement of purpose.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Mary93
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