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Is it worth delaying applications to take the GRE again?


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I took the GRE for a second time the other day and ended up with the same score as my first try (164V/153Q/5.0AW) (haven't gotten AW back, but expecting it will be around the same). I'm applying to Harris, Georgetown MA Security Studies, SIPA, and Elliott and am worried my low quant score will lead to an automatic rejection. I have a strong GPA and graduated with a stats certificate, so I'm confident in my math abilities to pursue these degrees, but I struggle with math on standardized tests, hence the low score. SIPA's EA deadline is Nov. 1st and Harris' is Nov. 27th (these are my top program choices), but I won't be able to take the test again until after those deadlines have passed. Is it worth delaying the applications until the January deadlines if it means taking the GRE a third time to try and get quant higher? Or would it be sufficient enough to explain my background in the application? Thanks in advance! 

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Speak with someone at each program (probably the DGS) and tell them your concerns. If you don't test well in math it may not be something you can improve with another testing. However, if you speak to the programs and let them know that you don't do well on tests, they may be able to offer advice. That advice could be anything from "still apply" to "apply and address it in your SoP" to "ehhhh try and improve that quant score." Personally, I don't see any point in delaying your apps when you know what the problem is but haven't spoken with the programs about it yet. They're your best bet of learning if a lower quant will actually hurt your app in this case.

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