Monday, November 8, 2010

Very Low GRE Score: Next What?

You are coming out of the GRE test center with a sad face because your score in GRE didn’t come out to be what you expected. This is not very uncommon. This can happen with anybody. So if you wrote GRE well before December, you have one option that you can write GRE again but if you wrote it very late and you fear that by the time you write GRE again the deadlines of the universities will be over and you don’t want to miss the year. What are the options?
Well considering you don’t want to miss the year, you can probably apply to low ranking universities which are achievable with your score. But what if your score is too low… say 1100 or even lower. Though you can get admission to some universities with a GRE score of 1100 too if other credentials are good yet it’s a little risky. One option to you may be to consider your PhD in agricultural economics which is very similar to economics PhD but not exactly the same. However you can do almost same research which you could have done as an economics graduate student. And with a GRE score of 1100 and more you can get admission to a decent ranking university in agricultural economics department.
One more option could be talking to the program head of the school you are applying to. Sometimes you can write them a mail describing your situation that somehow you could not score very well in GRE because of some reason but you want to apply to that university. You are planning to write GRE again but you are going to miss the deadline. In some cases, though very rarely, they may allow you to apply with the current score however they require you to submit the new score as soon as possible. In that case if you could improve your score next time you may get admission.
Nonetheless, the best strategy is to write GRE a little early such that you can write it again if you mess up your test and you can rewrite it at right time such that you can apply to your target universities. You may also want to discuss the reason of scoring bad in your SOP.

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