Should I take the GRE again? - Power Punch Club
Power Punch Club

Should I take the GRE again?

You took the GRE. Once. Maybe twice. Now again? All your advisors, including your seniors, tell you that you need a higher score to get into the top tier universities of your choice. Before you go ahead and sign up for the GRE again, here is what Power Punch Club has to say :

1. Do you really need a higher score?
Probably not! Most universities disclosure their average GRE or GMAT score, which means they accept students that have lower than the average scores.

If you still don’t believe us, call the admissions office. Be clear and to the point. In one sentence tell them of your interest in the school, your background, and describe your GRE situation. Ask them if your score falls within the 95% confidence interval.

2. Is GRE the only thing they consider?
Absolutely not, and here is where you can compete with the others who did get a high GRE score. By the way the GRE score probably only holds 10% to 20% weight in the decision making criteria. A truly bad GRE score will keep you out, but a great GRE score will not guarantee you anything!

Ask yourself – what else is it that makes you unique? Make a list, and showcase all of those unique qualities in different parts of your application – your essay(s), letter of recommendations, and resume.

On that note, the essay is the most important part of your application and holds the most weight, probably 3 to 5 times more than the GRE score.

3. Why do they even ask for GRE scores?
To pass the first round of cuts. To get your application in the “to be considered” pile.

To understand your score, you must understand why they even ask you to take the GRE. How does the admissions committee know that you are ready to compete at the global stage? How can they tell that a 60% third-year transcript in engineering is the same as an 80% somewhere else?

Unlike your transcript, the GRE exam gives them the confidence that you can compete at a global level.

Ask yourself – Can you instill that confidence in other ways? Can you show (not tell) them, how you successfully have and will compete in the global arena?

4. What should I do now?
Unless your GRE score is below the 70th percentile, it’s time to move on and focus on the other 80% of your application. At the end, it will be your resume, essay, and letters of recommendation, that will get you an admit! GRE scores just put you into the pile marked “to be considered”.

5. Do I still apply?
Absolutely! You must go through the process of applying to at least two schools to understand what this whole process really takes. You must apply to some of the schools that were on your dream list. Doing so is a frustrating yet amazingly rewarding experience. Most of our students go through a complete transformation in their personality during this process.

Add some safe schools to your list if you must get into grad school this year. Or if you don’t want to compromise, frame a reject letter and take the GRE for next round. You will be surprised how much clarity of thought, vision, and purpose you have.

We’re here at the Power Punch Club to help you with all the other things beyond GRE, that get students into great universities.
March 25, 2017

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