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Low GRE PhD acceptance stories?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by pointzerofive, 08.15.08.

  1. pointzerofive

    pointzerofive

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    I was wondering if anyone had any success stories of being accepted to a PhD program with a rather low GRE score (< 1100).
    Last edited: 08.15.08
  2. kh1264

    kh1264

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    Hey,

    I'm new to the Ph.D./Psy.D. forum but I'd thought I'd reply...
    Anyway, my Aunt recently completed her MA at Eastern Kentucky University and got accepted into Liberty University's Pastoral Counseling program with a GRE score well below 1100. She called them and talked to faculty and basically told them, "Hey, I've successfully completed an MA at EKU and am completely capable of completing graduate level work"...obviously not in those exact words. She says that when others reviewing her info. contact her they always seem surprised that she got in with her scores...but she did :laugh:

    anyway, thats my story. i don't have a personal one since i haven't taken my GREs yet!
  3. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I'm sure it happens, although pastoral counseling is not the same as a clinical psychology program and its not nearly as competitive. I am sure most below 1100 who have been accpeted have had other outstanding characteristics that have pushed them over the edge, mostly pubs probably. Professional school PsyD program also put considerably less emphasis on GRE scores.
  4. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Wait, does that mean you stand a chance of getting into a PhD program with an 1100?
  5. dekared82

    dekared82

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    Oh yeah sure....though for competitive clinical psych programs, that's a different story.
  6. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Haha, now if only I could find some non-competitive ones that fit my interest. :/

    I'm retaking the GRE soon, though.
  7. bigdodge53

    bigdodge53

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    It is very possible to get in if you are able to compensate well in other areas of your application and supplemental information. I had a GRE of 1070 (after taking three times :mad:. . .lots of money down the drain. . .) so I had a very good chance of getting axed at most of the extremely competitive clinical psych programs. For one, be realistic in your expectations of where you can get in (if the average GRE is above 1200 for a program you might as well look elsewhere). I decided to apply counseling psych instead of clinical mostly because of research interests but it also worked out that counseling psych is not as competitive as clinical psych (it's still very competitive). I had a GPA of 3.81 of out my undergrad but I decided to pursue a master's degree to give myself some more research opportunities and to provide some extra evidence of my potential to perform well at the doctoral level (4.0 in case your curious). I ended up with about 5 conference presentations, a thesis, and some manuscripts in the process of being reviewed for publication. You also should allow yourself plenty of time to tailor your purpose statements to the specific questions of each program. Many applicants don't realize how important this is. All of this is done to get yourself an interview. Of course, you should perform well at the interview and then pray for a hefty dose of luck because you can only have so much control how the faculty of the program are going to view you.
  8. bigdodge53

    bigdodge53

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    Hahaha, my advice would be pretty pointless if I didn't mention this. Yes, I did. I am in the counseling psychology doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi.
  9. PinkSoil

    PinkSoil

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    I had horrible GRE scores (less than 1000, actually) and got into a PsyD program. It is part of the reason I got a Masters degree-- to prove that I could do graduate work. I graduated with a 3.94 GPA. I also had a year of clinical experience, three good recommendations (including my clinical supervisor), and an essay that they apparently really liked. My school also accepts the MAT, so I took that thinking I'd have a better shot because it doesn't have math, but I sucked on that, too. But anyway, I am proof that if you compensate really well in other areas, you definitely have a chance.
  10. psychick

    psychick

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    I zeroed in on this thread after taking my GREs a couple of hours ago! I got a verbal score of 550.. Will I ever be considered in competitive clinical PhD programs? Or do I have to go and retake the test?
  11. myelin

    myelin

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    You'll get many different answers to this question on this forum. Based on what I know to be true, programs differ on what they are looking for. Some will look at individual scores, and some will look at the V+Q score. A 1200 achieved by a 600V 600Q is much different than 800Q 400V. I don't know if 1200 is arbitrary, but it seems that many programs use this score as their minimum. Although, as I've stated before, many people that I know personally have obtained admission to competitive PhD programs with 1000-1100 range scores. Granted, they had other strong qualities such as extensive research experience, publications, excellent LORs, and good fit with the program they applied to. As well, I also know people with GRE scores of 1200+ GRE that were denied admission to every program they applied to. These stories are plenty on this forum.

    Based on these data:

    http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/gre_0809_interpretingscores.pdf

    the mean GRE scores for students in the social sciences from 04-07 were 488V 560Q 4.4A with 90-125 SD for the V and Q and 0.4-0.5 for the A. Your V score is a little less than 1 SD above the mean, where programs that use a cut-off score of 600 are looking for about 1.5 SDs above the mean. Programs differ in what scores they are looking for so it is hard to tell if a 550 is sufficient or not. Full disclosure data is available on most all clinical psychology department websites and serve as good indicators as to how you measure up to those students that previously matriculated to that program.
  12. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Haha, I looked at the data for my list of programs and I have higher verbal and lower quant for all but one, in which case I have lower verbal but the exact quant. Do you think that's okay?
  13. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student!

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    my quant was at best average for the schools i applied to, my verbal much higher than the average, and i did well.
    however, i had a lot of diverse research expereince, which i think showed that i can practically understand stats, even if i'm no math whiz, and that my creative thinking, problem solving, writing and thinking skills were strong. whle i think strong math scores are definately an asset, i think you'll be okay if you can show that you are decent at quant (did well in your sci/math type courses in school too). lots of profs hire a consultant if they're doing something that's complex stats wise, but you can't really hire one to come up with novel research ideas, write your papers, or present at conferences for you (well,actually, i guess that's part of why profs want grad students in thier labs, but that's a whole other thing).
    Last edited: 08.27.08
  14. psychick

    psychick

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    thanks for the link myelin! :)
  15. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I think this is more proof that your school accepts low GRE scores. This is not the norm at all. Sub 1000 GREs will lock you out of 99% of the schools people on this board would apply to.

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