2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2016
Psychology Student
I'm a psych major and I wasn't planning on taking the psych GRE since none of the PhD/PsyD programs i'm applying to strictly required it. A few of them though list it as optional or recommended. If i have a strong psych GPA and choose not to take it will that be a serious mark against my application?


2+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2015
DO/PhD Student
I don't know if it would be a serious mark against you, but, as a general rule, if a program "strongly recommends" something (as do some of the programs I have applied to in the past or am planning on applying to for this upcoming cycle), I would probably follow their advice and submit anything that they took the time to so explicitly note as important.

Also, if you get a really good score on it, it's just another chance to show them how strong of a candidate you are compared to those who have significantly lower scores on it, those who did not submit their scores, and those who did not take the test at all.

I know it may be slightly cost and time prohibitive, but, honestly, the psych GRE is actually pretty easy. Just get a good intro to psych textbook and a study guide (e.g. Kaplan) and you should be more than fine.


Counseling Psychologist
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2013
If its recommended then it isn't required. I was talking about this with a bunch of folks in my cohort/cohorts around mine a few years back and none of us submitted the recommended psych GRE to programs that requested it simply because of the time/cost required. We obviously didn't have problems because of this decision. A lack of need for it is particularly true if you have a psych background and strong grades- all it does is show you got your degree. I might have considered otherwise if I didn't have a psych background.

Programs will vary and its always safer to do it than not do it, but it tells very little.


2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2016
I got interviews at schools that said that sending scores was "preferred" or "recommended" even though I did not take it. None of the schools I was interested in required it, so I decided not to take it based on the amount of time it would take vs. how much it would impact my applications (as a psych major, not needing to demonstrate that I knew about psych). I was a little worried about that decision, but it didn't seem to have any impact on where I got interviews.
Sep 1, 2013
Psychology Student
I didn't take the Psych GRE and got into every PhD program I applied to that "recommended" or "strongly recommended" it. As long as you majored in a psychology field and had a strong psychology GPA, you don't really need to take it. Focus on getting strong scores on the General GRE instead.
Last edited:
Apr 11, 2012
Agreed with all of the above, but from a faculty perspective. I personally like to see the Psych GRE from applicants who didn't major in Psychology, because it shows they took the effort to learn the basic material in the field. Or perhaps from someone with a lower GPA, because a high score on the Psych GRE might help me feel confident that the student has the requisite background knowledge (since there are often lots of reasons to get bad grades). But from a psych major with a strong psych GPA? Doesn't make a lick of difference for me. (Note: I'm one person, at one program, so lets not assume my perspective is shared with all faculty).
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