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How important is GRE writing score?

  1. Feb 1, 2013 #1
    I'm waiting to hear back from grad schools, and I'm worried my writitng score on the GRE might keep me out of some schools... here is a breakdown of my scores:

    Verbal: 160
    Quant: 159
    Writing: 3.5
    Physics Subject: 830
    GPA: 3.92

    I'm not sure why my writing score sucked so bad, but most likely I strayed a little off-topic from the ridiculous topic you're given to write about. I think all my other numbers are pretty solid, but I'm worried about my application being tossed out before even being reviewed because of the poor writing score...

    Any opinions on this? I know some people have already been given offers, I've heard nothing so far. :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2013 #2

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    The department probably doesn't care.
  4. Feb 1, 2013 #3
    I know it seems like a silly (stupid) question, but what got me worried was this on the department website:

    Verbal: approximately 580+
    Quantitative: approximately 780+
    Writing Assessment: approximately 5.0+
    Physics Subject: approximately 800+
    Minimum TOEFL Score Accepted: 550 (paper-based: PBT) / 213 (computer-based: CBT) / 80 (internet-based: IBT)
    Minimum IELTS Score Accepted: Overall band score of 7 or higher
    Average GPA (US): approximately 3.80

    The Physics Department does not require a minimum GRE score. However, we receive a large number of applications each year so as a guideline, we consider the following scores to be competitive. If your scores fall below the guidelines stated below, it is unlikely your application will be considered competitive....

    So I'd like to believe they don't care, but I'm a little less optimisitic now than I was before...
  5. Feb 2, 2013 #4
    Your scores are fine.
  6. Feb 2, 2013 #5

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    Well, it does bring up the question "even if it were bad, what are you going to do about it"?
  7. Feb 2, 2013 #6


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    Is there a typo in the first post that no one caught or did the OP really only get 159 on the Quantitative section of the GRE? Maybe I'm missing something?

    Assuming those are typos, I don't think the department will care one bit about that writing score.
  8. Feb 2, 2013 #7
    No, you're just out of date. A 159 is a 77th percentile (which is still not that great for my standards). The current scale is out of 180.
  9. Feb 2, 2013 #8
    I think you mean 170.
  10. Feb 13, 2013 #9
    Got my first rejection today, and zero offers while a lot of other people have already gotten offers... my hopes for going to grad school are dismally low right now. :(
  11. Feb 13, 2013 #10


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    It certainly depends where you applied. There are many scores where those numbers are competitive and some where they arent.
  12. Feb 18, 2013 #11
    I'm goona assume physics is your discipline... I wouldn't stress too much about those scores... I got a 3.5 as well (PISSED) and virtually identical scores on everything else. My GPA was 3.7 (unlike your 3.92, DAYUM!) and I still got accepted to the Master's program in Aerospace Engineering at Purdue. If something keeps you out, it probably isn't your GPA or GRE.
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