How important is GRE writing score?

In summary, your writing score doesn't seem to be the deciding factor in your acceptance to graduate school. Your other scores are all above average and you have a great GPA. You should be just fine.
  • #1
dipole
555
151
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. :(
 
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  • #2
The department probably doesn't care.
 
  • #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...
 
  • #4
Your scores are fine.
 
  • #5
dipole said:
I know it seems like a silly (stupid) question

Well, it does bring up the question "even if it were bad, what are you going to do about it"?
 
  • #6
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.
 
  • #7
G01 said:
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.

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.
 
  • #8
dipole said:
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.

I think you mean 170.
 
  • #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. :(
 
  • #10
It certainly depends where you applied. There are many scores where those numbers are competitive and some where they arent.
 
  • #11
dipole said:
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. :(

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.
 

Related to How important is GRE writing score?

1. How important is the GRE writing score compared to other sections of the GRE?

The GRE writing score is one of the least important sections of the GRE. While it is still considered in the overall evaluation of a candidate, it carries significantly less weight compared to the quantitative and verbal sections.

2. Will a low GRE writing score negatively affect my chances of getting into graduate school?

It depends on the graduate program you are applying to. Some programs may place more emphasis on a strong writing score, while others may not consider it as heavily. It is important to research the specific requirements of each program you are applying to.

3. Is it possible to improve my GRE writing score?

Yes, it is possible to improve your GRE writing score with practice and preparation. Familiarizing yourself with the structure and expectations of the writing section, as well as practicing writing essays under timed conditions, can help improve your score.

4. Do all graduate schools require the GRE writing score?

No, not all graduate schools require the GRE writing score. Some programs may have their own writing assessment or may not place as much emphasis on the writing section. Again, it is important to research the specific requirements of each program.

5. How much does the GRE writing score impact my overall GRE score?

The GRE writing score typically makes up a small percentage of the overall GRE score. However, a very low writing score can significantly lower your overall score and may be a cause for concern for some graduate programs. It is important to aim for a well-rounded score across all sections of the GRE.

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