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Submit grad school applications earlier or wait for higher PGRE score?

  1. Oct 28, 2013 #1
    I have a GRE score of 6.0 writing, 170 reading, and 168 quantitative, and a 4.0 GPA. I also have 4 semesters of soft matter theory research and 1 summer of particle physics theory research. I'm applying to do theory to many schools, including MIT, SUNY Stony Brook, Stanford, Harvard, UMass, Yale, UConn, and more.

    I heard that if you submit your applications earlier you have a better chance of getting accepted than if you submit them closer to the deadline. However, I just got back my first PGRE score: 760. I think that my second PGRE score, which I should be getting in about 3 weeks, will probably be higher (probably above 800). So, should I submit my applications earlier, sending my first PGRE score with them, and then send the new PGRE score when it arrives? Or should I wait until the second PGRE score comes out and then submit the applications with just that score?

    EDIT: And if I do the former, should I include something in my cover letter explaining that I have a probably-better PGRE score on the way?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2013 #2


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    I don't think there's any advantage in applying early. There may be an advantage in contacting the school early, talking with potential advisors, touring the facility, talking with current graduate students, etc. but I suspect that most admissions committees only convene once the admission deadline has passed - at which point the date of actual submission is rather irrelevant.

    I would wait to submit the best and most complete application package you can.
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