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Readers Respond: Does A Good Score Even Matter?

Responses: 115


GRE V520/Q750, Chances getting into UCI?

I had a low GPA when I went to UCI for undergrad, it was around 2.8 when I graduated. I took all my general ed classes at a JC with GPA of 3.4 over about 150 units at the time of transfer (started when I was 14). When I went transferred, they wiped out my old GPA and I had to start anew in electrical engineering. I had to commute an hour and a half each way for the first 2 years of it and work a job, hence the GPA. My final year I was on campus and received very improved scores and had a pretty stellar senior project. I have since been working for a local software company as a senior developer for just over 4 years now. I just took the GREs and received a 520 for verbal and 750 on quantitative, word is not out yet on the writing but I'm almost certain I nailed it. I can get good recommendations from professors at pHD programs as well as high up the chain developer/architects at Microsoft. What are my chances of getting into a UCI Masters/pHD program? ANSWER: With your work history and stellar GRE scores (that 750 is killer!), the only thing you have to worry about is that GPA. The good news is that your GPA is often not weighted as heavily as the GRE score, and recommendations play a huge part in the process. I think your chances are pretty good, to be honest. Obviously, there's only one way to find out, though. Nail the interview and highlight your work experience - make no excuses for the GPA. Every student has issues with their class load and has to figure out a way to get a good GPA anyway. Stating that you realize you could have done way better and have learned how to work smarter will go a long way toward balancing it out. Good luck!
—Guest CC

Great scores one wrong

I did amazing on the SAT (2200) and it actually was detrimental to my application. I applied to 15 elite colleges and was WL at most for the same reason. I had an amazing SAT score so why was I not in the top 10% of my class? I was asked in both my Harvard and Dartmouth interviews if I didn't "apply" myself in school. It was a sticky situation because while I am an awesome standardized test taker, the memorize and repeat aspect of high school education was not my cup of tea. While I could of worked harder at times I was 13/102 students. My scores ended up being my major downfall. I'm now at Georgia Tech however and find a lot of students here had my similar situation when applying to top colleges. ANSWER: Sorry, JJ. I don't agree. Your admissions advisors were correct, but I understand how you've come to the conclusion that your scores hurt you. (If you didn't score so high, they wouldn't have realized how much you slacked in school!) My best advice to you is to recognize the strengths and weaknesses you possess. You can obviously take a test - a 2200 is a very elite score. However, I think you're failing to recognize your responsibility; with talent like yours, you WILL be expected to achieve. If you haven't, you've definitely not been giving it your all. And what schools like Harvard, Dartmouth and others expect for their admitted students is complete and total dedication. You weren't penalized for scoring high; you were not accepted with flying colors because other students out-achieved you, demonstrating the work ethic they'd bring to the school. =) With a little maturity, I think you'll figure it out. You DO have the chops, after all!
—Guest JJ

gre score

Hello! I got an 1100 (v-350,q-750) and my GPA is 3.77 in Engineering. Is this score enough to gain admission into a decent university with financial aid? Or should I retake it? Thanks in advance! ANSWER: I have the perfect article for you! http://testprep.about.com/od/thegretest/a/GRE_Engineering.htm. This will show you the average GRE scores for other Engineering students. You can see that you're below average in Verbal and above average in Quantitative. The only trouble you may have is with your Verbal score, but if English isn't your first language, then you may get some accommodations. There are a lot of great schools out there for you, especially with that GPA; I'd recommend choosing one near your home and asking admissions about ESL accommodations and scholarships. Good luck!
—Guest chandu


What is the average GRE score? (on both the new and the revised versions). Since the revised GRE has not been offered yet - the first administration is August 1 - there are no statistics for average scores. Average scores for the current GRE can be seen here: http://testprep.about.com/od/thegretest/f/GRE_FAQ_Score.htm
—Guest abec


my gre score is a 920 is it good for a Masters in Pharmacy? Thanks for the post. I'd recommend a retake, after your study, study, study! The average GRE score for Verbal is a 456 and for Quantitative is a 590. Sooooooo, the average student taking the GRE is beating your score. Consider a retake, so your score is a bit more competitive.
—Guest saud

In moderation

I only took the ACT during the later part of my senior year of high school. I got an okay score (26), but I didn't study, so I made peace with it. I applied to a local university that holds a lot of international prestige and was accepted. The MAIN reason was because of my high school weighted GPA (5.15) and academic awards, honors, and extra curriculars. Standardized tests aren't the end of the world.
—Guest Kitten

34 ACT

Dude learn to write. What a waste of a good scholarship and a good score. Goes to show you that even the dumbest people can learn a test. I had an awful SAT score that I won't even talk about, but I'm graduating with honors and had provisional acceptance to a university. What happened to working for an education and actually learning something?
—Guest Steph

Of course it does.

I got a good score on the SAT and now I'm going to Yale with a complete academic scholarship. Of course, my academic status helped me too, but my score helped me stand out from the crowd. It was a 2250.


I scored a 31 on the ACT myself, and due to my "interview" if you could call it that, I was rejected for the scholarship I really wanted. My 31 did nothing for me. A person who scored like a 26 got the scholarship over me, which is just wrong. I worked so hard for the score!
—Guest Avis


I went to a the university of kansas for my undergrad, not an amazing university by anymeans.But, atleast I'm close to my friends. I scored a 34 on my ACT... due to this score and a few extracurriculars I have a full ride. I think never having to pay a cent to go to college is worth something.
—Guest Tony P
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