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Will I face rejection w a 298 GRE but HIGH GPA?

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I'm applying for the first time next cycle and was wondering will I receive automatic rejection with a poor GRE? I've always done poorly on standardized tests and really don't want to waste money on another GRE. 

Q 147 (27%), V 151 (52%), AW 4.0 (60%)

However I have a 3.87 GPA and a 3.80 scGPA from Drexel. 

200 Volunteer hrs (soup kitchen and transitional housing for homeless women and children)

1000 Direct Patient contact as a CNA in long term care + acute rehab 

500 research hours at fox chase cancer center

32 combined hours shadowing a derm PA and an ortho PA

My question is, will the schools who require the GRE trash my application seeing a GRE below 300? I want to make it to the interview phase. 

Edited by gmr44
forgot to mention something

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If a school specifically lists a minimum criteria for a GRE score that you do not meet (either percentile or raw score), then yes your application would not be considered for interview.

Other than that, I believe it would be unlikely for a program to completely disregard an app based on just the GRE or really any one component of an application (as long as it meets the minimum requirements). It is all about the whole package that you bring.

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You might get auto-filtered out.

You also might not get interviews bc a 3.8 sGPA won't make up for only 1000 hrs of HCE so if you don't, don't assume it's the GRE.

It takes more than a 300+ GRE to get interviews...you might not have the whole package.  Work on improving all aspects of your app.

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I agree with pastudentw, in that I don't think most schools weigh the GRE too terribly much (unless you are otherwise weak academically). Of course, you will have to see if there are any hard criteria at the schools you are applying too, as many require a combined score of 300 or above or expect a 50th percentile in each category. Of course, there are some 70-80 odd schools that don't require it at all.

At the same time, I think it would be wise to think about retaking it since you aren't applying until next cycle (i.e. > 6 months away). If it were a last minute thing and you didn't have time to retake it, I would say to just apply and explain to schools that you were planning on retaking if necessary. But with your scores this far out from CASPA opening, some schools may wonder why you hadn't retaken it for a more competitive score. Your grades are strong, and your HCE hours are not bad (though you should keep accruing hours if possible), so a higher GRE would make it that much more likely you will get interviews. 

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@mt2pa you said 3.8sGPA won't make up for 1000 hrs. Do schools take into account age as well? I had just finished college and had to get certified as a CNA so even start accumulating. Do they take into account 1,000 hrs as a 22 yr old (when I'm applying) versus say, 3,000 as a 24 year old. 

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3 minutes ago, gmr44 said:

@mt2pa you said 3.8sGPA won't make up for 1000 hrs. Do schools take into account age as well? I had just finished college and had to get certified as a CNA so even start accumulating. Do they take into account 1,000 hrs as a 22 yr old (when I'm applying) versus say, 3,000 as a 24 year old. 

This is going to be school dependent. Having a lot of hours is important for many schools, but a high GPA is just as important to many schools as well. And if you at least meet the minimum required hours but have a high GPA, that will get you interviews at a lot of places. I had less hours than this and got quite a few interviews with only a slightly higher GPA (though I am older and had other life experiences, so it's not an apples to apples comparison, but still). 

Edited to add: You also can't discount the importance of the other factors that make a winning application, including a strong personal statement, and submitting your application early. Overall, I would advise you to get a study book or prep course, and think about retaking your GRE. If you have a solid GRE score and a good personal statement, you will get interviews 

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@ProSpectrethis may sound bad but the way I see the GRE is the same way I see the SAT. I did TERRIBLE on the SAT and it didn't matter how much I prepped. Additionally, the SAT did not accurately gauge how I would perform in college.  I don't think the GRE would measure how well I'd do in PA school either. Knowing I killed myself in college for those scores, my history with standardized tests, and how badly it predicts success in my case, just makes me feel unmotivated to try it again. 

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I don't disagree with you, but like MT2PA said, it could be used in the screening process to rule people out. When I was applying a number of schools mentioned that they don't weigh it too heavily, but do expect applicants to get over a 300 (even if that wasn't a rule notated on their website). I took that to mean that you should aim for above that regardless of how good the rest of your app is. Basically, the GRE is just like much of the rest of the application process; it's a hoop to jump through that helps them narrow the pool and choose the best overall candidates. With the rest of your app being good (and assuming you write a good personal statement and have good LORs), you don't want your GRE to give schools a reason to have second thoughts about extending an interview offer.

As far as you being a bad standardized test taker; half of doing well is learning HOW to take the test. A good prep course or a good prep book can help immensely not only with learning the material, but understanding test-taking strategies that will maximize your scores.  

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I'd say it's worth a try, but research the schools where you plan on applying.  If they don't state a minimum I would still email them and find out for sure.  Some programs may state minimums but they won't state their auto cut-off. For instance, min. 3.0 GPA but they will toss your app out if it isn't above a 3.2, without specifically stating it on the website.

Definitely research, see what the previous matriculating class GRE scores were and if they provide a range of those accepted and go from there.  Depending on the program I can see the GRE score as a limiting factor being under 300 overall.

It's not a guarantee because there is no exact formula for getting into PA school.  There are plenty of cases posted here that just keep you guessing as to what ADCOMs are looking for.

I will say you have plenty of time to retake it.

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you have at least 4-5 months. why not retake the GRE? like others have said, its more likely to rule you out if they have a cut off for GRE (which from what I remember tends to be 300). If anything, I think the low number of PCE would be more to your detriment. Also in reference to your previous question - they don't look at your age whenever evaluating your PCE. Hours are hours whether you're 40+ (at least 10% of my class) or 22.

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I took the GRE back in October of '16 and scored a 302 combined with 4.5 AW. Retaking in April and just started studying again which gives me plenty of time to review and take practice tests. I think it's really based on the schools you apply to or are interested in. Look at their recently accepted class profiles and compare your application with that. If you score above their mean accepted GPA but below their GRE then I think you'll be a competitive applicant (as long as your GRE is above their minimum requirement, however, it is worthwhile to note that most schools require a 300 minimum), and vice versa. 

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Guest polishedpas

It's definitely school-specific. One of my good friends got into a great program with a 297 GRE, and he had a GPA similar to yours. That goes for DPC too! Contact the schools, don't just read what's on their website, because they make exceptions as well.

Some require 50th percentile in each section, some don't require the GRE at all, some want 2,000+ hours, some only require 50-80 hours of shadowing. Do your research! In my personal opinion, your GPA is the most important, and looks like you're set there. Good luck :)

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