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Hi There! 

Today I took my first GRE. 149 (42%) Verbal and 156 (62%) Quant. I have a solid GPA in both overall and science, both 3.6. I work as a medical scribe as well as a nurse assistant. I will have about 1000+ hours of experience by the time I apply for the 2018-2019 application cycle. Additionally, I have 50+ hours of PA shadowing. I have confirmed recommendation letters from a PA, MD and 2 upper level science course professors. I am currently in my gap year finishing up pre-reqs and trying to get as much patient care experience. I felt I was on a good track until todays GRE scores. I feel confident that I am in the 50th percentile at least on the writing portion (still pending score... also knock on wood). 

Need some opinions on whether my current GRE scores are a make or break for me. Combined 305, but don't have the often recommended 50th percentile in BOTH categories. 

Also, if you suggest retaking it... how do I improve on verbal? I have been studying for the GRE for about 3 weeks and really struggle with verbal, additionally I feel as if I run out of time. 

Help!

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I think this really will depend on the programs you plan to apply to and how much they weight the GRE. I do not think that the GRE alone will make or break your entire application. My general rule is there is no one component of your application that will completely make or break your application (besides meeting the minimum requirements) but it is mostly when multiple factors of your application start to stack up against you. That is where it becomes a problem. I don't see that happening based on the information you've given.

If you have the time, money and patience to retake it, then sure do it. But it isn't something that absolutely must happen. Just my opinion. If you do retake it, I really liked using Magoosh to study for the GRE :)

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I improved from a 700 verbal (~97%ile) in 1992 to a 760 (99%ile) in 2008.  In the intervening years, I think the biggest contribution to that change was a year and a half of Greek, but I regularly wrote in the course of my career between those two GREs.  Will that help you? Not in the short term, no, but it IS evidence that even good scores can get better with appropriate training...

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Guest hcruz496

I recommend getting the manhattan prep  vocabulary flash cards for the gre from amazon. You could also start reading the New York Times or the Post, just read random articles you find to challenge your vocabulary. 

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10 hours ago, pastudentw said:

I think this really will depend on the programs you plan to apply to and how much they weight the GRE. I do not think that the GRE alone will make or break your entire application. My general rule is there is no one component of your application that will completely make or break your application (besides meeting the minimum requirements) but it is mostly when multiple factors of your application start to stack up against you. That is where it becomes a problem. I don't see that happening based on the information you've given.

If you have the time, money and patience to retake it, then sure do it. But it isn't something that absolutely must happen. Just my opinion. If you do retake it, I really liked using Magoosh to study for the GRE :)

Thanks so much for your response! I think I will wait until I get my writing score and if that isn’t 50%ile or above I will retake it. 

How do I figure out how heavy a program weighs the GRE? Som me school sites say they don’t require it, so that’s a give away that it’s not necessary. However, for schools that recommend 50%ile, how would I find out how heavy the GRE weights? 

Thanks!!

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8 hours ago, rev ronin said:

I improved from a 700 verbal (~97%ile) in 1992 to a 760 (99%ile) in 2008.  In the intervening years, I think the biggest contribution to that change was a year and a half of Greek, but I regularly wrote in the course of my career between those two GREs.  Will that help you? Not in the short term, no, but it IS evidence that even good scores can get better with appropriate training...

That’s true! What an improvement! I will gladly take your 1992 score since you’re not using it any more! Haha. 

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1 hour ago, paali said:

Thanks so much for your response! I think I will wait until I get my writing score and if that isn’t 50%ile or above I will retake it. 

How do I figure out how heavy a program weighs the GRE? Som me school sites say they don’t require it, so that’s a give away that it’s not necessary. However, for schools that recommend 50%ile, how would I find out how heavy the GRE weights? 

Thanks!!

I would say that you can get a feel for how important the GRE is to a school just by their admission requirements. If they list a minimum required score, then obviously you need to meet the minimum but hopefully surpass it. If the school lists their average accepted applicant stats, you can look at those to see where your application fits in with their accepted applicants.

If a school just says you need to take the GRE but has no other requirements, it may not be that important to them in the whole scheme of things.

If you really want to know, I'm sure you could call or email their admissions dept to ask them about the GRE. 

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19 hours ago, modernlily16 said:

i think a score below the 50th percentile is just another reason for a program to not accept you, especially if they are strict on their guidelines or explicitly state all scores should be above the 50th percentile. personally i wouldn't risk it, even though there are success stories, and just re-take the exam.

Definitely! All of the schools that I am planning on applying too that require GRE either don't have a minimum posted. But some say "Strong/ competitive candidates are in the 50th%ile in all categories" 

I totally agree with you though. Why risk it being a reason I don't get in somewhere?

Thanks for the input!

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I do not think a retake is crucial for your application unless you are applying to programs that put a greater emphasis on the GRE. I was obsessed with Magoosh (I swear they are not paying me haha) and would highly reccomend it to anyone. I did the 6 month study plan and scored well above the 50th percentile in both sections. If you plan on retaking, figure out what your weakness are in verbal. Is it vocabulary? Fill in the blank question? Reading comprehension? I studied using GRE vocab flash cards and doing countless reading comprehension problems which were the question type I missed most often. 

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On 2/18/2018 at 6:02 AM, paali said:

That’s true! What an improvement! I will gladly take your 1992 score since you’re not using it any more! Haha. 

Heh, sorry.  I've tried to teach people how to approach standardized tests, but I haven't yet succeeded.  I score ridiculously well on standardized tests.

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