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Should I retake the GRE? HELP!!

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I am having difficulty deciding whether or not I should retake the GRE or not. I am not a fan of these tests, nor do I like having to pay $200+ to take it so I need an honest opinion if you think I should retake it or not. 4 out of the 6 schools I am applying to require the GRE with no minimums, but their averages are around 300-306. The other 2 schools do not require it at all. 1 of those schools is the school I received my B.S. from, and they give preference to previous alumni (giving me a higher likeliness to get in there). I also just received my B.S. and will have 1 gap year at least between undergrad and PA school.


Quant: 148

Verbal: 145

Writing: 4.0


Cumulative: 3.73

Science: 3.73


Research: 90+ Biochemistry research with antioxidants.

PCE: 600hrs (I was a CNA at a long-term care facility for 560 of those hours and now I am working full time as a Medical Assistant at a Primary Care office allowing me to gain 40+ hours a week of PCE, which I will add to my application).

HCE= 2,300 hrs as a patient transporter in a hospital.

Shadow= 90 hrs in 7 different fields of medicine.

Volunteer= 42 hrs (soup kitchen, special olympics, american red cross blood drives, MAPA)

LOR (4 total)

2 PA's I shadowed (both alumni of my alma mater's PA school and they are both still involved with their PA school), my previous patient transport supervisor, and my research professor.


Pre-PA club

MAPA (Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants)

I am not sure if I am missing anything. Let me know if you want more information to help me make this decision. I would have to retake the test within the next couple of weeks so that I could submit my application mid-June. This would not give me much time to prepare for my retake. I also have only done a crash course of youtube videos and free Kaplan bootcamps to prepare for the GRE, and this was all before my previous attempt at the end of April 2018. I do not want to waste the time and money if you guys think I would still be competitive at the schools that require the GRE. Thanks for your input!


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So I edited my original comment because I read your score wrong and thought you had a 298.

According to this: https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table1a.pdf

A Quant score of 148 is in the 30th percentile.

A Verbal score of 145 is in the 27th percentile.

Keep in mind the percentiles change from year to year, but I do think you should consider taking it again. Most schools encourage at least a 50th percentile for Q/V. The price of the exam is pretty ridiculous, but I would try for at least 300. That seems to be what to shoot for.

Edited by Cadapter
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2 minutes ago, Cadapter said:

Unless there are "hard cutoffs" for a specific school (ie. requires a combined 300 score), the average is just that: an average. That means they accepted 50% of scores below that.

In my honest opinion, your GPA shows enough that you can manage graduate level work. The GRE is not a great indicator of academic success, and to my knowledge, not held as a "high value" admission criteria. For most schools it is simply required as a part of the graduate school itself which the program is located in.

I personally think you could get interviews with a 298 if the schools focus on GPA over PCE.

Thank you for your input and reassurance. I believe I may wait on retaking the GRE, because I too believe it says little about how I will do in PA school.

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Your GPA and experiences are great! So you have that on your side. 

However, I do think it would be smart to retake the GRE and get a least a 300 cumulative score. Most schools don't have a required minimum score, but there are a few who want or recommend at least 50% in each subject. 

Your GPA and HCE could definitely offset that low GRE, but do you really want to take that chance that they don't? A lot of people apply with high GPAs, great experiences, plus the average 300+ GRE scores. I think retaking it would be smart to place you with that group of people. 

It seems like you have a pretty solid shot! 

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15 hours ago, Monet said:

What would you all suggest if someone is in a similar situation but were planning to submit their application by the end of May and retake the GRE and submit the updated scores in July assuming that they are higher?

Schools aren’t guaranteed to look at updates. You would have to check with individual programs to see if they accept updates and if they will consider a new score when evaluating your application. 

Something else to consider, if your scores are below cut offs when submitted your application will likely be rejected before your new score is received. 

All of this is dependent on where you’re applying, if they have minimums, whether or not the programs are rolling admissions, what your score is, etc. More info is needed here.

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Thank you @hmtpnw. The schools that I am considering do not have a specific GRE score that they require. The only requirement is that an applicant must take the GRE in order to apply. My GRE is similar to Karlie's, and I see where advice given has been for her to retake the GRE before applying. I wanted to submit my application early in the cycle since the only downfall of my application is the GRE. I will check in with the programs like you suggested. Thank you for your help.

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