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As I am sitting at Starbucks with my GRE prep book in front of me, more and more I am studying, I am doubting on taking the GREs.

I recently bought couple of prep books to study and take the test early July. However, when I took the sample test, my verbal score was way lower than 50 percentile. The last test I took similar to this was SATs and that was more than 5 years ago. That said, I need your advice on if I should take it or not!


Here's my stats so far.

Undergrad GPA: 3.45

Pre-req science GPA: 4.0

HCE: will have about 200 by July


Originally, I was planning on applying to schools that doesnt require GREs but I realized that there are a lot more schools that do. So, I decided to take it so it will open more doors for me.


My anticipated scheule till July is to finish up my classes this semester and take OChem during the summer (June-July) while studying for GREs. For those of you who took GREs, is it possible to raise your scores 10+ points in 3 months?


Or should I just forget about it and apply to the few schools that doesn't require it? I wanted to apply to schools in CA, TX (which most require GRE), NY and maybe other east coast states.


LMK what you guys think!!


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I was taking some prereqs with 2 other people who were planning on applying to PA school. We all got the same grades on the classes we were taking together. 2 of us took the GRE, the third said he would only apply to schools that don't require the GRE. 2 of us got in on our first application cycle, the third has now missed on application cycle #2.


My point--- do what you want, but you are only closing doors. If you feel strongly about your chances without it, go for it. If you are not super sure about your chances, do you really want to spend the time and expense to apply again next year (in which time you will probably take the test anyway)?

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There is definitely room for improvement on the GRE. I brought up my math score 20 pts in a few months. But it takes some effort. Just keep going with the books, memorize the formulas you need to know. Kaplan makes vocab flashcards that might help if you do flashcards. Otherwise there are a lot of free resources out there too through ETS, Kaplan, and Princeton review. I just took practice tests (about 4 in total) and just really got used to the format. I'm someone who learns by doing things myself but the Kaplan books have a lot of good advice and tips that may help you. So I'd say keep going with it, keep studying, and you'll likely be able to bring up the score.

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In mho, your HCE is nothing to write home about. Of course schools are different, but the one I am starting has a mean hc hours of 2500 for the students from previous years. Also, i did apply to the school in Ca which does not require GRE, and got an interview. But... be prepared to have lots of hce and community service, and volunteering. If a school does not require GRE then it requires something else... and trust me, sometimes you would rather have GRE.

My advice? Study your butt off for GRE, and do not limit your choices. PA programs are very very competitive, no reason to make it harder for yourself.

Good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with patachok, you may have more trouble with the low HCE than your GRE score.

Honestly, the GRE is a pretty worthless standard (check out Andrew Rodican's book if you don't believe me). Your GRE will only be flagged if its very high or very low. It kind just affirms the rest of your portfolio.

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