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So you want to go to grad school?
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GRE personalization 
24th-Jul-2013 02:25 pm
Almost Famous
Heyyo all you good people! I've taken the GRE once and was pretty satisfied with my Verbal and QR scores. The writing section, however, left some to be desired. I want to retake the GRE again, but only the writing section. Is that a possibility, or do I have to do the entire thing all over again?

PS I've searched all over the ETS site and done a bunch of searches but haven't been able to find anything, so any help is certainly much appreciated.
24th-Jul-2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
Nope, you have to take it all at once.

It would be great if you didn't though. Then you could study for one part at a time instead of having to prepare to do it all in a 4.5 hour slog.
25th-Jul-2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
That's too bad. I wouldn't even mind paying the price of the whole test to just do the writing section. And a college would probably be pretty suspicious if I sent them a couple score reports but one of them had essay scores and then incompletes for the rest, huh?
25th-Jul-2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I totally bombed the quant section and am retaking the enitre damn thing in the fall. My advice would be to study again for all of it, cause it will definitely look weird if you just don't answer two parts, BUT study really hard for the part you need the high score on and not so much for the others. At least two of the programs I'll be applying to say they take the highest of all the scores that you report even if it's accross multiple sits of the exam, and since all your scores get reported, they should see that you're clever AND you try hard even when things don't work out the first time.
26th-Jul-2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
What did you get on the essay score? Honestly, I'm not sure how many programs care that much about it unless it was really bad.
26th-Jul-2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
I got a 4.5, 73rd percentile. And I'm going for my master's in English, so it's probably the most important score of the whole exam. Too bad I'm not into biology, otherwise you'd be totally right!
26th-Jul-2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that's the case. When I was considering applying for English PhD programs, the Verbal score seemed to carry a lot of weight, but I didn't hear much about the essay score. Have you asked others in English graduate programs, or better yet, those who make the admissions decisions? It's just that the essay doesn't necessarily reflect your ability to write, and professors might already be aware of this.
26th-Jul-2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
The program I really want to get into has a median percentile rank of 85 for the essay. I know that means about half of accepted students scored below that as well, but still. But you're probably right, and it's definitely worth looking into.
26th-Jul-2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
What really matters is what the cutoff is, not what the median score is. In general, professors don't care what your score is as long as it's above a certain number.
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