Low GRE or English Scores: Why and When You May Still Be Admitted

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

"I almost passed my GRE or English test. If other requirements are strong, can I still submit my application for graduate school?"


It depends. Here's why.





Your chances will depend on how the application review process works for your intended program. Applications are processed using either of 2 approaches.


For some programs, they use the test scores as an initial metric to screen out applicants when they have more applications than they can handle. In this case, you are at risk of early rejection if you don't meet their minimum scores.


For other programs, they use the exams as part of a rubric to score and rank applicants. To see a sample rubric and know how this is used, click here.


In this case, you may be able to win their hearts when they see other parts of your application. In other words, you may rank low on the exam but rank exceptionally high at other aspects. The cumulative rank may then be in your favor.


The tricky thing is we often can't tell which path a program would take, and it may change from year to year based on the number of applicants. Your best bet would be to at least meet the minimum scores listed on the department's webpage. But all hope isn't lost if you did not.


The tricky thing is we often can't tell which path a program would take, and it may change from year to year based on the number of applicants. Your best bet would be to at least meet the minimum scores listed on the department's webpage. But all hope isn't lost if you did not.


Cheers to your success!


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