Clinical Psychology Wanna Be: Should I Re-take the GREs and other advice?

I just took the GREs today and screwed up... I got a 570 verbal and a 670 quant (I am waiting on my analytical scores). I am VERY angry because I had been doing much better on my Kaplan CATs (like around V:660 and Q:750) and I am not sure that this score really reflects my test-taking ability.

I have a 3.93 GPA overall, a 4.00 in my major and I'm a BA/MA student in psychology but I do not go to a school that is very well known. I have a fair amount research experience (I've worked in various labs and am still working with a mentor I met through an REU). Also, I am currently working on two publications (one we are looking to submit soon) and will be submitting an undergraduate honors thesis and a masters thesis in the next three semesters. I also have one conference presentation and I'm waiting to hear back from two more. Finally, I also have considerable fieldwork experience (I lead psychoeducational groups for a day program for six months).

At this point, I have at least three more semesters in my program (I have almost two semesters until I will have to submit my applications).

So, should I retake the GREs? In all other respects I think that, so far (knock on wood), my application is great. However, spending time studying for this ridiculous test takes me away from my research and fieldwork (thinks that I feel actually prepare me for graduate school). Also, do you have any other advice for me?

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  • 9 years ago
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    The first time is the hardest-- it is difficult to get used to how the test feels when you are actually taking it compared to just a practice test. Those aren't amazing, but they also aren't bad. You seem to have a pretty good application (publications are great, even manuscripts in progress look fantastic).

    If you have the money/time to retake the GRE after practicing a bit more it couldn't hurt.

    If you are applying to a research based program one of the biggest factors is fit with an individuals professors research. Being that you are wanting to do clinical, you are up against a lot of competition (the cognitive program I'm admitted to only had about 40 applications admitting 4 people, whereas the clinical branch had over 150 applications and will only admit 6).

    Apply lots of places that are a good fit (decide whether you want to have safety schools or if you'd rather wait and reapply with even more experience). Make sure you check how the schools you apply to handle masters students. Some might waive a class or to, others the first two years, but most I've seen don't treat MA students any differently.

    Remember, there is a lot of luck in applying to grad schools... you could be an amazing candidate but if a couple people just a notch higher has a tiny bit better fit, you could be close but no luck. Apply broadly!

    Best of luck.

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  • 3 years ago

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