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Is 4.5 AWA too low for History PhD?

XCrunner1776XCrunner1776 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I am a third-year undergrad looking to be admitted to a top History PhD program for Fall 2021. I recently took the GRE, and am satisfied with my Verbal (170) and Quant (157) scores, but I was a little disappointed that I only earned a 4.5 AWA. I sent those scores to three of my top choices for PhD programs, which I now think was a mistake.
I have a 4.0 GPA at an elite public university after 60 credit hours, so I think my GPA will be strong even after two more years of undergrad before a one-year MA program. I am confident that my professors will write me strong letters of recommendation. I am still developing my writing skills, as is clear from my AWA score, but I am working on that as well.
I can always retake the test, but I am I’m hoping that schools like Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc. don’t discard my application for the sub-5 AWA on my first test.
I sincerely appreciate your thought and opinions. Thank you for your time!

Replies to: Is 4.5 AWA too low for History PhD?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,093 Senior Member
    Forget the GRE for now. You have only finished two years of college. You maybe have what, one week of your junior year under your belt. That means you have at least a whole other year ahead of you before you need to worry about the GRE. Plenty of students don't take it until the fall of their senior year. And when you do get around to applying to grad school, your own professors' LORs and phone calls to their pals at the PhD programs you are interested in could very well count for much more than any GRE score, let alone an AWA score on an exam taken after your sophomore year of college.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,483 Super Moderator
    TBH, nobody really considers the AWA scores seriously, unless they are super low (3.5 or less). They don't test the kind of writing that's actually important in graduate school. Focus on submitting a really excellent writing sample. Since you are a junior, look for opportunities this year in which you can produce a really excellent piece of work - usually in the 10-20 page range - that you can polish over the summer.

    (But yeah, it is really early to take the GRE. Your three top schools might change between now and the fall of your senior year.)
  • XCrunner1776XCrunner1776 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    edited August 31
    Thanks for your opinion, and yes, it is really early for me to take the GRE for PhD programs. I am applying next fall to my current university’s MA program,and my advisor mistakenly told me that I was supposed to apply this fall. By the time I found out it was next fall, I had already studied for the test and paid for it, so I took it anyway. Since I scored well on the Verbal and Quant I was hoping not to have to take the test again.
  • XCrunner1776XCrunner1776 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    edited August 31
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