Getting into top 10 biomed programs with poor GRE?

<p>I'm curious if anyone on here has success story of getting into top 10 or top 20 biomedical PhD programs with poor GRE scores...</p>

<p>I have pretty strong GPA (3.5 UG and 3.65 MS), strong letters of rec, however my GRE score is terrible 1090 :( I'm scheduled to retake the GRE this summer, and hopefully I will increase my score. HOWEVER, I'm afraid that I won't and I really don't see merit in the exam given my success in my Masters program. </p>

<p>I'd like to get into top 10 or at least top 20 biomedical PhD programs for Fall 2012. I'm just curious if this is possible with my subpar GRE scores? </p>


<p>If it helps,
my UG research included 1 year in a microbiology/molecular genetics lab (no papers) </p>

<p>my MS research includes: RA in a phytoplankton taxonomy lab and my thesis research studying insect ecology and migration. My program of study is cellular and molecular focused - I’m interested in microbiology PhD focused on Malaria and other insect-borne pathogens. (no publications, but a few conference presentations)</p>


<p>Grad admissions are far from a clean-cut numbers game, but in my opinion you will need to raise your score for a top program. What was your quantitative score? That is probably the most important. Unfortunately, a fairly high score can still be at a low percentile because something like 8% of people ace it. I got a 750 and was only at the 82% mark.</p>

<p>Your score doesn’t need to be perfect, just good enough. I wish I could tell you what “good enough” is… most schools don’t give out that information. From what I heard, you may want to aim around a 1300 at least total.</p>

<p>I actually was concerned about this too before applying to grad school this season. My overall GRE score wasn’t too bad, but my quant score was definitely way below average for biomedical research (710V 650Q 5.0W). I had a very high subject score (95th percentile Bio, 99th for cell bio/genetics subscore) which probably helped and good research background (3 years in one lab for undergrad thesis, some posters, no pubs though). I was still able to get into a number of excellent biomed research PhD programs including Hopkins, U. Penn, Weill Cornell, Mt. Sinai and Brown. I would recommend retaking it to at least improve enough that you won’t be affected by GRE cutoffs (maybe aim for 1200/1300 at least, although I don’t have any inside knowledge as to what a cutoff might be for these programs) but I wouldn’t stress too much about getting an amazing score because it is obviously not imperative for admission to great programs.</p>

<p>Mantidguy, I applied this year with very poor GRE scores and I got accepted into two top 5 biomedical sciences programs. All three of my section scores were in the 60’s percentile; I also did not take the subject exam. However, I applied with a very high GPA, lots of lab experience, and strong letters of recs. That just goes to show you that GRE scores are definitely not weighed that heavily, but it all depends on the school and the admissions committee. </p>

<p>I spoke with the admissions director of one of those schools and he said GRE scores really only matter when they are at the ‘extremes.’ If you scored extremely well, they definitely will consider your application highly. If you scored really low (like below 50’s percentile), then that raises a red flag. Most people fall in the middle and that’s when you have to rock every other part of your application. </p>

<p>Best wishes</p>