Ask Test Masters

Ask Test MastersDo you have questions about the college admissions process, entrance exams, or preparing for college?  Then “Ask Test Masters!” Send us a note with your question, and we’ll answer it in an upcoming blog post!

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5 Responses to Ask Test Masters

  1. Trey Dennis says:

    What if you took the GRE three times, didn’t do so well, but still think you can do better. Is it worth taking again. My scores weren’t good enough.

  2. kyle says:

    I have completed my computer engineering. Well my basic question is can I still make it to top colleges in US despite of having Low GPA scores.
    My GRE score is 321
    I have work experience in Fortune 500 company for 2 Years will that help ?.Also My GPA has increased in the last years so it’s basically an upward graph.
    So is there any chances to get into good colleges across US ?
    P.S I am targetting UPEN,UCLA,Boston University for MS in Computers

    • Bill says:


      Your composite GRE score is great! However, as you mention, there are a number of other factors that go into an admission decision. Traditionally, the most important admission criteria have always been GPA and GRE score (although, work experience and recommendations can be incredibly important depending on the specific field or university to which you are applying). Unfortunately though, you cannot make up for one with the other. This means that a great GRE score doesn’t necessarily make up for a low GPA, and a high GPA doesn’t necessarily makeup for a bad GRE score.

      My answer to your question is “Of course there is still a chance for you to be admitted into a good US college.” However, how good a college you can get into will be directly impacted by how low your undergraduate GPA is.

      Hope this helps!

  3. John Smith says:

    Hi, I’m an international student but have completed my under-graduation in Material Eng. from Top 20 Eng. school. I completely lost interest in my engineering post-sophomore year and saw my grades fall (overall GPA: 2.9). The program was too tough for me and at the same time, I generated more interested in finance & investing. I approached the b-school to switch to finance but was told that I was too late to apply, my grades are low and I will have to extend my graduation by a year. Given the above situation, I decided to just complete my major & pursue masters in finance at good school with CFA & other exams (self study prestigious program with very low passing rate). I passed the CFA & other exams in my first attempt and at a very young age post graduation. When I tried applying for grad school for MS Finance (no experience req. for program) with 1 yr of finance work experience & above avg. gmat score, schools either replied I’m over-qualified & should look for MBA, I do not meet minimum req. of 3.0 gpa or even if applied I got rejections all over. If I look for mba, the problem is going to reoccur & it is not what I want to do. I don’t know how to explain it to the admission committee & not sure what should I do now. It is too depressing. I see lots of liberal arts students getting accepted into the program just because they have good gpa. I’m not sure if they are as passionate as I am but it is a grim reality or just attracted to higher pay in the industry. I seek your work of advice. Thanks

    • michael says:

      Hi John,
      It does seem like this is a tricky situation. If your heart is set on the schools you’ve applied to, and given their 3.0 GPA requirement, you should consider going back to school and taking some courses to raise your GPA. If that doesn’t seem possible given your situation, you can consider retaking the GMAT/GRE for an even better score to convince schools that you are ready for their rigorous curriculum. All else failing, you may also consider modifying your school list to include some less competitive schools which may not have the 3.0 GPA requirement.
      Best of luck!

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