# the reason I failed to get to TOP school...GRE writing filter?

#### julyrain

Hi everyone, I appreciate all useful informaion in this site

my question is..
Do schools have some minumum requirement in GRE writing?

In this spring, I got admission from Boston University but failed in other top schools.
Surely, there are many outsanding smart students so no wonder I couldn't get admission.

but if I had gotten higher writing in GRE...could I have had higher chance of getting admission in Top schools? If so, I prefer to reapply again rather than going to non-top 10 this August.

my backgroud is

V650-Q800-W3.0
2 years of asset management firm(Seoul, Korea)
as junior fund manager (dealt with ABS, Credit Linked Note, NPL)
6 month of equity investment fund manager(Seoul, Korea)
CFA Level2, FRM(GARP), 3.6/4.0,
Statistics major, Risk Management minor in state university in USA.

Like Michigan(they require GRE writing of 4.0 or higher), do top school have those minimum requirement so my 3.0 writing can't satisfy and failed?

#### boneil

TOEFL requirements/score?

#### julyrain

TOEFL requirements/score?
international student from USA school generally doesn't need to take TOEFL.

#### Dwsmith

GPA? Math courses taken? Programming courses?

#### boneil

Oh okay, just wondering as I am the official grammar nazi and spotted a few mistakes in your post.

Most top schools will avoid publicly stating that they have a minimum score for anything-- they want to come across as open and understanding (as well as pad their admission percentage ^^ ). Unfortunately, some likely do have some sort of minimum score that they will use to weed out applicants (e.g. something a bit below 800Q).

It seems like you have good work experience and are capable of doing fine in a top 10 program, its just they receive many, many applications from people just as capable as you. Some schools (e.g. Princeton) seem to prefer people with stellar hard-skill backgrounds as well as softer skills, including writing (although some will contest how much of a quant school they really are).

Also, some would say, without top-notch recommendations, with a degree from a state school that isn't UMich, Berkeley, Virginia, UCLA, etc. admission to a top 10 program would be difficult to come by -- if it isn't already hard enough.

This is assuming you have taken adequate mathematical/programming classes which can be found in a number of threads on this site, or admission sites for that matter.

#### Andy Nguyen

I would contribute your unsuccessful try at the top programs to a non-outstanding application. It is not to say you are not an outstanding applicant or person. It may very well be that you have not put a lot of effort into each individual application.

On paper, the OP has decent score and work experience but my experience is that OP does not know how to make his profile stands out. When admission people look at the mountainous pile of 1,000 applications, this will get lost in the sea of equally qualified candidates.

Without seeing personal essay, recommendation letters, it is hard to tell with certainty.

Schools don't have to declare a minimum score for several reasons
1. They don't want to lower the applicant pool. After all, your fee pays for many things. At $100 a pop, 1000 applications means$100K, a huge amount of money.
2. They don't have too. They have too many applicants with high score. If your score is low, they will take 20 seconds to look and dump into the reject bin.
If schools publish the admission stats (mostly likely no), you can get an idea of the average GPA/GRE of the admitted students.
A lot of people apply to programs they have no chance of because they are not aware of how competitive it is to get in. I can throw a dart into a pile of application and get someone who got a 800Q, 4.0+ AWA these days. It is that common.
And for the OP, if you studied in the states, why couldn't you get at least a 4.5 on the AWA? People don't tell you but technical prowess isn't everything. People appreciate good English writing skill as well.

#### Sherlock

people are being admitted with 2.0 scores so I would rather concentrate more on the personal statement and LoR good luck if you device to reapply

#### Andy Nguyen

people are being admitted with 2.0 scores
How many people you know with a 2.0 AWA got admitted into top programs? A handful? Hundreds?
What you said is anomaly which shouldn't be used to advise most people. If you are American-born, then Verbal, AWA has little effect. Most applicants are international students so TOEFL, verbal, AWA play a more important role for them than domestic students.

What you said about essay and LOR is true. It's equally, if not more important.

#### Sherlock

I know of two. Both of them did not have incredible other parts of their applications. From my personal experience (including people I know of) your essay and LOR are more important. And what I wrote or have ever written is just my opinion I don't say it is what happens all the time. I don't see the forum full of admission office clerks here who can give correct answers to every question. I guess this is why we all give our piece of mind. And I didn't say anything about TOEFL

#### Andy Nguyen

I don't see the forum full of admission office clerks here who can give correct answers to every question.
Even they won't be able to answer "what is my chance" and "why I got rejection" question without seeing the full application. Most programs will have a stated policy to not discuss the reason you got rejected.

#### julyrain

people are being admitted with 2.0 scores so I would rather concentrate more on the personal statement and LoR good luck if you device to reapply
thanks!^^

##### CMU MSCF Alum
why do you want to do an mfe?

if you're able to answer that question and answer it convincingly, chances are you'll improve your application.

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