Study Abroad: Tips & Updates

GPA vs GRE: Which is More Important GRE or GPA for International Students?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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GPA vs GRE: Which is More Important GRE or GPA for International Students? Image

The first question people generally ask when you tell someone you are going abroad is "What is your GRE score?" Not just them even; many consultancies shortlist universities and suggest them to you based on your GRE score. So, is a GRE score that important? Did everyone who got a 330+ GRE score land into their dream universities? The answer is a BIG NO.

A low GPA or GRE score makes them question your ability and capability to manage the curriculum. Further, having a low Quant score and doing unwell in your core courses raises a red flag. So, while a low GRE score on its own may not prohibit you completely, it puts you at a vast disadvantage. Many of us ignore several other parameters while planning our master's. Of Course, GRE should always be the extreme priority, but don't ignore the other parameters. So, to know what is more important, GRE or GPA, we have aligned all the details in this article.

Table of Contents:

What is GPA?

Grade Point Average (GPA) is a number that designates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. It’s predestined to score usually on a GPA scale between 1.0 and 4.0 during your studies and displays whether your overall grades have been high or low. Through your university education, your GPA is the only system of measurement or calculation showing how good a student you are and whether you’ve been doing well during the degree program.

During your bachelor’s or master’s degree program, you will be asked to offer your GPA in certain situations. Here are a few examples:

  • Joining an organisation or a club
  •  Doing any extra-curricular activities
  •  Applying for a scholarship
  •  Applying for a graduate or postgraduate program (Master’s, PhD)

When universities want to know what kind of student you are, whether you’re a hard-working, striving student, or a person who is not surpassing in their coursework, they rely on your GPA.

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Which is More Important GRE or GPA?

GPA shows the academic accomplishment that you achieved during your study. It's more thoughtful and used in most admissions, while GRE is considered a test that can be taken numerous times. If you're aiming for a higher GPA during your study, it is recommended, and it's better to prepare to take GRE to help you with a scholarship.

All you need to remember is that the score is not only an important aspect of the selection criteria. A strong motivation and study plan will always be beneficial for success in your career.

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What to do in Case of a Low GPA (CGPA) Score?

“I can’t improve my CGPA now as I am already a passed-out student. So, what should I do now?” Well, the chances for you to enter into CGPA centric universities are undoubtedly low, the damage is already done. But you can enter into other equally good universities like Stony Brook University or Virginia Tech, as they usually follow a holistic approach, they give admits based on the student’s overall profile and not just your CGPA.

So, now you must have realised how important it is to make your overall profile compelling enough to get into the good universities. If your CGPA is less than you can get into other good universities which follow holistic approaches by having a combination of different factors.

Improve your profile holistically by having the following:

  • Strong research exposure i.e., research papers or research projects
  • Strong Statement of Purpose and Letter of Recommendations: Colleges which follow holistic approach usually give high weightage to this factor which many students are unaware of and thus they invest least time and energy on it. I, myself spent nearly 2-3 months making customised SOP’s to every college, and over a month on LOR’s.
  • Work experience: Your work experience combined with one LOR from your work place can also help you if you have done exceptional work.

List of Graduate Schools with Low GPA Requirements

So, study well! Get a good score on GRE but don’t forget that it is not the primary or the only factor in getting into your dream university. In my view, GRE is more like an add-on over your main recipe (CGPA, Research Papers, SOP and LOR), but it is not an equally important factor. You can also enrol with Yocket Premium to get help in drafting SOP, and LOR, in shortlisting universities.

Frequently Asked Questions about GRE vs. GPA

Ques. What are GRE acceptable scores?

Ans. Most schools or programs that need GRE do not have definite minimum score requirements. Acceptable scores vary with universities, programs, application pool, and other application materials you submitted, such as your coursework, GPA, statement of purpose, recommendation letters, etc.

Ques. When should I take GRE?

Ans. Check the universities application deadlines and the test dates from https://www.ets.org/Plan and prepare your test well before the deadline.

Ques. What is an acceptable minimum GPA for graduate school application?

Ans. Some universities or programs do not have a required minimum GPA, and others do. Most programs would not accept less than a 3.0 GPA; however, there are always exclusions. Numerous students with less than a 3.0 GPA are acknowledged into graduate programs. For highly viable programs, you need more than a 3.5 GPA.

Ques. What do you mean by GRE?

Ans. GRE is known as the “Graduate Record Examination”. It is a standardised test conducted by ETS as a precondition to getting admissions to universities in Canada, the US, and a few universities in other countries.