Admission Chances for MS in US With Low AWA Scores in GRE

Raghu GRE 170 Comments

Questions And AnswersWhen we talk about a good GRE score, AWA scores are generally not given much importance. But Indian students and students coming form non native English speaking countries have to make an extra effort to get acceptable scores in this section.

Some frequently asked questions regarding AWA scores can help you understand how important are AWA scores and how much time you need to spare to prepare for this section.

How does my Low AWA score affect my admission chances?

AWA scores are obviously one of the selection criteria for admissions in US Universities. If you score low you have other credentials in your application to compensate for the low scores. Admission chances would suffer if the department/program you are applying to have got an AWA cut off.

What is a good AWA score?

As mentioned above too, most of the Universities do not have an AWA cut off. But yes Universities would expect you to cross a score of 2.5 at least. Other than this you would find many Universities asking for a score of 4.0. But there is nothing hard and fast.

Is AWA score important for engineering program admissions in USA?

For engineering programs, Quantitative scores are most important followed by verbal section scores and AWA scores. But that does not mean you stop working on this section!

Can my TOEFL writing scores compensate for low AWA scores?

Yes to an extent your TOEFL writing section scores can help compensate for the low AWA scores but not for departments/programs which strictly mention their AWA cut off.

Does choice of my program affects importance of AWA scores in admissions process?

Yes like I said before, for engineering aspirants AWA scores may not hold that importance as for students who are going to pursue a program which strongly requires good written and spoken English skills.

Does a retake in GRE is advised to improve upon AWA scores?

Not certainly. I have seen cases where over ambitious students retake their test to improve on AWA scores while their quant and verbal section score takes a dip. Until and unless your AWA scores are abysmal don’t go for a retake. Retake is suggested only in cases with AWA scores less than 2.5.

  • Pavan says:

    Hi,i got 312 in gre(Q-169,V-143) and my awa score is 2.Will my awa score effect to get my admission.I was planning to take Engg Mangement.How much score should i get in Tofel to compensate it.

  • Mirazul Haque says:

    Hi, I have got 312 in GRE(Q-167, V-145) with AWA score 2.5. I want to go for MS in CE. I have not taken the toefl. Should I retake the GRE??

  • gokulesh says:

    I have got 149 in verbal and 161 in quants and my away score is 2 .should I retake the exam

  • Moni says:

    My gre score is 288 & my awa is 2.
    I want to do ms in us in Boston or N.J. universities.
    Can I get admission ??? Or should I retake? ??

  • dhruv mehta says:

    my gre score is -298 q-159, v-139 and awa-2.5 …im willing to apply for fall 2017 , toefl havent given yet ,Where do i stand? Is it good to secure an admission for ms in computer science eng !

  • Pavan says:

    Hello sir I have 298 score {quant 164 verbal 134 )
    But awa score is 2
    I doesn’t give IELTS

    Can I retake test again
    I am planning to go in August 2017 intake

  • Sowmya Ramesh says:

    Hi I have got a gre score of 307
    Do I have to retake gre?

  • neeha G says:

    Hi raghu,
    I just gave my gre on 17th oct 2016
    I got 140-verbal 156-quant and awa 2.5
    I have my toefl on november 4
    I have 71 % aggregate in BE-EXTC (Distinction in mumbai university)
    I have work experience of 1 year as Associate software engineer in tech mahindra(manual testing)
    I want to pursue MS in telecommunication engineering
    I have applied for University of maryland college park,University of texas dallas,rutgers university and university of houston main campus.
    What are my chances of getting selected in these universities
    do you suggest i should retake GRE?

  • Claudia Benavidez says:

    My GRE is 300, 15o on each section but my AWA was 2.0!! Can my TOEFL writing section score compense that awful grade, my score on writing was 21, and I really did a very good toefl (90). Please advise me should I retake the GRE?? the school where I’m applying doesn’t have a minimum score of GRE.

  • Ashton Menezes says:

    Got 165 in Quant, and 155 in Verbal,
    but AWA is 3.0
    Is there any cut off for awa if applying for top engineering college in US.
    Planning for PHD or MS in top Uni in Mechanical Engg.
    Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech.
    Im an MTech from IIT kharagpur,
    with 3years R&D exp.
    Sir, Please Tell if my AWA is sufficient

  • konijeti naresh says:

    My gre score is 281 is it possible to study better university

  • Saini says:

    How should I prepare in 2 days for scoring 3.0 in AWA

  • MJ says:

    I want to apply for PhD in Italian in the US. I had to take the GRE (which is ridiculous as I will not pursue any courses that would involve the English language or math). My scores were 155 Q 155 V and 2.5 AWA. Should I retake the test? or for foreign languages it’s just the formality of it that they require you to have a GRE score at hand?


    Hello My GRE score is 317 (147 -Verbal and 170 – Quant) and AWA -3.0. Is this a decent score for pursuing phd in US in moderate University. As my AWA is 3.0. Is it enough?