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

By Raghuram Sukumar GRE 57 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.

Raghuram SukumarAdmission Chances for MS in US With Low AWA Scores in GRE

Comments 57

  1. Naveen


    I scored 146 in verbal and 156 in Quant. My AWA score is 2.5. My academic CGPA is 8.52 . Should I retake GRE?? because of low AWA. I am applying for SJSU, CSU East Bay, CSU Sacramento and Sunny buffalo. Please help me out as time is running out for me to apply for fall-2015.
    Would like to here you from you soon.

    1. Post
  2. Mayur Vira

    My GRE Score is 308 (Q154 V154) AWA 4.0 & TOEFL socre is 92, opting for CS, My agrregate in Engg is pretty low at 56%. Realistically what are my chances of getting into decent colleges or should I take a re examination since my quants section is low

  3. Kunal Shah

    My gre score is 308( Q=162, V=146 and awa=2.0 )
    is it worth applying to the universities, or should I retake gre?
    before AWA score was in my hand I had shortlisted following uni.:
    ASU, UTD, Sunny buffalo, IUB, sjsu, san diego, syracuse
    but now I am really confused.
    any suggesion……

  4. Karthik

    My gre score is 309(awa-2.5 quant-160,verbal-149)
    acads 72%(6 sems)
    ece dept
    what are my chances with san jose state univ,texas tech univ,uncc(charlette),SUNY buffalo
    plzzzz sir

  5. Sriahreendra

    my gre score 323(quant 166 verb-157)toefl111(writng-24 rest -29) but my awa is 3,0 should i retake gre
    my cgpa -7.99 nit warangal ece

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