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

Raghu GRE 164 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 donโ€™t go for a retake. Retake is suggested only in cases with AWA scores less than 2.5.


  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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

  5. 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 !

  6. 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? ??

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

  8. 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??

  9. 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.

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