SLP Graduate School Test Scores and GPA


If you are searching for the right graduate school(s) to apply for a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology, you have probably asked the question, “What do I need to score on the GRE in order to be competitive?” If you find a specific answer on any of the graduate school’s websites, let me know, because they are more elusive than the last ice cube at the bottom of a cup. No matter how many people you ask, and despite your polite e-mails to program directors requesting the information, many Universities just don’t post a requirement for whatever reason.

Then, to throw a wrench in your SLP graduate school plans, in 2010 the GRE ‘revised’ their test and changed the scoring.  And don’t get me started on the application fees; you may need to take out a loan just to apply for these places. Jeesh…could applications be more complicated?! (check out one of my posts for help)

She looks way to calm to be thinking of the GRE

So of course you ask your friends who have already been admitted into an SLP graduate program or you search the all-knowing Google for answers. Just in case your friends don’t have a good answer, or you don’t have any friends, or Google failed you, I am here to offer some suggestions on what you should aim for.

Aim for a 153 in the Verbal (or higher) on the Revised GRE. This is equivalent to a 500 on the old Verbal scoring scales.

Aim for a 144 in the Quantitative (or higher) on the Revised GRE. This is equivalent to a 500 on the old Quantitative scoring scales.

These scores should make you very competitive. If you are anywhere below, within 5 points, you should still be all right. With all of that being said, focus on your Verbal score; many universities could overlook a lower Quantitative score if you are a walking dictionary with some fancy score of 170 on your report. Higher GRE scores can help offset a lower GPA.

Your undergraduate GPA  should be around 3.5 or higher; to be very competitive aim for 3.75 or higher. I know many an SLP grad student whose GPA wasn’t as high as either of these, but they also had some STELLAR GRE scores, jam-packed resume’s, and clock hours to start with grad school (up to 25 observation, 25 direct therapy or 50 total).

I would like to end this post by sharing my own scores and GPA background:  I am a 2nd year Speech-Language Pathology Graduate student. I was admitted to my program immediately after graduating with a GRE score of 152 (Verbal) and 141 (Quantitative) and graduated summa cum laude. I had no therapy hours but had lots of related work and volunteer experience via NSSLHA. If you are reading this and were admitted to your program with lower scores or GPA, then good for you; I love when deserving people get into SLP programs.

*Check out Texas State Universities AWESOME GRE preparation website, especially their informative PowerPoint by an ETS representative*

*These GRE test score recommendations are my own; not affiliated with my program or university, only suggestions since none are to be found*

Get involved. Study hard. Stay positive. Whip the GRE!

I shall end with a recommendation to read this hilarious post:

Sir Timmer & the Quest for the Parchment of Knowledge: A tale of student Loans

About SLP_Echo

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist completing my Clinical Fellowship in Alaska.

Posted on August 19, 2012, in #slp2b and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. This is great! Thanks for the helpful post, Ladyecho88!

  2. Hello! I just got my writing scores in the mail, and I scored a 4. I received 159 on verbal and 151 on quantitative. I really thought I was going to do better than that on the writing. Should I try and take it again? How much do the SLP programs look at writing?

    • I think you have very competitive scores…better than mine :)

      And it depends on the school and their emphasis (reaearch vs clinical skills) when considering to retake the GRE. I took it 3 times and made my best scores the first time. Go figure. Good luck!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that your blog posts are both informative and comforting and it’s great that you’re sharing all the knowledge you can. I have been stressing majorly about grad school and finding your site was the reassurance I needed. Thanks so much for creating this and keeping it updated

  4. Jessica O'Neil

    Hi! I am very interested in becoming a speech pathologist but have an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 with a bachelors in Psychology. I was wondering if you had an advice on being able to get into grad programs. I would have to take the post-bac reqs. Would i even be able to get into the post bac programs and even if i can get into those and do really well do you think i would have a chance of getting into the master programs? Thanks for any advice or help on this you can give me. Very much appreciated. Your blog is awesome.

    • Jessica, you may need to call the post bacc programs to see if they have a minimum GPA. That can be tough to find online. You will need to work on ways to stand out on paper such as adding 5-6 volunteer activities at places that give you experience interacting with potential clients. Consider nursing homes, special needs gymnastics programs, children’s hospitals, disability services departments on campus. Add a high GRE, recommendation letters from Ph.D SLPs, and a strong letter of intent, and you will have a good shot. But every university is so different. I hope you find your way to becoming an SLP!!

  5. When did you take the GREs in comparison to when you graduated from undergrad?

    • I took the GRE for the first time in November of my Junior year. Then again in January, then in May. I took it 3 times, but took it so early because I knew I was a poor test taker and would take it a few times.

  6. Hey there,

    Your site is great. I will soon be applying and with my varied experience I am wondering what I should focus on–any help would be much appreciated. A quick rundown of my experience : high school English teacher for six years, volunteer with a therupeutic horse back riding organization that had a wide range of children with physical, emotional and developemental handicaps, one year of experience working at a center that focused on social skills with Autistic children, tutoring a second grader with speech difficulties, and I have a novel in progress (which probably will not help me in the least) and I have shadowed a Speech Psychologist. Additionally, I have taught English in China and worked in the rainforest in Australia and have quite a bit of volunteer experience. My background is education, so I am trying to focus more on my volunteer and work experience, rather than my lack of a Speech Path undergraduate degree. Do I need to mention all of experience? Should I mention athletic pursuits like marathon running and Ironman completions as well? With it being so difficult to get in, I’m not sure what exactly will make me stand out. My grades are good and so far my practics GRE’s are decent.

  7. Hello! Thank you so much for this blog, I have been stressing out about applying to graduate school, especially after just receiving my GRE scores. I notice that you never mention anything about the analytical writing section, though. It is hard to see what programs expect the individual scores to be. I got a 3.5 on the writing scale. Any input would be helpful!!

  8. Thank you so much for your post. I took the GRE today and got a 153 on the verbal and 143 on the Quant :/ I’ve never been good at math, and I am worried that my score is too low. However I don’t think retaking it will increase my score that much. What do you think? Do you think I’m competitive enough? I’m still in college, but will be applying to grad schools this fall. Yikesss!

    • Val, I had a similar score on the math portion. I’ve never been great at those dreaded standardized tests. Competitiveness is so hard to judge b/c it depends on many factors: other applicants, additional experiences on resume, letter of intent, and GPA. I took the GRE 3 times and did the best my first time, while other friends did best their 3rd time. Completely in your hands, but I would say your scores are about average for many applicants. :)

      • Thank you! I am considering taking it one more time just to know I tried! I really appreciate your response! It’s nice having someone actually answer my questions! I feel like it’s hard to get answers during this whole Grad School application process! Thanks again!

  9. Thanks for writng your post, it was really helpful now I have an idea of what my chances are into getting into the slp prgrams. I took my gre today and did okay. I got a 147 on the Verbal and a 144 on the Quantitative. I have a 3.55 overal gpa. I was jusst wondering what was your overall gpa at the time you applied for the slp program.

    Thanks!

    • Brittany, good for you getting the GRE tackled! I dreaded that test like those multiplication tests in 2nd grade. Ugh. Lol anyway, when I applied, I had an overall GPA of 3.9.

  10. Thanks! I wish I could have done a little better on the verbal. 3.9 is really good, hopefully I will get into one of the schools I am applying to.Thanks again for all the information you have provided, it was very helpful :)

  11. Thank you so much for this post; it really helped calm my nerves about the GRE. I’m worried about my GPA, though, since it’s only a 3.0 for my undergraduate (in English Lit). My GRE scores were quite good–170 verbal/158 quant–I’m one of those fortunate people who test well. But will those scores even possibly overcome my low GPA?

  12. I have a 3.6 undergrad GPA and 3.9 post-bacc. On the old GRE I scored in the 75th percentile for verbal, but my quant was horribly low and only in the 12th percentile :( I plan on retaking it, but if my score still stays so low, should I explain it in the letter of intent, or let it be? I know SLP programs place the most importance on verbal, but I wonder if they are going to question the math.

  13. Hello,

    I am a senior pursuing a degree in SLP and Audiology. I am currently beginning to look at graduate programs across the U.S. I have an overall 3.8 GPA with a 3.82 in my major courses. On the GRE’s I earned a 157 in the verbal section, a 150 in the math section, and a 4.0 in the writing section. I have been a NSSLHA member, but haven’t been overly involved over the past few years because I have always had to have a part time job in order to help pay for my education.
    Like many others entering senior year, I’m starting to feel rather anxious about my chances of getting into graduate school. Is there any programs in the US that you know of that have fairly easy admittance? Just to apply to as a back up? And also, after seeing my scores, what do you think about my chances of getting in?
    Any opinions/help would really be great.

    Thanks!!

  14. Hi,

    Just a quick question, would the observation hours still apply if my undergrad degree was an engineering degree.

    • Yes. But some universities like you to obtain those hours with them. But would look good anyway.

      When you do the observations, make sure you mark the clients initials, age, type of therapy observed (articulation, language, fluency, dysphagia), and get the Therapists full name, ASHA number and a copy of their ASHA card. They must sign as well.

  15. I took the GRE twice. The first time I received a V-142, Q-144, W-3.5. The second time I received a V-141, Q-148, and W-4. I know that grad programs want a higher verbal score but I have never been good at Verbal. I have an overall gpa of 3.6 but that will be higher after this semester and I have a 3.7 major gpa. Any suggestions?

  16. I have a question regarding non traditional students. I have an extremely low undergraduate GPA. However, I also have tons of volunteer work and teaching experience. In my 30s, I went back and got a teaching credential and have a 3.5 gpa in that.
    How hard will schools look at an undergraduate gpa for a non traditional student? My GRE scores were decent, not great. I scored a 144 in the quantitative, 153 in the Verbal and I did well on the analytical 5 out of 6.
    Given my low gpa, from a million years ago. Do I need to retake the GRE? Also, what does a person that has been out of school for so long that their former professors are no longer there, do for references?

  17. So do I have any chance right now or should I wait? Took GRE and got 156 verbal and 144 in math (not a fan) So my undergrad GPA is only a 3.0 in SLP soooo my cumulative is like 3.5 though. I am in NSSLHA, observed and worked in school with kids and special education. I am just worried about references and GPA and if I will get in when the minimum at almost every school is 3.0. Might take the GRE again. any help?

    • Mandy, I think your GRE scores are competitive. Your cumulative GPA average, but if you excelled in the program courses that’s what matters more. In your letters of intent, make sure you play up your volunteerism and work with NSSLHA.

  18. This post is so encouraging! Thank you.

  19. Hi!
    I was wondering if you had any advice on my academic background! I am applying to graduate schools as we speak and decided to do a little more research on competitive GRE scores. I am not sure if I should retake it! I got a 148 in math but a 144 verbal and a 3.5 in writing. I have a 3.93 GPA and have a lot of volunteer work through NSSLHA and other organizations I’m involved with, held a job since freshman year, nannied and tutored a child with special needs over the summer, plan to graduate in 3 years with honors, and have 25+ hours of observation.

    Any advice? Should I take it again?

    • Emily, I think your scores and GPA are competitive. The applicant pool is so different every year. You just never know. I wouldn’t take it again. Good luck and keep in touch!

  20. Hello,
    I am commenting because I just took my GRE for the 2nd time and am extremely let down with my scores yet again. I even took a Kaplan course for 800 dollars and it was not of help. I had money saved for a down payment on a house and decided instead to enroll in a post bacc program for SLP. I have a 3.75 from Penn State and have all A’s in my post bacc classes so far. My GREs are God aweful. I have a 143 for the Quant. and a 142 for verbal, writing is a 4.5, only section I really did good on. Is there any hope for me? I tried to pick 6 “easier” schools to apply to. Lets see what happens. I will be beyond crushed if these GREs inhibit my acceptance. They are not an accurate portrayal of my intelligence. Will any programs see past that?

  21. Also, I have a year of teaching experience.

  22. Hi I was wondering if you recommend for me to retake my GRE. My overally GPA is a 3.68 and my gre was low 4 in writing and 139 quantative 144 verbal.I am president of NSSLHA, have had many memberships in honor societies, and held two officer positions in my sorority .I have over 200 hours of volunteering work part time and 20 observation hours and even attended a TSHA leadership conference.Are my chances good? or should I retake it?

    • Tiffany, the 139 in Quantitative GRE is lower than many are hoping. Most SLP graduate schools look for a 300 GRE total. Your outside experience with NSSLHA and volunteerism is wonderful. But if you want to feel more secure on applying, I would retake.

  1. Pingback: A follow up to “Craft a Stand-Out Application” | SLP_Echo

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