I’ve been getting a lot of emails from perspective students lately expressing panic because they are sure that they did horrible and that a bad GRE score will automatically keep them from being admitted into the UNC MSW program, especially advanced standing BUT that is NOT the case….trust me!
One of the things I love most about UNC is that the GRE score is just one of many things taken into consideration when looking over applications because they understand that some people just are not good test takers and that they are still great students and will be a good addition to the social work student body and the social work profession overall.
Take me for example, I am not a good test taker, I never have been, not in middle school, not in high school, not in undergrad, and definitely not when it comes to standardized tests like the ACT and GRE. But, knowing that I was not a good test taker didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to study. When I began the GRE process I wanted to make sure that regardless of the score I received I would personally know that I gave it my all and that there were no regrets. I bought a GRE study book and spent hours at Barnes & Nobles pouring over the practice tests and making flashcards. When test day came, I wasn’t worrying about whether I should have spent more hours studying or taking practice tests. I walked into the testing room with determination and my head held high, and in the end my score still wasn’t great…yet here I am less than 3 months from graduation and getting my MSW!
If you aren’t a good test taker here are some other aspects of the application that UNC looks at when making admission decisions
1. The letters of recommendation you provide with the application. Having social work professionals speak to your work ethic and passion for the social work field is a great way to demonstrate that you are willing and able to succeed in the MSW program.
2. Your personal statement if you emphasized work that you have done in the social work or a related field before coming to the MSW program and how that increased your desire to pursue an MSW and/or work with a certain population it will likely catch the eye of the UNC SSW admissions people because they are looking for people with diverse backgrounds and a passion for the field.
Admission to the MSW program is based on a comprehensive application that provides an overall picture of who you are as an individual, who you are as a student, and who you are as a social work professional. The GRE score itself does not provide an accurate comprehensive picture of a perspective student.
Just remember: Your hopes and dreams of getting an MSW at UNC are not resting solely on your GRE score!