IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

jannyhuggy
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:11 pm

IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

Postby jannyhuggy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:02 pm

Hello everybody!

I have a question about a friend of mine and his situation.
He got somewhat not good IELTS score and is terrified about admissions.
So, the situation

GRE Physics 990
GPA 4.0/4.0 + Masters 4.0/4.0 (Lots of advanced grad classes)
GRE General: awaiting

One publication in Phys. Rev pending (cond-mat theory), some conference proceedings (2 or 3, I am not sure).
Recommendations - should be quite nice, but not brilliant.
Other bonus points: IPhO bronze medal

Toefl - no. Ielts - overall 6.5, all sections 6.0 except 7.5 in reading.

So: no time, no places in the country left to retake the ielts or toefl and the situation above...
Is it reasonable to apply to top-tier (MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, Caltech?) or not? They do not provide such information by calls and the cut offs on their web-pages say *the minimum should be 7.0*

Thank a lot for answering!

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

Postby bfollinprm » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:31 pm

I would apply to top tiers in that situation, but not exclusively. One point is I'd think that unlike other application measures, the quality of your English required probably does not decay as a function of ranking very much. Your friend is good enough to get in to some quality school, so I wouldn't be too worried, but he/she needs to explain their score in the statement of purpose and possibly be ready to take an informal language 'exam' over skype as a condition of admission.

Lavabug
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

Postby Lavabug » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:30 pm

Out of ~30 or so departments I've combed through, the highest requirements I've seen are 100 on the toefl iBT total, and 25 on the speaking section to get a teaching assistantship, but they're typically around 80-90 min for the total score.

Then again none of these were top 10 schools, but I think I've seen a higher tier school or two with requirements below 100.

Look into the schools' generic "Graduate School" pages instead of departmental pages, those might be clearer about admission/assistantship requirements.

jannyhuggy
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:11 pm

Re: IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

Postby jannyhuggy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:24 pm

Yes, Lavabug. I looked through all the university pages we are interested in at gradschoolshopper and only Stanford and Cornell required more than 90.
Earlier we looked at departmental pages.
Thanks a lot!

Lavabug
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

Postby Lavabug » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:01 am

jannyhuggy wrote:Yes, Lavabug. I looked through all the university pages we are interested in at gradschoolshopper and only Stanford and Cornell required more than 90.
Earlier we looked at departmental pages.
Thanks a lot!

Be careful with the data reported on gradschoolshopper, even though it's taken from AIP I've noticed some discrepancies between the numbers at both sites for the same universities and years. Always confirm it with the universities' generic "graduate school admissions pages"

jannyhuggy
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:11 pm

Re: IELTS/Toefl cut-offs and top-tier

Postby jannyhuggy » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:59 pm

I'll have to add up the following: my friend got to MIT. And even got not the TA, but the RA.
Besides his unbelievably terrible general GRE (140/210/2).
So, LoRs and research are the thing that matter the most and I find it quite reasonable:)




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