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  1. I got 167 then retook to get 170. I don't think it made my profile any better tbh. I guess if you have time & money and are certain about getting better score, then go ahead. Just so you know, I know someone who got into top 5 Econ PhD program with the exact same GRE as your current score. Imho, 167 quant is enough to be above the cutoff, and as long as you are above 50 pctile for verbal and writing, you should be fine.
  2. I agree with other about GRE. Your first GRE result should be sufficiently above the cut off threshold for most graduate programs in Economics. Verbal usually doesn't matter unless it is below 50th percentile, and yours is well above that. So please save time and money if you can. Remember, there is almost nothing a great letter can't fix. Aside from others' advice on finding RA position, I strongly recommend talking directly 1-1 with your Econ prof about your intention to pursue a PhD and try to make sure your letter is no less than great. Reach out to alums in your school that attended Econ PhD for advice. The reason you should talk to many people is that Econ PhD admission are getting more and more competitive these days, and advice from people who graduated a long time ago may not be enough given how fast the game is changing every year. Most people I met during visit days (including me) have done full time RAs after bachelor/ master programs - and I am talking about top 30 departments. Given your situation on letter writers, I strongly encourage you to do the same. In fact full time RA also gives you better sense of graduate life and gives admission signals that you really want to follow this track.
  3. I am an RA at top 5 and I know many people starting PhD in their 30s. I also know some PhD candidates who were close to 40 and got really good placements.
  4. I don't know tbh. My funding package is not good so I may decline anyway :(
  5. I vote for RA. It would also helps if you have a solid idea of what you want to do with your degree, indicated by a research project in your senior year. Once you get an RA gig you can take some math or grad level econ courses part time (provided your supervisor is okay with you doing classes). Don't worry too much about your GPA - I know a guy with UGPA of 3.6 and got into UPenn. Your letters matter most.
  6. haha true! I would just pretend that I didn't apply and my app fee is donation for a good cause...
  7. Ok so for some stupid reason I forgot that I applied to Columbia until they send me a rejection...
  8. Not giving you any suggestion, this is just my 2c on UC bad rep. I have been to quite a few seminars at UC during my RA time here. I also heard mixed responses on the Econ Department in terms of advising. In my opinion, Booth faculty overall are better at interacting with their PhD students. From the seminars I attended, students at Booth overall have much better presentation skills and seem more well-prepared with their research compared to those of the same cohort at the Econ Department. For your field of interest perhaps you can choose to work with some Booth Professors for better advising if you decide to attend UC.
  9. Not at all. Why would adcoms give admission to people who won't pick their programs? Pretty sure they all want to look competitive. I know a guy who even got "half-acceptance" email from a PhD program saying he would be removed from their applicant pool but they may admit him if he got rejected everywhere else.
  10. I got a rejection from UCLA at 2am PST. No idea how they do it lol. Also got an OSU offer in the junk mail box 2 days ago. 2a/6r/pretty sure the rest are implicit rejections.
  11. Just got my first rejection from Wharton. Ouch!
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