Just got the final rejection today. Won’t stop trying though. Fall 21 here we come! I plan to get some work experience, refine the SOP, and probably retake the GRE.
“Get some work experience… Refine the SOP, Probably retake the GRE.”
These are all fine ideas, but to me they seem to represent a vagueness of purpose that may be responsible for your results.
You’re not an entry on a spreadsheet. You’re not a summation or checkbox-list of qualifiers. You’re a potential grad student who needs to make their worth (as a grad student) crystal clear. You do this by first ascertaining exactly which tasks and abilities are required of an excellent student in each of your target programs, then setting about acquiring quantifiable experience in those tasks. If it’s data science, you should already be taking free online classes and shoring up your RStudio skills. If it’s literature, you should be reading the papers of your future professors, reading the primary texts, and signing up to audit their classes.
Reverse engineer what the best students do. Don’t shoot and pray. In something as competitive as school admissions, hope is a very ill-advised strategy.
Instead: conquer. And be ruthless, because with the economy the way it is, a lot more people will be applying to grad school next year.
But you can do it. Just keep on grinding. Solidarity.