I am applying for a PhD in Sociology. My schools "require" scores of about 300ish and I scored 270. My reason for the poor score is that ETS requires medical tests I cannot afford (more than half my monthly income) to be given accommodations, so I was unable to use any accommodations. ETS was also very careful to say this to me over the phone, so I do not have any records of it. I am unsure of the best way to explain this. Without them, I don't see myself testing better.
I could hardly afford the test with a waiver to reduce the cost, so I am not sure I could pay for the test again. I am also obtaining my master’s degree and studying for the test has severely impacted my life. I know that is a "cost" of being in graduate school and this is a time balance issue that I should not be having. For the schools that have a "can you explain bad test scores" section, I have written out that I was unable to use my accommodations, which had a serious effect on my score.
If I have strong LORs, ten years of working experience, almost three years of research experience, am involved in multiple honor societies, have presented at multiple conferences, and am working on publishing something do I still have a chance to get in? I know that I have the potential to be a strong graduate student, but I am worried with such low scores that my applications will be tossed away.
Has anyone had a similar experience or have any advice?