My TOEFL score is 85, but the minimum requirement of the school I'm applying to is 90. My GRE verbal score is also not very good. However, I have dedicated a month to contribute to the community of people studying for the GRE (more specifically, I have built a well-designed and information-rich Anki deck). Here is what I can sell in the SOP (they are the last two paragraphs of the What are you working on now? part):
Once complete I posted it on my website, and the result is incredible. Every month there are approximately a hundred visitors visit my site to download it, and within a couple months this popularity has pushed my site to the front page of Google*. Another good news for me is that I haven't forgotten a single word since.
Although my TOEFL or GRE score might not be high yet, the scores themselves don't reflect everything. After all, English should be a medium to communicate, not the opposite. I plan to upgrade the deck to make the it more consistent in the future.
But I'm worried that my application will be screened out before the SOP is read. Even if it is read, after all I built it to learning GRE vocabulary, not to training speaking or listening (my speaking score is only 18). I can take another TOEFL exam, but I want to make sure that my English has improved enough so that the money spent to retake it will not be wasted. It should technically not be a problem, if the deadlines are not coming.
My questions are:
- In schools that care about the scores, is there a way to make the committee read the SOP first? Like the professor I'm following sending an email to them to rescue me?
- After that, do my scores still matter?
- I also have created a deck just for the speaking test, but haven't published yet because I still can improve it. And if I explain that I have generate a feasible, scientific plan to improve my English, with studies back up in psychology and/or neurosciences, would this helps? The only thing it needs is time.
* Just google
• Do admissions care how close a TOEFL score is to the minimum?
• Why do universities place a weight on GRE/TOEFL scores?