offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.

Sign up or log in to Magoosh GRE Prep.

Down But Not Out: 3 Tips for Handling Grad School Rejection

Receiving a rejection letter from your top pick grad school can be demotivating, discouraging and downright depressing. It can make you question your skills (I just can’t write a good personal statement!), question your efforts (I must not have tried hard enough!), and even question your passion for your field (I just don’t know if grad school is for me!). But much like a rejection from a romantic interest, there are steps you can take to soften the blow, move on, and even grow from the experience.
Here are three ways to get rid of the grad school rejection blues and build on those negative letters for a more positive outcome the next application season.

1. Acknowledge your feelings…within reason.

It isn’t always apparent why you got rejected from a school. Maybe your grades weren’t impressive enough. Maybe you didn’t sell yourself properly. Or maybe you didn’t write a quality personal statement or statement of purpose. Whatever the reason, now you’re feeling down, and that’s alright. Accept those feelings; rejection hurts, and nobody enjoys receiving that rejection letter. But…now that you have allowed yourself to feel what you’re feeling, let it go. Crying over spilled milk won’t clean it up, and it can stop you from actualizing your dream career. Don’t let that happen – feel the disappointment, and then move on.

2. Analyze what went wrong, but don’t over think things.

As with a breakup, you might be tempted to overanalyze what went wrong or globalize your flaws when you get that letter in the mail. Doing this only adds insult to injury. Instead, take an honest appraisal of the situation (or have a professional advisor do it for you), see what needs improving (whether it’s your application, your target school, or your presentation), fix what needs fixing, and that’s it. Don’t harp on your low GPA; don’t get lost in the world of what-ifs. Be practical, be pragmatic, be pointed.

3. Make a fresh start.

Just like after a breakup, you simply need to move forward away from those dejected feelings, and start fresh. Look at other possibilities. Reframe your goals. Find a way to make them happen even without your original target school. It’s not only possible, it’s more realistic than wallowing in rejection pity forever. So this door was closed, but there are many others waiting for you to walk through them.
If you really want to know what that rejection letter was all about, you can get a thorough grad school rejection review at Accepted. With a professional on the scene, you can better understand what went wrong, and take the right steps towards getting accepted the next time around. And then this rejection will be nothing more than a distant memory.

Magoosh students score 12 points better than average on the GRE. Click here to  learn more!

Most Popular Resources

2 Responses to Down But Not Out: 3 Tips for Handling Grad School Rejection

  1. Munir March 21, 2017 at 9:16 am #

    There are 1000 test questions quantitative by magoosh. Would you please help how to get them?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

      Hi Munir,

      To get access to our Magoosh content, you have to sign up for our one of our premium plans. You can sign up for any of our plans from our plans and pricing page. However, I will note that we do not have 1000 Quant questions, rather it is 500+ verbal practice questions and 550+ math practice questions. I just wanted to clarify, so there is no confusion. I’d suggest you give us a try with a free 1-week trial. This will let you see how navigating our site feels and will give you access to a limited number of lessons and practice questions. Best of luck, and thanks for considering Magoosh! 😀

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply