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What are the chances of me getting admitted to a good school?
Take into consideration that my undergrad average is in the mid-70's. Although design studio had always been one of my strengths which I started school, my marks started dropping every year due to personal problems I had to deal with. It is difficult for me to get good reference letters from my ex-professors as I've been out of university for 3 years and never had a close relation with most of them.
Will having a strong portfolio (some undergrad projects completely redone), high GRE scores be sufficient to get me admitted to a good school? I feel I'm in a much better position today and more confident of my abilities in comparison to my undergrad years.
If you don't apply the answer is no.
Your portfolio should be your top priority
Do not be affraid to reach out to your professors. They deal with this kind of thing all the time and it really doesn't matter how close you were to them - this is standard opperating procedure for them. I know this because both my parents are 30-year senior professors.
Regarding GRE, just do an adequate job on them. They are looked at but no one will really judge you that harshly on them.
Hopefully you've gotten over all your "personal problems." That shit won't fly anywhere, just trust me on this one. And hopefully you know not to bring any of this up because it will be looked as a weak excuse. Just saying.
Most of the graduate programs in the US are exceptionally good. What is your definition of "good?"
What country grades with 70s? Portfolio, essays, and test scores in your favor. Grades, not so much. Yes, leave the "personal problems" out. They don't want a sob story. I can understand the reference issues. I got excellent grades but academicians are a strange breed and my dealings with them were almost business like, so I never had a natural, relaxed rapport with them, because you had to converse on an "ivory tower" level with them. Well, I learned archi-speak in a-school, and not in econ courses. However, since I came to arch. from something else, my recommendations were from philosophy, economics, and a community college arch. instructor who was a "grass roots" practitioner who went from architecture to facilities management. Surely, there are SOME profs who you liked better than others, and vice versa.