math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby math_applicant » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:20 am

Hello,

I wonder how much the reputation of the undergrad institution can hurt an application to a top program in pure math phd. I hear GPA, recommendations, number of advanced courses taken and grades in such advanced courses, all are very important for evaluation, however all these are strictly dependent upon the quality of the undergrad institution. Does good math gre remedy such problem if any. thanks

genesis0728
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:26 am

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby genesis0728 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:27 am

My professor told me admission depends purely on your recommendation letters.

math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby math_applicant » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:06 am

But most applicants have glowing recommendation letters, I think there has to be some sort of tie breaker. Also, do u know if top 10 or 20 programs weigh LORs and the like with the undergrad reputation? My point was, for non-reputed schools, can a good enough score on the math gre show strong background and thus convey value about the such schools which will in turn add to the strength of LORs , grades, et ?

genesis0728
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:26 am

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby genesis0728 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:24 am

Strong recommendation means the letter is from someone the admission committee members know. Here 'know' means either the recommender is famous or not that famous but the committee members know him personally. So, actually, only a very small numbers of applicant get 'strong recommendation'. If you are from a not very famous undergrad institution, I think it will be ok if can get a 'strong recommendation'

Legendre
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:05 am

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby Legendre » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:18 am

math_applicant wrote:Hello,

I wonder how much the reputation of the undergrad institution can hurt an application to a top program in pure math phd. I hear GPA, recommendations, number of advanced courses taken and grades in such advanced courses, all are very important for evaluation, however all these are strictly dependent upon the quality of the undergrad institution. Does good math gre remedy such problem if any. thanks


A good MGRE score does almost nothing to help the rest of your profile. If you look through the admission threads, there are a few with 90+ percentile but rejected due to e.g. poor undergrad grades.

Although a very low MGRE score will hurt you, a very high score doesn't do much to help.

math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby math_applicant » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:02 am

Legendre wrote:
A good MGRE score does almost nothing to help the rest of your profile. If you look through the admission threads, there are a few with 90+ percentile but rejected due to e.g. poor undergrad grades.


No, I meant high MGRE + good grades but from an unknown school. I was thinking MGRE can add credibility to the grades may be.

Legendre
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:05 am

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby Legendre » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:17 am

math_applicant wrote:No, I meant high MGRE + good grades but from an unknown school. I was thinking MGRE can add credibility to the grades may be.


Yeah it doesn't really add much credibility. Because MGRE isn't a mathematics test. It tests how good you are at taking tests, gaming the system etc. And the admission committee knows this. Furthermore, it tests high school and introductory undergrad mathematics. Not research level stuff.

Also, applicants from top universities routinely score high on the MGRE. Compared to them, you will have the same high MGRE score but is disadvantaged in department reputation and sadly, the reputation of your recommenders (famous profs tend to be at famous universities).

While having a high MGRE does little, having a low MGRE does a lot to discredit your undergrad results. So I guess you could say "it helps" in that having a high MGRE saves you from the disadvantages of a low MGRE.

math_applicant
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Re: math gre score vs undergrad reputation

Postby math_applicant » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:02 pm

thanks a lot, good luck with your applications




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