Did poorly on subject test, what to do now?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
ziddy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:03 pm

Did poorly on subject test, what to do now?

Postby ziddy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:11 pm

I'm an industrial engineering student applying to operations research PhD programs, so my background for the math GRE isn't ideal (I haven't had abstract algebra, for instance). I ended up making 610 (39 percentile) on the exam. I didn't think I would do this poorly so I elected when I registered to have the score sent to the schools I am applying to. Will this be detrimental to my application? I would like to retake the exam, but it is not offered again until April and that is too late so far as admission decisions are concerned.

The test is not required, only recommended for the programs I am applying to, so I would just not include it in my application but I think if the score has been sent to the school already, I have no choice? Should I just not worry about this, since I don't think there's anything I can do?

tikalora
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Did poorly on subject test, what to do now?

Postby tikalora » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:34 pm

I did the same thing and sent my scores to schools that don't require them, and my subject test score is also quite low. What my advisors recommended I do is address it directly in my personal statement. In your case, you said you hadn't taken abstract algebra yet, so you can address that in your statement. You can also bring up other strengths that you have in mathematics to try and show that the math subject GRE is not an accurate representation of your abilities in mathematics.

Even if other schools recommend it, I wouldn't send your subject GRE to them. But I would address it to those schools who will see your scores.

ziddy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:03 pm

Re: Did poorly on subject test, what to do now?

Postby ziddy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:21 pm

Hmm, should I really address this in my personal statement? I feel like it would sound like I'm making excuses. Should I mention that I'm willing to retake the exam in April, if that isn't too late for it to matter?

rmg512
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Did poorly on subject test, what to do now?

Postby rmg512 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:31 am

Send it. Schools would rather know than think the applicant has something to hide. 39% is bad, but if the rest of your application is strong, it might be overlooked.

Ohio State's website has a great blurb about it:
Go to http://www.math.osu.edu/graduate/apply and click the "GRE_Info" tab.

tikalora
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Did poorly on subject test, what to do now?

Postby tikalora » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:06 pm

ziddy wrote:Hmm, should I really address this in my personal statement? I feel like it would sound like I'm making excuses. Should I mention that I'm willing to retake the exam in April, if that isn't too late for it to matter?


I would definitely mention it in some way, especially since it's not up to par with the rest of your application. I don't think it will sound like you are making excuses if you phrase everything correctly. And I would definitely mention that you're willing to retake it: my advisors suggest that I do the same thing. It at least shows that you're dedicated, you care, and you're not trying to sweep your score under the rug or hide anything.




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