How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
qlzjf
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:46 pm

How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby qlzjf » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:36 pm

Hi! It is my first time in my life writing a post in English(Except Toefl writing :shock: ) so some typos can be here :( sorry about that.

I am living in a country in east asia and I plan to apply for a math phd program next winter.
There is few people preparing math phd around me, so I learn about many things about math phd program through this web site.
These days I have a question: Is there any possibility that I can go to Top 30 program?
I think one of my biggest weakness is GPA. My GPA is much lower than other applicants(applying for top 30 program), so I once think of applying for phd program after doing (math) Master in our country.
I consulted with my professor about this, but professor said he recommend me not to do master and apply directly to phd program. So I am really confused.
I once think that my MGRE score can compensate my GPA, but many people said it will not...
Is there somebody who can advice to me?(

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in my country.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: (%)
V: (%)
W: (%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 910 (98%) (first try)

TOEFL Score: higher than 100

Program Applying: Pure Math (Number theory, Complex analysis etc.)

Research Experience: 1 REU
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: one scholarship(4yrs), some prizes from math competitons
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: one grad class(and will take about 3 grad classes next semester)
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some conferences

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!

MathCat
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:17 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby MathCat » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:27 am

I think your GPA is totally fine for top 30 programs. It may not make you stand out a lot, but it is above the cut off for even top 10 programs. Your mGRE is fantastic, so if you have good letters and a good statement of purpose I think you have a good chance. However, you are international, and that can make it harder to get in, because there are usually a limited number of spots for foreign students. If you can afford it, apply to several schools to increase your chances. I think your professor is right that you do not need to do the Masters first - your application is already competitive. Good luck.

algebraicallyminded
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:37 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby algebraicallyminded » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:45 pm

Which country is it, if you don't mind me asking?

Lentes
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:49 pm

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby Lentes » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:27 pm

Strong Advice: Apply to the University of Chicago; the admissions commitee there loves looking at extremely high math GRE scores, and it will make you stand out a lot.

grad
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:02 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby grad » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:46 am

qlzjf wrote:Hi! It is my first time in my life writing a post in English(Except Toefl writing :shock: ) so some typos can be here :( sorry about that.

I am living in a country in east asia and I plan to apply for a math phd program next winter.
There is few people preparing math phd around me, so I learn about many things about math phd program through this web site.
These days I have a question: Is there any possibility that I can go to Top 30 program?
I think one of my biggest weakness is GPA. My GPA is much lower than other applicants(applying for top 30 program), so I once think of applying for phd program after doing (math) Master in our country.
I consulted with my professor about this, but professor said he recommend me not to do master and apply directly to phd program. So I am really confused.
I once think that my MGRE score can compensate my GPA, but many people said it will not...
Is there somebody who can advice to me?(

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in my country.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: (%)
V: (%)
W: (%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 910 (98%) (first try)

TOEFL Score: higher than 100

Program Applying: Pure Math (Number theory, Complex analysis etc.)

Research Experience: 1 REU
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: one scholarship(4yrs), some prizes from math competitons
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: one grad class(and will take about 3 grad classes next semester)
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some conferences

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!


I keep seeing 910 come up as a GRE score. I thought that 900 was the maximum score. Am I wrong about that?

Austin
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:32 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby Austin » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:23 am

grad wrote:
I keep seeing 910 come up as a GRE score. I thought that 900 was the maximum score. Am I wrong about that?


According to the following link, the range is 200-990:

http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/scores/

grad
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:02 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby grad » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:42 pm

Austin wrote:
grad wrote:
I keep seeing 910 come up as a GRE score. I thought that 900 was the maximum score. Am I wrong about that?


According to the following link, the range is 200-990:

http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/scores/


Yeah but it also says that the range for most subjects is a proper subset of 200-990. In particular, for every practice test I've ever seen the maximum possible score you can get is 900. Check out this test, for instance: https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/practice_book_math.pdf.

Austin
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:32 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby Austin » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:33 pm

I hadn't noticed that before; it's pretty strange. I suppose it is part of the mysterious "calculation" done by ETS. Maybe if a large percentage of students ace a particular iteration of the subject test, they think "This test must not have been that difficult; let's make the max score a little lower." In this way, they can make the scores somewhat comparable year-to-year.

Another example that comes to mind is the actuarial exams. I think they're graded on a 1-10 scale were 5 means you got the median raw score, 6 means your raw score was 10% better than the median raw score, 7 means 20%, etc. This makes it so that if the median score is especially high on a particular test, a score of 10 would not be possible.

Of course, all of this is pure speculation.

quinquenion
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby quinquenion » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:10 pm

ETS gave themselves a lot of wiggle room and as scores have crept up over time, it seems like the exams been made harder to allow for higher max scores. This is related to and the flip side of the phenomenon where everyone's percentiles drop when they rescale every summer:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=952

clarinetist
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:08 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby clarinetist » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:45 pm

Austin wrote:Another example that comes to mind is the actuarial exams. I think they're graded on a 1-10 scale were 5 means you got the median raw score, 6 means your raw score was 10% better than the median raw score, 7 means 20%, etc. This makes it so that if the median score is especially high on a particular test, a score of 10 would not be possible.

I've passed four actuarial exams. IMO, I don't think that actuarial exams are based on the median score, because if that were the case, 50% of people would be passing every sitting (and usually the pass rate is in the 35-50% range). The pass mark (the average % per exam needed to pass) is what is deemed reasonable by the respective exam committee and if I recall correctly, requires approval from various exam committee members. It is possible to score a 10 if you score 50% higher than the pass mark.

Austin
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:32 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby Austin » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:13 pm

clarinetist wrote:I've passed four actuarial exams. IMO, I don't think that actuarial exams are based on the median score, because if that were the case, 50% of people would be passing every sitting (and usually the pass rate is in the 35-50% range). The pass mark (the average % per exam needed to pass) is what is deemed reasonable by the respective exam committee and if I recall correctly, requires approval from various exam committee members. It is possible to score a 10 if you score 50% higher than the pass mark.


That sounds much more accurate. However, if the pass mark chosen by the exam committee is high enough, it is possible that a score of 10 would become unattainable (since there is a maximum attainable raw score).

clarinetist
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:08 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby clarinetist » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:30 am

Austin wrote:
clarinetist wrote:I've passed four actuarial exams. IMO, I don't think that actuarial exams are based on the median score, because if that were the case, 50% of people would be passing every sitting (and usually the pass rate is in the 35-50% range). The pass mark (the average % per exam needed to pass) is what is deemed reasonable by the respective exam committee and if I recall correctly, requires approval from various exam committee members. It is possible to score a 10 if you score 50% higher than the pass mark.


That sounds much more accurate. However, if the pass mark chosen by the exam committee is high enough, it is possible that a score of 10 would become unattainable (since there is a maximum attainable raw score).

That is indeed true. Consider exam MFE for example, with a average pass mark of 72% in July 2014. If you want a 10, you need 108%, which is obviously impossible. A 9 is impossible as well, at 100.8% [unless you had a hard exam, for which the % you would need would be smaller than 72% - and maybe then would a 9 be possible].

qlzjf
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:46 pm

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby qlzjf » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:01 am

Sorry for late reply. Winter session's intensive schedule made me forget about this site :cry:

MathCat/ Thx for your advice. I will keep doing my best
algebraicallyminded/ Korea
Lentes/ University of Chicago is my dream school. :shock: Thx for your information
grad/ As I know, the maximum score for MGRE is 920

algebraicallyminded
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:37 am

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby algebraicallyminded » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:10 pm

I did my Master's at SNU. You can message me if you want. Can't promise quick resplies!

1overn^s
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:04 pm

Re: How to get into Top30 math phd program?

Postby 1overn^s » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:59 pm

@qlzjf, may I ask what your strategy, review material, schedule was to achieve a high GRE math subject est?




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