Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
Rajiwick
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:49 am

Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby Rajiwick » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:55 am

Hi guys, I did the GRE general test today and got 151(V) and 159(Q). Coming from a math background my quantitative score is quite poor. I am now thinking whether to re-sit the exam or not. Will I have a good chance of getting admission to follow a Phd in Applied Math/ Computational Math with these scores? I am not planning to apply for any of the top 25 universities anyway. I have a decent GPA of 3.65 and can get some good recommendations. How are my chances? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks

pat2211
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:09 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby pat2211 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:31 am

Dont need to worry. A good performance on the subject test will make things easier for you

Rajiwick
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:49 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby Rajiwick » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:08 am

pat2211 wrote:Dont need to worry. A good performance on the subject test will make things easier for you


Do you think re sitting the exam will improve my chances?

AMGMScrub
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 3:20 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby AMGMScrub » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:04 am

I doubt your score on the general GREs will make the ad coms shred your application. But if you're talking about the Subject GRE, then you definitely should retake it if you have the opportunity.

Mathwhiz25
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:36 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby Mathwhiz25 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:49 am

I would recommend that you retake it because some universities do care about GRE scores. The verbal is not as important if you're not applying to the top 25. Try to get 160+ on the quantitative.

p-adic
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:42 pm

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby p-adic » Sun Nov 08, 2015 5:15 pm

When I was applying to Math Ph.D. programs, I would have said retake if you get under 780, which is like a 163.

Honestly you should be able to get 165+ in your sleep if you're ready for a Math Ph.D. You should be better at math than 90% of people applying to graduate school in general (not just quantitative programs).

airy
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:15 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby airy » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:07 am

p-adic wrote:When I was applying to Math Ph.D. programs, I would have said retake if you get under 780, which is like a 163.

Honestly you should be able to get 165+ in your sleep if you're ready for a Math Ph.D. You should be better at math than 90% of people applying to graduate school in general (not just quantitative programs).


Hmm I do not really agree with your statement; this is high school material so you do not have any particular advantage compared to say a physicist. I feel that if you have any (semi-) quantitative background, then the name of the game is to avoid careless mistakes (and be aware of questions in which you are particularly likely to make such). To avoid these, you will have to practice a bit. But yes, once you have done the 2 official PowerPrep II mock tests, and maybe another 50 practice questions, then as a math major even a 170 is relatively easy (as long as you can focus for 4 hours).

Mathwhiz25
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:36 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby Mathwhiz25 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:11 am

I agree that you need to be focused for about 4 hours. If you can't, then you will not perform at your best. Some of the quantitative problems are about avoiding careless mistakes, where as others are about what you know. I believe the verbal is much trickier than the quantitative. It's about choosing the vocabulary in their frame of thinking, although more than one word may fit, and reading between the lines in some passages. You don't need to be a math, engineering or science major to get a 170. To be honest, I don't know why universities use it. Maybe it should be used for undergraduate entrance requirement. It doesn't necessarily say much about your graduate studies preparation, in my opinion. The subject test should really only be used. It really tests what you know in undergraduate.

p-adic
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:42 pm

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby p-adic » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:37 am

No one is claiming it's a useful test. But you absolutely should have an advantage over non-quantitative majors. This mostly refers to English majors, NOT Physics majors. There are some problems where you can use calculus knowledge for a shortcut. There are some problems on factorials, probabilities/combinations, normal distributions, etc. There are some geometry problems where you should know the area of a trapezoid, things like that (and if you don't know it, you can divide it into a rectangle and a triangle and figure it out -- an English major will have a tough time with this). Being a math major absolutely helps you out, even if they're not asking you to find all homomorphic images of Z.

A 170 may be hard to get since it's easy to make mistakes or run out of time. But 165+ shouldn't be hard.

Mathwhiz25
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:36 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby Mathwhiz25 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:09 pm

I concur. However, I believe that the advantage is less preparation. With ample preparation, an English major may still be able to get 170 easily. Even as a math major you sometimes forget the "simple" material after using more advance material. Now when it comes to the subject test, you would not find hardly any, if any at all, non-quantitative majors who would perform well on the subject test.

Mathwhiz25
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:36 am

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby Mathwhiz25 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:12 pm

By the way, I am not sure if it is true, but I believe that the harder quantitative sections always have two challenging problems on there. So, with some review, 165 shouldn't be too difficult to obtain for quantitative majors.

p-adic
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:42 pm

Re: Minimum GRE general score for Math Phd

Postby p-adic » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:51 pm

But English majors will get frustrated (overwhelmed) with how much stuff there is to know, even if a lot of it they sort of know already. I was flipping through Barron's GRE book before I took the test, and there was a lot of stuff. They probably feel how we feel when we're looking through giant vocabulary lists.

But a 170 still isn't easy. Back in the day I got 800 with no preparation and 15-20 minutes to spare on each math section. I recently took it and got 168. The first section I probably had about 5 minutes left, and the second section less than a minute. I could have hurried up a bit I suppose, but I definitely felt more rushed on the new GRE, which is significantly harder. Granted, I did zero practice for the test, and could have trained myself to work as fast as possible, plug in answer choices to save time instead of solving the problems "the right way," etc. So I think 165+ is pretty easy for a math major, but 170 still takes some modicum of preparation.




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