How important is the GRE subject test for applied math programs?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:07 pm

How important is the GRE subject test for applied math programs?

Postby omhk » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:28 pm

I did my undergrad in computational math, but I'm at the start of 2017, I'll be 3 years out of undergrad. This past year, I've been working, just not in a math-related field at all. I have pretty extensive research experience, both during undergrad at my university and abroad. I have a publication under my belt that got accepted this year, which I was first author on. Really good grades in undergrad, decent scores on the general GRE (above the 90th percentile on Q and V).

I guess I just feel like I'm "damaged goods," for lack of a better term. I feel kind of old, and definitely a bit rusty.

I'm studying for the October exam now, but due to poor planning, it's my only chance to take the exam. I've been going through the official practice tests and I'm pretty good on remembering all my calculus, diff eq, linear algebra, and real analysis. Already know I'm probably going to have to forfeit all of the assorted "misc." questions, since I don't have enough time to learn them. In any case, I don't anticipate I'm going to do all that well on the exam.

Most of the programs I'm looking at say that the subject test is optional, but recommended. Kind of sounds like some jobs I've applied to that say "cover letter optional"...

So I'm just wondering how much the subject test really matters for dedicated applied math programs that say they don't require the exam. I'm applying to a variety of schools, and I'm sure that the top applicants will have taken it and done extremely well, but it doesn't hurt to know where I stand.

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