GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
krpcannon
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:03 pm

GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby krpcannon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:09 pm

All,

To anyone's knowledge, do admissions committees ever consider one's GRE results relative to how extensive their mathematics coursework was? To clarify, would a physics or computer science major with a moderate-high math GRE score have an edge on someone who took perhaps 5 times as many courses in math, and accordingly scored slightly better? I'm a CS student, hence my question.

To take it to an extreme - someone with minimal math coursework but self-taught quite successfully?

Thanks!

qawsedrf123
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:54 am

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby qawsedrf123 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:27 pm

It's almost the opposite. GRE scores matter more the less known your school is. If you come from Princeton and ace all your classes with good LORs yet bomb the GRE, people are much less likely to question your mathematical ability compared to coming from an unknown liberal arts college. I'd imagine that similarly the more coursework you have, the less your GRE matters. Of course, if you had minimal coursework but aced the GRE it would certainly demonstrate aptitude, but only at the undergraduate level since graduate content doesn't appear on the GRE.

verysweetjuices
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby verysweetjuices » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:07 pm

krpcannon wrote:All,

To anyone's knowledge, do admissions committees ever consider one's GRE results relative to how extensive their mathematics coursework was? To clarify, would a physics or computer science major with a moderate-high math GRE score have an edge on someone who took perhaps 5 times as many courses in math, and accordingly scored slightly better? I'm a CS student, hence my question.

To take it to an extreme - someone with minimal math coursework but self-taught quite successfully?

Thanks!


Unknown. Admission is holistic - your whole application is considered by humans. That means there's lots of variance and no definite algorithm for selection. I guess the answer to your question is 'not necessarily, but maybe sometimes; it's possible".

solveit
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:42 am

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby solveit » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:58 am

Do you also say that when someone asks you if it hurts when you fall over?

Just because something has variance doesn't mean there aren't meaningful trends.

mathdumb
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:05 am

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby mathdumb » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:42 am

qawsedrf123 wrote:It's almost the opposite. GRE scores matter more the less known your school is. If you come from Princeton and ace all your classes with good LORs yet bomb the GRE, people are much less likely to question your mathematical ability compared to coming from an unknown liberal arts college. I'd imagine that similarly the more coursework you have, the less your GRE matters. Of course, if you had minimal coursework but aced the GRE it would certainly demonstrate aptitude, but only at the undergraduate level since graduate content doesn't appear on the GRE.

I agree with you, but I think the MGRE covers only lower undergraduate level knowledge and a little higher level, over 75% I think. So I think it is better taking more higher Math courses than a perfect performance in MGRE.

krpcannon
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:03 pm

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby krpcannon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:42 am

solveit wrote:Do you also say that when someone asks you if it hurts when you fall over?

Just because something has variance doesn't mean there aren't meaningful trends.


What? I made the decision to have much of my curriculum not be particularly relevant. This was a mistake. I've still learned a lot and was simply wondering whether it carried any weight that I know a lot relative to formal instruction.

qawsedrf123
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:54 am

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby qawsedrf123 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:21 pm

krpcannon wrote:
solveit wrote:Do you also say that when someone asks you if it hurts when you fall over?

Just because something has variance doesn't mean there aren't meaningful trends.


What? I made the decision to have much of my curriculum not be particularly relevant. This was a mistake. I've still learned a lot and was simply wondering whether it carried any weight that I know a lot relative to formal instruction.


Pretty sure solveit was responding to verysweetjuices.

verysweetjuices
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby verysweetjuices » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:22 am

solveit wrote:Do you also say that when someone asks you if it hurts when you fall over?

Just because something has variance doesn't mean there aren't meaningful trends.


I'm not saying there aren't. I'm saying nobody here knows how it works overall, if there is any overall trend, and nobody here certainly knows how each school decides.

What we do know, though, is that people with the highest GRE scores seem to get the most acceptances and get into the best schools. The GRE is a requirement for any math application; many other things such as REU and grad courses are not. Let's just stick to the facts, buddy.

qawsedrf123
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:54 am

Re: GRE subject test result relative to coursework?

Postby qawsedrf123 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:30 pm

qawsedrf123 wrote:It's almost the opposite. GRE scores matter more the less known your school is. If you come from Princeton and ace all your classes with good LORs yet bomb the GRE, people are much less likely to question your mathematical ability compared to coming from an unknown liberal arts college. I'd imagine that similarly the more coursework you have, the less your GRE matters. Of course, if you had minimal coursework but aced the GRE it would certainly demonstrate aptitude, but only at the undergraduate level since graduate content doesn't appear on the GRE.


Let me qualify my claim (namely "GRE scores matter more the less known your school is") by saying that it is independently corroborated between the DGS at an Ivy, the DGS of a top-30 school, and several faculty who all received their degrees at a top 5 school (and who may have served as DGS at some point in time).




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