GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
currentstudent
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:23 pm

GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Postby currentstudent » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:42 pm

I'm currently a graduate student at a top 5 mathematics department according to US News, and I just wanted to give you some information regarding admissions to our graduate program now that the 2017 cycle is a distant memory (so hopefully I won't get in trouble for this). My adviser was part of the admissions committee last year, and I talked to him a bit about the admissions process out of curiosity. In particular, I asked him whether there were any '"cutoffs" with respect to the subject test scores. What he told me was that while there are no hard cutoffs, admission into the program becomes very unlikely with a score of 750 or below (I believe he used the words "750 or below is very very bad"). He also told me that with a score from 760 to 800, there must be some another aspect that really stands out in the application in order for there to be a compelling reason to admit the applicant. Finally, he said that with scores significantly higher than 800, they really don't distinguish the applicants on the basis of GRE scores anymore, and they use transcripts, letters of rec, etc instead. With regards to the regular GRE, he said that he doesn't care about those scores at all, unless the quantitative section scores are "catastrophically" low.

Now, this is only the criteria used at one of the 'top' programs, and I'm not sure if the other top programs do things differently. However, I wouldn't be too surprised if they used a similar standard. I saw a list of all the incoming students with their subject test scores at the end of the school year, and I can confirm that there were very, very few students with a score below 760 (like maybe one), as well as less than 5 students with a score from 760 to 800, so I think what my adviser told me is plausible. This isn't to say that you have no chance of getting into a top 5 program with a score less than 760, but if you did score in that range, you should perhaps consider retaking to try to get a better score. I just wanted to give you all this information before the applications open up for the 2018 cycle. Hope you find this information helpful, and best of luck with your applications!
Last edited by currentstudent on Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:06 am, edited 7 times in total.

DDswife
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Postby DDswife » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:16 pm

Thanks!

kennethahah
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Postby kennethahah » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:45 am

Thanks for sharing.

Galen
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:14 am

Re: GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Postby Galen » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:40 am

Dear All,

I would like to ask for your advice, I am a bit insecure here. I would like to apply for a terminal master program in Mathematics or a Phd program. My problem is that although I love Mathematics very much, my GPA is 2.82 because I did my bachelor's degree beside a full-time job. I also have a master's degree in Macroeconomics so as research I have the bachelor and the master thesis. I am from Hungary so I plan to take the GRE General and the GRE subject tests in October. What do you think my chances are to get in to Math programs? Since we have just moved to Princeton I am considering the colleges/universities available in the area, like University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, New York University and Princeton University. Could you please give me some advice? I just do not want to throw money away. I study really hard for the upcoming exams and I am just wondering if I can take those exams with a pretty high score do I have a chance?

Thank you for your help!

math_hopeful
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:21 am

Re: GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Postby math_hopeful » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:26 am

Thanks for the information! Can I ask you what school you're at? I'm asking this because it's presumably not Berkeley? I've seen people on this forum get accepted there with scores as low as 660 (Check the 2016 Applicant Profile thread, although granted they were waitlisted before being accepted).

lambert
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: GRE Subject test score "cutoff" info from a current student

Postby lambert » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:58 am

math_hopeful wrote:Thanks for the information! Can I ask you what school you're at? I'm asking this because it's presumably not Berkeley? I've seen people on this forum get accepted there with scores as low as 660 (Check the 2016 Applicant Profile thread, although granted they were waitlisted before being accepted).


I think top 5 is restrictive enough, if the topic creator wanted to say their school they would've done so.

Berkeley specifically state on their website that for scores below 800 you probably need to have some outstanding aspect in your application to be considered. It's not a hard cut-off by any means though.

Scores as low as 660 I doubt it though, unless you happen to be a domestic female applicant, Berkeley seems to set the bar much lower for those demographics. For most people on the forum (aka asian / white males), a 660 will likely get your application trashed in the first round where they narrow down the pool.




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