And do grad schools really care about your score so long as you make their cutoff? If all other aspects of my application aren't particularly noteworthy (besides, perhaps, LoC), should I try hard to shine on the MGRE?
Grad schools know the MGRE is a pain, so they just want you to do satisfactorily on it. Plus, an encyclopedic knowledge of calculus isn't really necessary in grad school. Math as a whole is open book, anyway .
Eek. Currently my list stands at: University of Texas: Austin Mathematics or Computational Engineering Carnegie Mellon Algorithms Optimization and Combinatorics Northwestern Industrial Engineering Cornell Industrial Engineering Princeton ACM
Only UT Math specifically states that they require the scores. Any advice then? I finished my undergraduate 2 years ago and think that if I take it again I might perform even worse even if I study.
I think 730 will be no problem for those schools. The top schools having a cutoff of 800 (not strict, just "strongly recommended" or similar wording) are places like Stanford or Berkeley. Many adcomms don't place much weight on the MGRE at all.