690 for top programs

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
rfz
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:29 am

690 for top programs

Postby rfz » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:01 pm

Hello dear guys!

Today i got my scores and it's 690 (58 th percentile).
This sigures indeed shocked me because I expected to get at leat 750.
Is it possible to be admitted to top universities like MIT, Princeton and Berkeley with such terrible score?
However, my profile is good. My LOR's are strong and I am from respectable university from Russia with high GPA. Have papers.
You can take a look at my profile in my previous messages.
Would be grateful for reply.

regularitylemma
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:00 pm

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby regularitylemma » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:36 pm

I think we are in a somewhat similar situation with somewhat similar interests (I'm also quite keen on additive combinatorics, ended up messing up my mGRE and getting 770). Take this with an entire bucket of salt, but top 20 programs get very difficult with anything below 800 on the mGRE, especially for internationals. It might be worth a shot, but make sure you're applying to other places. Might also be worth waiting a year and retaking if you're particularly keen on the elite schools. Best of luck!

Edit: Probably more accurate for top 6, not top 20.
Last edited by regularitylemma on Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EGA
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:59 am

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby EGA » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:13 pm

My impression is that 700-800 is good enough for top 20 schools, and above 800 is expected for the top 6. For example, the median score at Michigan last year was a 760, and I know people have gotten into Brown/Cornell/UIUC with sub-700 scores, but it's quite rare. Once you get above the low 700's, I think a lot of schools stop distinguishing based on the score (unless you do extraordinarily well - like 95th + percentile), and start actually reading your application.

lambert
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby lambert » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:21 pm

I don't think scores below 800 automatically make your chances slim for top 20 if you're an international. This is my understanding:

- Standards for international and domestic applicants seem to be about the same, at least for top universities (smaller schools with less money might prefer to support US applicants). I guess domestic people mainly have a small advantage because committees are more likely to be familiar with their school / grading system or know their recommenders.

- Top 20 is not *that* competitive to get into. In the top 20 you have Harvard but you also have Maryland, the point being that some schools have laxer admission standards. I think UPenn has mentioned that they like scores 750 or above and median score in their enrollment is about 820 ... Michigan has stated similar things and it's a top 10 school. 800 is just a figure, not a hard cutoff.

- People have been accepted with significantly less glowing scores than the norm. Two years ago a person got into Berkeley with a 660. That might depend on how special your situation is though (i.e. what every department says about "outstanding qualities" in an application).

In sum there's no use worrying too much about your scores (I know I'm saying this on *the* math gre forum, obviously people here care more about them than the average applicant, but anyway...). There's not much you can do about them now anyway. I'd say apply even to places you think are a complete crapshot (with your wallet being the limiting factor), you never know how it will go. It's much better than staying in the dark wondering what if.

Maybe you won't get into MIT or Princeton but you may end up somewhere where you find it great. You don't *have* to go to those schools to become a good mathematician anyway. Alternatively if you're hellbent on getting into the top of the top (I don't personally think this is a great idea but it's your decision) you can always try again next year and do something worthwhile in the meantime.

regularitylemma
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:00 pm

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby regularitylemma » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:09 pm

lambert wrote:I don't think scores below 800 automatically make your chances slim for top 20 if you're an international. This is my understanding:

- Standards for international and domestic applicants seem to be about the same, at least for top universities (smaller schools with less money might prefer to support US applicants). I guess domestic people mainly have a small advantage because committees are more likely to be familiar with their school / grading system or know their recommenders.

- Top 20 is not *that* competitive to get into. In the top 20 you have Harvard but you also have Maryland, the point being that some schools have laxer admission standards. I think UPenn has mentioned that they like scores 750 or above and median score in their enrollment is about 820 ... Michigan has stated similar things and it's a top 10 school. 800 is just a figure, not a hard cutoff.

- People have been accepted with significantly less glowing scores than the norm. Two years ago a person got into Berkeley with a 660. That might depend on how special your situation is though (i.e. what every department says about "outstanding qualities" in an application).

In sum there's no use worrying too much about your scores (I know I'm saying this on *the* math gre forum, obviously people here care more about them than the average applicant, but anyway...). There's not much you can do about them now anyway. I'd say apply even to places you think are a complete crapshot (with your wallet being the limiting factor), you never know how it will go. It's much better than staying in the dark wondering what if.

Maybe you won't get into MIT or Princeton but you may end up somewhere where you find it great. You don't *have* to go to those schools to become a good mathematician anyway. Alternatively if you're hellbent on getting into the top of the top (I don't personally think this is a great idea but it's your decision) you can always try again next year and do something worthwhile in the meantime.


You guys might be right about this, but I have always been somewhat skeptical about international and domestic expectations being the same. The only places i will no longer be applying to based on my 770 mGRE are Stanford and Yale. Hopefully I'm being unnecessarily pessimistic about how badly the score affects me, I'll find out in a few months. :|

EGA
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:59 am

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby EGA » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:52 pm

Some schools almost certainly have a bias towards domestic applicants (Ohio for example), but I don't think this is the norm. I agree Stanford is a stretch for 770 (though I'm still applying with a 750), but I definitely would not rule out Yale. I really don't think Yale will perceive a 770 as a weak score - sure, it won't stand out, but it certainly doesn't disqualify you, especially if you're a good research fit for the department.

regularitylemma
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:00 pm

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby regularitylemma » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:49 pm

EGA wrote:Some schools almost certainly have a bias towards domestic applicants (Ohio for example), but I don't think this is the norm. I agree Stanford is a stretch for 770 (though I'm still applying with a 750), but I definitely would not rule out Yale. I really don't think Yale will perceive a 770 as a weak score - sure, it won't stand out, but it certainly doesn't disqualify you, especially if you're a good research fit for the department.

Yeah, Ohio's stats page gives me the chills. I'm okay with not applying to Yale because I'm swapping it for a program I'm equally excited about - Waterloo Combinatorics & Optimization. With Yale it is one specific person whose research I was particularly keen on, but given that research interest can shift a bit between now and when I actually get assigned a supervisor this doesn't bother me much. I've been speaking to a friend who's an international PhD student at Carnegie Mellon ACO (a program I'm very excited by) and the impression I got was that he doesn't know of any admitted internationals with scores below 800 (this is of course from very limited data, he said he'll ask around if there are any unofficial hard cutoffs).

rfz
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:29 am

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby rfz » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:14 am

So my chances with 690 are quite low, right?
Waiting one year for retaking MGRE is ugly decision fot me and I'd rather begin Ph.D. preparing to Mgre is not useful matter, that is my opinion. What are good schools where i could apply with my profile?

stalemilk94
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:30 am

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby stalemilk94 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:20 am

You should still apply to all the to (unless you are short on cash). Some useful information here: https://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/ ... _math_gre/

Junaid456
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby Junaid456 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:10 am

stalemilk94 wrote:You should still apply to all the to (unless you are short on cash). Some useful information here: https://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/ ... _math_gre/


Hi stalemilk94,

I have a problem similar to that of the OP. I got a poor score of 600. I posted a thread about it: "Low MGRE Score -- Should I even bother applying now?"
Can you please look at my profile and advice me accordingly. Please feel free to either post in the thread or drop me a PM.

kuz
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:32 am

Re: 690 for top programs

Postby kuz » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:46 am

I got into Princeton with a 770 as an international student several years ago. Of course, it depends on the rest of your application.




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