Low subject test score

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
bbq123
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Low subject test score

Postby bbq123 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:56 pm

I completely messed up the subject test in Octorber. I got a 570, and it was also my first time take it. I underestimated the test and did not make any preparation. I'm at a top 20 department, and I have taken many math courses with some grad courses with good grades. My letter writers are all well known people, and I believe they will write nice things for me. Will this gre score kill my chances?

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:58 pm

bbq123 wrote:I completely messed up the subject test in Octorber. I got a 570, and it was also my first time take it. I underestimated the test and did not make any preparation. I'm at a top 20 department, and I have taken many math courses with some grad courses with good grades. My letter writers are all well known people, and I believe they will write nice things for me. Will this gre score kill my chances?


No it will not kill your chances. Remember that this website sensationalizes the MGRE's importance (it gets annoying actually). Grad admissions committees look at your app as a whole, not only this silly test. If you look at past admissions threads, there are people with sub-600 scores who've gotten into very nice programs. In my opinion, and probably most admissions committees' opinions, your letters are most important, then your research and grades, and then your MGRE score. Of course there are schools that use the MGRE as a weeding, but I think there are only a few schools that do this. You can always contact the departments you're interested in and ask them straight up.
Last edited by FreddieBiddleBooty on Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tianma799
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby Tianma799 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:31 pm

FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:
bbq123 wrote:I completely messed up the subject test in Octorber. I got a 570, and it was also my first time take it. I underestimated the test and did not make any preparation. I'm at a top 20 department, and I have taken many math courses with some grad courses with good grades. My letter writers are all well known people, and I believe they will write nice things for me. Will this gre score kill my chances?


No it will not kill your chances. Remember that this website sensationalizes the MGRE's importance (it gets annoying actually). Grad admissions committees look at your app as a whole, not only this silly test. If you look at past admissions threads, there are people with sub-600 scores who've gotten into very nice programs. In my opinion, and probably most admissions committees' opinions, your letters are most important, then your research and grades, and then your MGRE score. Of course there are schools that use the MGRE as a weeding, but I think there only a few schools that do this. You can always contact the departments you're interested in and ask them straight up.


What program would you consider as "nice program"?

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:46 pm

Tianma799 wrote:
FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:
bbq123 wrote:I completely messed up the subject test in Octorber. I got a 570, and it was also my first time take it. I underestimated the test and did not make any preparation. I'm at a top 20 department, and I have taken many math courses with some grad courses with good grades. My letter writers are all well known people, and I believe they will write nice things for me. Will this gre score kill my chances?


No it will not kill your chances. Remember that this website sensationalizes the MGRE's importance (it gets annoying actually). Grad admissions committees look at your app as a whole, not only this silly test. If you look at past admissions threads, there are people with sub-600 scores who've gotten into very nice programs. In my opinion, and probably most admissions committees' opinions, your letters are most important, then your research and grades, and then your MGRE score. Of course there are schools that use the MGRE as a weeding, but I think there only a few schools that do this. You can always contact the departments you're interested in and ask them straight up.


What program would you consider as "nice program"?


Ohio State, U Colorado Boulder, Oregon, Michigan, things like that. Those schools are very nice and have good people working there.

djysyed
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby djysyed » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:36 am

FreddieBiddleBooty wrote:Ohio State, U Colorado Boulder, Oregon, Michigan, things like that. Those schools are very nice and have good people working there.


Is Ann Arbor not very picky about their applicants? They're a top 10 program if I recall

math_hopeful
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Low subject test score

Postby math_hopeful » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:44 am

djysyed wrote:Is Ann Arbor not very picky about their applicants? They're a top 10 program if I recall


Their website states that the median subject test score for admitted applicants is 760. However, when Freddie says that "there are people with sub-600 scores who've gotten into very nice programs," I don't think that Michigan should be included as one of those programs that will likely admit someone with a sub-600 score. I went over the last 5 years of applicant profiles, and I haven't seen a single person with a sub-700 score that was accepted at Michigan (although I went over the profiles rather quickly, so I may have missed someone if they did), and certainly not anyone with a sub-600 score. In fact, there were tons of people with scores over 800 that were rejected there.

Tianma799
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby Tianma799 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:12 am

math_hopeful wrote:
djysyed wrote:Is Ann Arbor not very picky about their applicants? They're a top 10 program if I recall


Their website states that the median subject test score for admitted applicants is 760. However, when Freddie says that "there are people with sub-600 scores who've gotten into very nice programs," I don't think that Michigan should be included as one of those programs that will likely admit someone with a sub-600 score. I went over the last 5 years of applicant profiles, and I haven't seen a single person with a sub-700 score that was accepted at Michigan (although I went over the profiles rather quickly, so I may have missed someone if they did), and certainly not anyone with a sub-600 score. In fact, there were tons of people with scores over 800 that were rejected there.


Somebody got accepted with a 620. So it is possible.

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:24 am

Tianma799 wrote:
math_hopeful wrote:
djysyed wrote:Is Ann Arbor not very picky about their applicants? They're a top 10 program if I recall


Their website states that the median subject test score for admitted applicants is 760. However, when Freddie says that "there are people with sub-600 scores who've gotten into very nice programs," I don't think that Michigan should be included as one of those programs that will likely admit someone with a sub-600 score. I went over the last 5 years of applicant profiles, and I haven't seen a single person with a sub-700 score that was accepted at Michigan (although I went over the profiles rather quickly, so I may have missed someone if they did), and certainly not anyone with a sub-600 score. In fact, there were tons of people with scores over 800 that were rejected there.


Somebody got accepted with a 620. So it is possible.


I responded with that list of schools to the question "what do you consider good schools?". Although I wouldn't doubt that someone has gotten into Michigan with a low score, just like someone has gotten into Ohio with a low score. My point is that you can get into good universities with low MGRE score.

math_hopeful
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Low subject test score

Postby math_hopeful » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:28 am

Tianma799 wrote:Somebody got accepted with a 620. So it is possible.


Are you sure that you're not talking about Michigan State? I see someone with a 620 that was accepted to Michigan State, not the University of Michigan, which are two very different schools.

Tianma799
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby Tianma799 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:22 am

math_hopeful wrote:
Tianma799 wrote:Somebody got accepted with a 620. So it is possible.


Are you sure that you're not talking about Michigan State? I see someone with a 620 that was accepted to Michigan State, not the University of Michigan, which are two very different schools.


Let me quote the post. But of course, he seemed to have a very clear research plan, which made a whole lot of difference.

joga wrote:I really want to post this for everybody who seem worried with the math gre score. I had a terrible Math Gre score of 620 and was accepted to a few Top 10 Programs ( one can check my profile in the following 2015 application profiles ). I am genuinely not being a braggart but the point I am trying to make is Math GRE is not the deal settler which people though know do not realize. My recommenders also said that they do not worry too much about these scores.

I have a friend who had a 790 odd score i think and made it into stanford nyu chicago and mit for fall 2013. He like me is an international too chose NYU to work with a specific algebraic geometer at NYU.

I post this for people who intend to give math gre again. My claim is that one should make a very serious application. A top ten program according to me involves a lot more mathematics than math gre. Especially for american students is that if you have a decent math gre score in the 700's then one should spend their time in strengthening their application over preparing for math gre again. It involves a lot of time to prepare for math gre and study and prepare for a high score on a standardized test. it is in no way bad but a 800 plus score might not swing the odds in your favor in getting an admit, the summer can be spent on learning a new machinery and the student can work very hard on a problem. And i quote one of my advisors " If you work hard something will come out of it ". This will develop a good rapport between you and the advisor and he can write a recommendation which will surely get you a strong admit.

Another vital aspect of the application process is making a proper selection of universities. One should make a proper selection of universities given ones interest. If you have a very strong back ground in birational geometry and algebraic geometry and you are geared pursue that are then applying to a top ten place like MIT is a bad choice or complex algebraic geometry at Yale. ( MIT does not seem to have a strong algebraic geometry group currently - This is totally my belief and people are free to be critical ). It is certainly well understood that recommendations make up almost 70% of your application if not more. If you have independent work on the arxiv your recommenders mentioning them will almost certainly ensure the adcomm reads or glances through your work. I made my choice of universities using 3 pillars which i arrange in order - (1) does the research of department suit my interests (2) will their interest suit mine (they are independent factors) (3) Reasonable assessment of situation ( Like i did feel my chances at harvard a place of my interest was very very low and chose against applying to it)

But I have to reserve my thoughts - i did not get accepted to chicago, ucla and northwestern and i have been conveyed that a 620 could have been a reason. I am international though and well not everything works out.

FreddieBiddleBooty
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Re: Low subject test score

Postby FreddieBiddleBooty » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:17 am

Tianma799 wrote:
math_hopeful wrote:
Tianma799 wrote:Somebody got accepted with a 620. So it is possible.


Are you sure that you're not talking about Michigan State? I see someone with a 620 that was accepted to Michigan State, not the University of Michigan, which are two very different schools.


Let me quote the post. But of course, he seemed to have a very clear research plan, which made a whole lot of difference.

joga wrote:I really want to post this for everybody who seem worried with the math gre score. I had a terrible Math Gre score of 620 and was accepted to a few Top 10 Programs ( one can check my profile in the following 2015 application profiles ). I am genuinely not being a braggart but the point I am trying to make is Math GRE is not the deal settler which people though know do not realize. My recommenders also said that they do not worry too much about these scores.

I have a friend who had a 790 odd score i think and made it into stanford nyu chicago and mit for fall 2013. He like me is an international too chose NYU to work with a specific algebraic geometer at NYU.

I post this for people who intend to give math gre again. My claim is that one should make a very serious application. A top ten program according to me involves a lot more mathematics than math gre. Especially for american students is that if you have a decent math gre score in the 700's then one should spend their time in strengthening their application over preparing for math gre again. It involves a lot of time to prepare for math gre and study and prepare for a high score on a standardized test. it is in no way bad but a 800 plus score might not swing the odds in your favor in getting an admit, the summer can be spent on learning a new machinery and the student can work very hard on a problem. And i quote one of my advisors " If you work hard something will come out of it ". This will develop a good rapport between you and the advisor and he can write a recommendation which will surely get you a strong admit.

Another vital aspect of the application process is making a proper selection of universities. One should make a proper selection of universities given ones interest. If you have a very strong back ground in birational geometry and algebraic geometry and you are geared pursue that are then applying to a top ten place like MIT is a bad choice or complex algebraic geometry at Yale. ( MIT does not seem to have a strong algebraic geometry group currently - This is totally my belief and people are free to be critical ). It is certainly well understood that recommendations make up almost 70% of your application if not more. If you have independent work on the arxiv your recommenders mentioning them will almost certainly ensure the adcomm reads or glances through your work. I made my choice of universities using 3 pillars which i arrange in order - (1) does the research of department suit my interests (2) will their interest suit mine (they are independent factors) (3) Reasonable assessment of situation ( Like i did feel my chances at harvard a place of my interest was very very low and chose against applying to it)

But I have to reserve my thoughts - i did not get accepted to chicago, ucla and northwestern and i have been conveyed that a 620 could have been a reason. I am international though and well not everything works out.


Thank you for posting this. This is what everyone should know! Focus on the rest of your application and not this silly test.




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