Can a good mGRE score cover bad GPA in undergrad?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
backsmile
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:43 pm

Can a good mGRE score cover bad GPA in undergrad?

Postby backsmile » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:40 am

Undergrad Institution: Chinese university (Arguably top 3)
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA: 3.0/4.0 :cry: I know, it sucks
Type of Student: International Chinese Male

Graduate Institution: Midwest university competitive in math(for a weird master degree)
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA: 3.9/4.0

GRE Revised General Test:
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 146 (31%) :oops:
W: 3.0 (18%) :oops:

GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 930 (99%)

TOEFL Score: 98 = R29/L23/S23/W23 (Took recently with no preparation, waived for most applications)

Program Applying: Applied Math PhD (Very interested in fluid dynamics)(some universities only have one dept)

Research Experience
: One undergraduate dissertation about combinatorics with no significant results ( :oops: I think it is common for undergrad)
3 months pre-PhD research(probably continue for the next few months), including one presentation at a seminar (just a small seminar)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: First place in Undergrad math competition of Wisconsin (Not official, so I don't think this will help)
Provincial award in Chinese Math Olympics (Could not even make into the province team, so this may also be useless)
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader for two courses (number theory and complex analysis) this semester(I take this job very seriously to be prepared for TA)
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: I honestly improved a lot in the US, so I want to know if any university is interested in this trend. Before I was admitted by the 3+2 program, I was totally a loser.
I also planned to take a qualify exam, but this may only help the Wisconsin application. (And I didn't, lowered the chance of getting admitted by wisconsion)
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Do not have a lot of experience other than math : :oops: nothing else

Applying to Where:

Impossible:
UCLA - Rejected 2/28 midnight
NYU Courant - very likely to be rejected

Far reach:
Brown - Rejected 2/12
Washington - Rejected 2/1
Northwestern - Rejected 1/24

Match? Reach?:
Wisconsin - pending, but had started sending waiting list
UCSD - pending, but had started sending waiting list

safety?:
UC Davis - Admitted on 2/24, first offer, waiting for funding information
Georgia Tech - pending

I should apply to more universities lol
Last edited by backsmile on Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

MathCat
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Can a good mGRE score cover bad GPA in undergrad?

Postby MathCat » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:28 pm

In general, a good mGRE score doesn't really make up for a low undergrad GPA, I think. Most places view the GRE as a cutoff tool: low scores are alarming, but high scores don't actually mean that much in terms of how suited you are for research, which is the purpose of a PhD.

In your specific case, it may be that your masters GPA makes up for your undergrad GPA. The mGRE score will of course help some, as well. However, you may be aiming too high anyway, since some places will view a low undergrad GPA as a red flag, even with a higher masters GPA (in lots of places, graduate grades are massively inflated. I'm not sure about Wisconsin's masters program.) The larger concern may be your letters. By "not very strong" do you mean they would say you're only OK? Or you simply doubt whether they think you're great? In particular, undergrad projects are not really expected to yield any significant original results, so on that alone I would not assume the letter to be weak.

backsmile
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:43 pm

Re: Can a good mGRE score cover bad GPA in undergrad?

Postby backsmile » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:07 pm

By not very strong I mean they are strong but not in an amazing level like I am the best student they ever had. Two of my letters can emphasize my research experience and one only about teaching potential(I am asking a grading course professor which seems to be untypical). And I think all of my recommenders are well-known in their field.

GPA of some grad courses in Wisconsin are inflated because the requirement of minimum GPA is 3.5 for PhD students.

Tianma799
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Can a good mGRE score cover bad GPA in undergrad?

Postby Tianma799 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:48 am

backsmile wrote:By not very strong I mean they are strong but not in an amazing level like I am the best student they ever had. Two of my letters can emphasize my research experience and one only about teaching potential(I am asking a grading course professor which seems to be untypical). And I think all of my recommenders are well-known in their field.

GPA of some grad courses in Wisconsin are inflated because the requirement of minimum GPA is 3.5 for PhD students.


:shock: 3.5?Oh my goodness… But if you can identify professer who would like to work with you at Wisconsin then it may help, like have somebody vouches for you.

DDswife
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Can a good mGRE score cover bad GPA in undergrad?

Postby DDswife » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:55 am

3.1 is not that far from 3.5. And 3.9 is more than 3.5. So, even if your GPA was “inflated”, you must be better than people that got a 3.5 that was actually a 3,2...

I don’t know anything about this. I just expressing my opinion. But 99% in the MGRE should impress people. For sure it impressed me!. Even if it’s just a cutoff for them, I think that this should let them pay attention at the rest of your profile.

Why don’t you email them and see what they have to say? And I agree with the last poster. If some professor vouches you at Wisconsin, that should help.

Check of the TOEFL is enough. Some schools want high grades, and even a point is a problem.




Return to “Mathematics GRE Forum: The GRE Subject Test in Mathematics”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: blahquaker, Bottomology and 4 guests