Importance of the GRE General. Do adcoms even care?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
dasgut
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:20 am

Importance of the GRE General. Do adcoms even care?

Postby dasgut » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:26 am

So do the adcoms even give a crap about the general exam? Will they look at it?

owlpride
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Importance of the GRE General. Do adcoms even care?

Postby owlpride » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:02 pm

It depends on where you apply to. I have talked to faculty from various schools and the general trend was that more selective programs cared less about the scores. For example, professors at Penn said that they don't care about GRE scores unless they are abysmal. Princeton is happy to accept talented mathematicians even with abysmal verbal scores. Another math program in the Philadelphia with only regional appeal said that they do pay attention to GRE scores because they have observed a correlation between *verbal* GRE scores and success in their graduate program.

On another front, a high GRE score might make you more competitive for university-wide fellowships because GPAs and GRE scores are the only "objective" criteria to compare applicants in different fields.

cbreeden
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:37 am

Re: Importance of the GRE General. Do adcoms even care?

Postby cbreeden » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:27 pm

it appears that signs of mathematical talent trumps general gre scores

john
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: Importance of the GRE General. Do adcoms even care?

Postby john » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:17 am

There are some schools that don't even require the subject GRE, only the general. Granted, they're not top-20 programs, but still, there's a few out there.

At the end of my REU (which was at a school that is no slouch in math), we had sort of a grad-school primer talk. There was a professor who sat on admission committees that was answering questions, and he had a very poor opinion of the GRE as a predictor for success in grad school -- both the general and subject test. Evidently his opinion was not unique in the department, for the department doesn't require the subject exam for admission.

To echo what owlpride said, I was encouraged by my REU school to get high scores on the general GRE so that I could compete for university-wide fellowships. When the university is comparing biology, sociology, math, etc. majors for fellowships, the general GRE seems to be the only common metric between them.




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