what kind of "pull" does a score of 20 in the Putnam have?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
kiurys
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:40 am

what kind of "pull" does a score of 20 in the Putnam have?

Postby kiurys » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:42 am

What kind of "pull" does a score of 20 in the Putnam have on NON-TOP math phd programs? (im talking about programs which are ranked in graduate math as: one ranked 70, another ranked 98, and the others unranked)

Thanks.

Txe
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:30 am

Re: what kind of "pull" does a score of 20 in the Putnam have?

Postby Txe » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:34 pm

why do you think it would have any pull at all? while the test requires quite a bit of preparation and training to do well, I fail to see what it has to do with your performance in grad school.

I suppose it couldnt hurt to add it somewhere in your application, but I wouldnt count on it turning any tides in your favor.

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

Re: what kind of "pull" does a score of 20 in the Putnam have?

Postby owlpride » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:19 pm

Chances are that whatever helps you excel at the Putnam will also show in other parts of your application, particularly your coursework, your letters of recommendation and your math subject GRE score. In that sense the Putnam score won't "add" anything: it's just another reflection of your strengths.

On a more logistical note, I imagine it's tricky to mention that range Putnam score on an application in such a way that it won't raise an eyebrow. (Scores in the Honorable Mention range could be listed in the "awards" section.) If I were you, I would probably not mention it myself and trust that my professors mention it in their letters of recommendation if they deem it relevant.

If you do want to mention your Putnam accomplishments yourself, give your ranking rather than your score. Scores are pretty meaningless because the difficulty of the exam varies so much by year. Last year a score of 20 was barely enough to get into the top 1,000. In difficult years, a score of 20 can get you into the top 200.




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