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About statfan

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  1. statfan

    Fall 2019 Statistics Applicant Thread

    I did not get the interview and I am afraid that implies a rejection.
  2. statfan

    Fall 2019 Statistics Applicant Thread

    Has anyone heard back from Washington biostatistics?
  3. statfan

    2019 Stat/Biostat Phd Profile

    A quick update: I got 760 on the Math subject GRE test, which is the 72th percentile. I don't know anything about abstract algebra, complex analysis and graph theory, so I consider it an ok but not great score. I already submitted to Stanford and UPenn, and I am wondering if I should submit it to schools that highly recommend the score like Chicago and Washington. When they assess my score, would they take what I have learnt into account?
  4. You have a very good chance of getting into Waterloo. If you are a Canadian PR/citizen, you also have a good shot of getting into u of t. However, without real analysis, it would be difficult to crack top statistics phd programs. You can try to apply a few phd programs but I would mainly focus on masters programs in Canada, as most of them are research based. Assuming you get A's in real analysis and produce meaningful research during your masters, you will stand a chance at almost every top phd program.
  5. statfan

    Low GRE Q score; should I retake?

    The GRE Q is mainly high school level math and it acts as a filter. Almost everyone who applies to stat/biostat phd got a perfect or near perfect score on the GRE Q. That being said, if you score well, it won't help your application. However, a low score is a big red flag and will likely disqualify you immediately. I strongly recommend you to retake it if you have the time and money, and try to get your score over the 90th percentile (which I believe is 166).
  6. I am currently working through my phd applications and I noticed that different schools have different requirements for uploading transcript: Some ask for a scan copy of official transcript while others ask for an unofficial transcript. I am wondering would it be ok to submit the official one since it includes the grading scale while there is no grading scale for unofficial transcript in my institution. I also noticed that some schools asked personal information like other schools I am applying to and parents' occupations. Would it be ok to leave these sections blank?
  7. statfan

    GRE Math Subject Test

    I have to disagree with you. My supervisor obtained her phd from a top 5 statistics/biostatistics program and she knows much more about the admissions process than we do. According to her, although more and more people apply each year, the competition does not get fiercer and fiercer. Many students apply to statistics phd simply because statistics gained popularity in recent years. However, some of them did not even meet the minimum requirements and they won't get in. The reason why it is harder for international students to get into top phd programs are: (1) Their referees may not be well-known in statistics. (2) The admissions committees are concerned about their English skills. (3) They come from an unknown institution. Interestingly, applicants from a Canadian top school seems to do much better than other international students because they subject to none of the three. Personally, I know quite a few Canadian students in my school who got into UW/Chicago/Columbia without having taken the math GRE test. But they have great research experience and excellent math preparation.
  8. I would get letters from statistics/math professors who can attest to your math skills and research potentials. If you score well on the Putnam, it may help alleviate the concern of coming from an unknown school so definitely put it into your cv. The general GRE scores are pretty much useless unless you really bomb it.
  9. statfan

    GRE Math Subject Test

    The average varies from year to year and the 89% average should be the average for the incoming class last year. Unfortunately, the GRE math test is neither an accurate measure of math skills nor a good indicator of future success in graduate programs so most schools don't take it very seriously. If your math background is relatively light or you come from an unknown school, a decent score, say over 80% may help. Otherwise, your math skills are reflected on your transcript much more than the GRE.
  10. statfan

    GRE Math Subject Test

    According to my supervisor, the GRE subject test most often acts as a screening test and is less important than you think, even for schools that require it. With that said, if you score too low, it could raise concerns, however, if you pass the cutoff it won't matter much. For top statistics programs, I guess 70% would be ok and anything over 80% would be considered a very good score, and I doubt the bars are different for international and domestic since afaik some international students still got into these schools without taking the test. If you get rejected with an over 80% GRE math score, it is not because of your GRE.
  11. You have an excellent math background. However, if your school does not have track records of sending students to top phd programs, it would still be difficult for you to get in. If that is the case, you should apply very broadly. Your chances depend a lot on the quality of your references and if your referees are well known, that will help you a lot and you may get into a couple of the top 20's. You should definitely apply to the school where you did REU at.
  12. Hello, I am in dilemma of choosing references for (bio)statistics PhD applications and I am kinda in need of your help. I am currently working towards my master's thesis and I got one letter from my supervisor. I also got a letter from a very well-known biostatistician who I took graduate survival analysis with, although he knows me less well. Now I am debating on who I should ask for the third letter. Currently I have two options: An assistant prof. that I took two undergrad statistics courses and did research with during my undergrad or an associate prof. who I took grad statistical inference and experimental design with. The undergrad research did not yield significant results and since I already asked two letters from biostatistics faculties, I am more leaning towards the associate prof. who can attest to my math/statistics skills. However, some of my friends told me that I should get as more letters as possible from people that I did research with and I am really confused now. If I mention my undergrad research in my SOP but did not ask a letter from the assistant prof, would this be looked upon unfavourably?
  13. When you talk about grading scheme, it depends on the group of students who take the course. I am from a well-known Canadian University and it is not unusual to have average in the 60s (C range) in first/second year core math courses like calculus and linear algebra. But in grad-level stat/math courses, the average is at least an 80 and sometimes it is close to 90. However, this does not necessarily mean it is easier to get high grades in grad-level courses because the students who take these courses are much stronger than those in first/second year courses.
  14. statfan

    2019 Stat/Biostat Phd Profile

    Thanks for your comments. There are still many international students that I know who got into top tier programs nowadays. What do you think is the weakest part in my profile?
  15. statfan

    2019 Stat/Biostat Phd Profile

    Thanks for you advice. Do you think there is a way to improve my profile so that I have a better shot at these schools as of now?

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