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Should I retake GRE with 166Q for top 10 master's programs in Operations Research and Management Science?

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Hello. I recently took the GRE and got a score that I thought was pretty good: 166Q / 164V / 4.5 AWA. I would like to aim for a top 10 program and I've heard that 166Q is too low for these programs and that 167/168 on GRE Quant should be the aim. Is this true? Does 1 or 2 points really make that much of a difference for operations research / management science master's programs?

It seems a bit ridiculous to study another month or so just to bring up my score by 2 points, but I'm not sure whether this is actually what's required of applicants these days. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Absolutely not; 166 is a great score and is totally good enough for any program. I have basically the same gre scores as you (166Q/165V/5.5) and when I brought up the same question with my professors/recommenders and they told me that only Q really matters and that 166 is good enough for any program. My 166 got me into Columbia masters so there's some (anecdotal) evidence that a 166 is sufficient!

Good luck and I am very excited for you!

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I truly do not understand the obsession people have with GRE scores. Sure, they are a quantitative way of comparing one application to another, but after a certain point (approximately 315/320), they cannot be used as a measure of how grande someone's research will be. Time and time again, studies have put into question the validity of scholastic aptitude tests in regards to predicting future success. In reality, these tests only show the amount of preparation someone put into it, and how much someone is willing to spend on studying materials.

Don't believe the hype--ZERO universities will require you to achieve 170Q to get admitted. They look at you, the person; not you, the test score.

FYI: I received a 166Q/160V/4.5, and got admitted to CMU, Stanford, and Cornell for my M.S. When I did the practice tests, I consistently got 167+ scores in quant (and the occasional 170). I only took the test once and then chose to spend my time/money elsewhere (I advise you to do the same).

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I would imagine that it would not matter as much as you think it would. The GRE is more of a tool to filter applicants. Do you have any work or research experience in the field that you wish to pursue? That would make a massive difference. Letters of recommendation also make a massive difference. I had a similar GRE score with something like a 3.3 GPA, but was admitted into a pretty good aeronautical PhD program because I had a strong LOR from a PI at NASA. Not to mentioned, I had work experience in the industry as an undergraduate. A GRE score can only say so much about your ability to learn. Same with GPA. You could just learn how to game the test, so to speak, and that's no good to a graduate program. Do you have any industry/research experience you can leverage in your application? I would make those two things the focal point of you application.

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On 4/9/2019 at 10:12 PM, itheproofofstupidity said:

Absolutely not; 166 is a great score and is totally good enough for any program. I have basically the same gre scores as you (166Q/165V/5.5) and when I brought up the same question with my professors/recommenders and they told me that only Q really matters and that 166 is good enough for any program. My 166 got me into Columbia masters so there's some (anecdotal) evidence that a 166 is sufficient!

Good luck and I am very excited for you!

Agreed, 166 is totally sufficient. If you have time and want to give it another try, go for it. But it likely wont' improve your app much. I'd focus on improving other areas if you can (SOP, connections to profs at the schools you want to go to, etc).

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