# GRE Quantitative Score

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I have heard random and completely opposing opinions about the effect of the quantitative score in Religion admissions, and am curious what the consensus is around here. I have heard from some that it is completely ignored, from others that schools look only at the composite, and from others still that both V and Q need to be above a certain threshold. I don't want to start another polemic about whether cutoffs exist. I just want to get a better feel for the weight given to this one section in particular.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a dog in this fight. My verbal was in the 97-98th percentile, but my quantitative was much lower, as I decided very much last minute to take the GRE (no math since 9th grade and studied for maybe 8 hours total for the entire GRE). I will probably have to take it again before it changes just so that I can go up against the devil I know rather than learn a whole new test style to try and up my quant score. I'm trying to plan the few months I have left to do so, and look forward to whatever perspective your responses might yield.

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For what it's worth, as one speaking as a current PhD student in what I think to be a good and competitive program, the GRE is important, but not in the ways people tend to think.

1. Combined scores are ONLY important for scholarships and awards. This can matter tremendously. The difference between a 1300 and a 1500 can be going from a basic stipend to a presidential scholarship, adding upwards of \$5,000 to \$7,000 on top of your award (assuming the program is fully funded).

2. Quantitative scores mean nothing to a committee EXCEPT in comparison to others. If you get an 800 on the V and a 400 on the Q, you are competing against another student who got an 800 V and an 600 Q - NOT a student who got a 400 V and an 800 Q. This might go without saying, but it is important to remember. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that the Q matters ON ITS OWN. It is a part of the big picture, so when comparing a group of students who have, more or less, the exact same application - the Q can be a factor that helps one over the other. But experience, master's degrees, previous schools, work experience, relationships with profesors...all of these matter more.

3. Quantitative writing is more important than you might think - again, for the purpose of comparison. Otherwise, on its own it doesn't matter that much.

Hope this helps.

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I have heard random and completely opposing opinions about the effect of the quantitative score in Religion admissions, and am curious what the consensus is around here. I have heard from some that it is completely ignored, from others that schools look only at the composite, and from others still that both V and Q need to be above a certain threshold. I don't want to start another polemic about whether cutoffs exist. I just want to get a better feel for the weight given to this one section in particular.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a dog in this fight. My verbal was in the 97-98th percentile, but my quantitative was much lower, as I decided very much last minute to take the GRE (no math since 9th grade and studied for maybe 8 hours total for the entire GRE). I will probably have to take it again before it changes just so that I can go up against the devil I know rather than learn a whole new test style to try and up my quant score. I'm trying to plan the few months I have left to do so, and look forward to whatever perspective your responses might yield.

Nothing I'm saying here is new info, but I think it's reliable.

1. It varies from school to school, and program to program (that is, they aren't looking for as high of scores when applying to Master's programs as opposed to Doctoral programs).

2. Some have a hard cut-off, period. Yale and Duke are the main one's I've heard; Chicago and Baylor are similar there too, but not as rigid.

3. The majority, I think, do not need the Quant to be very high, but just respectable; I've heard over 600 at the lowest. I have a friend who applied to doctoral programs one go round with a V700 and Q4-something, and got in basically no where; the next round he pulled the Q up to 600 and got in to places he wanted.

4. That is to say, I haven't heard anything about a combo-score, although that's certainly nice to have. That doesn't mean it's not important at certain schools, I just have never heard it talked about in that way.

5. Other than the purely aesthetic quality of a number (710 looks so much nicer than 690 on paper!), I think percentiles are probably the most important thing at most schools. I told one program in particular my score, and their only question was, "What percentile is that? Oh, no problem".

Just what I've collected over the past year or so concerning the principality and power known as the GRE.

Edited by RyanN
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Very helpful responses so far. Departments are obviously a lot less candid about these issues than students, so it's always great to get current PhD students' perspectives.

It's actually kind of a relief that its the quant score I'm worried about, as it is much more learnable than the verbal. Its just a matter of knowing all the formulas and interpreting the questions to know how to apply them. I'll know in the next few weeks how much these scores matter at the masters level. I feel like I am getting a better idea of a target score for PhD admissions.

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i think it's really just the overall score that's important (especially Verbal). remember, to get a high composite, you need a high quantitative and verbal

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I've heard from some programs that they don't even look at Q. It's irrelevant.

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I got accepted to the HDS MTS program with a very low quant score. I think it matters more at the PhD level.

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