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GRE Subject-Computer Science: To Stop?

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I am currently planning to apply for PhD at the end of 2013. So, I was going to take GRE Subject test, at April and if the score is not satisfying to take it again at October or November.


When I get into the website: http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/content/computer_science


I found this announcement: "Important: The last administration of the GRE® Computer Science Test will be in April 2013. The test will be discontinued after the April 2013 administration. Scores will be reportable for five years.

All other GRE Subject Tests will continue to be administered."


Why are they announcing this? What does this mean? Does this mean that universities won't require it anymore? What will replace it in universities that were requiring it in applications? Do I take it this April or not? Is there other tests that I should take instead?

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Which university requires it? If it's a requirement of a particular university, I would contact their graduate coordinator and ask. Most places I applied to had "strongly recommended" the test, but I've heard it's rare for students to take it unless they did not receive their undergraduate in computer science. It's a rather outdated exam with few study materials, so even CS majors have a hard time doing well on it.

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I don't know of another test that would take the place of the CS subject GRE, or any universities that absolutely require the exam. If you are applying to one that does require the subject exam, I advise that you ask the graduate coordinator whether they will require the exam for 2014 admissions.


Is your undergraduate degree in computer science, or in a different field? If the university only recommends (rather than require) that you take the subject test and you do have a computer science degree, I can only see the subject test being helpful to offset a poor major GPA (my two cents, of course).

Edited by dat_nerd
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I agree with dat_nerd that in many cases the CS GRE isn't that helpful anyways, unless your undergrad is in a different field (or perhaps a very unknown university). I don't think I've ever seen a single CS graduate programme that actually requires the test. If you really feel that you want to include a subject test, you could try taking it in a relevant neighbouring discipline, e.g. maths or physics, depending on your specialisation.


As for why they are doing it, I assume it is really a question of how many people are taking the test. From what I've seen on their website, there's less then 1000 people for the CS GRE each year (far fewer than for any other subject test), and I think at such small numbers the results might become a bit inaccurate (a few percentiles up or down don't mean that much if a percentile is ten people).


Also, would this thread perhaps fit better in the GRE or CS forums?

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