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Mark Tully

Theory GRE

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Finished my GRE. V164, Q155, W5.5. Does my quant score disqualify me from serious consideration? Looking at Notre Dame, Chicago, and Boston College.

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No, your quant score does not disqualify you from consideration. I have a number of great offers this cycle, and although my verbal is 99th percentile, my quant score is actually a couple of points lower than yours.

 

The biggest takeaway lesson from my cycle was that having a single red mark on your application is not a deal breaker if the program is a great fit for your research interests. That said, apply broadly. Identify several more schools that could be good fits for you. The admissions process is full of surprises because decisions are made by human beings. There's no magical formula. I was rejected from most of the programs that I thought were my best shots, and admitted to programs that I considered way out of my league.

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It wouldn't disqualify you, but since you have a whole year to improve your score, I'd recommend retaking it to see if you can boost it above 156. You will likely be taking at least some methods courses for the general core, and better to assuage any doubt now since you have the time to do so.

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Doesn't matter at all, even if your V, not your Q, were 155 as long as you can demonstrate your academic ability by other means. I can assure you of that because I have witnessed that in some other people's cases. 

Edited by PvZ 2

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Thanks, all. Another question: if I retake and my V or writing drops, will schools take my best scores and combine? I hear it varies, but is there a general practice?

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^^ Most programs I applied to only picked up the best scores you got and combined them together. But anyway, they really don't care your GRE scores so seriously unless they say so on their webpage (Rutgers and UNC, for example). These tests seem to me just a way to let them know that you are able to spell and count. 

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Just to repeat what others have already said, I would strongly advise you to focus your efforts elsewhere re: improving your application. I very much doubt your GRE scores will negatively affect your chances in any meaningful way. I got a 148 on the quant, 163 on verbal, and 4.5 on writing.

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