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"Good" GRE scores?


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Hi All, I am currently an undergrad and am beginning to research grad programs in chemistry and their entrance requirements. Some of the programs I am considering list their minimum GRE score requirements (and there is a wide range) but my top school does not publish their minimums and I can't find any information online about what are the average scores of those admitted. It is a large university but is not considered a "top" school. So, in general, what generally constitutes a "good" GRE score (verbal, quantitative, analytical and chem)? Thanks!

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If you're going for something like analytical chem (this is what my MS is in):

 

Q: 162 - 170

V: 160 - 170

AW: 4.5 - 6

 

chemGRE: 75-99th percentile

 

These are just estimates of where you should be aiming. Of course the closer you are to the max, the better. Remember, the adcomm takes into account GPA, SOP, GRE, and LORs into account so don't stress too much over the GRE (start studying early, take a few practice exams and you should be fine). Good luck with your applications

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For chemistry program using chemistry GRE score, you can expect a minimum for 50% for citizen applicants and 80% for international applicants would be a decent benchmark. Although these numbers that I know of are 3 years ago, gathered from professors at different schools that I interacted with.

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My goal was:

 

Quant: 165+

Verbal: 160+

Writing: 4.5+

 

The GRE does not seem to be one of the top factors considered by schools. I ended up with very good GRE scores and they were not commented on at all at interviews. My LORs were commented on at almost every interview though... So study for the GRE but don't stress yourself out too bad. I used Magoosh to study which helped me a lot.

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You want to hit 160+ in both sections. That's the basic benchmark for jumping through the GRE hoop. 

 

Although I only hit 158 in quant, for a verbal-heavy field, and nobody seemed to have batted an eye. Got in as a top candidate at all 3 schools I applied to. I barely broke 160 for verbal. 

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Harvard actually posts the average scores to those admitted to the program last year - it's 163 Verbal, 166 Quantitative, 4.8 Analytical and 812 Chemistry (see here: http://chemistry.harvard.edu/pages/admissions-faq). Those are high scores, obviously, but gives you an idea of what it top schools count as good scores (and remember, 50% of people scored below that! Though I have no idea what the standard deviation is on those numbers.)

 

You can also email the department directly and ask if they can give you the average or range of students admitted last year - I did this for the Chemistry GRE, since I had some concerns over my score (660 - 38% percentile, I think). Some schools responded, some didn't, but here are the answers I got:

 

"The range for the CHEM GRE for our incoming class was 610-890."

 

"If your area of interest is organic, you should strive to score in the 70th percentile or higher for a competitive application. If your area of interest is inorganic or physical, you should strive to score in the 50th percentile or higher."

 

"We don’t have a recommended minimum score on the GRE, but competitive applications usually have the Verbal and Quantitative in the top 33%, and the AW at or near the top 50%.  The subject GRE is optional, but if included the top 50% would also be competitive. " 

 

"The minimum GRE score is 70% quantitative, 40% qualitative, and 3.0 writing. Most admitted students have 80%  quantitative, 80% qualitative, and 4.3 writing."

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I feel like all the 'numbers' in applications matter far less than everybody assumes they do (including me, when I was applying). I thought all my GRE scores were really low (and faced a lot of criticism on this forum for that too :D). I wish I'd mailed people like Hijojo did though.

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/16/2015 at 9:01 AM, Hijojo said:

Harvard actually posts the average scores to those admitted to the program last year - it's 163 Verbal, 166 Quantitative, 4.8 Analytical and 812 Chemistry (see here: http://chemistry.harvard.edu/pages/admissions-faq). Those are high scores, obviously, but gives you an idea of what it top schools count as good scores (and remember, 50% of people scored below that! Though I have no idea what the standard deviation is on those numbers.)

 

You can also email the department directly and ask if they can give you the average or range of students admitted last year - I did this for the Chemistry GRE, since I had some concerns over my score (660 - 38% percentile, I think). Some schools responded, some didn't, but here are the answers I got:

 

"The range for the CHEM GRE for our incoming class was 610-890."

 

"If your area of interest is organic, you should strive to score in the 70th percentile or higher for a competitive application. If your area of interest is inorganic or physical, you should strive to score in the 50th percentile or higher."

 

"We don’t have a recommended minimum score on the GRE, but competitive applications usually have the Verbal and Quantitative in the top 33%, and the AW at or near the top 50%.  The subject GRE is optional, but if included the top 50% would also be competitive. " 

 

"The minimum GRE score is 70% quantitative, 40% qualitative, and 3.0 writing. Most admitted students have 80%  quantitative, 80% qualitative, and 4.3 writing."

Hey!

Even I am having a chem GRE score in that range, I just wanted to know whether you reported this score or took the subject GRE again? Your reply would really help me!!!!!

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