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Importance of GRE to engineering programs. Here's what Gatech say:


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I heard many ppl say GRE are not important, or that it's only used to weed out those who score very low. But I've always thought that a high GRE can help. According to Gatech, the average quant score is 167, and that scoring above that would help the application. This means someone who scores a 170 would get noticed. In fact, according to data, 2% of all test takers get 170, and only 6% of engineering majors get 170.

Furthermore, I was told by UIUC ECE that they weed out ppl that score lower than 165. That means if you scored 163, don't even apply before retaking the test. UIUC also said that a high verbal score would help one get TA positions, so unlike popular belief, verbal score is not completely insignificant for admission into engineering. 

I have also heard that a high verbal score, while not as important as quant for engineering and science, would still help simply because so few ppl score well on the verbal, and a high score would stand out.

Obviously every program is a bit different, but I found this from Gatech's site: 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is required of all applicants. All applicants must submit scores for the following three parts: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing. Your GRE test scores are an important part of your application and you should strive to submit the best possible scores. The average GRE scores for applicants accepted into our graduate program for fall 2014 under the previous grading system are:

New FormatOld Format
Verbal: 158Verbal: 580
Quantitative: 167Quantitative: 800
Analytical Writing: 3.8Analytical Writing: 3.8

The admission committee considers several factors when making admission decisions, your academic performance at prior institutions (GPAs), your GRE test scores, your statement of purpose, and your letters of recommendation. All of these factors are important, and your application will be strengthened if your GRE scores are at or above these average values. If your GRE scores are lower than these averages, your chances for admission will be reduced. The minimum scores that are needed to be considered for the program are 146/V, 155/Q, and 3.5/AW under the new format and 400/V,700/Q, and 3.5/AW under the old format. Furthermore, meeting or exceeding these average numbers for GRE scores does not guarantee admission.






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