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How weighted are GRE scores for admissions?


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I am applying for some Ph.D. programs in Economics and I could not find any information about the weight admissions committees give to certain components of an application.

I have just taken the GRE and scored 170 in the quantitative reasoning. In the verbal, I got a 147. For my field, only quantitative score matters.

I am applying to Indiana University, Penn State, University of Virginia, Washington University and University of Iowa. They are between top 25 and top 50 best programs in Economics in USA according to US News.

So, what is the weight of GRE in adimissions decisions? Also, if possible, I would like you to judge the rest of my application and say what are my chances. I have a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Economics in a great university in Brazil (Federal Unuversity of Ceara). Received magna cum laude in M.Sc. worked as T.A. for 4 years, as Researcher assistant for 2 years in a worldwide recognized laboratory, and I was awarded with scholarships of the Braziliam Ministry of Education during B.Sc. and Brazilian Ministry of Science during M.Sc. I think I got good recommendations. Also, I scored 99 on Toefl.

Thank you, guys!

Edited by LuanFDS
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  • 2 weeks later...

You're bringing a great package to the table and I think your chances of admission are very high. You should feel very confident. I know economics students are expected to perform well on the quant section of GRE, but even so, you are still going to be well above the avg for that! Your verbal score is excusable since you are not from an English-speaking country, and besides that, like you said, its not important for economics

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I once had this discussion with a woman who received a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. Coincidentally, she was also from a Latin American country.

According to her, economics admissions committees don't even look at verbal scores. In her case, she didn't bother trying on the verbal section. She just filled in all d's. 

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I've been hearing more and more from people on admissions committees that they are putting less weight into GRE scores. I'm seeing this personally right now. I didn't do well on the quant section of the GRE. That test just kills me. However, I have real research experience in my lab that requires a much higher level of quant skills than the GRE....the only difference is I am not given 1-2 minutes to do each task in a marathon stressful setting. :) In Any case, I've already received 4 interview invites to programs I've applied for. 

I would guess your experience (do you have publications as well?) will hold more weight with the current view of the GRE. It's mostly used as a low level cut off....and if you're above the ~55-60% you won't be cut. They'll definitely consider you. Contacting PI's and being a good fit will help even more!

Good luck!!!

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