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Feanor

GRE Scores for Mathematics PhD

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My general GRE Scores were 164 V (94%) 163 Q (85%) 4.0 (59%). I thought these were fine albeit not brilliant scores and that I shouldn't worry about it anymore,  but speaking to a prospective advisor today I got the following message:

 

"Those gre scores will not make it easy to be admitted. You might try it again- scores usually go up on retakes. "

 

That scared me a little bit. Is this a fair assessment or is this particular school just crazy about the GRE? The remainder of my file should be pretty strong, but is this score a liability? 

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Since you're trying for a Mathematics PhD at several highly competitive/top schools, you'll probably want to bump your Quant score to at least 90th percentile. I would resit in about a month to try to get 166+ in Quant if I were you (which is what I am doing actually since I'm in a similar predicament for my Quant score).

Edited by Opticflash

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The reason why I'm surprised is because at the time I'd read something like this http://magoosh.com/gre/2016/gre-scores-for-top-universities/ ,  according to which my scores are within the average range for places such as Cornell and Penn, and just a couple of Q points away from the average at the most competitive ones. It sounds pretty extreme to say it's a bad score and that I should resit the test, but perhaps I'm mistaken?

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Hi Feanor,

That report is likely focused on general Grad School applications at each of those Schools. However, if you're applying for PhD Programs at those Schools, then the level of competition will likely be higher. With a Q163, you likely already know all of the 'math' that you need to know to score higher (even a perfect 170) - but if you're treating the Quant section of the GRE as if it were a 'math test' then that's part of why you have not scored higher. It's actually a 'critical thinking test' that uses math as the gauge, so if you do plan to retest, you should focus a bit more on Quant Tactics, patterns, etc. 

1) What application deadlines are you facing?

2) What study materials did you use to prepare for the GRE?

GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich

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