Low GRE Score and Good Grad School

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:17 pm

Low GRE Score and Good Grad School

Post by Vladislavt1 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:31 pm

Hi all,

Im currently an undergrad from a school most people don’t know about and I’m applying to grad schools for a Ph.D in pure math. I took the GRE and scored really poorly 530(19%). I was definitely not expecting that, thought I would do much better, but anyways, the two things Inhave going for me are research and LOR’s.

To date, I managed a sole-authored publication into the journal Discussiones Mathematicae: Graph Theory. I was a main contributor to a result that is also getting published into the European Journal of Combintorics. I also have another sole-authored paper currently under review at the journal Integers. For two of these, I worked with professors(one who insisted on and assisted me with a sole-authored paper since I came up wth the result on my own) and another professor was the co-authored paper. I know all 3 of my letters will be absolutely stellar.

Grades wise, I did well in my upper division courses. Not so well in GE, because I didn’t care much for them. And I wasn’t planing on grad school until recently. All my publications and research have been within the past 18 months.

I also managed to contact and get a hold of a professor at MIT who said he’ll be looking out for my application, largely due to the fact that my research overlaps with his quite a bit. Definitely worried about the GRE completely killing my odds of getting in anywhere good, even though I can confidently say my research will be the strongest out of any other candidates that are applying to any school.
I don’t know what to do. Any thoughts or advice? I’d love to hear them.

Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: Low GRE Score and Good Grad School

Post by lawliet1 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:09 pm

I would say that it is quite hard to makeup such math GRE score, though your publications are really strong. Still, your research would not be the strongest among all applicants. I know one applicant this year, who is a Putnam fellow and already published 5 or 6 papers on discrete math/theoretical computer science. There must be other incredibly strong applicants out there.

I don't think you can do much about your application at this point. Maybe you can look at some programs that do not require math GRE. If you don't get into some good schools, retake the math GRE next year and you will still be a strong applicant.

Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Low GRE Score and Good Grad School

Post by nothing » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:04 pm

Your research papers are far from being the strongest. I know some people got publications on professional journals before applying to grad schools ( Trans.A.M.S, Comm in PDEs, J.Funct.Anal, Annales de l'Institut Henri Poincaré,...), However, for top schools like MIT, those papers and math gre score do not mean anything for the committee, the deciding factor is the reputation of your letter writers and your personal connection. If the Professor you contacted really want you then you will get in even if your math gre score is 0%.

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