Should I take the Math GRE ?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Should I take the Math GRE ?

Post by geekstats » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:49 pm


I will be applying to Statistics PhD programs coming fall and some of the programs recommend taking the Math subject test. I am planning to take it in October, which approximately gives me 6 months to prepare. My issue is that I was not an undergrad Math major, although I did take some classes on Calculus, Analysis and Linear Algebra (that was 3 years ago). Although I am somewhat familiar with the concepts, I wouldn't call myself proficient.

Given my background, is it reasonable to aim for a 80th percentile on this test in 6 months ? Also I work full time, due to which I can only spare 3-4 hours daily for this. If 6 months is a good enough time frame, could you give some suggestions about relevant materials and how I should go about preparing for it ?


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Re: Should I take the Math GRE ?

Post by djysyed » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:45 pm

You have the background to solve 75% of the questions. Princeton review is what most people use and it can certainly get you your 80th percentile. I believe 6 months of 1-2 hours a day is more than enough for most people.

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Re: Should I take the Math GRE ?

Post by 2211nasa » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:31 am

I have a friend who applied to stats PhD’s and did pretty well for himself (accepted into top ranked schools with funding/stipend etc) this admissions season with a very bare mathematical background/no mGRE, so I wouldn’t sweat it. Granted, he had a pretty good track record in our school in terms of research and grad classes, so I’m certain he had a fairly strong application regardless of mGRE.

But it can’t hurt. It’s a decision you can make based on how you want to budget your time and effort, and how you think it will affect your chances.

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Re: Should I take the Math GRE ?

Post by petrokov » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:39 pm

Like other people said, it's a time and money commitment, but a good score may help you. Also, the test does not at all measure how good you are at math. The thing that the mGRE measures is how prepared you are for the mGRE. What that means is that you can get a very good score by learning the types of questions that show up on the test and practicing them until you can do them in your sleep. Whether or not this is worth your time is up to you.

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