How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:56 pm

I scored a 42 percentile on the mgre but have a quant score of 158, really bad. Am I screwed?

chrisps1992
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by chrisps1992 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:54 pm

I’ve read conflicting data about quant scores. Some people say it doesn’t really matter and others say it doesn’t matter unless it is low, but if both mgre and quant are low you probably won’t get far at universities that require mgre scores.

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:02 pm

chrisps1992 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:54 pm
I’ve read conflicting data about quant scores. Some people say it doesn’t really matter and others say it doesn’t matter unless it is low, but if both mgre and quant are low you probably won’t get far at universities that require mgre scores.
I have seen people get into the programs I'm looking at with scores bellow the 40th percentile on the MGRE, but their general quant score is usually 165.

jimmy
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:11 pm

The general GRE score is useless and is used as a filter. If you are applying to PhD in a heavily quantitative discipline such as math and statistics, the general GRE Q is a joke. That said, anything below the 90th percentile is going to hurt. In addition, you should look at the average of the admitted applicants. People admitted with low mGRE scores may have strength in other areas.

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:45 pm

jimmy wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:11 pm
The general GRE score is useless and is used as a filter. If you are applying to PhD in a heavily quantitative discipline such as math and statistics, the general GRE Q is a joke. That said, anything below the 90th percentile is going to hurt. In addition, you should look at the average of the admitted applicants. People admitted with low mGRE scores may have strength in other areas.
Whelp, I guess I'm totally screwed then.

Taxxi
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:08 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Taxxi » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:14 am

Have you even checked the results of other people? In the first page of 2019 applications, I see an applicant with quant score 158 and mGRE<25% and still got accepted to here and there. If you want better universities, there is always a choice to opt for MS degree or to work for a while, which I did.

Seriously no reason to feel frustrated that much bro.

MathParent
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:50 am

General GRE is offered pretty often, it is not like Math GRE which you have only three times a year. Go register for the nearest date and go take your General GRE. I am sure you can score more than 90th percentile, because everyone applying to good places, and not asleep during the test, should be able to do well. Just assume you were asleep back then. Now, wake up, and go fight.

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm

Taxxi wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:14 am
Have you even checked the results of other people? In the first page of 2019 applications, I see an applicant with quant score 158 and mGRE<25% and still got accepted to here and there. If you want better universities, there is always a choice to opt for MS degree or to work for a while, which I did.

Seriously no reason to feel frustrated that much bro.
MathParent wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:50 am
General GRE is offered pretty often, it is not like Math GRE which you have only three times a year. Go register for the nearest date and go take your General GRE. I am sure you can score more than 90th percentile, because everyone applying to good places, and not asleep during the test, should be able to do well. Just assume you were asleep back then. Now, wake up, and go fight.
Thanks for the support guys. I don't know if it is worth retaking because I'm not aiming for the top 35 schools. The highest-ranking of the school I want to go is around 39 or so. I feel like I should focus more on my SOP.

Integreat
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Integreat » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 pm

jimmy wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:11 pm
The general GRE score is useless and is used as a filter. If you are applying to PhD in a heavily quantitative discipline such as math and statistics, the general GRE Q is a joke. That said, anything below the 90th percentile is going to hurt. In addition, you should look at the average of the admitted applicants. People admitted with low mGRE scores may have strength in other areas.
While I agree with the most of your response, I don't think 90th percentile would be the "cutoff". From what I've heard, the general GRE really doesn't matter that much. The reading/writing portion is used to assess teaching capability (especially as an international applicant), while the quantitative portion is largely ignored (unless it is alarmingly low). I don't think anyone reasonable would consider a 70th percentile or so "low". Obviously this is going to depend on the program, but I think people tend to be understanding with these things. I'm going into geometry and most of the quantitative part of the general GRE is like data analysis/statistics/combinatorics, which I haven't done since high school.
Dopeboyz wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm
Thanks for the support guys. I don't know if it is worth retaking because I'm not aiming for the top 35 schools. The highest-ranking of the school I want to go is around 39 or so. I feel like I should focus more on my SOP.
I personally wouldn't stress too much about it. See how this cycle goes, improve for the next one (depending on finances of course). When I talked to some faculty at Princeton, they said not to worry about my MGRE score (75th percentile at the time). They said the LoR were far more important, and to focus on those. I can't remember where I saw it, but I remember a well respected geometer at a different institution said that he judges applicants by "40% LoR, 30% personal statements, 20% research/writing, 10% other", where the GRE falls into other. Don't despair!

Taxxi
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:08 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Taxxi » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:25 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm
Thanks for the support guys. I don't know if it is worth retaking because I'm not aiming for the top 35 schools. The highest-ranking of the school I want to go is around 39 or so. I feel like I should focus more on my SOP.
I mean still the higher the score the better. As long as you think you can get better scores within your time schedule without stressing yourself too much, I also think retaking would be helpful.

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

Taxxi wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:25 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm
Thanks for the support guys. I don't know if it is worth retaking because I'm not aiming for the top 35 schools. The highest-ranking of the school I want to go is around 39 or so. I feel like I should focus more on my SOP.
I mean still the higher the score the better. As long as you think you can get better scores within your time schedule without stressing yourself too much, I also think retaking would be helpful.
Two of my schools have a dec.15 deadline. I might just sign up for a Dec 17. test and send them to the school. I hope it won't count against me.

Taxxi
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:08 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Taxxi » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:30 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

Two of my schools have a dec.15 deadline. I might just sign up for a Dec 17. test and send them to the school. I hope it won't count against me.
Unless you have a valid reason, I doubt they will accept the score that is sent past due date. I mean they should be really busy during the admissions.

MathParent
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:09 am

Taxxi wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:30 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

Two of my schools have a dec.15 deadline. I might just sign up for a Dec 17. test and send them to the school. I hope it won't count against me.
Unless you have a valid reason, I doubt they will accept the score that is sent past due date. I mean they should be really busy during the admissions.
Dude (Dopeboyz), read the web site of your target schools carefully. The schools are VERY different in their policies. Some write that they will not accept a shred of anything after the deadline. Some write "keep'em coming". Also, it seems you have more than just December 15th schools, right? I know for a fact that many *good* schools have deadlines December 30 and January 15. Just go take the test, man. Fill out your applications for December 15th schools, and find a place to add the note that you are taking the test for the second time, put the date when you are doing it. Almost every school has a place for "special circumstances" or whatnot. Put that information there.

Look. The information about the new score that will be coming - will NOT hurt. Your new score can only make things better. Do not be afraid, think rationally. Put yourself in the shoes of the admission committee. They are not villains to get you, they are scientists, many of them are good guys/gals, they are looking for good kids to work with, do research with, and (important!) to dump their grading-of-undegrads onto. If you have other qualities, positive qualities, math-related qualities, make sure to emphasize those in your applications: in your personal statement, in your personal history, in your "extra" field boxes, etc.
Basically, (sorry) stop whining, go do the best job you can on your applications, write about the new score coming for December 15th schools, take the damn test again, get a better score, and file the rest of your applications with this better score after you get it. We support you here. Right, guys?

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:57 am

MathParent wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:09 am
Taxxi wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:30 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

Two of my schools have a dec.15 deadline. I might just sign up for a Dec 17. test and send them to the school. I hope it won't count against me.
Unless you have a valid reason, I doubt they will accept the score that is sent past due date. I mean they should be really busy during the admissions.
Dude (Dopeboyz), read the web site of your target schools carefully. The schools are VERY different in their policies. Some write that they will not accept a shred of anything after the deadline. Some write "keep'em coming". Also, it seems you have more than just December 15th schools, right? I know for a fact that many *good* schools have deadlines December 30 and January 15. Just go take the test, man. Fill out your applications for December 15th schools, and find a place to add the note that you are taking the test for the second time, put the date when you are doing it. Almost every school has a place for "special circumstances" or whatnot. Put that information there.

Look. The information about the new score that will be coming - will NOT hurt. Your new score can only make things better. Do not be afraid, think rationally. Put yourself in the shoes of the admission committee. They are not villains to get you, they are scientists, many of them are good guys/gals, they are looking for good kids to work with, do research with, and (important!) to dump their grading-of-undegrads onto. If you have other qualities, positive qualities, math-related qualities, make sure to emphasize those in your applications: in your personal statement, in your personal history, in your "extra" field boxes, etc.
Basically, (sorry) stop whining, go do the best job you can on your applications, write about the new score coming for December 15th schools, take the damn test again, get a better score, and file the rest of your applications with this better score after you get it. We support you here. Right, guys?
Yeah, you are right. Thanks for the motivation and infromation, it really means a lot to me.

Taxxi
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:08 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Taxxi » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:57 pm

MathParent wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:09 am
Taxxi wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:30 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:25 pm

Two of my schools have a dec.15 deadline. I might just sign up for a Dec 17. test and send them to the school. I hope it won't count against me.
Unless you have a valid reason, I doubt they will accept the score that is sent past due date. I mean they should be really busy during the admissions.
Dude (Dopeboyz), read the web site of your target schools carefully. The schools are VERY different in their policies. Some write that they will not accept a shred of anything after the deadline. Some write "keep'em coming". Also, it seems you have more than just December 15th schools, right? I know for a fact that many *good* schools have deadlines December 30 and January 15. Just go take the test, man. Fill out your applications for December 15th schools, and find a place to add the note that you are taking the test for the second time, put the date when you are doing it. Almost every school has a place for "special circumstances" or whatnot. Put that information there.

Look. The information about the new score that will be coming - will NOT hurt. Your new score can only make things better. Do not be afraid, think rationally. Put yourself in the shoes of the admission committee. They are not villains to get you, they are scientists, many of them are good guys/gals, they are looking for good kids to work with, do research with, and (important!) to dump their grading-of-undegrads onto. If you have other qualities, positive qualities, math-related qualities, make sure to emphasize those in your applications: in your personal statement, in your personal history, in your "extra" field boxes, etc.
Basically, (sorry) stop whining, go do the best job you can on your applications, write about the new score coming for December 15th schools, take the damn test again, get a better score, and file the rest of your applications with this better score after you get it. We support you here. Right, guys?
Well, you've done a better job than me. You deserve a cookie, a big one, that is.

MathParent
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:44 pm

Taxxi wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:57 pm
Well, you've done a better job than me. You deserve a cookie, a big one, that is.
It's ok, I just have much longer mileage behind me, than you. 8)

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:55 pm

Integreat wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 pm
I don't think anyone reasonable would consider a 70th percentile or so "low".
I am going to be a little bit of jerk here. Many schools receive a lot of strong applications and with these GRE scores your application may not even be read. The GRE Q should be super easy if you wanna pursue math grad school, and a 70% percentile is indeed very low. Even for schools outside of top 50, most applicants still have 90%+ GRE Q. People with ~40% mGRE get in because their applications are strong in other aspects. With that said, even if you retake to get 90% quant, your mGRE is still a big weakness, you really need to have something exceptional, like papers in good journals + amazing letters from well-known people + near perfect math GPA from a good school to get into a good program.

Integreat
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Integreat » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:19 pm

jimmy wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:55 pm
Integreat wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:22 pm
I don't think anyone reasonable would consider a 70th percentile or so "low".
I am going to be a little bit of jerk here. Many schools receive a lot of strong applications and with these GRE scores your application may not even be read. The GRE Q should be super easy if you wanna pursue math grad school, and a 70% percentile is indeed very low. Even for schools outside of top 50, most applicants still have 90%+ GRE Q. People with ~40% mGRE get in because their applications are strong in other aspects. With that said, even if you retake to get 90% quant, your mGRE is still a big weakness, you really need to have something exceptional, like papers in good journals + amazing letters from well-known people + near perfect math GPA from a good school to get into a good program.
You're fine, it's important to be critical of and brutally honest with each other at this stage! With all due respect though, where are you getting this information about a "70th percentile" being low from? I know someone well in adcom at Princeton and he said that he barely looked at the quant. GRE score, and that it's only when it falls below a 50-60th percentile that it even starts to raise suspicion. Obviously this is just one program at one university, but I think there is still some substance to it. Perhaps for applied math/stats it's different because the MGRE usually isn't required, but for places where you need the MGRE, I'd expect they follow more or less the same procedure. I only bring this up again because I don't want anyone to be discouraged from applying somewhere simply over test scores from some "silly test" (to quote multiple professors I've spoken to!)

jimmy
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:16 pm

Almost everyone who applied to Princeton has near perfect GRE Q so if you score significantly lower than others, you may be weeded out in the first round. It's important to make sure that you pass the initial cutoff to get your applications read. I agree that the GRE Q is a joke and even the mGRE is not a good indicator of future success in grad program. However, admissions are very competitive at top schools and in order to have a chance to get in, every aspect of your application needs to be about perfect

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:11 am

jimmy wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:16 pm
Almost everyone who applied to Princeton has near perfect GRE Q so if you score significantly lower than others, you may be weeded out in the first round. It's important to make sure that you pass the initial cutoff to get your applications read. I agree that the GRE Q is a joke and even the mGRE is not a good indicator of future success in grad program. However, admissions are very competitive at top schools and in order to have a chance to get in, every aspect of your application needs to be about perfect
kind of confused as to what you consider a good program. It seems to be that your definition is T30?
I would disagree with your statements about schoola outside the T30 range from research I have done now.

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am

Even for schools outside of top 50, with your current test scores, other aspects of your application need to be extraordinary in order to stand a chance to get in. You should look at admissions data to get a sense of the profile of admitted applicants. For example, at Michigan, their admitted applicants have average GRE Q of 169 and average mGRE of 830. If you go far down, admitted applicants at Iowa statistics PhD still have average GRE Q of 167. You need to score above the average in order to be competitive because many people who scored above average still did not get in.

MathParent
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:40 am

jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
Even for schools outside of top 50, with your current test scores, other aspects of your application need to be extraordinary in order to stand a chance to get in. You should look at admissions data to get a sense of the profile of admitted applicants. For example, at Michigan, their admitted applicants have average GRE Q of 169 and average mGRE of 830. If you go far down, admitted applicants at Iowa statistics PhD still have average GRE Q of 167. You need to score above the average in order to be competitive because many people who scored above average still did not get in.
Well, Michigan's graduate math program is ranked #12, a bit different form the "outside of top 50", don't you think so? But regardless, I would be very much interested to see where you got the statistics, across several schools, for the admitted students' mGRE and GRE-Q? I am not here to argue, I just want to have a source of this valuable information...

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:44 am

https://lsa.umich.edu/math/graduates/ph ... tions.html
https://stat.uiowa.edu/graduate-programs-faq
https://www.pstat.ucsb.edu/graduate/per ... s/profiles
https://math.osu.edu/grad/future (see admission process section)
You can also go to grad cafe result page to see the range of test scores for admitted applicants.

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:38 pm

jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
You should look at admissions data to get a sense of the profile of admitted applicants. For example, at Michigan, their admitted applicants have average GRE Q of 169 and average mGRE of 830.
Getting into Michigan is hard, period. I would gander that someone with a lower quant but good research and letters would blow someone out of the water with an above-average quant lacking those things.
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
Even for schools outside of top 50, with your current test scores, other aspects of your application need to be extraordinary in order to stand a chance to get in. You should look at admissions data to get a sense of the profile of admitted applicants. If you go far down, admitted applicants at Iowa statistics PhD still have average GRE Q of 167. You need to score above the average in order to be competitive because many people who scored above average still did not get in.
Yes, but you are making a false equivalence. Someone could not have gotten into UnivOfIowa statistics programs because of other reasons besides the GRE. You can't just say scoring above the GRE quant of that school is required, you have no proof. Also, take a look at https://www.math.uga.edu/frequently-ask ... inGREscore.
Last edited by Dopeboyz on Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cyclicduck
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Cyclicduck » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:04 pm

jimmy wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:16 pm
However, admissions are very competitive at top schools and in order to have a chance to get in, every aspect of your application needs to be about perfect
I can't make any sense of this statement...first like you seemed to imply, GRE scores are more used to weed out students, and I've heard from a knowledgable source that at top schools it doesn't make a difference above 85% (mGRE), which is far from perfect. And what would you even mean by perfect in other respects? What would a perfect courseload look like? Having already taken all graduate courses to the school you're applying to has to offer? How esteemed must your writers be to have perfect rec letters? How many Annals papers do you need to have a perfect research portfolio? How many times do you need to be a Putnam fellow?

My point is that even at the top universities, applicants are so, so far from perfect that they would be much closer to the average student than to the perfect student.

mishania1996
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by mishania1996 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:07 pm

There is no way you can call students in top schools as averages. Every year many students with much away from the average stats apply to top schools. That's by definition. So why would a top school choose someone average? This statement is supported by the fact that many students with >3.9gpa, >85%mgre, research experience get rejections. Your examples where someone looking average at gre general somewhere got accepted does not prove anything. This is just one example and we have all rights to claim that this guy must have had brilliant rest of the stats, probably something published.

There is no try to discourage anyone. Average mgre or average gpa will not hurt your chances for a top school if and only if you have rest of the stats(preferably research exp) so great that it makes you stronger than all other applicants with close to perfect stats. That's all I'm trying to say.

MathParent
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:08 pm

mishania1996 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:07 pm
There is no try to discourage anyone. Average mgre or average gpa will not hurt your chances for a top school if and only if you have rest of the stats(preferably research exp) so great that it makes you stronger than all other applicants with close to perfect stats. That's all I'm trying to say.
I am not here to argue, just to pass the knowledge I happened to accumulate.
After looking at MANY schools from the top 40 (and all of the top 22), it is my observation that not all of them even have places to upload your publication,s if you happen to have some. Some schools (I think Stanford is one of them) write things like "and don't send us your publications, just make sure your recommenders tout the fact that you have some, and did well" - or something to that effect. So, it seems that many schools, **top schools**, even though they are supposed to care about your publications, don't actually want to look at them??? Why would they want to rely on the word of your recommenders, if the application actually calls for you to name the professors that you'd like to work with, and asks whether you contacted them? Wouldn't it be logical for these professors (from the school you are applying to) to look at your publication (supplied with your application) and say "wow!", or - "nah..." - and pass this opinion along to the admission committee?

So, as much as I want to believe that the grad admission committees care about research and publications, I am not 100% convinced. And if they do not care as much about research ability as they seem to advertise, then what IS the definition of a "great applicant," if GPAs and GREs do not matter, and they do not want to even have a glance at your publications?

And to add here a quote, so that I do not have to write two posts. This is from Ohio State:
<< Admission Process and Numbers
We typically receive between 300 and 350 applications for the PhD program each year, and our recruitment target for an incoming class is usually around 15-25 new PhDs. The process typically starts with a pre-screening of the files by the chair of the recruitment committee based on basic data such as performance in critical courses, general background, test scores, and brief inspections of letters. The graduate recruitment committee then reviews about 100-120 files in greater depth, split over two rounds, one in early January and another in late February. This review typically leads to the admission of around 70-80 students to the PhD program, as well as an ordered wait list issued sometime in March. >>

jimmy
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:14 pm

Cyclicduck wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:04 pm
jimmy wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:16 pm
However, admissions are very competitive at top schools and in order to have a chance to get in, every aspect of your application needs to be about perfect
I can't make any sense of this statement...first like you seemed to imply, GRE scores are more used to weed out students, and I've heard from a knowledgable source that at top schools it doesn't make a difference above 85% (mGRE), which is far from perfect. And what would you even mean by perfect in other respects? What would a perfect courseload look like? Having already taken all graduate courses to the school you're applying to has to offer? How esteemed must your writers be to have perfect rec letters? How many Annals papers do you need to have a perfect research portfolio? How many times do you need to be a Putnam fellow?
I mean you obviously need strong test scores, math GPA, and letters, and higher scores will never hurt. At the very least you wanna make the initial cutoff to be even considered. a 158 GRE Q and 40% mGRE are unlikely to make the initial cutoff for many programs. If you score over 80% for mGRE and over 90% for GRE Q your scores should be fine everywhere.

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:19 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:38 pm
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
You should look at admissions data to get a sense of the profile of admitted applicants. For example, at Michigan, their admitted applicants have average GRE Q of 169 and average mGRE of 830.
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
Even for schools outside of top 50, with your current test scores, other aspects of your application need to be extraordinary in order to stand a chance to get in. You should look at admissions data to get a sense of the profile of admitted applicants. If you go far down, admitted applicants at Iowa statistics PhD still have average GRE Q of 167. You need to score above the average in order to be competitive because many people who scored above average still did not get in.
Yes, but you are making a false equivalence. Someone could not have gotten into UnivOfIowa statistics programs because of other reasons besides the GRE. You can't just say scoring above the GRE quant of that school is required, you have no proof. Also, take a look at https://www.math.uga.edu/frequently-ask ... inGREscore.
I am not saying scoring above the average of that school is required. However, if you score a bit below average, say a 165 GRE Q and 70% mGRE, you need to have strengths in other areas. If you score well below average, it is very unlikely that your applications get read.

Dopeboyz
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:03 pm

jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
If you score well below average, it is very unlikely that your applications get read.


I mean if people like this ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4555&p=19508&hilit=158#p19508) listened to your advice then he may not have gotten into UNC chapel hill.

jimmy
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:16 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:03 pm
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
If you score well below average, it is very unlikely that your applications get read.


I mean if people like this ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4555&p=19508&hilit=158#p19508) listened to your advice then he may not have gotten into UNC chapel hill.
UNC does not require mGRE, and his 158 GRE Q may be compensated by strong math GPA from a good school and great letters. If you have a good gpa from a top school, it is still possible to get into top 50 programs. Otherwise, I don't see any ranked PhD program wanna take chance on you.

Dopeboyz
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:38 pm

jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:16 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:03 pm
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
If you score well below average, it is very unlikely that your applications get read.


I mean if people like this ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4555&p=19508&hilit=158#p19508) listened to your advice then he may not have gotten into UNC chapel hill.
UNC does not require mGRE, and his 158 GRE Q may be compensated by strong math GPA from a good school and great letters. If you have a good gpa from a top school, it is still possible to get into top 50 programs. Otherwise, I don't see any ranked PhD program wanna take chance on you.
All he said in the entry was big state. I think your outlook is a bit too harsh, tbqh. Something isn't true because it is harsh and brutal, that would be a masochistic epistemology.

jimmy
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:47 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:38 pm
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:16 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:03 pm




I mean if people like this ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4555&p=19508&hilit=158#p19508) listened to your advice then he may not have gotten into UNC chapel hill.
UNC does not require mGRE, and his 158 GRE Q may be compensated by strong math GPA from a good school and great letters. If you have a good gpa from a top school, it is still possible to get into top 50 programs. Otherwise, I don't see any ranked PhD program wanna take chance on you.
All he said in the entry was big state. I think your outlook is a bit too harsh, tbqh. Something isn't true because it is harsh and brutal, that would be a masochistic epistemology.
He must have something really stands out. For example, it may be that his letters were very strong. What is your math background, GPA and which school are you from? If you provide more information, we can better assess your chances.

bark_muffalo
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by bark_muffalo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:21 pm

I think it's important for everyone reading this thread to know a couple of things:

1. Your application always gets read in its entirety. No department sees your MGRE or GRE Q score and then discards the rest of your application without looking at it.

2. Most departments do not ask about publications because the vast majority of applicants do not have any. Even those applicants that claim research experience (e.g., REUs) or actual publications are not, in the main, producing original work. That isn't to say that these experiences aren't valuable, but there is a difference between how applicants describe them and how department admissions committees view them. A PhD program is supposed to prepare you to be a researcher; it would be absurd to expect that you already are one.

3. There is more that admissions committees care about than an applicant's test scores and GPA. In fact, the most important component of an application is the letters of recommendation. Why? Because they tell admissions committees about the applicant themselves. They help answer questions like: Does this person have the maturity to successfully complete a PhD program? Are they motivated to do a PhD program for the right reasons? Can they handle adversity? Do they work well with others? and so on. For similar reasons, the applicant's statement of purpose also matters a lot.

Maybe we all like to focus on GPA and test scores because they offer a way for us to rank ourselves relative to others. They offer that to admissions committees, too. However, it is important to realize that departments care about bringing in students who are going to complete their PhD. This means that they need to get to know the applicant as a person, not as a set of numbers.

4. Nobody here ever talks about non-mathematical skills, like teaching. These things matter to departments, too. More likely than not, any offer comes with a teaching requirement. These are actual jobs with an actual (but very low) salary, and departments mean it when they say that they want graduate students who take teaching seriously. Departments care for two reasons. One, having a crop of graduate students who are competent teachers reduces the instruction load for the faculty. Two, it's more likely that their graduates will get academic jobs if they can teach (the reality is that the majority of PhDs, even from the most prestigious schools, end up at teaching-oriented colleges and universities, where they will be expected to teach 2-3 courses a semester).

5. Departments mean it when they say "we evaluate applicants holistically." Do not let a low score prevent you from applying to a good program that you'd like to go to.

6. None of us can do assess your chances beyond using the data on this website to make a guess of whether or not you'd get into a given program. Those guesses are going to be as good as yours, because you're doing the exact same thing!

mishania1996
Posts: 46
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by mishania1996 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:43 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:03 pm
jimmy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am
If you score well below average, it is very unlikely that your applications get read.


I mean if people like this ( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4555&p=19508&hilit=158#p19508) listened to your advice then he may not have gotten into UNC chapel hill.
I'm sure UNC is a good school, but it is not even in a top100 according to QS-ranking in math. I guess, by top school people mean top20 or maybe top 50 at least.

jimmy
Posts: 25
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:55 pm

Many schools do have an initial cutoff. I am from a well-known Canadian school and my supervisor once told me that they didn't read applications with <80 average (equivalent to ~3.4 GPA). To add to this, one of my friends who is doing his Biostatistics PhD at Washington told me that they screened people out with weak test scores and/or GPA out in the first round and the GRE cutoff is around 165. With your current test scores, even if you have amazing letters and publications, you will still lose out to people who have both great letters and test scores.

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:53 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:19 pm

jimmy wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:55 pm
Many schools do have an initial cutoff. I am from a well-known Canadian school and my supervisor once told me that they didn't read applications with <80 average (equivalent to ~3.4 GPA). To add to this, one of my friends who is doing his Biostatistics PhD at Washington told me that they screened people out with weak test scores and/or GPA out in the first round and the GRE cutoff is around 165. With your current test scores, even if you have amazing letters and publications, you will still lose out to people who have both great letters and test scores.
You say Many but you only give one example.

jimmy
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:25 pm

Dopeboyz wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:19 pm
jimmy wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:55 pm
Many schools do have an initial cutoff. I am from a well-known Canadian school and my supervisor once told me that they didn't read applications with <80 average (equivalent to ~3.4 GPA). To add to this, one of my friends who is doing his Biostatistics PhD at Washington told me that they screened people out with weak test scores and/or GPA out in the first round and the GRE cutoff is around 165. With your current test scores, even if you have amazing letters and publications, you will still lose out to people who have both great letters and test scores.
You say Many but you only give one example.
My supervisor knows how grad admissions work in US schools. I personally think that you should retake the general GRE as soon as you can and submit your scores to schools before deadlines. If you are applying to math PhD, the GRE Q is really a piece of cake and a few days' preparation should get you above the 90th percentile. However, with your current scores I'd be surprised if you get into UNC.

MathParent
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:26 pm

mishania1996 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:43 pm
I'm sure UNC is a good school, but it is not even in a top100 according to QS-ranking in math. I guess, by top school people mean top20 or maybe top 50 at least.
UNC Chapel Hill is #34 in mathematics according to the US News and World Report: https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduat ... s-rankings

Dopeboyz
Posts: 27
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Dopeboyz » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:13 pm

jimmy wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:25 pm
Dopeboyz wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:19 pm
jimmy wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:55 pm
Many schools do have an initial cutoff. I am from a well-known Canadian school and my supervisor once told me that they didn't read applications with <80 average (equivalent to ~3.4 GPA). To add to this, one of my friends who is doing his Biostatistics PhD at Washington told me that they screened people out with weak test scores and/or GPA out in the first round and the GRE cutoff is around 165. With your current test scores, even if you have amazing letters and publications, you will still lose out to people who have both great letters and test scores.
You say Many but you only give one example.
My supervisor knows how grad admissions work in US schools. I personally think that you should retake the general GRE as soon as you can and submit your scores to schools before deadlines. If you are applying to math PhD, the GRE Q is really a piece of cake and a few days' preparation should get you above the 90th percentile. However, with your current scores I'd be surprised if you get into UNC.
I plan on retaking it, but I think your claim that all schools discard applications that do not meet a threshold is unfounded and damaging to others. I agree with Bark Muffalo on this one.

Cyclicduck
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Cyclicduck » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:52 pm

bark_muffalo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:21 pm
I think it's important for everyone reading this thread to know a couple of things:

1. Your application always gets read in its entirety. No department sees your MGRE or GRE Q score and then discards the rest of your application without looking at it.
Can you provide a source for this? What I've been told matches with jimmy's claim that some schools do have a GRE cutoff, or at least a screening (as MathParent's quote shows for even Ohio State)
MathParent wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:08 pm
So, as much as I want to believe that the grad admission committees care about research and publications, I am not 100% convinced. And if they do not care as much about research ability as they seem to advertise, then what IS the definition of a "great applicant," if GPAs and GREs do not matter, and they do not want to even have a glance at your publications?
The truth is that undergraduate research is essentially trash, even the papers coming from the top REUs. Maybe there's one undergrad a year who produces something worth reading, but then they will already be well-known to committees. Admissions committees know this which is why recommendation letters from established mathematicians is probably the largest factor in judging an applicant.

bark_muffalo
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by bark_muffalo » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:38 pm

If schools had a strict cutoff on test scores, they would be upfront about it. It would be helpful to both the school (because it would mean fewer applications for them to review) and the applicant (because they would know ahead of time if applying was worth it) for such a policy to be public knowledge. For example, CU Boulder's applied math department has a strict cutoff of a 160 quantitative score on the GRE general exam for applications, and they make this very clear on their website.

Do a lot of departments have a multi-step review process? Yes. At some schools, does a low test score make it very unlikely that your application receives a second, more thorough review? Yes. Nevertheless, that first review is still holistic, meaning that the admissions committee looks at all of your application materials.

What are my sources? One, a professor at well-known institution who has served on admissions committees. My real source of knowledge, however, is common sense. Again, it wouldn't make any sense, for anyone involved, for a strict cutoff score policy to not be public knowledge.

jimmy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by jimmy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:51 pm

The message I am trying to convey is that with a low GRE Q and mGRE, if other aspects of your applications are anything less than outstanding, it's unlikely to get into top 50.

Cyclicduck
Posts: 23
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Cyclicduck » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:17 pm

bark_muffalo wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:38 pm
What are my sources? One, a professor at well-known institution who has served on admissions committees. My real source of knowledge, however, is common sense. Again, it wouldn't make any sense, for anyone involved, for a strict cutoff score policy to not be public knowledge.
I don't find either of your sources to be convincing. I can believe that there exist some institutions for which a very low GRE score doesn't disqualify your application, but the question is whether it is true for all schools, not just the ones whose admissions committees the professor you mention has served on. Besides the universities which are upfront about it, the professor who ran my REU told me that top schools in general will discard applications with sufficiently low mGRE scores. It doesn't make any sense otherwise. Sure, maybe once in a blue moon somebody will be confirmed to be so exceptional that they can bypass the rules and attend without graduating or taking the GRE. But surely you don't believe that Princeton committee is interested in reading the personal statement of an applicant with an mGRE score < 50%.

Furthermore, it makes plenty of sense for a university not to make its policies public knowledge. The application fee is one obvious motive; if some student who no chance of being accepted wants to donate money to a university, the university will accept it at no cost to them. But aside from this, the principle of not revealing such rules is common practice for applications of any sort. In particular for top universities, being the only one in their league to post them all publicly would make them stand out as elitist no matter how justified they are.

bark_muffalo
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by bark_muffalo » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:10 pm

First of all, you're missing my point. I am not saying that schools accept students with test scores well below the median of their typical admitted cohort. I am only saying that they read the application. The real point here is that at these "top 50 schools" (whatever that means) are not--unless they say they are--categorically excluding from further review applications with low test scores. The upshot here is that folks with low test scores should still apply to competitive schools because they have a reasonable chance of still being admitted. Their chance is certainly lower than candidates whose profiles are similar in all respects save higher test scores, but their admittance would not be a fluke.

Look, my job is to run national grant competitions. We make an enormous effort to be transparent about our review process. PhD applications are effectively grant applications (you're de facto applying for a bunch of money). Universities are not trying to hide anything from applicants. When they say applications receive a holistic review, they mean it. And believe me, application fees are not some awesome revenue stream for them. It costs money for schools to process them (e.g., salaries for department office managers).

If we fundamentally disagree, that's fine. My hope, though, is that we both agree that it's not helpful to tell someone not to apply to some school they'd like to go to because they have a low test score. After all, what is there for them to lose other than the fee and maybe their pride?

PhilippMainlander
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by PhilippMainlander » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:27 pm

bark_muffalo wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:10 pm
After all, what is there for them to lose other than the fee and maybe their pride?
Maybe to cull the competition? Ha ha.

bark_muffalo
Posts: 13
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by bark_muffalo » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:15 pm

Let's think the best of our fellow applicants! : )

Cyclicduck
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Cyclicduck » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:30 pm

bark_muffalo wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:10 pm
If we fundamentally disagree, that's fine. My hope, though, is that we both agree that it's not helpful to tell someone not to apply to some school they'd like to go to because they have a low test score. After all, what is there for them to lose other than the fee and maybe their pride?
If we're talking about whether the average top 50 school reads all applications, what you say sounds plausible. But I doubt they all do. In any case the application fee is going to be nontrivial for most applicants. I would apply to twice the number of schools as I did if the fee weren't an issue.

Sampaoli
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by Sampaoli » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:02 pm

There are programs that do not require math GRE anymore. I believe all top schools take (or are in the process of taking) a very holistic approach when looking at applications.

There are several ways to shine: great classes, great grades, some research experience, a good selection of letter writers. These are more important than your GRE score.

MathParent
Posts: 23
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Re: How important is the quant score for PhD admission in Mathematics?

Post by MathParent » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:21 pm

Sampaoli wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:02 pm
There are programs that do not require math GRE anymore. I believe all top schools take (or are in the process of taking) a very holistic approach when looking at applications.

There are several ways to shine: great classes, great grades, some research experience, a good selection of letter writers. These are more important than your GRE score.
The guy was asking about qualitative score of the general GRE, not about subject GRE.

And, btw, having looked at probably all top 22 schools, and then some, I am under impression that ALL top schools require math subject GRE, close to top ones either require or "strongly encourage", and the next cohort "recommend". May be the school outside of the most desirable list do not look at math GRE...

As for holistic approach... How would be your grades being any more holistic than your GRE scores?



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