dujiahan wrote: ↑Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:32 pm

The research statement written by Professors is different from the SOPs written by undergraduates. Most undergrads do not have a specific research plan by the time they apply, and the SOPs are closer to college application essays then research statements written by professional mathematicians.

Also there is no way to ensure applicants actually do what they claim will do in their SOPs, as schools won't check this. In fact, many people changed interests while in grad school, so SOPs are less than useless in determining who is going to be a great mathematician, while GRE sub is the only objective, fair test that every goes through.

Of course undergrads aren't expected to have a full research plan, but they are expected to say a lot more than what they do in a college application essay. Like I said, there's a lot that a well-written statement can reveal about a candidate's interests and mathematical tastes. Of course universities know they may change their interests in grad school, but that doesn't change the fact that these statements give applicants a chance to show what kind of a mathematician they currently are.

dujiahan wrote: ↑Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:32 pm

The research statement written by Professors is different from the SOPs written by undergraduates. Most undergrads do not have a specific research It is true that the GRE sub only checks a basic understanding of mathematics, but if a candidate can't handle basic calculus test, then he will not produce any meaningful research (try list a mathematician who you think will fail on the GRE sub.)

Also I don't understand why people should not be used to sit for an exam for 2 hours and 50 minutes, it is actually shorter than the SAT. At my undergrad institution (a reputable program in the east bay), every final exam is 3 hours, and people go through couple of them every semester. Qualifying exams are also much longer.

This is just ridiculous. Even one of my advisors told me she had a lot of trouble on the GRE subject test. Again, it isn't that they can't handle a "basic calculus test" (which isn't what the GRE is, anyway), it's that they aren't used to this sort of speed/multiple-choice format where every computation error will result in 0 points. Some people haven't developed that sort of speed and accuracy, but that doesn't mean anything with respect to their mathematical understanding.

dujiahan wrote: ↑Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:10 am

Yes, anyone applying to schools like MIT should be able to just go in and get a near perfect score, and I have already excluded people who don't care about the GRE because they are otherwise exceptionally qualified. My point is if a candidate really tried, but failed to score a near perfect score, then he/she is not qualified for the top schools. Ask yourself this: which MIT professors do you think will fail to score at least a 95 percentile on the GRE within the first try? Probably none, right?

This is again simply false. For instance, I personally know a very qualified individual who got into multiple top schools, with a score under the 90th percentile with studying. In fact, I can't seem to find it again, but I do recall seeing statistics for Princeton that the median was around 90th percentile. And I don't go to MIT, but I would be willing to bet at least 80/20 that if you gave every MIT math professor the GRE, more than one would fail to score in the 95th percentile. And you don't need to become an MIT professor to be a good mathematician.

Your point is that "if a candidate really tried, but failed to score a near perfect score, then he/she is not qualified for the top schools." I don't see why you believe this.