How bad is this year?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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mathGRE_Torsion
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2023 7:50 pm

How bad is this year?

Post by mathGRE_Torsion » Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:06 pm

I want to know how competitive this year is, but the data on this forum is very confusing. For example, by this time, our 2023 application thread only has two pages, whereas the 2022 application thread has about 5 pages. On the other hand, this year's sweat thread is much longer... so I don't know...

So my question is, do we have fewer applicants this year (in comparison to last year)?

GLPHDAPP
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2022 7:07 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by GLPHDAPP » Mon Feb 06, 2023 9:23 pm

I applied last year and this year. From my experience with applicants and my own results, I think this year might be a little bit easier than last year, but I might be biased. We will know more when some schools (Umich, UCSB, etc.) release their admission stats for this year.

LetMeIn2401
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:22 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by LetMeIn2401 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 1:07 pm

This year is ever so slightly easier. We are still reeling in from the wave of reduced acceptances that affected 2021 and 2022, so expect to feel the effects for the next few years.

Source: DGS told me that application numbers are only marginally down (T7 School) and they have 2 more spots to offer.

kkk23
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 4:10 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by kkk23 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 5:35 pm

From my own situation, I think this year is easier. Two months ago, I was desperate about my applications after comparing myself with the applicant profiles last year, but now the outcome is much better than that I have imagined. Maybe I'm extremely lucky.

salviati
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:22 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by salviati » Tue Feb 07, 2023 7:02 pm

I'm not sure there's necessarily less applicants -- anecdotally, there were only two math applicants from my school last year (the other applied people went for CS grad school or industry jobs, and I believe the pure math majors went into finance or something), but this year there's close to 10. There's also more incentive to apply for grad school since the job market/economy aren't that great currently.

That said, I can see it being easier in the sense that departments might have more funding/spots than they were offering in the past couple years. One of the advisors I interviewed with said he has 5+ positions since none of the students he made offers to last year ended up coming, and that the dept. overall is making more offers since they just hired two new professors.

But who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

math.magician
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2022 2:24 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by math.magician » Wed Feb 08, 2023 12:53 am

Based on interacting with my department colleagues and graduate students, and spending countless hours browsing this forum and gradcafe, imho the difficulty is likely as follows (bigger means more difficult) obviously subject to departmental funding availability/etc

2021 Fall entry > 2022 Fall entry > 2023 Fall entry >>> 2020 Fall entry

18sama20
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2022 5:23 am

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by 18sama20 » Fri Feb 17, 2023 10:36 am

UNC Charlotte sent me an email saying that they have much larger than usual TA openings for Fall 2023.

FieldsMedalist
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:14 am

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by FieldsMedalist » Mon Feb 20, 2023 6:46 am

This year should have been easier than the last 2 years, but surprisingly many universities have less funding this year. I think every year is becoming harder and more competititve than the one before it.

xbq22
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2022 5:03 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by xbq22 » Mon Feb 20, 2023 3:01 pm

FieldsMedalist wrote:
Mon Feb 20, 2023 6:46 am
This year should have been easier than the last 2 years, but surprisingly many universities have less funding this year. I think every year is becoming harder and more competititve than the one before it.
The issue this year is the continued back log from covid + economy is in the shitter, so a) more people want to grad school and put off going into the work force (this is a bad reason to get a math phd but people do it) and b) universities funding is down bc economy is in the shitter. Vicious cycle going on over here :(

Scathrules
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:11 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by Scathrules » Mon Feb 20, 2023 4:17 pm

xbq22 wrote:
Mon Feb 20, 2023 3:01 pm
FieldsMedalist wrote:
Mon Feb 20, 2023 6:46 am
This year should have been easier than the last 2 years, but surprisingly many universities have less funding this year. I think every year is becoming harder and more competititve than the one before it.
The issue this year is the continued back log from covid + economy is in the shitter, so a) more people want to grad school and put off going into the work force (this is a bad reason to get a math phd but people do it) and b) universities funding is down bc economy is in the shitter. Vicious cycle going on over here :(
Also wanna add that we're also having a lot of people who did masters during COVID applying for PhDs since they should have graduated by now. A lot of people either put off PhDs or went to masters since you can do it remotely. I know a good amount of people who did this in math and in other fields so expect even more competition next year too

18sama20
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2022 5:23 am

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by 18sama20 » Fri Feb 24, 2023 12:57 pm

Can anybody account for the astronomical increase in the number of applicants for Georgia Tech? They have indeed kept GRE scores optional but I think that there is something more to this than meets the eye.

thyartismath
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2023 11:10 pm

Re: How bad is this year?

Post by thyartismath » Thu Mar 02, 2023 2:26 am

Scathrules wrote:
Mon Feb 20, 2023 4:17 pm
xbq22 wrote:
Mon Feb 20, 2023 3:01 pm
FieldsMedalist wrote:
Mon Feb 20, 2023 6:46 am
This year should have been easier than the last 2 years, but surprisingly many universities have less funding this year. I think every year is becoming harder and more competititve than the one before it.
The issue this year is the continued back log from covid + economy is in the shitter, so a) more people want to grad school and put off going into the work force (this is a bad reason to get a math phd but people do it) and b) universities funding is down bc economy is in the shitter. Vicious cycle going on over here :(
Also wanna add that we're also having a lot of people who did masters during COVID applying for PhDs since they should have graduated by now. A lot of people either put off PhDs or went to masters since you can do it remotely. I know a good amount of people who did this in math and in other fields so expect even more competition next year too
And I thought it was just me thinking these things! It’s nice to see some discussion that doesn’t make me feel insane.

This is a general question for anyone to answer, but this being my first PhD cycle I am curious: has long has the application process felt this competitive? Of course I’m not implying that there was ever a time where it wasn’t competitive, but it feels like my application might as well go straight to the waste bin with some of the stellar profiles I have seen here.



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