Any chance of entering good schools with low GRE scores?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:11 am

Any chance of entering good schools with low GRE scores?

Post by Carrizo » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:31 am

I know this question has been asked on this forum many times but I'm asking it in the hope someone has some new answers.
Do I have any chance of getting accepted to good schools for pure mathematics even with a low mGRE score? By good I mean the top 20 schools.

I've just checked my maths scores for October and it's terrible, 710(63%). I was an undergraduate in the social sciences and I only started studying proper maths as a junior so I know my background in basic maths is pretty weak but I was expecting my scores to be a bit more higher. But I've already started my application for 2017 fall so I can't go back now (already received recommendation for some).....

If the other parts of my application are above average (GPA, English skills, research) do you think it will compensate for low mGRE scores?

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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:10 am

Re: Any chance of entering good schools with low GRE scores?

Post by BCLC » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:14 pm

You got higher than me, and I have a bachelor's and master's both in (applied) maths, if that's any consolation. From what I've read, *some* maths programmes in top schools/schools with top maths programmes have a lot of applicants and so use the maths GRE to filter out people. If the school to which you're applying hasn't said anything about a minimum maths GRE score, they'll probably still consider your application.

How about you clarify with the universities how much the maths GRE is important? Or is it that even though the schools don't require maths GRE, since your undergrad was in the social sciences, a high maths GRE is important for your application in particular?

Disclaimers: Not an expert or anything close. Haven't studied in or applied to any school in the US. Not sure if I'm going to continue with some of my applications (to pure maths programmes) partly* due to my maths GRE score. Curious for other replies.

*Well if I got 99% or 900+, most probably I would continue

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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:29 pm

Re: Any chance of entering good schools with low GRE scores?

Post by KatrinaElizabeth » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:43 pm


Just a friendly reminder that anything is possible and some score cut-offs are more like suggestions or guidelines than hard limits. I was accepted into Berkeley, ranked 3rd, last year with a 660 (51%) score. While that was my only acceptance from a top 20 school, I was accepted into a couple more in the 20 - 30 range and yet a couple more in the 30 - 50 range. Every application is unique with its own strengths and weaknesses, and you shouldn't let any single weakness keep you from applying to your top schools. My advice would be to apply to as many schools as you can, over a wide range. Hope this helps! :-)


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