I'll be applying to math PhD programs at the end of this year. I’m practicing for the math subject test, lining up letters of recommendation, etc. Along those lines, I just took the GRE general test.
What I've learned from math professors at some of my target schools is that the quantitative portion of the general GRE can only hurt potential applicants. No one in a math graduate admissions role will be impressed with a perfect quant score but a low score will absolutely raise flags. What I didn’t ask, and what I’m now curious about, is the effect of an average analytical-writing score on an application.
From what I understand, I wont be the biggest fish in any candidate pool. The upcoming GRE Math Subject test is extremely difficult and weighed heavily for a candidate like myself (not from a traditionally strong undergraduate math program). There will be applicants from better schools and applicants with better subject scores. If I expect to compete, it will be because my application successfully signals a strong candidacy for a teaching assistant role.
To that end, do admissions officers in math graduate programs ever look at analytical-writing scores? What is the difference, hypothetically, between a 4.0 and a 5.0? I’m interested in analyzing the cost/benefit of retaking the GRE exclusively to improve my analytical-writing score.
- I ran out of time and can likely improve (literally cut off mid-sentence, didn’t finish editing/deleting my outlined thoughts)
- $200 is not a trivial cost but I would consider it given the possibility of a tangible benefit.
- I’m not an international student.
- I will have at least one submitted math publication by December.