I plan on applying to graduate school school soon and I'm confident the rest of my application will be pretty solid. However, I'm worried that a quant score of 160-163 will put me below the other applicants. Most have quant scores of 165+. I could break this, but I have a huge problem of making silly mistakes when under pressure and trying to keep a good pace.


1 Answer 1


Every school is different in how they view this, but I think the consensus now is that such scores are not as important as they once were. On the other hand, you have a negative piece of information about you, and you want to balance it, or overcome it, with lots of positive pieces of information.

I suspect that most places, with the possible exception of very large programs, take a more wholistic view of their incoming candidates. If your total application package is strong, I wouldn't worry about it, but be prepared to discuss it in an interview.

In fact, exams of that sort favor certain kinds of learners and disfavor others. This is, I hope, fairly widely recognized. The tag on the question suggests you want to study mathematics. Lots of mathematics isn't about "quantity" at all, and requires a different sort of thinking. Spacial, for example, or highly abstract thought.

But knowing that you make silly mistakes under pressure, you might want to find a way to address that directly, though I can't help you there. I assume there are academic counsellors who have the expertise to give you a start on it, at least.

You will find a lot of pressure in grad school, of course. A lot of pressure. You will want to find ways to both lessen it and to deal with it. On the other hand, not everything is like a high-stakes test, so the pressure is of a different sort.

The wisdom (?) of the internet suggests: https://www.thoughtco.com/do-you-have-a-good-gre-score-how-to-tell-1686221

  • Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify on the thing about pressure, I meant the time pressure of having to finish in 35 mins or less. I am also very aware that advanced mathematics has very little to do with "quantity" or raw computation. The extreme competitiveness of some programs just had me really concerned. They always compare your scores to those of other applicants.
    – Abd123
    Jul 21, 2018 at 17:17
  • 1
    @Abd123 What is your GRE Math Subject score? If it's good enough, you don't need to worry about GRE Quant.
    – Nobody
    Jul 22, 2018 at 5:23
  • I plan on taking it this October, and suspect a score of around 700-750. How would that hold up?
    – Abd123
    Jul 22, 2018 at 14:31
  • As an update, just ignore this thread. I took the exam today and got 159V and 166Q.
    – Abd123
    Jul 25, 2018 at 17:08
  • Actually, questions and answers here are not just for the person posing the question, but for future visitors who might also have a similar issue.
    – Buffy
    Jul 25, 2018 at 17:18

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