Just to give a background of me-

I have done a bachelor with only one Mathematics course and I'm pursuing a Masters in Economics which also has only one Mathematics course in Optimization.

I have not taken many mathematics courses in a standard class but I have read a lot of it on my own. So, Just wanted to ask, does it have any impact?

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    Did you take the math exam and do well, or are you wondering if you should take it? Pretty hard exam with only a little background. – Buffy Jul 23 '18 at 11:42
  • Related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/110681/… – Dawn Jul 23 '18 at 13:53
  • The OP is either pursuing PhD or Masters in Economics. Add "economics" tag. – scaaahu Jul 24 '18 at 13:52
  • @scaaahu I did add the "economics" tag but some random guy reported it and being new on this platform, I thought that I should remove that. – Divy Rangan Jul 24 '18 at 13:53
  • Please check your "edited" history. Your original post did not include the tag. @Dawn helped you to add "economics" tag and you removed it. Now, I just added it back. – scaaahu Jul 24 '18 at 13:57

Unless you’re planning to do econometrics, mathematical Econ, or something similarly “math heavy” in your thesis research, I doubt Econ programs care much either way. But certainly I would not go out of my way to include a test if the program doesn’t ask for the scores to be submitted unless those scores were outstanding.

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  • I'm planning to pursue my Ph.D. with an emphasis on Macroeconomics and International Economics. I thought that my lack of formal Mathematical competency can be compensated by GRE Math exam, that's the reason I'm giving it a thought. – Divy Rangan Jul 24 '18 at 13:59

You don't really say what your general knowledge is about undergraduate mathematics. You could certainly have deep knowledge without taking courses, of course. But if you have only the knowledge given in the two courses you mention and are simply contemplating taking the GRE subject test in Mathematics, I would caution against it.

The test is very difficult and very broad. It is broad since undergraduate programs differ and the test developers want to make it possible for everyone to find something in the test that they know deeply. However, that also means that even a student with a good undergraduate mathematics degree will find many questions on the exam about which they know nothing at all. Even the terminology of the question is foreign. It isn't like a ramped up SAT exam. But without a background in at least Analysis, Abstract Algebra, and Topology it will be very difficult to pass.

On the other hand, if you have already taken the test and have achieved a high score, I would personally mention it. It demonstrates a high level of abstract thinking that will serve you well in anything. Since Economics can be (but isn't necessarily) fairly computational you won't hurt yourself by saying it, and might help yourself. Likewise, the ability to easily understand economic models is aided by a mathematics background.

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  • You do not need all of Analysis, Abstract Algebra, and Topology to get a decent grade on the Math GRE. You can get a decent grade with an excellent understanding of the standard calculus sequence and maybe one more advanced course. You do need all these subjects to score in the 90th percentile, but if the Economics graduate admissions committee isn't completely clueless about the Math Subject GRE, I expect somebody who had a decent grade would improve their chances by taking it. – Peter Shor Jul 24 '18 at 12:49
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    @PeterShor, I wasn't referring to the Quantitative section of the general GRE exam, but the Math subject matter exam. If you can now pass it with only calculus, it has been greatly degraded since I took it (last century). But I don't think the OP was thinking about a minimal pass in any case. Of course, if you don't happen to have Topology then Number Theory will also have sufficient questions, etc. It is very broad. Or was, in my case. I had a great math education but thought I'd done very poorly at the end of the day. Did well though. – Buffy Jul 24 '18 at 12:55
  • I am talking about the Math Subject Exam. I have served on the graduate admissions committee for a math department, and I think I know what I am talking about. It's not pass/fail ... you get a percentile score. And the majority of the questions can be answered with the standard calculus sequence; if you answer all of these questions right, you get a pretty decent percentile. Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Probability probably make up around 70% of the questions. See this webpage. With the OP's background, he might know all of these well. – Peter Shor Jul 24 '18 at 12:57
  • @PeterShor Yes, I know how it is graded. I'm very surprised. I have no reason to disbelieve you, but that was far from my experience. I assume when you say "Calculus" you are including at least Advanced Analysis, not just Calc 1-4 such as engineers and some scientists take. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRE_Mathematics_Test) – Buffy Jul 24 '18 at 13:02
  • GIven that the OP has taken only two math classes, I expect that the right decision is for him not to take it. But I wanted to set the record straight — you do not need all of Analysis, Abstract Algebra, and Topology to get a good grade. And knowing just these three subjects well (in addition to Calculus) will get you a truly excellent percentile score. (At least 90%, I'd guess. Probably higher.) – Peter Shor Jul 24 '18 at 13:06

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