I'm a US student applying to PhD programs in pure mathematics this semester. Most of the programs I am applying to are highly ranked schools which are making the subject GRE optional this semester. That being said, I scored an 810 (76th percentile) on the exam in September. I believe an 810 would usually correspond to a higher percentile (maybe 80th) regularly, but I assume that since the test is optional this round, the pool of people taking the exam is better than usual. I was wondering if, assuming the rest of my application is quite strong, I should submit this score. I'm not sure if this makes a difference but I also happen to be an ethnic minority (latino). Thanks.


2 Answers 2


When I review grad school applications, the math subject GRE scores are usually a binary pre-filter. If someone scores below our cutoff (which is usually a 600 for MS, 650 for PhD), they are pretty much automatically removed. We need students who can assist in teaching undergrad math and they need to at least have some base competency.

That is the extent of our use of the subject GRE.

I would report your scores if you have them. Your scores are high enough that I'm guessing most programs will not even think twice about them.


Probably you should just go ahead and do it. In particular, I think reading an application with no GRE score, I generally would guess the score is lower than the one you listed (though, this year, who knows). It's impossible to fully predict the effect it has (most notably, you don't mention how strong the rest of your application is), but I think at most programs the GRE score is used try to sort out which students have reasonable preparation vs. those who don't, and your score is good enough to indicate reasonable preparation. I don't think many people count on it to sort out who the very best applicants are.

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