I just took the GRE Mathematics exam and I think I didn't do very well. I answered only 39 of the 66 questions due to lack of time (I knew I could answer a lot more but it would take some time to do the calculations so I left them for the end and never managed to return-I didn't even get to question 60). What I want to say is that I know I can do better but I am not that fast. I tried to register for the October exam but it is impossible-everywhere in my country! So I want to ask:

  1. Will my score be sufficient to at least have a chance in good PhD programs (my goals were UCLA, UIUC, Berkley, Stanford...)?
  2. Do you think that these universities could accept my application if I say I will retake the test in April?
  • Welcome to Academia.SE. Please do not ask multiple questions in a single post. Also, please take care your question to be on-topic to this website's disciplines and policies.
    – enthu
    Commented Sep 27, 2014 at 16:24
  • I have deleted the questions about registration, because they are directly answered on the ETS website. (The reason you can't register online is that the late deadline for the tests is now past.)
    – aeismail
    Commented Sep 27, 2014 at 16:26
  • 2
    Regarding your first question, there's no way to say whether your score will be sufficient, since we can't predict your score. If you had answered 39 questions on the practice test at ets.org/s/gre/pdf/practice_book_math.pdf and gotten 90% of them right, you would have received a raw score of 34, which corresponds to a scaled score of 670 (59th percentile). That's not a great score, especially for Stanford, but it's not so low that they would throw your application out. You just need the rest of your application to be strong enough that the GRE score looks like an anomaly. Commented Sep 27, 2014 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


A poor test score is not disqualifying if the rest of your application is strong.

However, an April test date will not work for admission next fall. The reason for this is that the US admissions cycle requires acceptance decisions around mid-April. Since the test is in mid-April, and scores won't be available until mid-May, they would have to accept you "blind," without knowing what your scores would be. So you're essentially "stuck" with the scores you have, at least for admission for the upcoming fall semester.


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