I just took the revised GRE general test. As a math major preparing to apply to math PhD programs, it was kind of surprising to see that my quantitative reasoning score was just 167, whereas my verbal reasoning score was 169. I attribute this to the fact that my anxiety about the exam prevented me from finishing all of the quantitative questions, which required a moderate amount of concentration; I finished the verbal portion quickly since it was just a matter of being able to read carefully and know fancy words. Should I retake the test and try to get a 169 or 170 in the quantitative portion? Or is my score good enough that it doesn't really matter?

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    What is the percentile ranking of that score? – Nate Eldredge Jun 7 '15 at 14:26
  • @NateEldredge It's 94th percentile (for the math score). – justin Jun 7 '15 at 14:31
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    The kind of math on the GRE is quite different from the math of a math grad student. I wouldn't worry about it. – zeldredge Jun 7 '15 at 16:00
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    Your score on the math subject test is a much more important factor. – Brian Borchers Jun 7 '15 at 16:44
  • It would be interesting to know what kind of confidence interval ETS claims for GRE scores. I would not be at all surprised if the difference between 167 and 170 were statistically insignificant. And one would hope that a mathematics admission committee, of all people, would understand that. – Nate Eldredge Jun 8 '15 at 1:40

At Texas A&M, we typically admit graduate student applicants with quantitative GRE scores down to somewhere between 160 and 165. So your 167 is totally fine, in fact I would say it's in the top 1/2 of those we accept. No need to worry.


I've been on the graduate admissions committee in my math department a few times, and we never pay much attention to the general GRE score. Even the math GRE score is not a big concern, unless it is egregious.

By the way, here are a couple of related questions:

How does a low quantitative score on GRE general exam affect admissions to mathematics PhD programs?

What is the median math GRE subject score for admission to a Group 2 or 3 PhD program in applied mathematics?

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