Finished bachelor's and master's in mathematical finance. Applying for PhD in math, which may or may not be in a university that requires General GRE or Math GRE

Based on my other questions (like this) and what I read online, the General GRE and the Math GRE are taken only as required for application or taken with the intention of possibly applying somewhere where it is needed. Like a high grade helps little in admission but a low grade helps a lot in non-admission.

So showing a high grade in Math GRE to a school that doesn't require it in general would be all the more not very helpful in applications?

Let's say I apply to a set of universities in different countries where none of them require any GRE.

It seems to me that the only reason for someone to take for example the Math GRE other than being required is to strengthen your application based on your bachelor's or master's not being math.

  • 3
    Are you asking if the Math GRE is worth taking if it isn't required for any of the schools you are applying? And are you asking if you should send you Math GRE score or mention it in applying to programs that don't ask for it?
    – BrianH
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 13:46
  • Given the answers and discussion from your other questions on various standardized test (including the Math GRE), what is new in this question?
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 17:06
  • In my experience, folks who had higher math GRE scores had much greater success gaining admission into various programs. I would challenge this assertion that it is not helpful in gaining admission. Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 17:39
  • @BrianDHall Yes. No, not really, but any advice would be helpful
    – BCLC
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


The vast majority of math Ph.D. programs in the US will require both the general and math subject GREs, so unless you specifically avoid those schools specifically, you probably will have to take them. How schools use the GRE varies a bit, but for someone whose record isn't as strong, it can play a valuable role in reassuring schools, since it's the only thing they have which is uniform across schools and recommenders.

For schools that don't require them, they will likely assume that you have taken the subject GRE, and will assume that not sending in your score means it is really bad. If your score is really bad (less than 30th percentile), then it's probably better to not send it in, but if it's not abysmal, then probably you should send in the scores.


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