I am going to apply to several US universities(for 2017 session),mostly ranked within top 25 places,and I will apply for PhD positions in Pure Mathematics(Representation theory,to be precise).I took GRE with a week's preparation and scored 326(verbal 161,quant 165)-top 88 percentile,although I sucked at AWA-with a meager 3(out of 6) on board.I haven't yet taken up my TOEFL and math-gre,but I am confident to score over 110 in Toefl and a high(>90) percentile in math-gre.I hope to obtain decent recommendation letters,and a GPA above 9 in my masters from a reputed research institution of India.Should I therefore retake the gre?I should add that if I reappear,then I have a good chance at increasing the score by 5 points,and not to mention definitely scoring >4 in AWA. But does this high score worth that much at all??

2 Answers 2


I would not worry about your verbal and AWA scores at all. They are quite decent and frankly, most math departments do not care too much about them, as long as they show that you are sufficiently proficient (which your scores do). Indeed, given how tightly constrained your schedule will be in the next couple months, I think it would be a waste of time to attempt studying more for these sections.

Getting a 170 in Quant is the only reason I would retake the GRE. However, even then I do not really think it's worth it in your case. Since you expect to get the GRE-math subject test with such a high percentile, this will clearly demonstrate your quantitative abilities. In other words, because of your subject test score (plus your transcripts/letters of recommendation), it will be obvious that the 5 points you missed were due to a lack of concentration or because of anxiety during the GRE, rather than lack of quantitative understanding.

Also note that for many departments, GRE scores simply serve as pre-filters; i.e. some universities might not consider your application if your scores are below some threshold, but otherwise the scores won't make too much of a difference.

In summary: There are more important parts to your application, and I think it would be a waste of time and money to retake the GRE.


Take a look at Grad Cafe.

Search for the programs you will be applying to and try to get an idea of what scores you need to have.

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