I didn't do well on math GRE(700, 60 percentile) and I have no time to retake the test. I am applying for applied math phd programs(some examples include Rice CAAM, Upenn ACMS, JHU's Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics or my dream school Stanford ICME), and almost all of these programs do not require GRE subject but they recommend me to send.

I know that this score will definitely hurt me a lot if I am applying for pure math programs, but someone said that applied math is different. So I wonder if my score will have seriously negative effect? Should I send the score to those programms?

Thank you, I appreciate any advice!

  • Take this with a pinch of salt but I'm now in my 4th year in an Ivy grad school with a pretty lame GRE subject score (I did not prepare for it and turns out that's not a great idea). I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one... IMHO GREs are used to weed out candidates they know nothing about (e.g., CV is not very informative, no past experience in research, undergrads done in unknown school, that kind of stuff). In my experience having had the opportunity to discuss with people from the group you'd like to join is maybe the most important factor of all...
    – tibL
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


I am in a similar situation. Although I am not able to provide you with a definitive answer but I think it's important who your competitors are. For example, I remember once read on Ohio State University's website, saying that the average GRE Math Subject of domestic students are around 65% or 67%, but the average for international students are around 95%. So I think your educational background plays a role here.

  • Thanks! I have seen that too. I think that's for pure math program,and onething that I am particularly unclear is that would department of applied math view GRE subject differently from math dept...
    – dave2d
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:11
  • 2
    @XavierXiao Realize that sometimes there's no big difference between pure math and applied math. For some universities, they do not even have separate applications. Besides, you could take a look here: math.osu.edu/grad/future/application/faq. It doesn't differentiate between applied and pure, and OSU is not even tier-1 school in terms of math
    – user34183
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:35

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