I am an undergrad from biology background. I want to pursue a Phd in neuroscience and would be applying by the end of 2017. I read in FAQs of many graduate programs that they recommend taking a subject test but it's not compulsory. I prepared for two months and took the GRE maths subject test. I was able to solve all the calculus problems but couldn't do other topics like group theory and abstract algebra. I ended up with a score of 680 and 56 percentile. I have a good research background in this field and i am hopeful of a publication by next year. I don't want my 'non-math' background to hinder my application from getting selected for computational labs. Should I report this score?

  • I think this is a duplicate to [this post] (academia.stackexchange.com/questions/32171/…) Nov 27, 2016 at 6:50
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    The problem is similar but the context is different. I am asking specifically for neuroscience
    – adarsh
    Nov 27, 2016 at 6:51
  • Well, the 56th percentile means you did better than half the people who took the exam. IMO, that's nothing to sneeze at since you are not applying for a math program as such; I would think this could strengthen your application. (If I were on a neuroscience admissions committee, I would simply set aside application components that don't help your case. BUT I don't know if this is what is actually done.) Nov 27, 2016 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


I am in your field, and I think the answer Peter L. Clark gave in the linked post is a good answer. My sense is that most Neuroscience programs don't take the subject exams too seriously. If you have a great score, then send it. But, if not,

A missing subject GRE score just means that we don't take this part of the application into account.

Personally, I would not send it. That said, with a publication forthcoming and a strong research background, you will still be a competitive applicant, even if you do not send in subject scores. For reference, I had a strong research background and did not even take the subject matter exams. I do not think this hindered me in the application process at all. I applied to 10 schools and got interviews (and subsequent offers) from 5. I'm a second year Ph.D. student now.

Hope this helps.

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