I am graduating with my MSc early next year and would like to pursue my PhD in a closely related field (Stats/Financial math).

I am hoping to study either in Europe or HK/Singapore and most of the universities I hope to apply to state a GRE is required.

The GRE is not held where I live, and I'm very strapped for cash meaning that I don't really have money to spare to fly to the nearest test center and sit it. I'm wondering how poorly it would reflect on my application if I asked for a test waiver explaining this?

I have already emailed NUS in Singapore asking about this, and they said I was exempted but that it would be better if I did include it. This makes me feel that borrowing some money and doing it would be best, or I'd risk ruining my chances of getting into a good university.

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    The GRE is a very US-centric thing. Many european universities do not particularly care about it provided that the rest of your application is strong. I never sat it (and was offered several PhD places).
    – Landak
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:43
  • In terms of grades, I have straight A/A+ with all A+ in my honours year. And a few scholarships/prizes. Nothing particularly special other than a good GPA. Can I ask where you applied, and went?
    – Patty
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:45
  • I came from Oxford and went to Oxford, and got offered a place in Germany, Warwick and London along the way, along with a few more ;-). Really, obviously within the caveat of "read the university guidance" and "do what the instructions say", showing that you actually want a research career and and would be good at it is probably far more important. Literally everywhere I applied to was much more interested in the mathematical biology I'd done than my degree mark. Things may vary when it comes to funding, but the only thing applying (should) cost you is your time.
    – Landak
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:48
  • @Landak you must have applied to Oxford some time ago then; I applied for a PhD there this year and the application fee was £75. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:53
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    Suggest explaining what GRE is. I have no idea (perhaps because it's a US thing, as noted above).
    – Flyto
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


It is fine to ask for a waver of admissions requirements. Just keep in mind that the university may say no.

To increase your chances of success, clearly state why you want to enrol, why you think you are qualified, and why you need a waver.

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