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If the system is fair, which I can't guarantee, if the GRE is optional then it won't be used, formally, to distinguish between students. But it is hard to say what goes on in the minds of individuals on a committee. But in particular, it shouldn't (in a fair system) be held against you if you don't submit. That does make the other factors more important in ...


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Do you have programs of interest? I am kind of wondering the same thing (though I do plan on applying this cycle), however at the stage the US is at in the pandemic (presumably, where you would be planning to do your PhD in), it is more likely to vary from school/department to school/department. Some universities may waive the GRE altogether on a permanent ...


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