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General GRE Quant: Will a 155 keep me out of top grad school?

  1. Aug 16, 2015 #1
    Will a 155 keep me out of graduate school? I hear the general matters very little and I didn't study. Should I bother taking it again for 160+ or am I wasting my time?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2015 #2
    From what I've seen top schools (electrical engineering) can easily fill up their slots with applicants having 160+ scores, there's just so many competitive applicants. The average admission scores for top 10 programs seem to be in the top 10% in GRE quantitative.

    I took the GRE and got a 160Q/157V and I'm retaking it this Wednesday to try improving my score. A better score can't hurt unless it comes at the expense of other CV boosting things (research, high course grades).

    While you need to do well in the subject GRE, I would shoot to get higher than 155 in the general just to avoid any cutoffs.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2015 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Like I said the last time you asked this question, a great general GRE will not help you; a poor general GRE will hurt you. This is a poor score for physics.
     
  5. Aug 16, 2015 #4
    Now I am curious, what is considered a "low score" for the verbal portion? I got a 161 (170 on Q), but figured that was okay...
     
  6. Aug 16, 2015 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    This is all on the ETS web site: The mean verbal score for people who took the test and declared an intention to enter a physics program is 156 with a standard deviation of 8, and for the quantitative part it's 161 with a standard deviation of 6. Analytical writing is 3.8 with a standard deviation of 0.8.

    Remember, about twice as many people take the GRE as go into physics, so the average score of admitted students is likely higher. Using Table 1A in the GRE Guide To The Use of Scores suggests that the median admitted student has about a 160 verbal and a 165 quantitative.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2015 #6

    radium

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    161 verbal is completely fine for physics. 155 quantitative is very bad. That score suggests you are not great at doing basic high school math. Quite frankly, if want to get into a top grad school, you should be able to get at least in the mid 160s with little studying. You should already have mastered that material as a physics major.
     
  8. Sep 4, 2015 #7

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    More numbers - the median (not mean) is 157 (V), 162 (Q) and 3.8 (W). The 75% point - roughly the median for accepted students - is 162 (V), 167 (Q) and 4.6 (W).
     
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