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How much does the general GRE matter? The subject test?

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  1. Nov 1, 2012 #1
    Is it possible to impress a committee for (science) graduate school applications with GRE general test scores? What about with the non-math sections? Would even a perfect score or close to it on one of the sections stand out, or would it still just be a litmus test that doesn't really make you stand out?

    And regarding the subject test. Is it another litmus test or can it help/hurt you? Does a mediocre/average grade hurt you? I feel like the GRE can only hurt you if you do average, and doesn't really help you if you do above average. Is this true or am I underestimating its value?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2012 #2

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    The General GRE has essentially zero weight.

    The subject test is an important piece in the decision process. It's a useful piece of information supporting good grades, and it's one of the few things that will shore up less than good grades.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2012 #3
    And here I was excited about my general test scores... I guess I still have the harder one to deal with then.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2012 #4
    What if you don't do great on the subject GRE but have amazing letters of rec + good grades + research experience?

    I do horrible on tests like these, so I don't want a nothing special PGRE score to reflect too poorly?
     
  6. Nov 2, 2012 #5

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  7. Nov 2, 2012 #6
    So, what about not submitting an optional subject test score? Lets say you have a tremendous application except that you don't take the subject test (I am taking it, but this is hypothetical). How much does that hurt an application? What % of people applying to schools where the subject test is not required apply without and, and how many of them get in?
     
  8. Nov 2, 2012 #7
    It varies from school to school. Some schools make it optional because they don't consider it to be an important factor, but will see a high score as positive. Some schools make it optional, but would really prefer to see it and state things along the lines of "it is strongly recommended to submit a subject test score" and/or "if you don't submit a score, you need to explain why". One school (which I can't remember right now) explicitly said something like "the subject score is optional, but its absence will make your application look weaker".
     
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