1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Should I send my GRE scores if they're not required?

  1. Nov 21, 2012 #1
    Here's the deal: I took the GRE a few weeks ago. Didn't do as well as I'd hoped in the quantitative section. I received

    164 (90th percentile) Quantitative (93rd Percentile) 164 Verbal (92nd percentile) 5 Writing

    I was planning on applying to top grad schools in electrical engineering, e.g. MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, etc., as well as safety schools. But I'm hoping to go to a top 10 school.

    I have a 3.97 GPA, but I don't know if my GRE scores are gonna keep me out of top schools.
    Some schools don't require GRE scores though, like MIT. Should I send my scores to MIT anyway? Or are they low enough that I would be better off not? And do you guys think my GRE scores are gonna ruin my chances of, say, Stanford?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    i may be obtuse, but what possible reason would you have for sending an unrequired piece of data that you think makes you look bad?
  4. Nov 22, 2012 #3
    Hi mathwonk! Thanks for the response.

    Here's what I was worried about. I was thinking that maybe it was still common for students to submit GRE scores to schools that don't require it, and by me not submitting my scores, schools might assume that my scores are even lower than they are.

    But I guess I was just over analyzing that. Do you think my scores are low enough to prevent my admission to schools that do require it?
  5. Nov 23, 2012 #4
    I pretty much scored the same as you on the GRE, Q:165, V:165, W:5. I will also be applying to some top 10 schools in physics, and I am fairly confident I will get in.

    I highly doubt anyone is going to care that you or I didn't get 170 on the Quantitative. It just comes down to a few dumb mistakes we made, but that doesn't really say much about our research potential. Your GPA is pretty solid, so I don't think they will doubt your mathematical skills.

    Also, your verbal and writing makes up for it I think. The fact that your scores all around high is not something to pass off. I actually think that how one does on the verbal is more representative of their thinking abilities than how one does on the Quantitative which is just straight up basic math. Also, schools like people who are extremely fluent in English.

    So to finish. No, your GRE scores won't keep you out of the top schools. GREs are a filter. Once you make the basic cutoff plus a bit more, it all comes down to things like research experience and reference letters.

    Lastly, if a school doesn't require GREs, don't send them GREs. If they wanted them they would ask.
  6. Nov 23, 2012 #5
    Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond and for your very complete answer. Your perspective is reassuring. I don't think my letters or rec or previous research are really stellar (haven't published anything), but I guess I should just focus on the things I can change before applications are due, like writing a really strong statement of purpose.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook