Bad Quantitative Score

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Bad Quantitative Score

Post by TomtheCrow » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:25 am

Hello Everyone,
I'm a senior physics major in the US. I know this question has been asked in various forms over the years, but I think my circumstances are fairly specific, so I'm hoping you'll all humor me in asking a common question.

Anyway, I'll get on with it: I got a 153(49%) on the quantitative section of the general GRE. Embarrassing, I know. That said, I like to think my pGRE exonerates my math ability to some extent, as I got a 760(60%). As for the rest of my application, I would describe it as "solid." It all ranges from good to somewhat great, but nothing on it is stand out amazing.

This would all be a problem if I was trying to go to MIT, but fortunately, I am not. I'm really just trying to get into a solid school with lots of research going on. And considering my application, I think this is a reasonable ambition. But, I can't stop thinking about my quantitative score. As much as I would like to just assume they will see it as the fluke that it was, I just can't stop imagining that it will cast a shadow of doubt over everything else on my application. So much so that I'm considering retaking it, but the problem is, I've already applied to 4 out of the 8 schools on my list, as they had Dec 15 deadlines. On top of that, out of the last 4 schools I'm applying to, only one is one of my reach schools, Urbana Champaign, which is the most selective program I'm applying to, so I'm not expecting to get in there anyway. This all has me seriously doubting whether or not a retake would even be worth it.

So, If I were to retake the gGRE, only half of my applications would contain the improved score. I'm thinking I may be better off putting that $200 dollars towards a couple more applications instead, but I really don't know. Furthermore, I've heard that gGRE can affect grant money. Is this the case? Because that would certainly bear on my decision.

So what do you all think? Some guidance from someone who is a little more experienced would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Bad Quantitative Score

Post by Nishikata » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:29 am

If you retake it, can you improve the score? Will it be in time for the remaining schools?

You see. $200 may seem like a lot of money. But it is also recoverable right after you get your first month’s stipend in any funded program. So why keep this hanging if you can do something about it? Don’t join a program with lingering reservations on what might have been, it is super hard to handle a PhD with such mindset.

If $200 will somehow be decisive factor in one of those schools, it is a reasonable price.
You don’t have to choose between improving this score and applying to 2 more schools.

Apply to 2 more schools if you want to, and retake the test if you want to. This additional $200 is just a “small” money that shouldn’t decide your future.

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