How important is GRE score?


New Member
Hi i'm a final year student at LSE reading mathematics and statistics, hoping to get into a MFE in 2020.
I've secured my overall First Class for my degree and I've gotten high first class marks for every module I've taken so far.
My coursework includes: further linear algebra, multivar calculus, probability, statistics, real analysis, time series, PDE, stochastic calculus and simulation, stochastic methods for finance.
I've completed 1 M&A internship and 1 machine learning (quant) internship in my two years of uni. My professors like me so I should be able to get solid rec letters.
However, my GRE score is 165Q/156V/5AWA. I'm aware 165 is on the low side and is probably due to my inexperience with the US standardized testing system since I'm used to the UK system.
How badly would this hurt my application? Should I consider retaking the GRE? Alternatively, would a masters in machine learning/CS be helpful in landing a quant role? Given that I have some of the math/stats fundamentals for FE.
Thanks guys.


Active Member
C++ Student
Check the average scores in the program rankings on this site; top programs range between 169 and 170.

GRE is an art, and art demands sacrifice. magoosh has a very good set of prep questions that adjust to your level. Probably you ran into trouble on the silly number properties / arcane hoops you have to jump through sections. Redo the test, and you're more likely to have a choice of schools. Don't redo the test, and you still have a good shot of getting admitted to a few of the top programs.

ML / CS are also good entry points, but it depends on where you want to go. Typically you need CS + some subject matter expertise to be useful. One of the best quants I know did MFin and CS degrees; he's a bit light on the math, but is incredibly useful in that he can work on most problems independently.
Quant is VERY important, if only for the fact that many programs boast about the average scores of admitted students.

Even IF schools do not believe GRE Quant correlates with success in the program and in the industry, that fact alone makes it important to score 169 or 170 or face a significant handicap in the admission process.