How much to GRE Quant scores affect an application with a very high GPA?

I go to a top US school known for their Applied Math & Stats program with a double major in Economics. I have around a 3.9 in all my math courses and am currently studying for the GRE. As someone with test anxiety (along with imposter syndrome) , I am nervous that I won’t get the score I need…

Obviously I am going to try my best, but how much will a say “average” GRE Quant score for quant applicants affect my chances of admission to say UChicago, NC state, Cornell, Columbia and other programs?

I have a quant related internship I have been at the past year and have very strong recommendation letters.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated :)
 
I got a 164 on quant, which was 83rd percentile when I took the test. I was admitted at CMU MSCF (w scholarship), Columbia financial engineering, Columbia financial economics, and Chicago financial math (w scholarship) for Fall 2021–didn’t apply anywhere else. I also went to a 3rd tier US school for undergrad, so my high GPA likely meant less than yours will.

I can relate to test taking anxiety. I got 169/170 quants on both of the practice tests I did, but my confidence was low on test day. In the moment, you tell yourself that everything is relying on this test, and that alone, at least for me, causes a massive performance dip. Trust in your preparation and know that doing average is not the end of the world—this should relieve some pressure.

Focus on pairing your high GPA with strong personal statements and I think you will be fine. Feel free to PM me.

Let’s be frank, the math covered on GRE quant is child’s play. Doing well on it hardly indicates any real ability to do well in advanced math, stats, operations research related coursework. It indicates ability to answer high school level math questions quickly under pressure. I think it just so happens that most students that are strong in math, stats, etc. coursework can crank out top scores, however, a low GRE quant score by no means “raises eyebrows” in the presence of strong grades in math, stats, etc. undergrad coursework.
 
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I got a 164 on quant, which was 83rd percentile when I took the test. I was admitted at CMU MSCF (w scholarship), Columbia financial engineering, Columbia financial economics, and Chicago financial math (w scholarship) for Fall 2021–didn’t apply anywhere else. I also went to a 3rd tier US school for undergrad, so my high GPA likely meant less than yours will.

I can relate to test taking anxiety. I got 169/170 quants on both of the practice tests I did, but my confidence was low on test day. In the moment, you tell yourself that everything is relying on this test, and that alone, at least for me, causes a massive performance dip. Trust in your preparation and know that doing average is not the end of the world—this should relieve some pressure.

Focus on pairing your high GPA with strong personal statements and I think you will be fine. Feel free to PM me.

Let’s be frank, the math covered on GRE quant is child’s play. Doing well on it hardly indicates any real ability to do well in advanced math, stats, operations research related coursework. It indicates ability to answer high school level math questions quickly under pressure. I think it just so happens that most students that are strong in math, stats, etc. coursework can crank out top scores, however, a low GRE quant score by no means “raises eyebrows” in the presence of strong grades in math, stats, etc. undergrad coursework.
Doing math problems under pressure. Seems like a good skill doesn't it. Given that the average GRE scores for the whole class are used in some of the MFE rankings, don't you think it matters?

Wow, that’s fantastic. I am very happy it worked out for you! Will do..
They will definitely accept you if you have a strong profile, if the GRE didn't work out in the first attempt, keep the other components of your application strong. I think if you want to be safe get close to the previous class's average and if you are applying from Asia, you better have atleast a 169.
 
Doing math problems under pressure. Seems like a good skill doesn't it. Given that the average GRE scores for the whole class are used in most of the MFE rankings, don't you think it matters?


They will definitely accept you if you have a strong profile, if the GRE didn't work out in the first attempt, keep the other components of your application strong. I think if you want to be safe get close to the previous class's average and if you are applying from Asia, you better have atleast a 169.
If you want to call GRE quant questions “math”. From my OG post: “I think it just so happens that most students that are strong in math, stats, etc. coursework can crank out top scores…”. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, I’m just saying that it matters considerably less than strong GPA in math/stats/CS coursework, internship/work ex, LORs, and personal statement(s). Also, that it matters for rankings does not necessarily mean it matters for admissions…

I think the point about applying from Asia requiring close to 169 is folly. IMO, write a strong personal statement showing you have done thorough research on quant finance and that combined with strong grades, LORs and some relevant internship/work ex I feel would definitely be sufficient in light of an 80-85th percentile quant GRE score. I think there are a lot of claims on QN about how well applicants need to do on GRE quant that just do not hold water.
 
If you want to call GRE quant questions “math”. From my OG post: “I think it just so happens that most students that are strong in math, stats, etc. coursework can crank out top scores…”. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, I’m just saying that it matters considerably less than strong GPA in math/stats/CS coursework, internship/work ex, LORs, and personal statement(s). Also, that it matters for rankings does not necessarily means it matters for admissions…
Totally agree, but imagine this
you are the part of adcom, you see someone with a very good scores in undergrad especially in tough math subjects and then see a GRE score of 80th percentile.

Wouldn't that raise an eyebrow? :)
 
Totally agree, but if you see someone with a very good scores in undergrad especially in tough math subjects and then see a GRE score of 80th percentile. (Additionally, given that you applied to the program, which means you think your profile is good enough acc. to the standards set by the universities.)

Now you see a GRE that less than 90th percentile, wouldn't that raise an eyebrow? :)
I’m clearly a counterexample to the point you are trying to make…
 
Not exactly, I said it will raise an eyebrow, I never said you will end up getting rejected.
Admission’s committee raised eyebrow is a completely hidden variable, so how do you know what does and doesn’t raise eyebrows? You are speaking nonsense.
 
I know this because there is a program that strictly requires that the candidates have atleast x%ile in verbal and y%ile quant. That's how I know it matters and if you end up getting admitted to this program because of your overall profile, then you have to write the exam again to achieve these percentiles, if you didn't already.
 
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Not nonsense I guess, since there is at least one program that cares that much about your test score percentiles.
 
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Not nonsense I guess, since there is at least one program that cares that much about your test score percentiles.
I know this because there is a program that strictly requires that the candidates have atleast x%ile in verbal and y%ile quant. That's how I know it matters and if you end up getting admitted to this program because of your overall profile, then you have to write the exam again to achieve these percentiles, if you didn't already.
Of all the top programs listed here on QN, NYU Tandon is the only one I know of that mentions GRE floors. What you are saying is, broadly speaking, nonsense.
 
See you don't know about this program because you probably didn't apply here. It is in top 5 on QN list.
By broadly speaking non-sense, you simply mean that I am lying, which I am not. So no non-sense.


- @jessefreitag Percentiles does matter, it's not a make or break thing though, if you want to be safe, be closer to the class avg. which often is 169 for many programs. Good luck with the exam., and
- @Qui-Gon, not knowing about all the programs is okay, but calling someone's argument non-sense, well not OK.
 
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See you don't know about this program because you probably didn't apply here. It is in top 5 on QN list.
By broadly speaking non-sense, you simply mean that I am lying, which I am not. So no non-sense.
I thoroughly looked at all the top programs on QN, if a top 5 program mentions what you say, it was not on their website when I applied last cycle.

By saying you are, broadly speaking, speaking nonsense I am in no way saying you are lying—not sure how you infer that—just that you are wrong. I am simply saying that for >98% of top programs, an 80-85th percentile GRE score will by no means cause any raised eyebrows on part of admissions committees if the applicant has a strong application in every other regard. What you are saying is misleading, and your main support, that a single program has GRE floors for applicants, hardly proves the general point you are making.
 
I thoroughly looked at all the top programs on QN, if a top 5 program mentions what you say, it was not on their website when I applied last cycle.

By saying you are, broadly speaking, speaking nonsense I am in no way saying you are lying—not sure how you infer that—just that you are wrong. I am simply saying that for >98% of top programs, an 80-85th percentile GRE score will by no means cause any raised eyebrows on part of admissions committees if the applicant has a strong application in every other regard. What you are saying is misleading, and your main support, that a single program has GRE floors for applicants, hardly proves the general point you are making.

Lol, I thought you meant that, of course there is only one program that mentions the floors and only in the webinars and to the admitted candidates, not on the website. My general point was that the percentile does have an impact on your application, mostly if someone with a similar overall profile is competing for the seat. It's much safer to be close to the class average. 90%ile is a safe place, and to a GRE aspirant who wants to apply to CMU, I'll definitely suggest that169 is a very safe score.
 
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The GRE will not be a make-or-break situation for most programs. And it's definitely not used as a filter. But again for some it might be a little more important.
 
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- @Qui-Gon, not knowing about all the programs is okay, but calling someone's argument non-sense, well not OK.
Lol, I thought you meant that, of course there is only one program that mentions the floors and only in the webinars and to the admitted candidates, not on the website
Only one program mentions GRE floors, yet you argued, implicitly, that any GRE quant below 169 would raise the eyebrows of admissions committees broadly. This is a nonsensical argument, and on a site where many users are highly impressionable to what they read, I think it is totally OK—and important—to call a nonsense argument nonsense.
 
My general point was that the percentile does have an impact on your application, mostly if someone with a similar overall profile is competing for the seat. It's much safer to be close to the class average. 90%ile is a safe place, and to a GRE aspirant who wants to apply to CMU, I'll definitely suggest that169 is a very safe score.
Though, I cannot disagree with your arguments either. Someone with an overall strong profile need not worry too much about the GRE score being in the 90th percentile.
 
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