• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

Is my GRE score sufficient to enter in a top notch MFE program?

Adam.Zia

A Wannabe Quant
Dear Fellows

Yesterday I had my GRE and scored 800/800 in Quant and 450/800 in Verbal. I am an international student.
Is the verbal score enough? I hate giving that exam again.. i think i can improve my verbal with some months of prep but i am not sure if i will be able to get a perfect quant again
please help. Also can i substitute verbal by a high score on Toefl? what kind of toefl iBT score is required?

Adam
 
up ur verbal if u wanna be considered by top schools.
what are u target schools?
Unless you have a killer profile u'll get a reject from most of the top schools.
 

roni

Cornell FE
I wouldn't retake the GRE if I were you.
The GRE is not really important. You scored Q800 and you have an okay Verbal score.
Make sure your profile is attractive and you will be fine.
People with V350 or V330 got in to top programs.
SoP,transcript, experience, rec. letters are much more important than scoring V>500
 
You're not alone..I got Q 800 V 370 AW 4.0 So I have your exact same problem. I'm also an international student and wondering whether I should retry..I'm sure I can nail the verbal if I prepare but its gonna take time and I don't know if its worth it :S I got 116/120 on the toefl though.
 

Adam.Zia

A Wannabe Quant
Thank you all for your valuable feedback !! Really Appreciate !! i think i would stick with this score and try improving my profile in other ways !!
 

lucasnutz

Lucas Triana
Since someone has already posted a thread on this, I must ask. I have taken the GRE twice, a year ago I scored 710 in math and 350 in verbal. Last week I took the test once more and I scored 740 in quant and 490 in verbal. I am also an international student. My GPA is 3.06 and I scored 110 in the TOEFL test. I have a B.S in Industrial Engineering and major in Finance and Operations Research. Currently I am working as a fixed income analyst at a Colombian brokerage firm and I am about to complete my first year in this position.

I know that my profile is not as good, but I know that the admissions committee also look at the intention letters and recommendations. One of my teachers in the University has a really good profile ( BS from MIT, MSFE from NYU and PHD from stanford) and he would gladly recommend me for any program.

My Intentions are to apply to the following:

Berkeley
Columbia
U Chicago
NYU
U Michigan
Rutgers
UCLA
Cornell
GA Tech
boston U
ITT

However, I do not want to waste my time and money sending applications to places where I would not have a change. Perhaps I can receive some advice on which schools should I look into or if I should re-taking the GRE or something else to become an eligible candidate.

thanks.
 
Why do these quant schools look so hard at the Quant section of the GRE? That section has no parallel with upper level mathematics. If you can do algebra and have a pulse, it is a no brainer. If these school were so concerned about Quant score, shouldn't they have the students take the GRE Math Subject test? That test will separate the men from the boys.
 
Why do these quant schools look so hard at the Quant section of the GRE? That section has no parallel with upper level mathematics. If you can do algebra and have a pulse, it is a no brainer. If these school were so concerned about Quant score, shouldn't they have the students take the GRE Math Subject test? That test will separate the men from the boys.
There is little evidence that schools place a big focus on the GRE Q. On the contrary, there is too much attention by the applicants themselves focused on this one aspect. People can turn around and ask: "this is a simple test. Why can't you get 800? Why you even bother talking about it?"
The GRE is only a filter, accounting only for a fraction of the whole picture. As you said, GRE Q is not an advanced math test so it is understood that applicants looking to join this quantitative field should have no problem with the test.
 
Yes, but to use that test as a metric at all seems a little arbitrary. I know people who taken both the general and subject tests and scored under a 700 on the general but crushed the subject.
 
GRE Math subject is not required by most graduate degrees except PhD Math. MFE applicants come from as diversified background as history so it does not make sense to take GRE Math subject unless they have appropriate background.
It is not coincident that a proposal for a specialized MFE GRE test was floated among MFE programs not so long ago. It was shot down for various reasons.
It remains to be seen if the new GRE would do a better job at measuring math ability.

What other standardized exam would you suggest to replace the GRE that is accessible globally by thousands of MFE applicants?

As for your friends who got sub 700 Q, it does not help them with the footnote "but I crush the Subject test". The question remains why they can't crush the easier ones.
 
The math courses that each student took and the grade they obtained should be more important than an 800Q. If someone can get an A in Real Analysis, A in Linear Alg, A in DE, and an A in PDE, that should hold more weight.
 
There are many, many applicants who "get an A in Real Analysis, A in Linear Alg, A in DE, and an A in PDE" in addition to 800Q.
This just shows you how competitive the applicant pool is. I should know because I have done MFE admission for the past few years.

This goes back to my point about this GRE thing: get a max score and move to the next item on the check list. By not doing perfectly on the test, people just leave a small window of opportunities for other similarly qualified applicants to look better.
People focus too much time on this one little item while there are just as important things like essays, letter of rec, C++ requirements.
 

Lyosha

Psychic in Training
Dw - it's not a "should hold more/less weight". It's a "if you want to be a quant, you should be able to answer 25 simple math questions"
 
To both Andy and Alexei, I would disagree. I am a PhD student in math. However, I have been so far removed from trivial mathematics that I find it more taxing then advanced mathematics. I would rather do math beyond calculus any day then basic algebra. It is a different mindset. When you do math at that level all day every day, the simplest stuff becomes a greater challenge. I know this from experience.
 
Hello Andy,

Thanks for this brilliant resource of MFE information. I am currently a student at a state school who performed poorly in my first two years of undergraduate but in my last two years had 3.7+ in all courses and 4.0 in my mathematics (Econ/math minor). Do I have sufficient chance of entering a top MFE program (UofM, CMU, Columbia, NYU courant,) to justify applying to these top tier programs? My overall GPA will only reach 3.0-3.1 by my calculations at the end of my studies. I have all the prerequisites but only my GPA is giving me paranoia in spending the money to apply to the better programs.

Regards
 
Top