To Submit or To Not Submit: GRE Scores

Qui-Gon

Well-Known Member
C++
Took the GRE this past weekend and did poorly, Q164 & V157 are my unofficial scores. I've done several PowerPrep tests and was consistently scoring 169-170 on quant, I just simply was not up to par when it mattered. CMU is the only program on my list that is still requiring GRE scores for Fall 21', and so I wonder whether I should just cross off CMU and not submit my scores to the programs where they are optional or keep CMU, retake the GRE in late November, and submit my new scores assuming they are competitive. While NYU's MSFM states outright for students not to submit their GRE scores for Fall 21', others such as UChicago or Columbia's MFE and MAFN (though MAFN still says GRE is preferred) simply have it as optional. Besides coming from an unremarkable public university in California (CSU not UC), I feel other features of my application are relatively strong (all A's in my math courses, interned at a boutique IB for 2 years, QN C++ w/ distinction), though I am not sure what missing GRE scores will indicate this cycle. Think I'll likely retake only because CMU is my standout #1 choice, but nonetheless am curious what some of you have to say. Thanks in advance.
 

Michsund

Well-Known Member
C++
Took the GRE this past weekend and did poorly, Q164 & V157 are my unofficial scores. I've done several PowerPrep tests and was consistently scoring 169-170 on quant, I just simply was not up to par when it mattered. CMU is the only program on my list that is still requiring GRE scores for Fall 21', and so I wonder whether I should just cross off CMU and not submit my scores to the programs where they are optional or keep CMU, retake the GRE in late November, and submit my new scores assuming they are competitive. While NYU's MSFM states outright for students not to submit their GRE scores for Fall 21', others such as UChicago or Columbia's MFE and MAFN (though MAFN still says GRE is preferred) simply have it as optional. Besides coming from an unremarkable public university in California (CSU not UC), I feel other features of my application are relatively strong (all A's in my math courses, interned at a boutique IB for 2 years, QN C++ w/ distinction), though I am not sure what missing GRE scores will indicate this cycle. Think I'll likely retake only because CMU is my standout #1 choice, but nonetheless am curious what some of you have to say. Thanks in advance.
I applied to cmu in March during round 2 so there’s always that. It might be harder in round 2 but there shouldn’t be a big difference. Gre quant of 164 is very low, I think only one or two people had scores below 167 and they were in the industry for a while. So retaking is probably a must, I would say 167 is the absolute minimum.
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
You really should consider retaking the GRE. With a 164, you better have a compelling story. Magoosh is probably the best bang for your buck prep program, as they have a great way of filtering weak points.
 

Qui-Gon

Well-Known Member
C++
Completely understand that, I’m leaning more and more towards retaking. Though a fair amount of programs aren’t requiring GRE, I think a retake is worth it just given my interest in CMU’s program. Magoosh and the PowerPrep tests were my primary prep tools, and I was doing well with both. Given a 164 is approx. 4-5 questions wrong versus a 169 being 1-2 questions wrong, I think the main reason for the points drop from my practice tests was just test-day jitters. Going to restart Magoosh and only allot 27 minutes per 20 questions as opposed to 35 minutes. Thank you both for your comments!
 
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mspinoza

Member
If you have time, re-take and submit. Everyone has told me programs are super anal about this, even for people with math majors and perfect grades etc.
 

Qui-Gon

Well-Known Member
C++
@Cuong Ly I've been using his YouTube as well, GregMat is awesome. Though, most of the value I have derived from him has been with respect to the AWA section. Since most of his quant videos focus on official ETS questions, I didn't feel any performance value-add since a lot of the official ETS material is dated -- especially with respect to quant. Did you join GregMat+?

@Michsund I was able to find individual pdfs for each of the 6 quant books and they seem to provide a lot of content. Thanks!
 
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Cuong Ly

Active Member
C++
Python
Join GregMat+ asap. I regret not knowing him sooner; it's only $5/month. There are extreme quant problems of the days. These mostly are GMAT 700 levels, but it helps.
 

PongoShib

Active Member
I was in a similar position as you. I got 166Q/161V but took it again the next month. I got 169-170 in the two free practice tests so I didn't study much. However, I also slept like 2 hours the day before for a reason I don't remember. For my second exam, I purchased two more practice exams from ETS. I took them a few days before my exam date and ended up with a 170Q/169V split.
 

Qui-Gon

Well-Known Member
C++
This is reassuring. I just was granted access to the GRE diagnostic service yesterday for my test, and looking at my results I found all but two of my wrong answers were on data analysis questions. Thus, I have been and plan to continue mainly studying these question types before my next test in ~2 weeks. That said, do you feel the additional two ETS practice tests had a meaningful impact on your score bump?
 

PongoShib

Active Member
This is reassuring. I just was granted access to the GRE diagnostic service yesterday for my test, and looking at my results I found all but two of my wrong answers were on data analysis questions. Thus, I have been and plan to continue mainly studying these question types before my next test in ~2 weeks. That said, do you feel the additional two official practice tests had a meaningful impact on your score bump?
Not sure to be honest. In total, I've only done 4 practice tests for the GRE. I think the key thing to focus on is that only a few questions are the difference between 164 and 170. I would just try to be quick and efficient when solving the quant sections. When I was doing my practice exams, I usually skipped the verbal sections or skimmed them and tried to do the quant sections as quickly as possible. Moreover, for data analysis, I'm sure those were just minor mistakes from not reading what the question is asking or perhaps a computational error. Just being careful might make up the difference for you.
 
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