1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
Re: GRE Subject Test
This is just my opinion. It may be a little harsh, but that's the life of a PhD student.
If you want to do an additional test, the relevant tests are the GRE and the GMAT. So, take both. Focus on them.
If you really are that good in Math, you should be able to get perfect Quantitative scores in both tests. A 170Q GRE plus a 51Q GMAT is mightly impressive. That should be more than enough to show them that your Math skills are more than sufficient for acceptance and after that they will analyze the rest of your application. I think for most, if not all applications you are going to do, there will no space available for you to inform a Subject test score anyway since they just ask you to report the GMAT and the GRE. You'd have to include the score somewhere else, like the Statement of Purpose and it would become a small detail.
If they are still in doubt about it, they will probably ask you during an interview. And then you can explain. So, no need to do the GRE Subject test.
There are also a few things you wrote that doesn't sound good to me.
You wrote that the Mathematical department was very strict. Well, if you found the Mathematical department was very strict at undergraduate level, do you really think at the PhD level they will go any easier on you? That you are ready for it? This is the kind of excuse/complaint that many professors don't want to hear from a PhD student. Yeah, we are hard, did you expect anything different? They don't want a student who gets low grades and blame the department for being strict.
You also wrote that you want to show that you can handle math levels in Finance PhD. Well, I'm sorry, it's very hard to do that. People really underestimate the math levels of a PhD. I tell them it's hard, but they don't believe. I participated in Math competitions when I was a teenager. I usually got As in my math classes in undergrad, at the top university in my country, and it was not a walk in the park either. I also got A in Econometrics during my Masters. Now, in the PhD? I'm extremely happy if I get a B. Just to be able to understand some of the stuff which is being taught is an accomplishment to me.
Last semester I was struggling so hard, that I started to look for some people to help me. I contacted some people with undergrad in Math, masters in Statistics. When I showed them my homework, they said my professor was crazy and said it was too much for them too.
The students in my class are good. Not only good, really excellent. Economics, Accounting, Finance PhD students from China, Korea, India. About 3 weeks ago the professor gave us some problems to solve as homework. We have been discussing that problem since then, without a final answer. The TA tried to solve for us, and he found two possible answers. Then he asked the professor, and came back with another answer, showing something nobody had noticed. But it seems the answer is still missing something, it does not really fit the way it should, the solution is not clear to us. He said he will talk to the professor again, so he can solve it for us. So, you have a whole class, plus the TA, trying to solve a problem for 3 weeks with no success. And you want to convince the faculty that you can do that kind of thing by yourself just by showing a GRE subject score?
So, don't try to convince them that you can handle math in PhD. The truth is that you probably can't. It's that way for virtually everyone, at least in my experience here so far. Even the professors. Last semester, there were many times when even the professor asked for a time to think, because he also was struggling, and sometimes he gave up and said he would bring the solution in next class. And this professor got his undergrad in Math/Economics from MIT, later with a PhD in Economics from Berkeley. I have no doubt he is great in math. But still not enough to handle his own class.
A PhD will push you beyond your limits, whatever they are. Part of the process is learning to fail, learning to persist. Because many of us never had to face a situation like this before in our lives, and that is a requirement to be a researcher. My advisor often says that I shouldn't take a course I feel I'm ready for. If I feel like that, I should take another course, more advanced, where I will be challenged.
Your goal is to convince them that you are good enough to be accepted to the program. If you do the GRE Subject test, it is not a common thing. They may be curious about it, you may draw attention to some weakness that they wouldn't otherwise care about, and if they ask you for an explanation, your explanation doesn't sound good to me.
Remember that the scores are just a small part of your application, and even great scores will not make low grades disappear.