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How will the GRE be used by AdComs this year?


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I've been wondering how the GRE is going to be used by admissions committees this year, and thought I'd make a post to see what you all are thinking. I was happy with my GRE score (169Q, 167V, 5.5W) and was hoping it would send a good signal confirming my undergrad grades. I have a very strong GPA in my math (3.9) and econ (4.0) majors, but because my university is a pretty small and unknown school I know committees might be a little unsure how seriously to take those grades. I was hoping the strong GRE would be a good confirmation -- of course alongside good letters of recommendation, research experience, and all the rest.


Maybe it was never realistic to think the GRE could help me in that way, but I am wondering whether a strong GRE will still help an applicant like me given that many schools are not requiring it this year? Are schools just not really going to consider anyone's GRE, or will it still just be used as a cutoff tool to thin the pool of applicants? This latter seems unlikely, because anyone with a middle or poor GRE score that would get them put aside will presumably just not submit it. Anybody actually sitting on committees this year that can offer insight?

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Normally we require the GRE. This year it is optional.


In normal times, the GRE is simply a screening devise. If you have low scores, we may not seriously consider your application. We also consider all three components, not just math.


I think your intuition is correct that not submitting GRE scores is probably a bad signal, but it could certainly be overcome with very strong reference letters and transcripts.

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