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Thread: Is the GRE important?

  1. #1

    Is the GRE important?

    I seriously don't think GRE is an appropriate indicator for grad school performance.

    I got only 1140..
    but my undergrad GPA is 4.0 from an ivy league institution.

    Anyway, do you think 1140 is sufficient for the top schools like mit and gsd??

    I just hope they don't value GRE that much..

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by wrongaccount View post
    Anyway, do you think 1140 is sufficient for the top schools like mit and gsd??
    Hard to say, I know that in the case of Rutgers, 1100 combined is the bare minimum. When I was at the MIT Open House a few weeks ago there was no mention of the GRE at all. I'm not sure if that means it isn't that important or that it is just assumed that everybody applying probably has above average scores. That being said, looking at data for the top schools and the median scores tend to be in the mid to high 1200's.

  3. #3
    From what I've heard, the GRE isn't as important a factor for admissions in urban planning as it is in other grad programs. You have to imagine, though, that schools like MIT and Harvard are going to be very selective and looking for any reason to deny an applicant.

    I mean, your GPA is obviously solid and you stand a chance anywhere, but I tend to believe that for the top schools, at least, there is a tacit understanding applicants will have high test scores.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    When I went to MIT's open house (a couple open houses ago) someone asked about GREs. The head of the program said that they first see if an applicant is in the "middle range." If yes, then they don't really think any more about GRE and move on to Personal Statement (most important) and Recommendations. If someone is below average they're going to look at that more closely; same if someone is way above average. He didn't say what he considered "middle range" but my guess is 1200-1400.

    I got the impression from Harvard that they put more emphasis on it than MIT. When I spoke to a prof about my chances of acceptance it was the first question he asked.

  5. #5
    EDIT: I'm gonna go ahead and post my response since I made it before you deleted your post.

    I would say that quantitative score is probably too low. I imagine the percentile for that score isn't that great. The verbal score on the other hand is just fantastic. It really depends how they look at it, and I have no idea how MIT weighs it. The overall score of 1320 is solid, but they could be concerned when they break it down to each section. With your GPA and work experience, though, they may overlook the quantitative score, because aside from that, your qualifications seem great.

    This is all really conjecture on my part, though, so maybe someone else has a bit more insight.
    Last edited by jhawkins; 19 Nov 2009 at 8:53 PM. Reason: .

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    There are still several schools that do not require the GRE for admissions. Unfortunately, Harvard and MIT do and they are among the most competitive. Still, a strong academic record and personal essay might just be enough to get you in. GRE's don't tell the whole story in my opinion.

  7. #7
    I just read somewhere, forgot where at the moment, that GRE scores are really only correlated with sticking out your first year of grad school, and that GPA is a better indicator of overall success. The explanation of this is, of course that a GPA is something you build over the course of 4 years, and is a much better reflection of your caliber.

    Of course, institutions can rarely resist the temptation to use some kind of standardized measure... even if it's really not that helpful. The SAT is falling out of favor for the same reasons.

  8. #8
    wrongaccount, take *THE BEST* GRE prep course and take the GRE over again. When a person with a top GPA from an Ivy school doesn't do well, chances are that person does not think at all the way the exam-writers think. (In the non-math parts, that is.) The prep course teaches you how to think just like the test-writers.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    1300 or above?

    Would 1350+ on the GRE be enough for schools like cornell, penn, columbia and nyu?
    I'm trying to score 1400 or more to make up for my bad GPA....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by krbxtigerz View post
    Would 1350+ on the GRE be enough for schools like cornell, penn, columbia and nyu?
    I'm trying to score 1400 or more to make up for my bad GPA....
    That sounds like a very good GRE score that some schools would love to take you in for. The ones you named happen to be very competitive and might weigh the exam heavier but then, if they consider you a right fit, you might just get in somewhere. I suggest doing some more research on schools and find places you really feel comfortable with rather than just look for prestigious names. Who knows, you might make something really well out of it.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    GRE is a gateway

    Wrongaccount:

    I've heard that the GRE isn't terribly important, but it needs to not be a reason they think you're undisciplined or an idiot. You obviously have the brains to do well on the test given your GPA, so you need to get a decent score on the GRE so they know you can jump through this relatively simple hoop -- because graduate school is harder than getting a 1300 on the GRE.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    what if my GPA is ugly (around 3.17 if converted to a scale of 4), but GRE is pretty decent (1500+)? would that GRE score make up for my low GPA?

    well.. my major GPA is quite good, around 3.60. but would they really calculate your Major GPA if it's not shown on transcript? i personally don't think so..

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    GRE, that's a tough test

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