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Readers Respond: Does A Good Score Even Matter?

Responses: 115


From the article: What's a Good GRE Score?

Does a good score on a standardized test even matter? We spend a lot of time prepping for things like the SAT, ACT and GRE, but is the score as important as everyone makes it out to be?

What about you? Did your SAT score matter? Did you miss getting into the school of your choice because of your ACT score? Did your GRE score make the difference between admittance to a community college and a university? Were you barred from law school because of your LSAT? Tell me your story! We'd all like to know.

Before you submit your response, check out the Revised Verbal and Quantitative scores to figure out your percentile!

Low Math worries me

I've taken practice tests that put me in 79th percentile in V but a low 40th percentile in math. My undergrad gpa was a 3.19. I'm planning to go into a Masters of Education program in a public university in Texas. My professional background is pretty strong...what do you think my possibilities in getting in are? If I have a similar score in my actual GRE should I retake it? ANSWER: It depends! Are you planning to teach math? =) I've found that if you're going into education and your field is very different from your low score, than it doesn't quite matter if everything else is stellar. Your GPA is fairly good. I'd practice the Quantitative section more, then take it. If you're still in the 40th - 50th range, then apply if you're heading into an English/Arts teaching field. If you dip below that range, or your degree is in the sciences or math, then you'd better retake it.
—Guest bitel

PhD school range?

I just took the GRE test yesterday and I got 150 on Verbal and 167 on Quant. I am studying in Electrical Engineering BS program of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I am on my third year so I am not sure about the final GPA but right now it stands at 3.92. The thing I worried most is I do not have any work exp as well as research exp (I will have two big projects for my final year though). So do you think my situation is good enough for PhD and which school range would you recommend? ANSWER: Although I can't suggest a school for you - there are a ton of great schools out there who may accept you because of your great Quant score and GPA - I can suggest that you go with your gut and get some experience. There are few schools that will admit a student straight from undergrad with no experience into a PhD program. Intern for a semester AT LEAST. Make sure your research projects push you into the field. Better yet, wait on the PhD program until you get some real-world experience in the job market and go back to it to advance your career. Some companies will pay for you to complete it!
—Guest Luke L


I scored 155 in verbal and 169 in Quant. My writing score was a 4.5. I have a mediocre CGPA of 3.0. I'd like to know about my chances if I intend to pursue graduation in computer science. ANSWER: Well, your Quantitative score is awesome, and your Verbal is above average. It really depends on where you'd like to apply. Some really great CS schools are probably going to turn you down because of the GPA, but a mid-upper range school will likely take you if you have a little bit of experience to back up that Quantitative score. Your GPA isn't everything, but it helps to balance out a less than perfect GPA with a killer interview, amazing references, fantastic work experience, etc.
—Guest sks

Computer Science grad programs.

I got 165 for quant and 163 for verbal. I am a little disappointed for quant but don't want to retake the GRE because I feel like my verbal score would decrease significantly. I currently have 3.9/4.0 GPA. I have tutored computer science, psychology, and music to other college students and had other music related jobs. This summer, I am working as an intern managing a website. My worries are that I don't have any published works nor had any "real" work.(All my jobs were on-campus) I am trying to distinguish myself by my "multiculturalness"(I have lived in 7 different countries) and my rather unique majors (CS and music. I am trying to integrate the field at grad school.) Would this be sufficient to get into top 10 (or top 20??) grad school? Or should I retake the GRE? I would appreciate some input, thanks! ANSWER: Keep in mind that the admissions counselors will consider the best of your scores. So, if you retake the GRE and score lower on the Verbal section, but higher on the Quantitative section, they'll consider the previous Verbal and the later Quant. So feel free to retake without that worry. With that being said, I don't think you need to retake it at all. You're over the 90th percentile for both sections, and your GPA is stellar. With your background and ability to go from CS to music, you'd be a shoo-in in my opinion. Good luck!
—Guest HK

should I retake

I am applying for a masters degree in biostatistics and epidemiology. I took the new GRE last February and had a score of V144 Q 151 and AW of 3.5. I am applying to the university of south florida. should i retake the test? ANSWER: I would. Your scores are below average - your Verbal score is only the 21st percentile. Although your school of choice doesn't rank as one of the best in the country, I'd study and at least shoot for a score out of the low percentiles. Study up! This GRE is not like the prior. You'll need to master the techniques and test questions to really do well on it!
—Guest marian

Stanford Engineering

Hi, I scored 150/170/3.5 for verbal, quant, and writing, 3.968/4.0 GPA. I have some research experiences. should I retake GRE to improve my verbal score. What else should I consider to get higher chance getting into Stanford engineering school (master) ANSWER: If I were you, I'd apply as is. That Quantitative score is amazing! Your GPA is killer, too. If you're rejected, then retake the GRE and submit your scores ASAP. They'll consider the highest of each section, so even if you score lower on the Quantitative section, they'll see that at one time, you scored a 170.
—Guest Alex

Good gre score?

Is a verbal of151 and quant of 162 good for top colleges.got gpa of 3.36. ANSWER: Although your Quantitative score is pretty good - in the 80th percentile range - your Verbal score is just below average. With a less than perfect GPA, you'll struggle a bit to get into the very best of the best. Retake or shoot a bit lower unless you have a hidden publication, exceptional work experience or the like.
—Guest Usha


My Gre score is 306,150 v and 156 q, I have 1 research pub,GPA-3.75,My field is Mol. and Cell biology. 7 yrs pharma research ,Can I get average Biology depts of Ohio state,Missisippi,etc ANSWER: Definitely. Your publication puts you above your competition and that research background gives you a big boost, too. Go for it!
—Guest sunita

Retake the GRE

Hello, I took the GRE last month and I got Verbal-159, Math-157, Essay- 5.0. I got a 3.3 undergrad GPA, and have been working for 4 years in a high level engineering company. I am looking to apply to engineering graduate schools like UC Berkeley, Stanford, U Washington. I am worried about by math score being a bit low. If I retake the GRE to try to get a better math score, can I only take the math sections of the GRE and skip the english/essay sections? How do the new reporting guideline work? Thanks. ANSWER: Unfortunately, you'll probably need to retake if you haven't already. Your Quant score, although good, isn't amazing in the 71st percentile, and schools like the ones you've mentioned can be as exclusive as they'd like to be. Get into the 80's, locate your missing GPA, and apply! Your experience should open up some doors. Good luck!
—Guest Solon S

Worried about Quant score

I am applying to the Masters program in Kinesiology and just took the GRE. My Verbal score was 163 and my Quant score was 147. I am having a lot of trouble finding out if this is good or bad. I have not been in school for 25 years and don't remember what my GPA was, but I recall that it was fairly good. Can you help me interpret this? Do they use the cumulative score in which case I think that my good Verbal will balance out my not so good Quant? I haven't gotten my essay score back yet. ANSWER: They will look at each score exclusively. I'd schedule a retake if I were you! That quantitative score (in the 30th percentile) is not going to do you any favors.
—Guest Tippi H

Is my score good enough for an admission

I secured a 157 in verbal and 163 in quant in my GRE. do you think I would have to retake the GRE? Im looking for admission in a decent dual degree program. MS+MBA. ANSWER: Your Quantitative score is very good and your Verbal score is good, too (88th and 73rd percentile). It really depends on where you'd like to go. If you're shooting for a top school or an exclusive program, then your GPA, references and interview will come heavily into play, too, but your scores are good enough to get you an interview, at least.
—Guest nje

Physics Major

My verbal is only 143, but my quantitative is 169 and AW is 4.0. I'm an international student. I'm wondering if my poor verbal score would influence my application to top 20 grad school in physics. Thanks for your response. ANSWER: If your TOEFL scores make the cut (there will definitely be a TOEFL requirement), then your GRE Verbal will probably not hold you back, especially because your Quantitative score is so high and you're going for a math-heavy field.
—Guest MingTso

Ok Enough for Music Phd at top school?

Hi, I had taken the GRE two years ago and wasn't happy with my scores (V:560, Q:570; AW: 4.5) so I retook the revised GRE. My scores for that came back as V:160 and Q: 154. I'm looking into DMA and PhD programs in music. Particularly, I want to get into NYU Steinhardt's program. My GPA from undergrad was 3.98, and my master's GPA is currently about the same (just shy of 4.0; one A- in one course). What do you think my overall chances are? Thanks! ANSWER: Getting into a program like that is more than just a scores game. Although your scores are above average and your GPA is fantastic, your musicality, experience and references will be called into question more than just your scores.
—Guest KMil

Retaking the GRE

Hello-my GRE scores were Verbal 159 (80%) Quant 157 (71%) Analytical 5.0 (92%) I will be applying for Civil Engineering programs in the Fall. I don't think my math score was good enough. I was regularly getting 90% on the practice tests. However, on test day I was very Jet Lagged after flying across the world the day before and flubbed the math section. I want to re-take the test but had some questions. I am happy with the verbal/essay scores, so can I retake the test, but skip those sections during the exam? That way I can reserve some brain power to try and maximize my Math score. Is this a good strategy, or will a 0 score on the second test for verbal/essay sections reflect poorly on me? My verbal/essay scores were in line with my practice test results so I doubt I can improve them much. ANSWER: I don't know that I would risk that strategy. It could make you appear lazy to the school to which you're interested in applying. I'd retake it, focusing on math AND on Verbal. Your 80% could certainly improve! Often, a retake gains you a few points just because you've figured out the test system a bit better, and nervousness wears off. Use the Score Select option to send both your first test AND your second test scores. Most schools will take the best scores from both administrations into consideration.
—Guest Engineering Student

Re: universities

my quant is 159 and verbal is 148. I am applying to universities, but, also at the same time I am planning to retake GRE. Suppose I get an even better score in the Gre test that I take up, can I send the new score to the university where I had applied before with the previous Gre score? Also, with 307, suppose I do get admission in a college, but, no scholarship and apply. But, I retake Gre and get a good score can I again send the revised gre score to that same university for availing scholarship and would they accept? Please do reply asap. Thank you. ANSWER: The GRE offers a Score Select option, meaning you can send all of your scores if you'd like, a particular score or scores, or the most recent score. By all means, retake the test and then choose which score you'd like to represent you! The university will accept whichever score you'd like them to consider.
—Guest Vaibhav
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