GRE for Grad School (architecture)


Hello everyone,

Im currently a project Designer at a architecture firm in sac who has a undergradate degree in interior architecture.

 I’m going to apply to grad school to get an Master in architecture and I know the requirements I need. I got my portfolio, and the ppl I need to write a letter of recommendation,  but the only that is kinda scaring me is the GRE exam scores. I’m not good with those type of exams and I’ve been studying for it for the last 4 months but I still feel like I’m not going to do well. I already know that I’m not good on the math section. So I’m going to try my best on the essay and vocab section. 

My question to everyone is how much do schools look at the score when considering who will get accepted? 

Thanks for the replies and Happy Hoildays!!!

Dec 22, 18 9:07 pm

Sounds like you haven't taken the GRE yet? So I'm guessing you aren't
applying this year correct? If so... that means you have tons of time to
prep. The quant section is not that hard.. it goes up to fucking Algebra 2. You know.. the math you do in elementary/jr. high school. 

Dec 23, 18 3:47 am

Correct, I’m going to apply fall 2019 and gonna take the gre this Feb 2019,


But I’m looking at the practice questions and the way they are phrasing the question is not something from elementary/high school.


Not an ad, but look up Magoosh. They have a free blog with tips. If you can swing the price, they have an online prep program that helped me raise my score by 5 points in verbal and math.

Dec 23, 18 11:58 am

the GRE is absurdly easy. if you've been studying for four months, surely you've also been taking practice tests and you know approximately what scores to expect. 

a perfect (or near-perfect score) is easier to attain on the GRE than any other standardized test I know, so excellent scores won't really help your chances so much as terrible scores will hurt them. don't completely bomb the test, and as long as your other materials are strong you will be fine.

Dec 23, 18 3:56 pm

I second the rec for Magoosh (and also have no affiliation with the company). 

OP, I understand where you're coming from with the math stuff, and I think some others here are downplaying the difficulty. I always got top scores on math tests through high school (and the one quant class I had in college) but after three years out of school only doing calculations in Excel, the GRE questions were disappointingly tough. 

The Magoosh videos were great because you can skip the ones you don't need, and you can watch the rest at 1.5x or 2x speed if you want. And they have lots of practice questions.

Dec 23, 18 4:35 pm

in this case, the difficulty of the math section is absolutely quantifiable.
a perfect score is only in the 92nd percentile, meaning that 8% of all GRE math sections score perfect.


a less-than-perfect GRE math score is often a significant ding against applicants to programs that require substantial math (of which architecture is not one, but still). it’s an extremely easy test if you study a bit for it.


I just took it for grad school. I'm terrible at math and barely had much time to study other than a couple hours here and there. Having not taken math really since freshman year of college it was actually pretty easy stuff. It gets tricky because they take easy problems and make them worded strangely to add extra work at solving them. Some of them I was just like, "I know how to do this but I really don't feel like" as the you run out of time pretty quick. The reading and writing were fine as well. If anything the time constraints are more cumbersome than anything. 

Dec 28, 18 11:30 pm

People that go into architecture usually don't want to be doing math all that much, otherwise they would have chosen a different subject/career all together. Unless of course you're into scripting and programming already, but in that case math will not be much of a problem I suppose. Therefore architecture programs are not that anal about it either, you need to know your basics but that's about it. It doesn't make you necessarily a better designer if you get a perfect score on your math test and those programs know that too. So, just relax a little and don't fuck it up too much.

Dec 29, 18 2:04 am


So I just took my exam and I didn’t do well. I honestly don’t know if I’m forked. I don’t have time (or even want to) to retake. 

Nov 26, 19 12:50 am

You said you don't feel up to taking another test, so don't waste your time studying for it or worrying about your score at this point. Especially if you don't think you can improve your score right now. Seems way more important to spend your time on your statements and portfolio now. If you don't get in because of a GRE score you can take it again next year when you have more time to put into it. Good luck!

Nov 26, 19 1:13 am

The GRE isn't a major factor in most admissions decisions.  Taking it multiple times doesn't necessarily help much: all the results are still reported.  In their candidate matrices some universities enter only the most recent score (whether it's the highest or not), some use an average of all of them, some use whichever is highest...  In any case it's only likely to factor into the decision heavily if it's extremely high or low (think 99th percentile, or 10th percentile and below) or if your GPA is very low but your fairly high GRE scores help indicate stronger academic potential than your GPA would suggest on its own.

Nov 26, 19 10:03 am

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