A recurrent debate in academia is: How much should standardize test scores count in admissions? This debate occurs at Williams, but the College, like almost all its elite peers, decided long ago that the answer would be: A lot! Graduate school admissions, on the other hand, are more varied. Some schools/programs prefer not to weight GRE scores that heavily, sometimes justifying this stance by noting that such scores don’t predict success in graduate school that well. Of course, most of the time this lack of success is due to a restriction of range. Math GRE scores don’t predict success in the Harvard Physics PhD program because all the students in the program have 800s.

In this context, Taylor Rabon, a biology post-doc at Indiana, tweeted:


1) Exactly right! Standardized test scores probably help the student from U Mass in her competition with the student from Williams.

2) Always nice to see Williams used to mean privileged. This is part of our brand!

3) I have heard that Williams professors do an excellent job, on average, in their recommendation letters. True? The Physics Department, for example, has an amazing track record in terms of getting its students into top graduate programs.

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