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Is there any international aptitude test for college-level mathematics that can help Graduate Admission?

Is there any agency that conduct such a test?

Will it be better to take some courses in Math in the university, apart from my major study program?

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Like this? – J. M. Oct 25 '11 at 15:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Nearly all Ph.D. programs in United States require the GRE Subject Test in Mathematics. This is a standardized test administered by the ETS and measures elementary skill in Calculus (single and multivariable), Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis and Topology. The GRE test attempts to measure the effectiveness of your undergraduate classes. If your percentile is high enough, you will stand out.

If, however, you're looking for competitions to pad your resume, consider doing the Putnam Math Competition. This is a challenging 12-problem test administered once a year that requires mathematical knowledge, aptitude and creativity. Scoring well on this test (like Putnam Top 500) demonstrates that you have the potential to tackle challenging problems.

Unfortunately, Putnam competition is U.S. only. You may also be interested in Mathematical Contest in Modeling, which is international. I've heard it referred to as the Putnam Competition of Applied Math. This competition presents three open-ended problems. In a group of {2,3} people, you attempt to answer the problem by developing a mathematical model in the span of several days (around 72 hours, I think)

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I think many Canadian universities also compete in the Putnam, so it's certainly not U.S. only. I don't know what restrictions it has though, as I'm pretty certain it's not a global thing. The IMO and the Informatics Olympiad are also very popular, and far more global. – Ryan Budney Oct 27 '11 at 21:15
"Nearly all" require GRE subject test???? My understanding is most don't. Mine did not. – Graphth Oct 27 '11 at 21:18
The GRE is a very rudimentary test. I don't really see it as a test to see how suitable you are for grad studies, it's more of a test to see if you remember the basics from your undergraduate education. At the moment I don't think I can imagine a good universal test for aptitude for graduate studies, as there's so much variation among people -- a test that's suitable for one personality type might be completely inappropriate for another. – Ryan Budney Oct 27 '11 at 21:21
The IMO is the best option for international math grad school resume padding, I think, because everybody knows what it is, and doing well on it is a meaningful result. But it is worth pointing out that the IMO is not really an aptitude test for college-level mathematics; it is an aptitude test for problem solving. A lot of subject matter that PhD programs want their students to know is not tested by the IMO, and a shaky background in these things (demonstrated e.g. on transcripts) would preclude admission to many programs almost regardless of IMO performance (unless you did very well). – leslie townes Oct 27 '11 at 23:20

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