September 2017 PGRE Scores?

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daisy137
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:56 am

September 2017 PGRE Scores?

Postby daisy137 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:22 pm

Is anyone else surprised by their September 2017 PGRE scores? I'm very confused by mine - I took every practice exam available under timed, testing conditions and always received a fairly comfortable 990 (not even close to the boundary between 990 and 980) and I felt the actual test went even better than my practice tests (only three questions I was unsure of on the whole test, plus I checked my work on nearly every question), so I am very shocked to have received a 970.

Anyone else surprised by their scores, or think they know how many wrong questions converted to their scaled score? The only idea I can come up with is that the scaling between raw score and scaled score must have been very different from what I am used to as it seemed to be an easier test, but still, typically one can miss 8 or 9 questions and still get a 990 (even with the elimination of the guess penalty if the most recent practice test is any example), and I am racking my brain to think of any possible mistakes I may have made. Never in my life have I made silly algebra/calculation errors on an exam and I'd be surprised if that were it. I'm just confused - can anyone please shed some light?

alex
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:44 pm

Re: September 2017 PGRE Scores?

Postby alex » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:52 pm

I was also surprised by my score. I also felt the test was easier than usual, but received a lower score than usual. I was expecting a score in the mid 700's based on practice tests and the amount of content I was comfortable with. My actual score was much lower and doesn't make much sense in terms of the usual scaling. What was particularly odd for me was that I studied much more for this test than a previous PGRE I took, and yet my score went down. This might be further anecdotal evidence that higher raw scores were scaling to lower scaled scores. Maybe an easier test implies higher raw scores in general?

daisy137
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:56 am

Re: September 2017 PGRE Scores?

Postby daisy137 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:34 pm

Well, it's somewhat comforting to hear it's not just me (sorry to hear you were disappointed as well, though). Very frustrated about it; I can't help but feel that if it were a harder test, I would have gotten a higher score as scaling wouldn't be so sensitive to the occasional arithmetic error here and there -- instead of, you know, how comprehensive your knowledge of physics is!

Can't believe I might end up taking this test again, ugh...

alex
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:44 pm

Re: September 2017 PGRE Scores?

Postby alex » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:00 am

While a 970 (raw score ~82 on 1117) may feel low for someone who normally aces this kind of test, I've never seen any information that says it is treated any differently than a 990 by any university. Have you? The time and money involved in raising a 970 might be better spent on other aspects of an application.

TakeruK
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: September 2017 PGRE Scores?

Postby TakeruK » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:55 pm

A 970 is basically indistinguishable from a 990.

ETS (the company that administers the GRE) publishes guidelines on how to use and interpret the test scores. Two useful places to read:

Overview website: https://www.ets.org/gre/institutions/scores/guidelines/

and

Detailed PDF: https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide.pdf

I want to point out that the standard error of measurement of the Physics Subject GRE test is 35 for individual scores and 49 for score comparisons (as you may know, subtracting two measurements increases the uncertainty of that value). Reference is Table 5 on page 30 of the PDF. Therefore, assuming you perform exactly the same in each test, it's normal to have variations between 30 and 40 points. Furthermore, it means when you are comparing two candidates, there is no meaningful difference between a score difference of 50 points.

So I think a candidate with a score of 970 is going to be considered the same as 990. Admissions are not based on Physics GRE score alone, there is no reasonable situation where you would have gotten into a school with a 990 instead of a 970 with everything else the same.

animephysics33
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:36 pm

Re: September 2017 PGRE Scores?

Postby animephysics33 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:09 pm

I thought mine went alright but I did not get as high as I expected either. I think it has a lot to do with the new scoring system. The lack of negative marking anymore means that they get scaled differently, maybe because everyone does a little better? That's my best guess.




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