GREs enough to get into top schools?

  • If you want to know something about the GRE subject test in physics then chances are you will find it in here.
  • If something about the physics GRE it isn't already discussed in here then please put it in here.

dexgen
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:32 pm

GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby dexgen » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:34 pm

Hi,

I'm wondering if the GRE scores are enough to get into top schools. I got a 990 in the nov 2008 physics GRE and my General scores were also decent (800 on analytical, 620 (89th percentile) on verbal and 4.5 on writing). I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if these scores will guarantee entry into top grade universities (Harvard, Ivy league) or they'd require more. (I'm hoping that I'd also get good recommendation letter.)

Thanks

abeboparebop
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:26 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby abeboparebop » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:39 pm

Top grade universities will almost certainly require research experience, unless there's some compelling reason why you haven't done any.

Depends where you're from, too -- as a domestic with an otherwise average application, that will give you a strong chance. As an international, you'd probably need more.

dexgen
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:32 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby dexgen » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:48 pm

I am currently in a direct PhD program in Canada. GPA of 3.85 in undergrad. A lot of research experience but no publications (I attribute this to bad luck among some other factors.)

User avatar
secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby secander2! » Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:56 pm

Nope, the cutoff for entrance to the Ivys is a 1000 this year, 990 just won't cut it anymore :D

Of course, you're never guaranteed entrance, but with good grades, good recommendations, good GREs, and good research, I would imagine that you'll be able to get into the majority of top schools.

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby cato88 » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:16 pm

dexgen wrote:Hi,

I'm wondering if the GRE scores are enough to get into top schools. I got a 990 in the nov 2008 physics GRE and my General scores were also decent (800 on analytical, 620 (89th percentile) on verbal and 4.5 on writing). I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if these scores will guarantee entry into top grade universities (Harvard, Ivy league) or they'd require more. (I'm hoping that I'd also get good recommendation letter.)

Thanks



You have a perfect score in PGRE and you're asking if thats enough to get into the top schools,Is this a joke????

User avatar
xudis149
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:03 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby xudis149 » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:47 pm

A Forward Flying 2 ½ Somersault from a 10m diving board is mandatory for admission to TOP schools this year...
get your swimsuits ready... :wink:

User avatar
Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby Helio » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:50 am

Here the question seems like a joke to most, but it is honestly valid. I am going to give my 2 cents guaranteed no high probability yes. not shooting your hopes down here. just the whole process is a crap shoot anyway. You will get into somewhere around harvard, stanford MIT, UChicago, one of them but not all, it is just that weird research orientation, departmental requirements, et. etc flow into this process that you never know. i am still hoping for a miracle on my part

stardust
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby stardust » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:13 am

The schools may wonder why you are leaving the grad program you are in.

I think those scores will guarantee you get considered at least and not weeded out,
but no, not a guaranteed acceptance. You have to match the research interests of
the people who have open spaces available. If a school say, got more acceptances back
a year ago, they accept less people this year. The schools also look to balance out
diversity and such. They do look at other things like research experience. I don't
think publications are really required at this stage, so I don't think they will hold that
against you. You need 3 outstanding letters, not just 1. What I heard they look for
in letters is at least 1 recommender who is willing to jump up and down for you. They also
look for letter writers they heard of. You have a chance certainly, but not a guarantee.

valkyrie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:50 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby valkyrie » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:45 am

I happen to be an undergrad at an Ivy, and the way our head of Physics department put it, was basically "Recommendations and research experience are what gets you in, test scores and GPA are things that can keep you out."

So no, a perfect GRE score will not guarantee you acceptance - but since you also have research experience and hopefully good letters, you should have a very strong chance.

User avatar
G01
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:54 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby G01 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:51 pm

valkyrie wrote:I happen to be an undergrad at an Ivy, and the way our head of Physics department put it, was basically "Recommendations and research experience are what gets you in, test scores and GPA are things that can keep you out."


I agree. I think the best anyone can say is that your scores will not keep you out of anywhere, but no score is going to guarantee acceptance.

naroays
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:57 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby naroays » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:15 am

I echo what valkyrie & G01 have said. The GRE is not important, your research experience is.

larry burns
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:12 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby larry burns » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:11 pm

G01 wrote:
valkyrie wrote:I happen to be an undergrad at an Ivy, and the way our head of Physics department put it, was basically "Recommendations and research experience are what gets you in, test scores and GPA are things that can keep you out."


I agree. I think the best anyone can say is that your scores will not keep you out of anywhere, but no score is going to guarantee acceptance.


so for a applicant with average stats aiming for a top 10 school, is there really any difference between an good PGRE and an excellent one? What incentive is there to aim for say a 950 vs a 850? or 900 vs 800?

kroner
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:58 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby kroner » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:30 pm

It will make your application a little better.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:10 pm

larry burns wrote:
G01 wrote:
valkyrie wrote:I happen to be an undergrad at an Ivy, and the way our head of Physics department put it, was basically "Recommendations and research experience are what gets you in, test scores and GPA are things that can keep you out."


I agree. I think the best anyone can say is that your scores will not keep you out of anywhere, but no score is going to guarantee acceptance.


so for a applicant with average stats aiming for a top 10 school, is there really any difference between an good PGRE and an excellent one? What incentive is there to aim for say a 950 vs a 850? or 900 vs 800?


The question is, if you're capable of it... Why not improve it?

You want to feel confident in your application and the best way is to have everything as good as you can possibly make it.

-Riley

User avatar
InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:22 pm

What if you have a very high PGRE score, but a GPA of around 3.15? (last 2 year GPA of 3.6)? With some research experience (non-exceptional)

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby grae313 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:53 am

InquilineKea wrote:What if you have a very high PGRE score, but a GPA of around 3.15? (last 2 year GPA of 3.6)? With some research experience (non-exceptional)


I feel like you've been around here way too long to be asking this sort of question, and I bet you know the answer you just want to hear it from someone else.

User avatar
InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby InquilineKea » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:16 am

^Well, I know that it would definitely be good enough for Tier 2 schools. But honestly, the average PGRE scores for Tier 1 schools tend to go well into the 800s. Do they just accept most applicants who have scores above 950 or something? I was imagining that PGRE scores > 900 would HELP, but would not be sufficient in themselves, especially if the rest of your application just isn't that strong. All the advisers tell me that you need *strong* PGREs, *strong* research, *strong* GPA, and *strong* recommendations for Tier 1s (of course, you can be weak in *one* area, but then you must be phenomenal in all the others). Are they actually wrong?

Honestly, I'd imagine that most people with phenomenal PGRE scores would also be strong on most other aspects (not necessarily all of them, however). The sample size of high PGRE + low GPA (in non-Caltech/Chicago institutions) seems to be very low.

But then, re-reading the replies in this thread and thinking about it more, it means that it will definitely put your application under consideration (MAYBE that DOES mean that it psychologically cancels out the effect of poor GPA, ESPECIALLY if last 2-year GPA is decent). But you'd still most likely need strong research. That being said, I'm wondering about the case where the person has average research.

I do, however, feel like I'd get a much harsher response if I posted this on Physics Forums instead of here.

Ryalnos
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: GREs enough to get into top schools?

Postby Ryalnos » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:20 pm

GRE in the 90% + range and high grades will make the top 10 no longer laugh at your application (I exaggerate a wee bit here).

From there it will vary quite a bit, depending on your research experience and recommendation letters as well as the whims of the committee ("luck").




Return to “Physics GRE Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest