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Taking it again

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:53 am
by mak
Hey, guys. I took the GRE Physics this year and couldn't reach the scores that the universities that I'm applying to ask for. I'd like to go to MIT, Cornell, UC Berkeley, etc...
I'm planing to take it again next year so I can have time to prepare better for the exam.
Now there's a question: do I have to get way more than 90% because I've already taken it once and failed?
Thanks

Re: Taking it again

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:30 am
by mhazelm
I'm in the same boat as you. I'd also be interested to hear what people did to study for their second shot - maybe my method of studying was bad for this one. Then again, I don't think it helped that I only studied seriously for about a month before hand. I don't think we have to hit 90%, but I think we should aim to have several hundred points improvement (for me, I need to go up about 40% to be competitive... ).

Not sure how to best prepare, but starting Jan. 1 I'm going through Halliday&Resnick, Beiser, etc. religiously for the next 7 months. The last two months I'll work on improving timing. I think if we can do any single problem in these books, plus a few advanced topics, without looking at anything or using more than 1.7 minutes, we'll ace it... I sure hope so, or else I'll be applying to Arby's or something in a year...

Re: Taking it again

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:16 am
by secander2!
I don't think you have to have well into the 90%s, but I don't know for sure, I'd say it's probably necessary to get into the 800s to be seriously considered by most top 10 schools though. I retook the test after getting a 780 last year (ok, it wasn't so bad, but I felt like it was at the time) and was able to improve my score by 200 points after just spending a good bit of time studying during the summer.

Basically my study method revolved around working multiple choice questions like those listed here to improve my speed. Also, I would write down the equations (finding them in my textbooks from university) which were necessary to solve these questions on flash cards and work on memorizing them. Usually, I would use the ETS practice tests to gauge my progress and/or to motivate me to study harder when I did really poorly on them.

Re: Taking it again

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:06 am
by Ennio
I am in the same boat too. I have a 860, but since 1) I am international 2) I want to do theory,
I think I had better score above 900 to be considered by top 10 schools. I am still in doubt though...
what do you guys think?

Re: Taking it again

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:53 pm
by Helio
secander2! wrote:I don't think you have to have well into the 90%s, but I don't know for sure, I'd say it's probably necessary to get into the 800s to be seriously considered by most top 10 schools though. I retook the test after getting a 780 last year (ok, it wasn't so bad, but I felt like it was at the time) and was able to improve my score by 200 points after just spending a good bit of time studying during the summer.

Basically my study method revolved around working multiple choice questions like those listed here to improve my speed. Also, I would write down the equations (finding them in my textbooks from university) which were necessary to solve these questions on flash cards and work on memorizing them. Usually, I would use the ETS practice tests to gauge my progress and/or to motivate me to study harder when I did really poorly on them.


i agree for the most part on the 800+ thing for top ten schools.... problem is some schools (like stanford) seem to have pretty low PGRE average (803 for stanford last year) and that with all the skewed international students, so it might be a bit easier if you consider research experience, GPA, etc.