Verbal GRE

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muonlepton
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:06 pm

Verbal GRE

Postby muonlepton » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:23 pm

Hi everybody:

I'm greatly worried about the verbal GRE. I immigrated to US roughly 7 years ago (I have no problem communicating and writing papers but I am absolutely horrible in the GRE vocab).

My physics app so far is excellent otherwise, I am from a very big state university, very large physics faculty (pretty well respected):

PGRE 990
GRE Verbal (probably will be really low)
GRE Math (shouldn't be a problem at all, I should ace it easily)

GPA: 3.97 ish
plenty of math + physics courses (I've overloaded myself with 5-6 courses every semester for a while)

Grad course: after this semester I'd have:
GR, QM (2 semesters), EM, QFT (3 semesters), Applied Group theory

Research:
1 REU freshman year
1 summer at my own university + 2 semesters (HEP experiment research)
1 REU at CERN (HEP experiment)

I have plenty of connections to a lot of school (my advisor said, like Princeton, Berkeley..etc). I will have rock solid recommendations + phone calls from people in my high energy group (from a very well respected theorists/phenomenologist ).

I have been active in SPS (president), I've tutored intro physics + math, and organized Physics GRE study session.

Other than that, I might just completely bomb the verbal GRE (maybe a 400 score). My goal is Princeton HEP theory for my grad school.

How much would a really low verbal affect me?

Thanks for all help.

physics_auth
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: Verbal GRE

Postby physics_auth » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:06 pm

muonlepton wrote:Hi everybody:

I'm greatly worried about the verbal GRE. I immigrated to US roughly 7 years ago (I have no problem communicating and writing papers but I am absolutely horrible in the GRE vocab).

My physics app so far is excellent otherwise, I am from a very big state university, very large physics faculty (pretty well respected):

PGRE 990
GRE Verbal (probably will be really low)
GRE Math (shouldn't be a problem at all, I should ace it easily)

GPA: 3.97 ish
plenty of math + physics courses (I've overloaded myself with 5-6 courses every semester for a while)

Grad course: after this semester I'd have:
GR, QM (2 semesters), EM, QFT (3 semesters), Applied Group theory

Research:
1 REU freshman year
1 summer at my own university + 2 semesters (HEP experiment research)
1 REU at CERN (HEP experiment)

I have plenty of connections to a lot of school (my advisor said, like Princeton, Berkeley..etc). I will have rock solid recommendations + phone calls from people in my high energy group (from a very well respected theorists/phenomenologist ).

I have been active in SPS (president), I've tutored intro physics + math, and organized Physics GRE study session.

Other than that, I might just completely bomb the verbal GRE (maybe a 400 score). My goal is Princeton HEP theory for my grad school.

How much would a really low verbal affect me?

Thanks for all help.


I wish I could hit the 990 limit in my first trial ! ... Anyway the weight of GRE is small since it comes behind PGRE, LORecommendations and all that stuff, let alone the verbal section ... . Unless your score is around 300 or less I believe that it will cause absolutely no problem. If it mitigates the situation, ask your recommenders to provide justifications so that this point passes unnoticed.

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

Re: Verbal GRE

Postby grae313 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:46 pm

Yeah, I'd say you're golden. Even if your verbal GRE is horrendous, show that you can write clearly in your statement of purpose and have your letter writers mention that English is not your first language but you speak and communicate perfectly well. I agree with physics_auth and would only worry about addressing it in LORs if it's around 300 or lower.

muonlepton
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:06 pm

Re: Verbal GRE

Postby muonlepton » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:43 pm

Thanks for the comforting words. I have been really stressed out about that stuff but at the same time has very little motivation to study for it (school work + research is occupying me almost 100%). Thanks for the help.

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

Re: Verbal GRE

Postby grae313 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:05 pm

I wouldn't worry about it. If vocab is your weakness, it's hard to study for because, well, there are just too many words :) . Learning word genealogies and roots and stuff probably offers the best effort/reward ratio, but still, doing well in your classes and research will do a lot more for you than boosting your verbal score 100 pts. Good luck!

I'll bet anyone $50 he gets into a top 5.




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