October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

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How many questions did you complete

Poll ended at Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:18 pm

0-10
1
4%
10-20
0
No votes
20-30
0
No votes
30-40
0
No votes
40-50
1
4%
50-60
1
4%
60-70
2
9%
70-80
2
9%
80-90
4
17%
90-100
12
52%
 
Total votes: 23

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HappyQuark
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October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby HappyQuark » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:18 pm

Just got back from the October test and wanted to get everyone's impression of the test.

For starters, this exam was in every way the most similar to practice exam 0177. I felt like the test was quite a bit easier than the 0177 exam but I don't know if that is just a reflection of being more prepared than I was during the practice tests or if it actually was less difficult. My biggest issue was the time constraint and despite coming with a reasonable game plan, I didn't stick to it at all once the time started. Ultimately I finished 69/100 problems, which wouldn't have been so bad except that I had skipped a number of problems that I could have done, with the intent of getting to them on my third pass but, alas, my third pass was cut short.

On a bit of a side note, I think for the November exam I will write out an exact schedule for the day before and day of the exam and hire a man with a sharpened stick to hit me anytime I start to deviate from that schedule. I say this because despite my plans, I stayed up too late and ended up taking the exam on 4 hours of sleep and no food. I'm sure this slowed me down and cost me some points.
Last edited by HappyQuark on Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alice
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Alice » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:33 pm

I answered 91 questions total, I think about 8-12 of those were intelligent guesses, and of course, no idea how many I got wrong. I thought it was easier than 0177 - I even had time to go through most of the calculations twice (and fixed 8 calculation mistakes along the way...). It was nice that it was easier, but that will probably just make it harder to get a high score.

Pollux
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:30 pm

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Pollux » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:36 pm

Answered 81, and would be surprised if I got more than 15 or so wrong ... but I don't like to speculate too much. It was far, far easier than any of the practice tests, in my opinion. I was surprised by how few actual quantum problems showed up, and at the (easy) level of the thermodynamics problems.

Happy waiting, everyone.

Graham
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:32 am

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Graham » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:57 pm

The test was much easier than the practice exams in my opinion. I answered all of them, with plenty of time to spare, and I had at least some clue on every problem. This 4 weeks might kill me though.

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LoronDotCom
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby LoronDotCom » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:15 pm

The poll is incomplete, you're missing the range 70-80.. I noticed because I answered 78. :?

Agree that it was on par with or easier than 0177. Isn't it 6 weeks until we get the score?

Graham
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:32 am

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Graham » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:27 pm

You can get them by phone for $12 in 4 weeks

Anatoliy
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Anatoliy » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:32 pm

I answered 91 with 7-8 intelligent guesses and hope 75-76 raw score would be enough for getting 900+.
I think an appeared simplicity of this test is due to the good preparation for it, not the simplicity of the questions given (but of course, there were really baby-problems). After two weeks of preparation any problem which is similar to those in four tests supplied by ETS (and especialy GR0177) would be "easy".
__________________________________________________________
Deleted. OK, guys, maybe you're right :roll:
Last edited by Anatoliy on Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby vesperlynd » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:46 pm

..
Last edited by vesperlynd on Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
grae313
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby grae313 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:48 pm

We have a strict policy on this website not to support this. If anyone posts any details about exam problems, they will be deleted.

Anatoliy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:03 am

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Anatoliy » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:57 pm

vesperlynd wrote:Not only is it illegal, it's unethical. Don't cheat.

I'm not. If you are planning to take November or April tests it is good for you to know what problems you had in October test. Don't you think so?
grae313, I'm not going to post exam problems here or anywhere else :!: This is just for my preparation for future exams.

schwiss
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:49 am

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby schwiss » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:00 pm

grae313 wrote:We have a strict policy on this website not to support this. If anyone posts any details about exam problems, they will be deleted.


Was it you who deleted my post, where I revealed that 30% of the questions in the exam were about cannabis?

Dayton1903
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby Dayton1903 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:13 pm

Other than the 4 released tests, which vary quite a bit, is there any hint what raw scores are needed for whatever scaled scores?

tradster
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby tradster » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:18 pm

I answered 97 questions, and guesstimated like about 10 of them. Now when I rethink about it I know I got at least 5 of them wrong though... I think the test was easier than 0177, some of the questions were straight forward and required little thinking. Kinda nervous now... I have a feeling that the curve is gonna be high for this test. I'm so glad that I'm done with the physics gre... time to go get trashed!
Last edited by tradster on Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

geshi
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby geshi » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:22 pm

Dayton1903 wrote:Other than the 4 released tests, which vary quite a bit, is there any hint what raw scores are needed for whatever scaled scores?


No. They calculate that after they score all the exams. The only way you could get some good guess work is to check what scores people got in the past 2 years (both raw score and scaled score). You could use this to give yourself a good estimate about what raw score you need for what scaled score. It would be real nifty if someone felt like compiling all that data from the last couple years and future years (they have to ask people for the data first of course).

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:32 pm

schwiss wrote:
grae313 wrote:We have a strict policy on this website not to support this. If anyone posts any details about exam problems, they will be deleted.


Was it you who deleted my post, where I revealed that 30% of the questions in the exam were about cannabis?


I think you're on the wrong forum. :mrgreen:

-Riley

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:04 pm

BTW- About 10 questions were repeats from the last November Exam. Dead serious.

delsub
Posts: 98
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby delsub » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:54 pm

HappyQuark wrote:On a bit of a side note, I think for the November exam I will write out an exact schedule for the day before and day of the exam and hire a man with a sharpened stick to hit me anytime I start to deviate from that schedule. I say this because despite my plans, I stayed up too late and ended up taking the exam on 4 hours of sleep and no food. I'm sure this slowed me down and cost me some points.

yeah thats my story too. sorry i let you down.

delsub
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:17 am

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby delsub » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:59 pm

i wonder how some people including the op found it to be a tough test while come say they answered 90 questions. maybe they got a version A while op got C

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:10 pm

delsub wrote:i wonder how some people including the op found it to be a tough test while come say they answered 90 questions. maybe they got a version A while op got C


Some people are international and some people aren't.

-Riley

CarlBrannen
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby CarlBrannen » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:18 pm

I answered all the questions but a few of them had to be guesses. Overall, I think people taking the test felt it was easier than 0177 and I felt that the test is likely to be brutally curved.

I thought that the test might have been modified to make it easier because of the complaints by Georgi that either the physics GRE should be abandoned, cut to 50 questions, or extended in time. Hmmm. Another thing they could do, reduce the number of questions to 50, but split the test into two parts. Maybe one for theory, the other for experiment.

I was teaching last night till 9:30 and didn't get home until 11:00PM. (It was an algebra class at ITT Tech.) In an attempt to game my GI tract, on the day before I ate a day's worth of food before noon and nothing the rest of the day. The idea was to go to bed hungry which naturally makes me get up early. I figured on sleeping until 7:00, but I woke up at 3:30AM (thinking, did I oversleep? is it time to drive to UW? and where's breakfast?). So I had breakfast in the middle of the night. This made the test seem more like an afternoon test to me, which is good because I am NOT a morning person. And as a bonus, I got to study before driving and I didn't have to test my adult diapers.

Other useful info: I use pencils to the point where they're dull as crayons, but despite getting a lot of mileage out of them, I ended the test on the dregs of my 5th pencil.

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grae313
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby grae313 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:23 pm

schwiss wrote:
grae313 wrote:We have a strict policy on this website not to support this. If anyone posts any details about exam problems, they will be deleted.


Was it you who deleted my post, where I revealed that 30% of the questions in the exam were about cannabis?


This, sadly, was not me :)

geshi
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby geshi » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:31 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:is it time to drive to UW?


Sounds like a miserable day. Do you live in Madison? I took the exam in Madison last year. I think it was in the psychology building (I didn't go to school there, so I don't actually know what the building was).

ryan6
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby ryan6 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:42 am

test definitely felt easy. It was almost disappointing haha. I kept waiting for some challenging problems. I burned through the test with over 25mins left over. I wish I would have spent an extra 10secs after answering each problem to think "this was a really easy problem, im probably forgetting something." Owell.

shinobi06
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby shinobi06 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:24 am

Definitely agreed, this test was far easier than I expected it to be. But since that seems to be the general consensus, I also agree that the curve will be something remarkable.

That said... Say, in worst-case scenario, one were to get a raw score of 20 (pretty bad, I know, but not atypical from my university...) From the practice tests, this would correspond to 18th percentile at lowest (test#8677) and an outlandish 38th percentile at highest (test#6977).

What do you guess a raw score of 20 would correspond to on today's test? I'm trying to budget my "worst-nightmare" score and decide whether I should cancel my scores. I'm thinking like... 10th percentile maybe?

(I am registered to take the November test, and am very confident that I'll do significantly better at that point.)

geshi
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby geshi » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:52 am

shinobi06 wrote:Definitely agreed, this test was far easier than I expected it to be. But since that seems to be the general consensus, I also agree that the curve will be something remarkable.

That said... Say, in worst-case scenario, one were to get a raw score of 20 (pretty bad, I know, but not atypical from my university...) From the practice tests, this would correspond to 18th percentile at lowest (test#8677) and an outlandish 38th percentile at highest (test#6977).

What do you guess a raw score of 20 would correspond to on today's test? I'm trying to budget my "worst-nightmare" score and decide whether I should cancel my scores. I'm thinking like... 10th percentile maybe?

(I am registered to take the November test, and am very confident that I'll do significantly better at that point.)


I think the first time I took the PGRE (Nov 2008) I got a raw score of I think 25ish. That was considered an "easy exam;" I ended up with a 20th or 21st percentile.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:56 pm

For people who know their physics well, an easy test can hinder you. Everyone can make stupid mistakes and when more people are getting things right, it makes it harder to show that you know things better than other people. With that being said, an easy test doesn't really help anything in my opinion, just changes the amount people get right, not the actually scaled score.

-Riley

CarlBrannen
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby CarlBrannen » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:59 pm

WhoaNonstop's right that the easy test doesn't change the scaled scores people get. However, on the practice tests, I definitely scaled better on the easier tests. That may be because, given time, I'm good at clearing my mistakes.

The time management I used is to check how much time I've used after each 10 questions. The objective is to use 1.5 minutes per problem. This gets me through the test in 150 minutes. Then there are 20 minutes available to look at skipped problems. I do this because the 10th problems are easy to spot and quarter hours are easy to compute. (no reason to add to the work load.)

In the event, I kept using less than 1.5 minutes per. There were too many problems where the time was dominated by filling in the oval. So I ended up finishing problem 100 with 40 minutes left.

For each test problem I do one of three things: (a) confidently solve it, (b) solve it and circle it, or (c) skip it. The idea is that if there is time left over I go through the test once looking at the skipped problems, and if there is still time, I go through it again looking at the circled problems. I had time to review about 2/3 of the circled problems.

I believe that some of the students taking the physics test left early. The speed of the test may have something to do with the complaints Howard Georgi made about the GRE 10 years ago. A quick search found this link which includes his comments but is mostly about women in physics, which starts on page 4, regarding changes to the GRE:

"What I would do is reduce the number of questions by a large factor, somewhere between 2 and 3, to try to eliminate the time pressure. I would focus on basic skills and knowledge, rather than on specialized advanced details. I believe that the tests should be structured in such a way that talented students with good undergraduate preparation should be able to answer ALL of the questions correctly in the time allotted. That is certainly not the case for the current versions of the test."
http://www.aas.org/cswa/status/status_jan00.pdf

P.S. to geshi; Out here, "UW" means U. Washington at Seattle. And I had a blast taking the test. It took me a day to come down off of the adrenalin rush. I'm pretty sure I got in the upper half of the 900s despite having taken my last physics class in 1984.

geshi
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby geshi » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:48 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:P.S. to geshi; Out here, "UW" means U. Washington at Seattle. And I had a blast taking the test. It took me a day to come down off of the adrenalin rush. I'm pretty sure I got in the upper half of the 900s despite having taken my last physics class in 1984.


Ah, that's cool. I have family out in Seattle. Nice city :).

delsub
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby delsub » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:26 pm

if i got a correct - 1/4 incorrect score of about 36-40 - what sort of score and percentile do you think i will be looking at.

600 and 50%??

drhouse
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby drhouse » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:18 am

Should have studied :( or taken a practice test at least

CarlBrannen
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby CarlBrannen » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:30 am

delsub wrote:if i got a correct - 1/4 incorrect score of about 36-40 - what sort of score and percentile do you think i will be looking at.

600 and 50%??


I think this test was approximately equivalent to the 0177. It seemed easier to me but then I again I took it after studying quite a bit more than the 0177, had more time on the real test, was more awake, and had more adrenalin running. So I'm guessing 36-40 will be around the 650 range and that's the 45 to 53% range. May as well reproduce the 0177 chart for those interested. And I guess this wouldn't be physics if I didn't plot the data:

Code: Select all

C-I/4 SS  <%     d% 
---  ---- -- --------------
 00   400  0  0 |
 05   420  1  1 | *
 10   460  6  5 | *****
 15   490 11  5 | *****
 20   530 20  8 | ********
 25   560 27  7 | *******
 30   600 37 10 | **********
 35   640 45  8 | ********
 40   670 53  8 | ********
 45   710 61  8 | ********
 50   740 67  6 | ******
 55   780 74  7 | *******
 60   810 79  5 | *****
 65   850 84  5 | *****
 70   880 88  4 | ****
 75   920 92  4 | ****
 80   950 95  3 | ***
 85+  990 98  3 | ***


The four practice tests have various difficulty levels. 9677 was by far the hardest and cut my knees off (even after scaling):

Code: Select all

      500 600 700 800 900 990
8677   18  32  45  59  72  84 = 98%
9277   16  28  40  53  65  76 = 97%
9677   07  19  32  44  56  67 = 97%
0177   16  30  44  58  73  85 = 98%
      500 600 700 800 900 990

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:40 am

Um... I'm sorry to say but when I took the November test last year (which had 10 questions that were reused on the october test here and very comparable), I got a scaled score of 61 (got 69 questions right) and a scaled score of 730 and... hold your breath... only 60 percentile.

That would suggest that a raw score of 40 might be a little bit lower. =/ But maybe the distribution is much wider and 40 to 60 only has 150 scaled score difference.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals

ryan6
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby ryan6 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:07 pm

WontonBurritoMeals wrote:Um... I'm sorry to say but when I took the November test last year (which had 10 questions that were reused on the october test here and very comparable), I got a scaled score of 61 (got 69 questions right) and a scaled score of 730 and... hold your breath... only 60 percentile.


Ouch, this was painful for me to read.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:14 pm

WontonBurritoMeals wrote:Um... I'm sorry to say but when I took the November test last year (which had 10 questions that were reused on the october test here and very comparable), I got a scaled score of 61 (got 69 questions right) and a scaled score of 730 and... hold your breath... only 60 percentile.

That would suggest that a raw score of 40 might be a little bit lower. =/ But maybe the distribution is much wider and 40 to 60 only has 150 scaled score difference.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals


This is why I wish the tests stayed the difficulty they were. It helps smooth out the pack of test takers.

-Riley

ryan6
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby ryan6 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:45 pm

Would anyone else care to give their raw and percentile scores to recent tests? Maybe even start a thread for this, or add to the profile format??? I dont think anyone lists their raw score in the profiles. Atleast this might give a more reasonable idea of what to expect from our scores and a new number to aim for in the upcoming exams.

delsub
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:17 am

Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby delsub » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:18 pm

when is the date to get the scores by phone for the oct 9th test recently gone?

physicsworks
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby physicsworks » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:19 am

The test was easier than I expected. Good luck to everyone!
Last edited by physicsworks on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

alemsalem
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby alemsalem » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:47 am

delsub wrote:when is the date to get the scores by phone for the oct 9th test recently gone?


Nov 9th

delsub
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Re: October 2010 Exam, how'd it go?

Postby delsub » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:02 pm

ryan6 wrote:
WontonBurritoMeals wrote:Um... I'm sorry to say but when I took the November test last year (which had 10 questions that were reused on the october test here and very comparable), I got a scaled score of 61 (got 69 questions right) and a scaled score of 730 and... hold your breath... only 60 percentile.


Ouch, this was painful for me to read.


for me too - if thats true - my chances of getting into any phys program would vanish into a black hole.




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