Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

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YF17A
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Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:59 pm

Hey everyone,

As a former user of this forum and a current graduate student, I can sympathize with everyone's frustration about the lack of good practice materials for the Physics GRE. To rectify this, I decided to write a book modeled after the standard test-prep books, including review material and 4 full-length practice tests as representative as possible of the current state of the GRE. I'm co-writing this book with another grad student (I'm a theorist, he's an experimentalist), and we hope to have it finished by September at the latest so it will be available for all of you taking the test in October 2011. Right now we're in the process of field-testing the practice tests on incoming grads who just took the GRE last year. You can check out my profile on this forum to see my credentials - I applied in '09.

We're planning to release the book through Amazon's print-on-demand service. Since you all are precisely the target audience of this book, I'd like to throw out a couple questions that will help us make it more useful:

1) Would you be interested in having individual practice tests available separately?

2) How much review material would be useful? The plan is NOT to rehash the standard textbooks, but instead to provide review with an eye to the standard tips and tricks which are most useful for this test (dimensional analysis, limiting cases, and so on), as well as summarizing the most important formulas in a convenient way.

3) Is a price range of $40 for the whole book, or $8 for each practice test if released separately, reasonable for most of you? Part of the reason for doing this project was to give back to the physics community, but given that my co-author and I are full-time graduate students and we're taking time away from research to do this project, we think it's only fair that we make this book available for some modest price rather than for free.

Any other comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:08 pm

1. I think most people would buy the whole book (if they are going to buy a prep book), so I'm not sure if it's worth the time to put out individual practice tests.

2. Sounds like you already have that figured out.

3. I would say these prices are reasonable but you'll never know until you start trying to sell it.

I think your only problem will be in the advertisement of the book.

-Riley

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midwestphysics
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:13 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:1. I think most people would buy the whole book (if they are going to buy a prep book), so I'm not sure if it's worth the time to put out individual practice tests.

2. Sounds like you already have that figured out.

3. I would say these prices are reasonable but you'll never know until you start trying to sell it.

I think your only problem will be in the advertisement of the book.

-Riley


I agree with Riley, especially on the last part. You're going to have to not only make it known enough to sell it but convince people that it's not crap. I'm not saying it is, I'm just saying that there are some notoriously crappy "practice materials" out there and a lot of people know that so they tend to fear straying away from the text books and official practice tests. That's just something to keep in mind, your price seems fine, but you'll have weary buyers no matter what because of the quality of a lot of the 3rd party prep stuff out there.

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks for the comments! Sounds like you two are mostly in agreement. It's actually not any trouble to put out individual practice tests, since they'd be the same ones that go in the full book, so I guess it will just depend on the print-on-demand publishing fee structure.

About advertising - that's where you all come in! When the final version is ready, I want to post excerpts from both the main content and the practice tests on this site, and have you all authenticate it in terms of content, quality, etc. If you like it, please tell all your friends! I'm hoping that $8/test is cheap enough that people don't just print out one copy and share it among 50 people.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:00 pm

midwestphysics wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:1. I think most people would buy the whole book (if they are going to buy a prep book), so I'm not sure if it's worth the time to put out individual practice tests.

2. Sounds like you already have that figured out.

3. I would say these prices are reasonable but you'll never know until you start trying to sell it.

I think your only problem will be in the advertisement of the book.

-Riley


I agree with Riley, especially on the last part. You're going to have to not only make it known enough to sell it but convince people that it's not crap. I'm not saying it is, I'm just saying that there are some notoriously crappy "practice materials" out there and a lot of people know that so they tend to fear straying away from the text books and official practice tests. That's just something to keep in mind, your price seems fine, but you'll have weary buyers no matter what because of the quality of a lot of the 3rd party prep stuff out there.


Just to add what midwest and Riley said, it sounds like you've got everything planned out pretty well and the prices you're considering, at least to my eye, seem very reasonable. Additionally, I don't think advertising will be your big stumbling block since graduating physics majors looking to move onto graduate school is a pretty small and tight community. As midwest said, I think your biggest issue will be convincing people it's going to be a useful and legitimately represents the style, difficulty and distribution of problems on the exam. If it doesn't, it will probably just be regarded as in line with the evil purple REA book that everyone loves to hate so much. If it does, you'll be as gods!

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:32 pm

YF17A wrote:I'm hoping that $8/test is cheap enough that people don't just print out one copy and share it among 50 people.


A Physics major with 50 friends? Now I've heard everything.

-Riley

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midwestphysics
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby midwestphysics » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:49 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
YF17A wrote:I'm hoping that $8/test is cheap enough that people don't just print out one copy and share it among 50 people.


A Physics major with 50 friends? Now I've heard everything.

-Riley


:lol: You're not lying, I've got a lot of friends, but the vast majority of them don't even know what physics entails let alone what the PGRE is. The process of making it known will be a lot harder than you think, not to mention the other issue we pointed out. But as HappyQuark said, if you can pull it off some people are really going to love you for it.

physicsworks
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby physicsworks » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:30 am

Haha, funny bunny, where is your amateurish guidance like this?
HappyQuark wrote:Sounds like a fool's errand to me. The 4 existing practice exams plus all of the textbooks I used proved to be more than enough to keep me busy. Since you have no affiliation with ETS and very little experience with constructing this type of test (after all it takes ETS a panel of physicists and a multi review process to construct theirs) your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such. If you decide to proceed then I'll wish you good luck.

I'm sorry, does the TS have a LOT of "experience with constructing this type of test"? Does the TS have "an affiliation with ETS"? What's wrong with you, HappyQuark?
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at this thread I've posted before.

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midwestphysics
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:46 am

physicsworks wrote:Haha, funny bunny, where is your amateurish guidance like this?
HappyQuark wrote:Sounds like a fool's errand to me. The 4 existing practice exams plus all of the textbooks I used proved to be more than enough to keep me busy. Since you have no affiliation with ETS and very little experience with constructing this type of test (after all it takes ETS a panel of physicists and a multi review process to construct theirs) your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such. If you decide to proceed then I'll wish you good luck.

I'm sorry, does the TS have a LOT of "experience with constructing this type of test"? Does the TS have "an affiliation with ETS"? What's wrong with you, HappyQuark?
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at this thread I've posted before.


:lol: well judging by the thread you quoted I can tell that you relish the opportunity to jab back at him. Unfortunately, imho the two cases are not as similar as you would like to believe. For one, the proposition here isn't just test questions, it appears as if YF17A is trying to build a larger tool. If I'm correct he's proposing more of a total guide tied into practice problems, not to mention he's farther along the road than your stats suggest making him more of an authority. If he can pull it off, and we've all said that will be a tough task, then his total package will be far more useful than just a set of questions similar to the real ones. I would hope he would provide depth to the questions, background, what you need to know and how to manipulate them correctly and quickly. Basically provide an entire package, that if it is truly useful and germane the real subject matter, will be a complete "golden guide" for lack of a better phrase. Hopefully it will be more like the examples you would find in the middle of a chapter with relevant info tied into it and not the simple questions you get at its end.

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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby physicsworks » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:20 am

midwestphysics wrote:For one, the proposition here isn't just test questions, it appears as if YF17A is trying to build a larger tool.
I know he is. I'm just talking about HappyQuark's phrase
HappyQuark wrote:The 4 existing practice exams plus all of the textbooks I used proved to be more than enough to keep me busy
and his contradictory answer in this thread.

And I welcome what YF17A is going to build.
midwestphysics wrote: not to mention he's farther along the road than your stats suggest making him more of an authority
haha, if you judge people by the profile on this forum then you're doing bad, not to mention that the TS has a lower PGRE score than I have (as our stats suggest :lol:), so what the authority you're talking about?
Last edited by physicsworks on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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midwestphysics
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:41 am

1.) You just literally upgraded your stats so that point just took a turn for the meaningless. Besides we tend to assume that people are being honest, and if they're not any prep material they put out will quickly be shot down so it really doesn't matter. The authority I was speaking of had nothing to do with the PGRE score, and everything to do with the fact that he/she is farther down the road in physics training, i.e. already a grad student a few years in. Not a prof, but higher than an undergrad, so that helps the cause.

2.) Publishing a book through a publishing house is a pain in the !#$. And if the book is good they'll make at most a little bit of money, if not they won't make anything, but they don't really need a publishing house since the market is so tiny and close-knit. As for making money, I see no problem with getting some cash for your expertise, especially on a grad students income :D.

3.) It really doesn't matter, if you want to put up questions please do. If they're good we'll all praise you on them, if not we'll bust them out of the water. In either case, you really don't need anyone telling you that you're qualified, if you think you can do it then do it. I wish you luck, I know that personally I probably couldn't put together anything at the level I would demand of such materials but I encourage others who can.

4.) Finally, if you'll notice, as we've repeated several times. We all have doubts about it, so until the material comes out we won't say who really does or doesn't have real authority. The stuff has to pass the test, and it can't until it's put out there which makes all the discussion about who can or can't moot at this point. In review, HappyQuarks two quotes don't really differ that much.

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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby physicsworks » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:21 am

midwestphysics, I've sent you PM

ali8
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby ali8 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:53 am

For me, paying 40$ for this kind of preparation material is a good investment.

After all, it's going to (partially) determine what grad school I am going to, so

40$ isn't really an issue.

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grae313
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby grae313 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:11 am

midwestphysics wrote: :lol: well judging by the thread you quoted I can tell that you relish the opportunity to jab back at him. Unfortunately, imho the two cases are not as similar as you would like to believe. For one, the proposition here isn't just test questions, it appears as if YF17A is trying to build a larger tool. If I'm correct he's proposing more of a total guide tied into practice problems, not to mention he's farther along the road than your stats suggest making him more of an authority. If he can pull it off, and we've all said that will be a tough task, then his total package will be far more useful than just a set of questions similar to the real ones. I would hope he would provide depth to the questions, background, what you need to know and how to manipulate them correctly and quickly. Basically provide an entire package, that if it is truly useful and germane the real subject matter, will be a complete "golden guide" for lack of a better phrase. Hopefully it will be more like the examples you would find in the middle of a chapter with relevant info tied into it and not the simple questions you get at its end.


Since what physicsworks is trying to do is much simpler and easier than what YF17A is trying to do, but still quite useful, shouldn't his credentials be somewhat less important? How can you assume YF17A is more of an authority when he has experience only taking the GRE whereas physicsworks has written questions for tests before? Bottom line: physicsworks is more or at least equally qualified and attempting something much simpler, but is being ragged on while YF17A is being supported. What's the deal?

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:10 am

Come on people, we are more mature than this! There's really no reason to get into a flame war here. Indeed, what I'm trying to do is a little more ambitious, but hopefully helpful - that's the whole point. I wish this kind of thing was around when I took the test, but it wasn't, so I'm trying to fix that.

I propose the finished project can speak for itself - I just referred people to my profile so that it was clear I'm not some complete stranger to physics. I've worked for Kaplan (if that matters to anyone) so have a bunch of experience with standardized tests in general, but whatever. Hopefully I'll be able to post samples soon and you all can give me comments, since that was the reason I posted here in the first place!

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grae313
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby grae313 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:19 am

I was not intending to call your qualifications into doubt, just trying to point out a bit of hypocrisy in the way physicsworks was being treated. I fully support what both of you are doing :) If someone wants to donate their time to providing more resources for undergraduate physics students, why discourage them? In the end, we can decide for ourselves whether the final product is worth our time.

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:03 am

I fully support what both of you are doing :) If someone wants to donate their time to providing more resources for undergraduate physics students, why discourage them? In the end, we can decide for ourselves whether the final product is worth our time.


Amen. I couldn't agree more. One more word on credentials: I think the subsets {generic people who work for ETS} and {people you want writing a physics GRE book} are pretty much orthogonal. Just because someone has test prep experience doesn't mean they know the first thing about the peculiarities of this test, and vice versa. The only exceptions are people like David Griffiths, who I'm almost sure are contractually forbidden from both working on the test and writing a prep book. I'd like to think that having worked for a test prep company, and being a current grad student, puts me in a nearly optimal position to do this, but again the material should speak for itself.

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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:30 am

I like the idea, and you should continue, but I should warn you I doubt you'll recoup very much money (maybe enough to cover the salary lost due to time not spent on your thesis--if your questions are excellent). You might have a better cost structure model if you apply for NSF funding and publish your questions (along with your field test statistics) in a physics education journal. There just aren't very many physics majors taking the PGRE, and those that do are (1) in a time of life where they have very little money, and (2) in close contact with others who, if anyone does buy your tests, will already have them. I foresee at most 1 book sold at about 100 universities, plus ~200 people who buy their own copy (if it's under $20 for the whole book).

Alternatively, you might also have better luck publishing the questions as an online resource--you can prohibit printing more easily, and sell a much cheaper subscription to the website (no printing costs). There will of course be ways around even this, but hopefully the new price point (say $3-$5 a month, with possible additional revenue streams) will discourage people from going out of their way to grab the material off the websites and make their own free-ware pdf versions.

EDIT: I did some number crunching; you should definitely do a website. There are 4500 people taking the PGRE per year; if 1000 buy your book @ $40 you'll make maybe $10000. That's best case scenario. If you do the website with a lower price-point, you'll have:

~2500 subscribers for ~2 months each @ $2.50/month: $12500
~200-300 paying for access to fully worked solutions (~$5-10 a test): $4000-12000
~50-100 signing up for personalized tutor help ($30/hr, average of 3 hours): $5000-$10000

as a reasonable scenario. That's about $30000/year in revenue, or ~$20000/year after tutors and server costs, instead of $40000/year in revenue, with $10000 profit. The website can also scale upwards (more tutoring, marketable brand for other GRE tests or physics olympiads, more tests), while the book is going to top out at say $15000/year profit.
Last edited by bfollinprm on Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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midwestphysics
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:33 am

grae313 wrote:I was not intending to call your qualifications into doubt, just trying to point out a bit of hypocrisy in the way physicsworks was being treated. I fully support what both of you are doing :) If someone wants to donate their time to providing more resources for undergraduate physics students, why discourage them? In the end, we can decide for ourselves whether the final product is worth our time.


Hypocrisy? He was basically being told the exact same thing, which I reiterated several times.
3.) It really doesn't matter, if you want to put up questions please do. If they're good we'll all praise you on them, if not we'll bust them out of the water. In either case, you really don't need anyone telling you that you're qualified, if you think you can do it then do it. I wish you luck, I know that personally I probably couldn't put together anything at the level I would demand of such materials but I encourage others who can.

4.) Finally, if you'll notice, as we've repeated several times. We all have doubts about it, so until the material comes out we won't say who really does or doesn't have real authority. The stuff has to pass the test, and it can't until it's put out there which makes all the discussion about who can or can't moot at this point.


and even in the PM exchange

Do the same, build your questions and put them out there. I was sincere about us appreciating them if they're good, just like I told the other guy. If they're not we'll ignore them like we'll ignore his if they're bad.


He's taking any criticism of the idea as a personal attack when it's just a point against the actual difficulty of the idea. Your quote Grea was directed at his actual gripe with the previous thread and it's overlap here. Calling out his qualification was direct result of the fact that he got all pissy over some criticism, when everybody knows all you need to do to shut it up is put your work out there. Besides, it's always fun playing the devil's advocate when that sort of situation pops up.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:15 pm

physicsworks wrote:Haha, funny bunny, where is your amateurish guidance like this?
HappyQuark wrote:Sounds like a fool's errand to me. The 4 existing practice exams plus all of the textbooks I used proved to be more than enough to keep me busy. Since you have no affiliation with ETS and very little experience with constructing this type of test (after all it takes ETS a panel of physicists and a multi review process to construct theirs) your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such. If you decide to proceed then I'll wish you good luck.

I'm sorry, does the TS have a LOT of "experience with constructing this type of test"? Does the TS have "an affiliation with ETS"? What's wrong with you, HappyQuark?
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at this thread I've posted before.


First of all, what is the TS? Second of all, my comments to YF17A and you are exactly 100% consistent.

I told you that you likely don't have enough experience and you have no affiliation with the ETS so "your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such". I told YF17A that this biggest problem they would face would be "convincing people it's going to be a useful and legitimately represents the style, difficulty and distribution of problems on the exam".

I feel that you are both going to face the exact same problem. Specifically, it will be difficult for anyone to want to spend their precious time utilizing a resource constructed by an individual or small group of, admittedly, amateur physicists when the exam they are preparing for is designed by a large group of professional physicists.

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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:27 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
physicsworks wrote:Haha, funny bunny, where is your amateurish guidance like this?
HappyQuark wrote:Sounds like a fool's errand to me. The 4 existing practice exams plus all of the textbooks I used proved to be more than enough to keep me busy. Since you have no affiliation with ETS and very little experience with constructing this type of test (after all it takes ETS a panel of physicists and a multi review process to construct theirs) your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such. If you decide to proceed then I'll wish you good luck.

I'm sorry, does the TS have a LOT of "experience with constructing this type of test"? Does the TS have "an affiliation with ETS"? What's wrong with you, HappyQuark?
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at this thread I've posted before.


First of all, what is the TS? Second of all, my comments to YF17A and you are exactly 100% consistent.

I told you that you likely don't have enough experience and you have no affiliation with the ETS so "your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such". I told YF17A that this biggest problem they would face would be "convincing people it's going to be a useful and legitimately represents the style, difficulty and distribution of problems on the exam".

I feel that you are both going to face the exact same problem. Specifically, it will be difficult for anyone to want to spend their precious time utilizing a resource constructed by an individual or small group of, admittedly, amateur physicists when the exam they are preparing for is designed by a large group of professional physicists.


HQ: You failed to address the most important part of this post
Haha, funny bunny...

you now have the forum's best nickname for your nickname.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:32 pm

grae313 wrote: If someone wants to donate their time to providing more resources for undergraduate physics students, why discourage them? In the end, we can decide for ourselves whether the final product is worth our time.


Presumably both YF17A and physicsworks are trying to create PGRE practice problems because they feel it will benefit others. If there is a very good chance that all of their work will not benefit a significant number of people, they may be inclined to find a better use for their time or an alternate way of helping. In my opinion, it is immoral and impractical to encourage a person to waste their time for the unlikely benefit of others, hence why I'm comfortable discouraging certain pursuits, regardless of how good their intentions are.

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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:33 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
First of all, what is the TS? Second of all, my comments to YF17A and you are exactly 100% consistent.

I told you that you likely don't have enough experience and you have no affiliation with the ETS so "your attempt will almost certainly be amateurish and viewed as such". I told YF17A that this biggest problem they would face would be "convincing people it's going to be a useful and legitimately represents the style, difficulty and distribution of problems on the exam".

I feel that you are both going to face the exact same problem. Specifically, it will be difficult for anyone to want to spend their precious time utilizing a resource constructed by an individual or small group of, admittedly, amateur physicists when the exam they are preparing for is designed by a large group of professional physicists.


HQ: You failed to address the most important part of this post
Haha, funny bunny...

you now have the forum's best nickname for your nickname.


Address it how? I am a funny bunny!

By night, he's just a mild mannered house cat. But when darkness falls and evil roams the streets, he emerges from the shadows to fight for justice and the American way! His name, is...... FUNNY BUNNY!

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:25 pm

physicsworks wrote:not to mention that the TS has a lower PGRE score than I have


I wasn't aware that excelling at the PGRE gave you the ability to communicate concepts to others clearly. Doing well on a test and being able to convey information to others in an efficient way are quite different.

-Riley

physicsworks
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby physicsworks » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:30 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
physicsworks wrote:not to mention that the TS has a lower PGRE score than I have
I wasn't aware that excelling at the PGRE gave you the ability to communicate concepts to others clearly. Doing well on a test and being able to convey information to others in an efficient way are quite different.
and I didn't say this. Furthermore, I agree with what you've said.
midwestphysics wrote:He's taking any criticism of the idea as a personal attack when it's just a point against the actual difficulty of the idea.
This is not quite true. I think I'm a self-criticized person :roll: BUT If someone insulted me, I cannot sit in silence.
HappyQuark wrote:First of all, what is the TS?
Topic Starter
HappyQuark wrote:Second of all, my comments to YF17A and you are exactly 100% consistent
if you think that writing to different reviews on two similar topics is 100% consistent thing, then....
But I'm not going to cry, no. Maybe this is just a "language barrier" and in English saying "fool's errand", "you have little experience", "amateurish attempt" to one person and "you've got everything planned out pretty well" to another is absolutely the same thing.

grae313 thanks for the support.

Sorry for OT.

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midwestphysics
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby midwestphysics » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:54 pm

Alright enough of taking everything out of context, and diverting away from the original point.

YF17A, you said you hope to finish up by September. When do you, or rather do you, plan on releasing some samples up until then so you can get some feed back? Maybe post some tid-bits of the more general stuff and it can help you get an idea if people respond well to it..... For that matter, PhysicsWorks, how about you? You said you had some problems you were building, why not try out a couple, obviously in simple format nothing too elaborate and maybe you'll gain some interest for some native English speakers to help and get the feedback you've been looking for. If you guys want to get around the concerns some people have about quality this would be the place to do it, kind of like a research test group for you.

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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby physics_auth » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:10 pm

YF17A wrote:Hey everyone,
Right now we're in the process of field-testing the practice tests on incoming grads who just took the GRE last year. You can check out my profile on this forum to see my credentials - I applied in '09.


Field-testing on a large number of students (not necessarily incoming grads, it could be third or forth year students) as well as meticulous search for errata is highly essential ... otherwise people out there seem very willing to bite your heads off! You will also need to have experience pumped from more than one real PGRE tests (ask people who gave the test over the last 2 or 3 years to learn about the current trend in the real PGRE test). You could learn some info from this website ... some people disclose information about the trend of the test even inadvertently). Also, it would be worth more the effort to produce a product of higher quality than the real PGRE (current tests) e.g. somewhat harder tests, unanticipated questions (within the designated stuff though), no repetition of questions etc. so as to motivate better preparation ... if the level is the same as the one of the current tests then it may be the case that most people will prefer ETS releases or that at some point the whole effort will be outdated (not sure I use the correct word here!). Have also people proofread the questions (text in general) and check if they are correctly posed (also from the physics viewpoint - preferably any PhD student for example).

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InquilineKea
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby InquilineKea » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:10 pm

WOW, I would TOTALLY buy this. Even if it was priced much higher, I would still buy it. This was TOTALLY what I was looking for.

avpan
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby avpan » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:03 pm

Wow, I would totally buy this. I think the number 1 reason why people don't do well on this exam is not because they do not know physics but just don't know how to study properly for this specific type of exam.

vesperlynd
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby vesperlynd » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:02 pm

avpan wrote:Wow, I would totally buy this. I think the number 1 reason why people don't do well on this exam is not because they do not know physics but just don't know how to study properly for this specific type of exam.
Well, if everyone were to do well on the test, eventually the percentiles would become meaningless, which would be good 'cause then schools would get rid of the requirement once and for all. :D

YF17A wrote:Right now we're in the process of field-testing the practice tests on incoming grads who just took the GRE last year.
YF17A, I'm an incoming MIT grad student and more than willing to participate in the field test. Are you going to be rolling it out when we arrive in August?

philipsteele
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby philipsteele » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:52 am

its great..i think if this gets a well advertisements then more people will attract...!!!!!

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InquilineKea
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:10 am

Are there any updates on this?

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:12 am

We will have 3 sample tests and review sections on quantum mechanics/atomic physics, optics/waves, relativity, lab methods, special topics, and PGRE-specific test-taking advice ready to go by the end of the week. The plan is to make the sample tests individually available as password-protected PDF's for a small price each ($8-$10 or so), and post the review material for free on a website while we assemble the rest of it into a book which will eventually be published in paper form.

llamacheez
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby llamacheez » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:11 am

Any more word on the release?

I was also wondering if it could be given to someone, perhaps a grad student who has already gone through the PGRE and admissions, from the forum, so they could look over the tests and say if they think it's representative. Or maybe offer a representative preview of the exams (first page or something)?

I should say, I would be very reluctant to be the first person to give you money for the practice exams, as there are scammers all over the internet! Can't be to careful.

Thanks, and hopefully this will give us extra PGRE practice to overcome the exam!

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:00 pm

We have had one practice test vetted by 5 MIT undergrads who've recently taken the test, as well as several grad students. We will of course post a preview of the test on our website, along with the review material. Given the extremely limited sample of tests released by ETS, we're relying on comments from *you* about how realistic our problems are and how helpful the review material is. At the absolute worst, we've provided 300 practice problems which cover the same basic material as the GRE, in the same basic format. At the best, you'll see maybe 20-30 of these problems, or vary similar variants, on your actual test. So please start spreading the word if you know others who will be interested! Obviously the main goal of this project for us was not to make a ton of money, but to provide a useful service for the physics community.

The website should go live this weekend or Monday at the latest - I'll post the URL here when it does.

llamacheez
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby llamacheez » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:59 pm

I believe this is the appropriate time to say "Hurry up and take my money!" :mrgreen:

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:39 pm

Argh. We have the website all set up with one full sample exam plus solutions, with the rest to follow by the end of the week, but our server crashed. Hopefully this should be fixed by tomorrow and I'll start another post with details. Thanks for your interest, and your patience!!

ali8
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby ali8 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:32 pm

I am not sure how your website exactly looks like, but, if you want, you may try http://www.weebly.com service.

They provide a free host service and a professional paid one. You can also buy your favorite domain though them.

YF17A
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Re: Physics GRE subject test book AVAILABLE SOON

Postby YF17A » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:22 am

Everything is fixed and the site is now live - see my most recent post. Good luck and happy studying!




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