physics grad school + pgre advice

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Adrunner4
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:16 am

physics grad school + pgre advice

Postby Adrunner4 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:53 am

Hey guys, I know probably 10 billion people on this forum have asked some variant of the following question(s), so i'll try to be as quick as possible.
Basically, I didn't apply myself too well in my freshman mechanics course. I didn't do poorly, but I certainly didn't do well (mostly B's). However, my sophomore year I stepped things up and got A's and A-'s in all my physics coursework. Now, I'm going to be going into my third year, and i'll be taking quantum, advanced mechanics, thermo etc.... basically, since I didn't learn mechanics that well, I was wondering if I should just whip out the halliday and resnick and go through the mechanics portion in addition to my coursework, or should I just focus on my advanced mechanics course (the textbook is taylor). Also, I was wondering if it is a good idea to start practicing for the physics GRE now or just wait until the summer before I take it.

thanks doods

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HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: physics grad school + pgre advice

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:16 am

Adrunner4 wrote:Hey guys, I know probably 10 billion people on this forum have asked some variant of the following question(s), so i'll try to be as quick as possible.
Basically, I didn't apply myself too well in my freshman mechanics course. I didn't do poorly, but I certainly didn't do well (mostly B's). However, my sophomore year I stepped things up and got A's and A-'s in all my physics coursework. Now, I'm going to be going into my third year, and i'll be taking quantum, advanced mechanics, thermo etc.... basically, since I didn't learn mechanics that well, I was wondering if I should just whip out the halliday and resnick and go through the mechanics portion in addition to my coursework, or should I just focus on my advanced mechanics course (the textbook is taylor). Also, I was wondering if it is a good idea to start practicing for the physics GRE now or just wait until the summer before I take it.

thanks doods


It's definitely too early to start worrying about the PGRE. And as has been said 3.5 million times on the forum, no school is concerned with how you did in your physics 101 style courses. Do well in your upper division coursework, get lots and lots of research experience and start studying for the PGRE around a month or 2 before you take the exam.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: physics grad school + pgre advice

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:43 pm

Adrunner4 wrote:Hey guys, I know probably 10 billion people on this forum have asked some variant of the following question(s), so i'll try to be as quick as possible.
Basically, I didn't apply myself too well in my freshman mechanics course. I didn't do poorly, but I certainly didn't do well (mostly B's). However, my sophomore year I stepped things up and got A's and A-'s in all my physics coursework. Now, I'm going to be going into my third year, and i'll be taking quantum, advanced mechanics, thermo etc.... basically, since I didn't learn mechanics that well, I was wondering if I should just whip out the halliday and resnick and go through the mechanics portion in addition to my coursework, or should I just focus on my advanced mechanics course (the textbook is taylor). Also, I was wondering if it is a good idea to start practicing for the physics GRE now or just wait until the summer before I take it.

thanks doods


Depending on how well you know mechanics, it might be a good idea to go through halliday and resnick this summer. IF you don't understand the ideas of momentum and energy, and how to break them down into both linear and rotational components, advanced mechanics could be really tough.

philipsteele
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:13 am

Re: physics grad school + pgre advice

Postby philipsteele » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:36 am

generally the advanced mechanic field is very tough and practical based study...so it is the best decision that halliday and resnick this summer....!!!!!!! :idea:

spearss91
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:37 am

Re: physics grad school + pgre advice

Postby spearss91 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:48 am

philipsteele wrote:generally the advanced mechanic field is very tough and practical based study...so it is the best decision that halliday and resnick this summer....!!!!!!! :idea:




Then what will be the best way to get perfection in this mechanic field.... :?:

baconface
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:23 pm

Re: physics grad school + pgre advice

Postby baconface » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:29 pm

Adrunner4 wrote:Hey guys, I know probably 10 billion people on this forum have asked some variant of the following question(s), so i'll try to be as quick as possible.
Basically, I didn't apply myself too well in my freshman mechanics course. I didn't do poorly, but I certainly didn't do well (mostly B's). However, my sophomore year I stepped things up and got A's and A-'s in all my physics coursework. Now, I'm going to be going into my third year, and i'll be taking quantum, advanced mechanics, thermo etc.... basically, since I didn't learn mechanics that well, I was wondering if I should just whip out the halliday and resnick and go through the mechanics portion in addition to my coursework, or should I just focus on my advanced mechanics course (the textbook is taylor). Also, I was wondering if it is a good idea to start practicing for the physics GRE now or just wait until the summer before I take it.

thanks doods


I'm of the opinion that a little review never hurt anybody... except maybe the curve :D

You mentioned your class is using the Taylor textbook. I think this book is going to be more forgiving. I'm not criticizing the book -- not at all. I actually used this one in tandem with Marion, the required text for my Mechanics class. Taylor isn't as "abstract;" he really tries to explain by example and in a conversational tone (reminds me of Griffiths).

I think you'll do fine, but only you can know that. How about this: before going head first into H&R, take a look at Taylor. Read a chapter or two, skim the whole book, and try a problem or two. If you feel uncomfortable, then it's time to break out your old friend H&R!

Also, I'd wait til the summer before for PGRE study. However, you may have a very very busy summer, so plan ahead if you can! I started studying ~2 weeks before the Nov test, when I had planned on studying over the summer and taking the Oct test. Plan ahead! Be smart about it! But don't freak out too much. Research and grades are, IMO, a significantly bigger part of the app.

PS: Taylor wrote an awesome error analysis book. Check it out for your lab classes or research; it's real gold!




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