So-So GRE, Fine Profile

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mjgm
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:05 pm

So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:46 am

This is my profile. I am Indian. I want(ed) to go for a grad school among the top 10. But an unexpectedly poor PGRE score (800) has started putting doubts in me. Any suggestions?

My profile:

Major(s): Physics
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Among top few
GRE Scores :
Q: 164
V: 163
W: 5
P: 800 (~75%)

TOEFL Total: 119

Research Experience:
1. Quantum Computation and Information: TIFR Fellow working on Teleportation, Quantum Secret Sharing, etc.
2. Condensed Matter Physics at IIT-G
3. Astrophysics
4. Research Collaboration on Photonic Crystal Fibers.
5. Project with Government of India collaboration, on Nano-Carbon Forms,etc.

Publications: 3 publications+2 Springer Publications in process
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: INSPIRE Scholarship, Member of Indian Physics Association, Editor of Catalyst- Scientific Journal of Rice University, etc.

Any input would be appreciated. :)
Last edited by mjgm on Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby blighter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:57 am

mjgm wrote:This is my profile. I am Indian. I want(ed) to go for a grad school among the top 10. But an unexpectedly poor PGRE score (800) has started putting doubts in me. Any suggestions?

My profile:

Major(s): Physics
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Among top few
GRE Scores :
Q: 164
V: 163
W: 5
P: 800 (~75%)

TOEFL Total: 119

Research Experience:
1. Quantum Computation and Information: TIFR Fellow working on Teleportation, Quantum Secret Sharing, etc.
2. Condensed Matter Physics: Study on Magnetocaloric Effect in Heusler Alloys (IIT-G), etc.
3. Astrophysics: Study on Cosmological Special Relativity
4. Research Collaboration on Photonic Crystal Fibers.
5. Project with Government of India collaboration, on Photomicrolithography and Nano-Carbon Forms,etc.

Publications: 3 publications+2 Springer Publications in process
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: INSPIRE Scholarship, NIUS Fellowship, Member of Indian Physics Association, Editor of Catalyst- Scientific Journal of Rice University, etc.

Any input would be appreciated. :)


Are you from CMI? Because most other three year degrees in India are considered not rigorous enough. Apart from that, I think you have a great profile.

mjgm
Posts: 39
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:58 am

No. Not CMI.

blighter
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby blighter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:30 am

mjgm wrote:No. Not CMI.


The only issue I see is most universities in the US (or Canada) require your degree to be four years long. I don't know if they can make exceptions. Your GRE is fine.

mjgm
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:41 am

I know. But then some universities do admit students after 3 years. Do you have names in mind that you can suggest among high ranking, decent and OK universities?

blighter
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby blighter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:10 pm

Top ten can be hard, although not impossible. Apply to some safeties as well. I don't think I can say anything more than that.

mjgm
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:37 pm

Top ten can be attained if you have got good credentials. Have not mentioned a few aspects of my profile. Hopefully, they can carry me through.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:40 pm

blighter wrote:Top ten can be hard, although not impossible. Apply to some safeties as well. I don't think I can say anything more than that.


I disagree as I love to be the bearer of bad news here. I don't think he has a shot at top 10, given he is international and the PGRE score. 800 is not a bad score in general, but the competition as an international student is much more fierce. I would not waste your money on applications for top 10 schools. Look through the profiles on the site and find similar international applicants and where they applied. I can not and will not tell you where you should want to apply, that is for you to decide.

-Riley

mjgm
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:11 pm

I think it is highlighted everywhere Riley that PGRE is not the end of the story. My research credentials are fine and there are certain activities which have been lauded by people from these very 'top 10' school. So, I don't see the reason for such a blank shut-off only because of the PGRE.

mjgm
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:19 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
blighter wrote:Top ten can be hard, although not impossible. Apply to some safeties as well. I don't think I can say anything more than that.


I disagree as I love to be the bearer of bad news here. I don't think he has a shot at top 10, given he is international and the PGRE score. 800 is not a bad score in general, but the competition as an international student is much more fierce. I would not waste your money on applications for top 10 schools. Look through the profiles on the site and find similar international applicants and where they applied. I can not and will not tell you where you should want to apply, that is for you to decide.

-Riley

I think it is highlighted everywhere Riley that PGRE is not the end of the story. My research credentials are fine and there are certain activities which have been lauded by people from these very 'top 10' school. So, I don't see the reason for such a blank shut-off only because of the PGRE.

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby blighter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:26 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
blighter wrote:Top ten can be hard, although not impossible. Apply to some safeties as well. I don't think I can say anything more than that.


I disagree as I love to be the bearer of bad news here. I don't think he has a shot at top 10, given he is international and the PGRE score. 800 is not a bad score in general, but the competition as an international student is much more fierce. I would not waste your money on applications for top 10 schools. Look through the profiles on the site and find similar international applicants and where they applied. I can not and will not tell you where you should want to apply, that is for you to decide.

-Riley


He seems to have excellent research credentials. Besides I don't think he should simply rule out top ten and not even give it a shot.

mjgm
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:27 pm

blighter wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:
blighter wrote:Top ten can be hard, although not impossible. Apply to some safeties as well. I don't think I can say anything more than that.


I disagree as I love to be the bearer of bad news here. I don't think he has a shot at top 10, given he is international and the PGRE score. 800 is not a bad score in general, but the competition as an international student is much more fierce. I would not waste your money on applications for top 10 schools. Look through the profiles on the site and find similar international applicants and where they applied. I can not and will not tell you where you should want to apply, that is for you to decide.

-Riley


He seems to have excellent research credentials. Besides I don't think he should simply rule out top ten and not even give it a shot.


Thank you for the little reassuring tone. Hope something works out.

TakeruK
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby TakeruK » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:31 pm

I am a little confused because this sounds like mjgm asked for advice and then disagreed with everyone that offered their honest opinions that didn't agree with what mjgm wanted to hear.

What types of programs are you applying to? Programs that are not directly Physics (e.g. astronomy) will either not require or not weigh the PGRE as much.

If you are worried about not being as competitive as domestic applicants, then applying to private schools, or other schools where international students cost the same as domestic students, could help. These are also usually top universities, and it's my experience that I had much more success with private schools than public schools in the US (I'm also an international student, from Canada).

I got rejected from lower ranked public schools and accepted at higher ranked private schools. My PGRE scores were 640 and 690 and I applied to Planetary Science and Astronomy programs at different schools and still got in. So based on these experiences, I would suggest that a lower PGRE score won't hurt you as much when applying to top private schools in non-pure-Physics fields.

However, I have not met very many Indian students who have only completed a 3 year undergrad degree and then went to a top 10 grad school in the US. I think many Indian students here have a Masters degree before coming here for a PhD. I also find that the higher ranked the school, the more strict the "4 year degree" requirement is.

Finally, it's my opinion that unless one really wants to limit the number of schools one applies to, it's worth it to aim high. I also agree that mjgm has excellent research backgrounds and it's hard to know how much that will count for things! Also, personally (everyone will have different circumstances), I think it's only worth applying internationally if you are aiming high. For me, I only applied to US schools that were ranked higher than the top Canadian school (for my field) because there was no point leaving Canada if I could get an equivalent or better experience at home!

mjgm
Posts: 39
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:42 pm

TakeruK wrote:I am a little confused because this sounds like mjgm asked for advice and then disagreed with everyone that offered their honest opinions that didn't agree with what mjgm wanted to hear.

What types of programs are you applying to? Programs that are not directly Physics (e.g. astronomy) will either not require or not weigh the PGRE as much.

If you are worried about not being as competitive as domestic applicants, then applying to private schools, or other schools where international students cost the same as domestic students, could help. These are also usually top universities, and it's my experience that I had much more success with private schools than public schools in the US (I'm also an international student, from Canada).

I got rejected from lower ranked public schools and accepted at higher ranked private schools. My PGRE scores were 640 and 690 and I applied to Planetary Science and Astronomy programs at different schools and still got in. So based on these experiences, I would suggest that a lower PGRE score won't hurt you as much when applying to top private schools in non-pure-Physics fields.

However, I have not met very many Indian students who have only completed a 3 year undergrad degree and then went to a top 10 grad school in the US. I think many Indian students here have a Masters degree before coming here for a PhD. I also find that the higher ranked the school, the more strict the "4 year degree" requirement is.

Finally, it's my opinion that unless one really wants to limit the number of schools one applies to, it's worth it to aim high. I also agree that mjgm has excellent research backgrounds and it's hard to know how much that will count for things! Also, personally (everyone will have different circumstances), I think it's only worth applying internationally if you are aiming high. For me, I only applied to US schools that were ranked higher than the top Canadian school (for my field) because there was no point leaving Canada if I could get an equivalent or better experience at home!


Thank you for your views. And no, I was not going against everyone. Just that some people did not present an argument to validate what they said. I may have been wrong on my part. Out of the US Schools in the QS top 20...which ones do you propose as good options? I do not want to spend much on too many applications and want to have some options which would be, as someone put it, 'safety options'. Also, for pure Physics fields, what could be good options?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:19 pm

mjgm wrote:Just that some people did not present an argument to validate what they said.


Alright. Here is my argument. I have been through the profile threads (which it appears you haven't) a multitude of times. I have constructed a thread based on PGRE scores and the acceptance rates at schools based on only the PGRE. I did this only for domestic students HOWEVER it is implied that the score for an international student should be equal or higher to get accepted to the same school.

Oh, here's the links so you don't have to search for them:

2008-2010: http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3669
2011-2012: http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5004

Now, you posted here asking your chances, asking for advice and I gave you it. If you prefer false hopes over realistic responses, then pay no attention to any of my posts. I only talk about rainbows and butterflies when they are there.

-Riley

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:22 pm

mjgm wrote:Out of the US Schools in the QS top 20...which ones do you propose as good options?


That's like asking us which girl you should date. Go search the schools and find ones that do research you're interested in. This is your job, not ours. I will gladly give you my opinion of a program if you ask about it, but I'm not doing your homework for you.

-Riley

poel5279
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby poel5279 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:00 pm

mjgm, I think what Riley said is quite realistic.
I explored several profile thread, and it seems like many international students are required to have very high PGRE to get into top 10.

I am in almost same shoe as you, in that I am counted as international student with 810 PGRE score.
However, I do have lot of research experience like you and I got all my education here in the US.

Fingers crossed for both of us.

mjgm
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:56 am

poel5279 wrote:mjgm, I think what Riley said is quite realistic.
I explored several profile thread, and it seems like many international students are required to have very high PGRE to get into top 10.

I am in almost same shoe as you, in that I am counted as international student with 810 PGRE score.
However, I do have lot of research experience like you and I got all my education here in the US.

Fingers crossed for both of us.


Yeah poel5279. Also, I may go for Applied since I am interested in Quantum Computation.

mjgm
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby mjgm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:19 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:
mjgm wrote:Out of the US Schools in the QS top 20...which ones do you propose as good options?


That's like asking us which girl you should date. Go search the schools and find ones that do research you're interested in. This is your job, not ours. I will gladly give you my opinion of a program if you ask about it, but I'm not doing your homework for you.

-Riley


Ha ha Riley. I have done my homework. Don't worry. Just that wanted to know if any of you had any inputs to offer in the present condition. Apparently, nothing more than your uncanny sense of humour. :)

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:25 pm

mjgm wrote:Ha ha Riley. I have done my homework. Don't worry. Just that wanted to know if any of you had any inputs to offer in the present condition. Apparently, nothing more than your uncanny sense of humour. :)


Good now do my homework too.

-Riley

hermitw
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Re: So-So GRE, Fine Profile

Postby hermitw » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:58 pm

Your three year degree would be a problem. As far as I remember, Stanford and MIT require 5 year master from India.




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