GRE Physics of 27th September

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heisenbergh23
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:56 am

GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby heisenbergh23 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:59 am

To those who wrote today's GRE Physics, what do you think of difficulty of the test in comparison to the practice tests? Any weird topics tested?

kalaxjeo
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:03 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby kalaxjeo » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:07 pm

It seemed easier than several of the practice tests, although similar to the content of the 2001 exam.

dak213
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:17 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby dak213 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:21 pm

I thought it was much easier than the practice exams I was taking. The questions seem much more straight-forward and I was feeling pretty good after leaving the exam initially.

But then I started thinking about what my score would be if everyone else felt the same way. What if I get an awesome score but end up in a low percentile because everyone else did just as well/better.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby Catria » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:26 pm

dak213 wrote:I thought it was much easier than the practice exams I was taking. The questions seem much more straight-forward and I was feeling pretty good after leaving the exam initially.

But then I started thinking about what my score would be if everyone else felt the same way. What if I get an awesome score but end up in a low percentile because everyone else did just as well/better.


Who knows... I hope this isn't a repeat of the April one (although I did not write this test today) because there were similar comments back in April.

Macch
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:35 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby Macch » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:35 pm

I also thought it was easier. I couldn't finish the last 9 questions (damn time management), and left like 4 or 5 blank during the test, but I'm pretty sure I did well in the questions I did. I was scoring around 75~85 in the practice tests though, and apparently I did the same in the real test, so this feeling that it was easier might not be realistic (I hope :P).

wompwomp
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby wompwomp » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:45 pm

The first half of the test was definitely easier than the practice test. The second half of the test was plenty tough, I thought.

I was getting around 85-95 precentile on the practice test, but I was stuck at the 50th percentile when I *actually* last took the test, so, again, idk. Take everything I say with multiple grains of salt.

zhuk
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:45 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby zhuk » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:52 pm

I took the April one and thought it was easy, had extra time left over .... then got my score :oops: - 64%
This one , I thought was trickier and harder, had to leave a few blanks.
From people I talked to, it sounds like there were a lot of blanks left.
I think I did worse this time.

dak213
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:17 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby dak213 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:56 pm

Well dang here I was thinking I did pretty well and I left quite a few of them unanswered. I got through all of the problems and was able to go back and answer a some but I left more than 5 blank for sure. I didn't have time to think about them much more.
I am taking it again in October so I'll make sure to do better but I've gone through these forums and see tons of people disappointed with an 850 and 90th percentile. I don't know if it only looks like that because people who scored lower don't want to post it, but I'll be happy with 50th percentile. It does stress me out though, seeing everyone in the high percent range express such disappointment in themselves.

wompwomp
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby wompwomp » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:09 pm

dak213 wrote:Well dang here I was thinking I did pretty well and I left quite a few of them unanswered. I got through all of the problems and was able to go back and answer a some but I left more than 5 blank for sure. I didn't have time to think about them much more.
I am taking it again in October so I'll make sure to do better but I've gone through these forums and see tons of people disappointed with an 850 and 90th percentile. I don't know if it only looks like that because people who scored lower don't want to post it, but I'll be happy with 50th percentile. It does stress me out though, seeing everyone in the high percent range express such disappointment in themselves.


Heh, I was thinking about retaking it October, but I don't think I'm going to. I've had to sacrifice my entire last month (more) just to study for this darn test - I even took a week off from work for this - and there were still a few topics that I didn't have time to go through. I'm now thinking that even a 100 point improvement in my score would not be worth an extra month of all this pain. I can probably better use this time researching schools, writing my essays, finishing up research at work, and even just hanging out with people sometimes.

Decisions, decisions.

dak213
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:17 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby dak213 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:25 pm

wompwomp wrote:
dak213 wrote:Well dang here I was thinking I did pretty well and I left quite a few of them unanswered. I got through all of the problems and was able to go back and answer a some but I left more than 5 blank for sure. I didn't have time to think about them much more.
I am taking it again in October so I'll make sure to do better but I've gone through these forums and see tons of people disappointed with an 850 and 90th percentile. I don't know if it only looks like that because people who scored lower don't want to post it, but I'll be happy with 50th percentile. It does stress me out though, seeing everyone in the high percent range express such disappointment in themselves.


Heh, I was thinking about retaking it October, but I don't think I'm going to. I've had to sacrifice my entire last month (more) just to study for this darn test - I even took a week off from work for this - and there were still a few topics that I didn't have time to go through. I'm now thinking that even a 100 point improvement in my score would not be worth an extra month of all this pain. I can probably better use this time researching schools, writing my essays, finishing up research at work, and even just hanging out with people sometimes.


Decisions, decisions.



Ah yes, that is something to take into account. Luckily I've already graduated and am taking a year off to look at different schools and do a little more research, so I have a lot more time to study. Last year, I was stuck between a couple of phd programs and waited until I finally decided on what I wanted to do.

wompwomp
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby wompwomp » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:51 pm

dak213 wrote:Ah yes, that is something to take into account. Luckily I've already graduated and am taking a year off to look at different schools and do a little more research, so I have a lot more time to study. Last year, I was stuck between a couple of phd programs and waited until I finally decided on what I wanted to do.


I graduated two years ago, and that makes it worse! I remember *nothing* from my undergrad years - so I've had to come back home from work, then study for a few hours every day. Very exhausting.

dak213
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:17 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby dak213 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:09 pm

wompwomp wrote:
dak213 wrote:Ah yes, that is something to take into account. Luckily I've already graduated and am taking a year off to look at different schools and do a little more research, so I have a lot more time to study. Last year, I was stuck between a couple of phd programs and waited until I finally decided on what I wanted to do.


I graduated two years ago, and that makes it worse! I remember *nothing* from my undergrad years - so I've had to come back home from work, then study for a few hours every day. Very exhausting.




Oh I feel the opposite. I have time to really go through and study things from undergrad, which I don't mind at all. It's also still pretty fresh in my mind since I just graduated. But I can read books that pertain to the field that I want to go into and I plan on taking a computational physics class to get better with programming. I tutor for work which is nice because I can make my own hours and it still focuses on math and physics.

heisenbergh23
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:56 am

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby heisenbergh23 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:17 pm

Which part of the exam did you guys find difficult? For me Optics was quite difficult.

djh101
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby djh101 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:32 am

It got progressively harder, I think, as the test went on. Will mentioning specific questions (even if only vague descriptions) violate ETS terms and conditions?

There were a few that caught me off guard, I think I left 5 blank. At least two I sort of had to guess for the minus sign. The classical mechanics (i.e. first quarter physics) ones always seem to get me.
Last edited by djh101 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wompwomp
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby wompwomp » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:29 am

djh101 wrote:It got progressively harder, I think, as the test went on. Will mentioning specific questions (even if only vague descriptions) violate ETS terms and conditions?

There were a few that caught me off guard, I think I left 5 blank. At least two I sort of had to guess for the minus sign. The classical mechanics (i.e. first quarter physics) and [deleted] ones always seem to get me. And anything with a [deleted].


The first half was easier, but more computation heavy/time intensive? I got through them, but it took way too much time. The second half had more conceptual questions, but also some harder questions.

I think I left 5-7 blank in total, probably put down best guesses (after elimination) on 10 or so more. Accounting for the number of silly numerical errors that I usually make, I suppose I'd be happy with around 75-80 correct answers.

Grant
site admin
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Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby Grant » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:55 am

djh101 wrote:Will mentioning specific questions (even if only vague descriptions) violate ETS terms and conditions?

The ETS practice test posted online has a place where they ask test takers to write out and sign an agreement that includes, "I also agree not to disclose the contents of the test I am taking today to anyone."

I am not a lawyer and I don't know whether that a agreement means people can't say the test was easier or harder than they expected. However, I don't want physicsgre.com to be a place where students become comfortable violating that agreement, so when I notice someone mentioning anything remotely specific then I try to remove the specifics. For example, as completely made up examples off the top of my head, I would likely remove a vague reference to a "Lagrangian" question or a reference to a problem with "three monkeys throwing a ball".

aaa2
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:06 am

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby aaa2 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:31 am

My god that everyone else also thinks that this was ultra easy worries me to great extremes. I thought it was easy also (answered like 97) but knowing me I probably made dozens of stupid mistakes(likely well in the 30s range even i would have known the right answer). I really hoped for a hard test so difficulty can make up for my careless thought process and people would get taken below me by hard questions increasing my chances. I don't want to do another Physics GRE, travelling by train booking a hotel during the October festival was too stressing and expensive. Somehow it makes me think I shouldn't even try to apply for a PhD position especially since unless you get into a good program you can essentially shoot yourself(which i won't since I am a Muslim, so that people do not get the wrong idea any kind of suicide and stuff is forbidden in Islam just as killings of any kind are) as you won't be able to achieve anything besides get a dull job working for some company which you probably also can without a PhD.

Does it really take until after the next test for results? That would be an utter disaster!

Next is general GRE... I am so worried about how boring that one is going to be just looking at the exercise test questions nearly makes me puke by how boring it is. The TOEFL test already was such a test of patience with the incredibly boring stories one had to listen to and actually answer questions to.

djh101
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby djh101 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:18 pm

I would likely remove a vague reference to a "Lagrangian" question or a reference to a problem with "three monkeys throwing a ball".


Alright, sorry about that.

The first half was easier, but more computation heavy/time intensive?


I would say the first half went a lot quicker (the beginning had me thinking it was going to be a quick and easy test). Of course, I think different countries get different tests, to account for timezone differences (not sure about different locations or closely spaced timezones- that would require lots of time by ETS taken to write the tests).

dak213
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:17 pm

Re: GRE Physics of 27th September

Postby dak213 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:59 pm

aaa2 wrote:My god that everyone else also thinks that this was ultra easy worries me to great extremes. I thought it was easy also (answered like 97) but knowing me I probably made dozens of stupid mistakes(likely well in the 30s range even i would have known the right answer). I really hoped for a hard test so difficulty can make up for my careless thought process and people would get taken below me by hard questions increasing my chances. I don't want to do another Physics GRE, travelling by train booking a hotel during the October festival was too stressing and expensive. Somehow it makes me think I shouldn't even try to apply for a PhD position especially since unless you get into a good program you can essentially shoot yourself(which i won't since I am a Muslim, so that people do not get the wrong idea any kind of suicide and stuff is forbidden in Islam just as killings of any kind are) as you won't be able to achieve anything besides get a dull job working for some company which you probably also can without a PhD.

Does it really take until after the next test for results? That would be an utter disaster!

Next is general GRE... I am so worried about how boring that one is going to be just looking at the exercise test questions nearly makes me puke by how boring it is. The TOEFL test already was such a test of patience with the incredibly boring stories one had to listen to and actually answer questions to.




I'm not sure what you would consider a "good program", but if you're thinking that the only schools worth going to for a graduate program are places like Princeton, MIT and Harvard, then it's absolutely not true. There are plenty of places that don't require a 95th percentile on the PGRE and are very good. Some don't require a PGRE at all. Find a specific professor that you'd like to do research with. It's more about that than whether or not the school is an ivy. Don't stress out too much about it!




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