Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

Which is the most annoying/troublesome part of the application process?

General GRE
5
6%
Physics GRE
25
29%
Soliciting recommendation letters
8
9%
Reminding professors not to be late with rec. letters
13
15%
Writing statement of purpose
23
27%
Filling out the actual application
5
6%
Ordering transcripts
5
6%
Trying to come up with witty remarks to post on PhysicsGRE.com
2
2%
 
Total votes: 86

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trani
Posts: 108
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Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby trani » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:01 pm

So I have been sitting in front of a blank page about to start my Statement of Purpose for a few days now :shock: , but I can't seem to be able to actually start writing anything :cry:

Given what I have been through so far then, I can conclude that the most annoying part of the process is writing the statement.

Lets see if you ppls agree...

casaubon
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:42 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby casaubon » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:13 pm

I voted for filling out the application. Each school has its own system, and there is just so much you have to fill out. Then you have to double- and triple-check everything to make sure you didn't make a mistake. The whole process ends up taking way more time than it should, particularly if you want to apply to several schools.

I don't think writing the statement of purpose is too bad. I've been tossing things around in my mind for awhile now. I'm finding it enlightening to try to summarize my previous work in a meaningful way.

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secander2!
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Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby secander2! » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:16 pm

I definitely agree... the SOP sucks! Especially since the prompts for many of the different schools differ quite substantially. Also, as a physics/math person (duh!), I want everything to be perfect like a mathematical proof, but there is no perfect formula for writing and so I end up writing about 10 completely different drafts before finally getting too tired and just picking the best one.

For me the PGRE studying was also really annoying; although I kind of enjoyed taking the actual test (please nobody kill me for this) because I knew that the worst part of the process was about to be over.

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coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
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Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:31 pm

I started my Statement about a week ago. Luckily, one of the professors in my department actually got her Ph.D. in "History of Science", so she knows good written work and has helped me refine it lately.

I'd say the most troublesome part of the process for me so far was the General GRE. Had to drive about 130 miles to the nearest computer testing center, my car battery died while I was there and I had to call roadside assistance because my backup jumpstart pack was dead also. Then on the way home there was a fluke October snow storm and I got stuck in 6 inches of snow. Had to sleep in my car in a parking lot that night. Not fun.

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quizivex
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby quizivex » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:46 pm

@coreycwgriffin
Wow, that's about as awful a GRE experience there can be... but at least you got to take the test and most of the drama came afterward. Makes me feel lucky that my computer and subject test centers were close by.

I had serious trouble writing my SOP, but I'd have to say the most annoying part is the recs since they're beyond our control both in terms of what they write and when(if) they submit them. Transcripts aren't a problem, as long as you send them early enough, since you can check to make sure they arrived before the deadline.

But no matter what I did, I knew some prof would wait until last minute. I'm quite lucky I was always down the hall from their offices so I could pop my head in once in a while, or otherwise it could have been worse... I can't imagine trying to get a rec from someone far away like an REU supervisor.

I had assumed at least that since Stanford's app was due Dec 11, 3 days before any of the others, that it would at least force them to get the rest in on time in case they were late with Stanford and I confronted them. Two of my profs sent all of theirs in before the 11th, but one of them did each individual rec last minute, which made me bite my nails through the whole process.

He actually had forgotten that Stanford was due the 11th (even though I had written all the info in a packet for him). If I hadn't reminded him he would'nt have done it. Instead of doing them all that day with Stanford's, he did each of them the day before their due date, except the last two, which were due on Jan 1st... I don't think he would've gotten those two in if I hadn't sent him a desperate e-mail the morning of the due date. He submitted those 3 hours before.

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secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby secander2! » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:04 am

Wow, Stanford just has to be obnoxious don't they? This year most of the other top-10 have deadlines on Dec 15 except Stanford which has its deadline on Dec 16. Bizarre!!!
Last edited by secander2! on Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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trani
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby trani » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:29 am

I must have revised my personal statement like 10 times by now and I haven't even started writing the paragraph that would be customized for each school. :shock:

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secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby secander2! » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:56 am

That's still better than me: I wrote the first draft of my personal statement, felt like it came out pretty good, and then lost all motivation!!! It's neither revised nor customized :mrgreen:

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twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby twistor » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:41 am

To quote Tom Petty, "the waiting is the hardest part."

sirius
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:01 am

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby sirius » Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:53 pm

how about application fees? makes me sick when i look at how much money ets took too.

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xudis149
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:03 am

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby xudis149 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:33 am

There should be an option for "waiting for result"

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Helio
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby Helio » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:48 am

i dunno the SOP seemed easy for me (my first one was due Nov. 1st). I just wrote something, gave it to a couple profs to approve and then send it through a couple english majors for correction and then just tagged on a generic paragraph for every school. I think the really worst part was trying to get one of my recommenders to write the letters and the amount of money i spend on this bullshit.

nonick
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby nonick » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:53 am

Helio wrote:i dunno the SOP seemed easy for me (my first one was due Nov. 1st). I just wrote something, gave it to a couple profs to approve and then send it through a couple english majors for correction and then just tagged on a generic paragraph for every school. I think the really worst part was trying to get one of my recommenders to write the letters and the amount of money i spend on this bullshit.

Agreed. For my SOP I just locked myself in a room in the library on one Saturday morning and vowed to not leave until I have a finished draft. After that I just spent some time editing and proofreading, then gave it to one of my professors and couple of my friends for a critique, and that was pretty much it. All in all, about 3-4 days. It wasn't fun but was definitely not the most painful part of the application process.
I think for me that was worrying that my prof-s won't send their letters of recommendations on time. All of them sent them at the last minute.

slugger
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:12 am

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby slugger » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:35 pm

My SOP was brutal. it took me over 6 weeks to finish the first draft (i had put the date in the header). The final version took about 3 more weeks of editing and revising. I feel like a learned a lot doing it though, cause a few weeks later i banged out an SOP for the girlfriend in like 20 minutes.

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meowful
Posts: 36
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Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby meowful » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:14 pm

slugger wrote:a few weeks later i banged out an SOP for the girlfriend in like 20 minutes.


Wow, your girlfriend required a statement of purpose? Intense! I usually just ask for a transcript and resume.

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twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Which is the most annoying part of the application process?

Postby twistor » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:41 pm

Sometimes I wish I were dyslexic:

"a few weeks later i banged out an girlfriend for the SOP in like 20 minutes."




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