Qualification Exam - Am I Screwed?

  • As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
  • There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.

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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:01 am

Qualification Exam - Am I Screwed?

Postby drunkphysics » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:56 pm

I'm a prospective student, just accepted to my top choice, middle tier school but pretty good for my standards 8) . I was looking through the degree requirements, and it seems like their qualifiers are pretty tough. I graduated from a small liberal arts school with a degree in physics, and I know the academic standards between those and larger state schools are pretty different. On top of that, I've taken two years off from academia to work in the field to bolster my research time and work on better pgre scores. So I'm not exactly brushed up on all of my relevant derivations, etc. Am I screwed for these qualifiers? I'm convinced that everyone will be leagues ahead of me, and I really would not oppose to an undergraduate refresher on pretty much all areas (QM, EM, classical mech), except these exams are at the end of the first year, so that doesn't give me much time.

So I'm asking the general public, has anyone come from my style of background? How hard was it for you to keep afloat with graduate studies?

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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:11 am

Re: Qualification Exam - Am I Screwed?

Postby Strange_Beauty » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:46 pm

look up the statistics of how many people fail the test at that school. also they may post sample exams, or you can ask current grad students.

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