Taking gre a no of times

blackcat007
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Taking gre a no of times

Postby blackcat007 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:35 am

i have just started my gre preparation..
and i learnt about the concept of taking the exam a no of times to improve your score. on checking the ETS website i found that it is not entirely correct. some universities look for the very first gre score and some even take the avg, so in that case even if you get a good score the 2nd time, the net effect goes down.., while some consider the best score. being in india gre is costly.. total general +subject gre =Rs 11000 or so..
so i need to rethink about taking gre a no of times..

can anyone of you throw some light on this issue, can you name some of the universities where they consider the best score? and where not?

fermiguy
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby fermiguy » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:12 am

blackcat007 wrote:i have just started my gre preparation..
and i learnt about the concept of taking the exam a no of times to improve your score. on checking the ETS website i found that it is not entirely correct. some universities look for the very first gre score and some even take the avg, so in that case even if you get a good score the 2nd time, the net effect goes down.., while some consider the best score. being in india gre is costly.. total general +subject gre =Rs 11000 or so..
so i need to rethink about taking gre a no of times..

can anyone of you throw some light on this issue, can you name some of the universities where they consider the best score? and where not?


I think the bottom line always is, you want the best score possible, and if you need to re-write the GRE Physics to improve your score you really should. That said, I'm convinced a 'good' score is anything over 750. I think it is safe to say that if you score at or over a 750 you qualify yourself for most if not all of the top schools. There are a few exceptions. Some schools like Berkeley and Princeton have cut offs that are higher than that, but schools like Stanford, Yale, Columbia don't. If you write the PGRE and score really well I probably wouldn't recommend writing it again.

As far as what schools only consider the best score... I think I'm not too far off base if I say, I think all the top schools consider all of your scores when making a decision. Good and bad. If you wrote the GRE physics and scored badly and then improved your score, that is a good sign in some ways, even if in the end they averaged the 2 scores. I suppose the oposite is true as well.. If you score well the first time and the second time you write you do badly that is a bad sign.

Bottom line, if you need to re-write to get a high score, do it!

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby butsurigakusha » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:36 am

I have said this before on the forum, but my recommendation is that you don't plan on taking it more than once. Try to get a good score the first time you take it. Then, if things don't go as planned, take it again if you can. But don't waste your time and money for what amounts to merely a practice run.

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twistor
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby twistor » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:21 pm

Don't worry so much about the GRE. Concentrate on grades and undergraduate research.

I took the GRE physics once and general twice and I was accepted to all the top schools in my field. It doesn't count as much as you think, unless you really bomb it.

VT
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby VT » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:52 pm

Hey fermiguy, are you serious that you got 490 when you took the GRE for the first time? Were you sick or something?

fermiguy
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby fermiguy » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:16 pm

VT wrote:Hey fermiguy, are you serious that you got 490 when you took the GRE for the first time? Were you sick or something?



Honestly... I don't know what happened... I think I either had an anxiety attack or I panicked or something... Because I don't remember much from the test... Like really,honestly.... I do remember doing questions and filling out the sheet but I might have done it wrong or something... but no joke.. a whole 490.... I did turn it around this year though... When I interviewed at Yale they asked what happened and that was basically the answer I gave...

I'm surprised no one else here has a similar turn around story... The GRE physics is such a crappy test I can completely see this happening to someone else... or something similar.

doom
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby doom » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:19 am

I find it interesting that many foreign students on this forum talk about "writing the GRE," whereas in the US, the idiom is "taking the GRE." In the US, if you write a test, it means you came up with the questions, and if you take it, you try to figure out the answers.

Is it the same in other countries where English is the primary language? (Ireland, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Guyana...)

I'm in a linguistics class (for fun, I'm a nerd, but aren't we all?), and I can't help but notice this stuff and wonder about it.

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quizivex
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby quizivex » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:48 am

I've noticed that too. In fact, now that I think about, I think writing a test makes more sense than taking one... since by writing, you're actually answering the questions, whereas if you literally take a test you're just picking it up and bringing it with you.

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dlenmn
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby dlenmn » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:36 am

doom wrote:Is it the same in other countries where English is the primary language? (Ireland, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Guyana...)


My understanding is that it's the British way of saying it (so many former British colonies say it that way as well), so foreigners who learn "British English" say it as well. You also say it that way in other languages (like German, except in German of course).

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby butsurigakusha » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:09 am

I don't think "write a test" makes sense, because you aren't writing a test, at most you are writing the answers to the questions on a test. Writing a test seems to literal imply that you are writing the questions to the test.

Anyway, I think the British way is to say "take a test", not write a test. Here's an entry that shows that "write a test" is used in South Africa to be equivalent with "take a test", but it looks like England and Australia use the same as America.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/write_a_test

excel
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby excel » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:38 am

In the high school I studied in India (British English), I think we used "to sit for an exam" or "to take a test", very rarely "to write a test" though I did hear some people use that.

vicente
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby vicente » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:47 pm

i've seen some indian forumers write "I am giving the GRE" which i don't understand.

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dlenmn
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby dlenmn » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:09 am

vicente wrote:i've seen some indian forumers write "I am giving the GRE" which i don't understand.


Weird. We test takers were most defiantly on the receiving end...

excel
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby excel » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:52 am

"i've seen some indian forumers write "I am giving the GRE" which i don't understand."

Now that you mention it, I remember that many students in India say this as well. :lol: Oh, well.

cantordust
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby cantordust » Sat May 17, 2008 10:59 pm

yeah..well the right way in India is 'taking a test', and I think thats the right way everywhere, in English.

You find a lot of Indians saying 'write a test' or 'give an exam' because they tend to literally translate their own languages into English, word for word..and in Indian languages the right way of saying it is 'write a test' or 'give a test', so..

:)

alo
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby alo » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:46 am

Well , in persian (farsi) we say giving an exam.I think it is more meaningful.But as I know in my country everybody knows that in english it becomes taking an exam !

DarthTater
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby DarthTater » Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:37 pm

twistor wrote:Don't worry so much about the GRE. Concentrate on grades and undergraduate research.

I took the GRE physics once and general twice and I was accepted to all the top schools in my field. It doesn't count as much as you think, unless you really bomb it.


Hmm...
I graduated with a 4.0 as valedictorian and 4 separate research projects including an REU at my top school, along with other accolades like a Goldwater scholarship, Rossing Scholarship, PBK etc, and was rejected by my top two. Know why? My GRE score was below 50%. I would bet my life savings on it (granted I wouldn't really be losing much).

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quizivex
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby quizivex » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:09 pm

I'm sorry to hear the application process didn't work out the way you wanted it to, but perhaps your story will help show future classes on the forum that they should devote as much attention to the GRE as they need to get a strong score.

While I've already shared my opinions of the GRE countless times on this forum, I feel obligated to give another response every time I see a post of the form, "Don't worry about the PGRE. The test sucks and the committees know it. If you have strong research experience and good recommendations backed up with good grades, they couldn't turn you down over one minor flaw in your application." The reason is that I don't want any prospective student coming to the forum for advice to get misguided and walk away thinking GRE doesn't matter.

It's important to know what matters in the process, and I think the profile thread has helped confirm that every component of the application matters in the graduate admission process, but none dominate the rest.

This isn't the case with other applications... I was very frustrated by the Coldwater Scholarshit that you mananged to win (congrats). I applied twice with a 4.0 GPA in strong coursework, with research under 3 groups (including an REU) and had was listed minor author in one pub, had meaningful extracurricular jobs and wrote thoughtful essays. I got nothing, not even an honorable mention. Ofter time after hearing other people talking about it or seeing profiles of winners online, I came to realize that the Goldwater Scholarship focuses almost entirely on whether or not the student has done published independent research. I never had a chance to win because I was working under other individuals, and I wish I had been told that before I wasted my effort filling the tedious forms out and getting 3 recs.

Anyway, the graduate admission process is more holistic. Everyone should try to develop a strong record with no major holes (major hole = a C- in quantum or a low PGRE, minor hole = low GRE verbal score or a C- in a humanities class).

Even if a student's research is spectacular and his recommenders love him, it's hard to tell sometimes how much of a student's research success was from his own work or from his collaborators... Even if his grades are great, they might not carry much weight from an unrecognized program where most the students are mediocre... So it will be hard for an admission committee at an elite program to accept a student if his PGRE, the most objective part of the app, marks him below half the other students in the pool.

twistor wrote:I took the GRE physics once and general twice and I was accepted to all the top schools in my field. It doesn't count as much as you think, unless you really bomb it.

How does the number of times you took the tests pertain to the second sentence? lol

Anyway, best of luck to you in grad school, DarthTater!

t3chn0n3rd
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby t3chn0n3rd » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:01 pm

I know the kaplan near my university offers alot of practice exams, giving under the same environment as an actual exam.

I am not sure if Princeton review does the same thing

Maxwells_Demon
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby Maxwells_Demon » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:25 am

quizivex,

Does a C in electricity & magnetism II = big hole? :(

It was actually a C+, and during one of the tests I was exhausted (no sleep for 2 days). This actually worries me greatly........... :/

-Maxwell's Demon

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quizivex
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby quizivex » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:34 am

Ugh, I wrote that comment hoping to inspire people to take the GRE seriously, not to discourage students who had a setback in a class. :oops:

I mentioned the C- as an example of a kind of hole that may appear on a record, but it wouldn't be as big a hole for everyone. I was primarly addressing students who come from average schools and are hoping to attend a prestigeous graduate program like Cornell. For those students, yes a C- in an important class is a hole, but for those with more moderate goals, it might not be as hazardous as long as their overall GPA is decent. Still, even for guys wanting to go to Cornell, I'm sure no single grade will count them out if they kick ass in the majority of their courses and the GRE/research etc...

The core subjects of undergrad and graduate physics are quantum, E&M, mechanics and stat mech (I think). So botching one of them is unfortunate. I wouldn't feel bad personally about it or lose confidence in your abilities... it can happen to anyone. In advanced courses with exams that have as few as 2-3 problems, anything can happen.

As for your situation, you shouldn't worry too much. Firstly, since E&M has two parts, you can balance out your poor E&M2 grade if you had a decent E&M1 grade. When I mentioned the "C- in quantum," I was thinking from the perspective of my own school where there is only one quantum course, so since no balancing can occur if someone botches quantum at my school, it would be a big hole. Secondly, your C+ is not nearly as bad as a C-. A C- at my school and perhaps at most others, is the lowest grade one can receive to get credit for the course. Since most profs are reluctant to fail students, a C- represents the worst possible performance. But a C+ shows at least some grasp of the material, and under some ruthless profs, a C+ is the class average. Finally, even with a C range grade, a student shouldn't lose hope for even the top schools. If he has an A/A- average overall, then clearly the C was a fluke and might be overlooked. If he has a B/B- average and the C was not a fluke, then sadly he shouldn't expect too much from the admission process anyway.

Regardless of where you stand now, Maxwells_Demon, just remember that in October (or November), you'll be presented the opportunity to show once and for all what you're made of. Instead of worrying about your C+, start reviewing your undergrad physics! :)

t3chn0n3rd wrote:I know the kaplan near my university offers alot of practice exams, giving under the same environment as an actual exam.

I am not sure if Princeton review does the same thing

t3chn0n3rd wrote:It was difficult to find a Subject matter physics gre exam manual.

I had to order from Barnes and Nobles

:lol:
garden's second disciple

Maxwells_Demon
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby Maxwells_Demon » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:49 am

thx quizivex, for always answering questions.

quizivex wrote:Ugh, I wrote that comment hoping to inspire people to take the GRE seriously, not to discourage students who had a setback in a class. :oops:


No worries, it wasn't your comment itself that got me worrying. : D. i'll shut up now

Maxwell's_Demon

blackcat007
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Re: Taking gre a no of times

Postby blackcat007 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:15 am

well i searched the forum.. i found that mostly issues regarding weighing out for low PGRE scores by UG research have been discussed extensively.. but what about the inverse question.. ie what are my chances to get a good school or atleast a school if i don't have research in physics , but in mechanical engg related topic and some experiences in physics from summer schools and short study programs.and .. i perform very well in PGRE? will that help me? this question has been looming over my head from the last few months.. as chances of getting a project in physics for an engineer is really bleak in india..




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