GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Oliver
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:56 am

GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby Oliver » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:22 am

Hello everyone,

My name is Oliver, I'm an American citizen but I spent most of my life in France (that's why my English might sound strange to you, please forgive me about it).
I've been studying Mechanical Engineering (major) in a French Great School. My results there are quite good (top 10%). I just got my Master's Degree of Engineering which is compulsory in France.

I am now moving forward to physics. The French university system is quite messed up and I find it very hard to switch from engineering to physics in this country. Therefore, I intend to go back to the US for a PhD. I have to attend the GREs.

If I understood everything quite accurately, I have 4 tests to attend : General GRE, Quantitative Physics GRE, Qualitative Physics GRE and TOEFL (since I studied in France, shouldn't be a problem).

I have no publications. I did some experimental research, not so good though (lack of money).
My Recommendation Letters should be good but not amazing -- no Nobel prizes! ;)
My level in Physics should give me around 750~800~850 at the GREs.

Concerning the pGRE preparation, I read that the two recommended books are:
Fundamentals of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, and Jearl Walker
Concepts of Modern Physics by Arthur Beiser

Do you agree with that?

Could you please advise me on the following?
1) Do you recommend any GRE-strategy books?
2) Do you recommend any English language books for English GRE (my English is ok but not perfect as you can see)?
3) What universities do you think I could apply to with reasonable chances of acceptance (my dream would be Berkeley or Caltech but ya know...).
4) I would really appreciate any other advice (like "only attend the April exam if not prepared enough in October" or "attend both, will give you experience").

Thank you very much for your help and I apologize for those silly questions you've probably been asked about many times before!

Oliver

blueeverest
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby blueeverest » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:10 pm

For General GRE, you don't need a prep-book for math (quantitative) section. If you think you do, try other field besides Physics and Math. For verbal, develop your vocabulary as much as you can. Try Barron's GRE. I think its good.

For Physics GRE, there is no particular text. But from various posts, I figured out that solving previous tests helps a lot. My personal favorite prep-book for PGRE is Physics Companion by Fischer-Cripps.

I hope this helps.

Oliver
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:56 am

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby Oliver » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:07 pm

It does help me a lot !
I'm actually pretty confused with all the American academic system I'm not used to !

I'll try Barron's GRE as you tell.
Physics companion, alright !

Thank you very much for your help ! I'll come back with other questions soon ! ;)

Oliver

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby blackcat007 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:16 am

Oliver wrote:
If I understood everything quite accurately, I have 4 tests to attend : General GRE, Quantitative Physics GRE, Qualitative Physics GRE and TOEFL (since I studied in France, shouldn't be a problem).


you need to attend only 3 tests.. general GRE, Physics GRE and TOEFL there is only one physics gre that encompasses all UG physics. http://www.ets.org/portal/site/ets/menuitem.1488512ecfd5b8849a77b13bc3921509/?vgnextoid=ef952d3631df4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD&vgnextchannel=6ef946f1674f4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD

Oliver
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:56 am

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby Oliver » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:54 pm

blackcat007 wrote:you need to attend only 3 tests.. general GRE, Physics GRE and TOEFL there is only one physics gre that encompasses all UG physics.

Thanks for that information! This relieves me a little!
I'm about to buy all the books. I'll keep you updated.

Oliver
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:56 am

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby Oliver » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:20 am

Does anyone sell the "GRE: Practicing to Take the Physics Test" at a descent price ? ;)
OR
Do you have any tips about somewhere I could find it for less than $100 ?

Thanks.

blueeverest
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby blueeverest » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:12 pm

Google search "GRE: Practicing to Take the Physics Test" and you will find that ETS book for less than $100 as you wish.

Other way is to carefully read all the relevant GRE Physics posts on this website and figure out where you can download those "Physics GRE tests" for FREE. I am sure that ETS book you are talking about has no more than 4 real tests.

A third but a really foolish option would be buying those tests from me. I will sell those to you for $25..yess!!!

i think the third option best answers your question (and I think is best for you).

Oliver
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:56 am

Re: GRE / General Information and Outlooks

Postby Oliver » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:01 pm

Ok I'm gonna think about it.
But before I have another question.
I'm currently (07/08) in my master's degree's last year, and I'm wondering when to take my GREs. I might not be prepared enough for November.
Is it possible for me to take them next year or must you take the GREs during your last year? Waiting for April would help...

Thanks.




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