Starting to prepare for the GRE

Velocitaneous
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:03 pm

Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby Velocitaneous » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:07 pm

I am currently a freshman undergraduate, and I am 100% sure that I am going to need to take the GRE Physics at some point of time as an undergrad to get into grad school. My goal is to ace the GRE Physics exam with a 990. How do I achieve this goal? Where do I start?

I'm currently enrolled in Quantum Mechanics I (covers basic QM up to perturbation theory). I'm extremely strong in Newtonian mechanics (and am pretty good with Lagrangian mechanics). I am also extremely strong in relativity. However, my knowledge in optics, electrodynamics (excepting for material taught in standard Physics II classes) and other areas are lacking. What is the best way to prepare for these areas?

doom
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:42 pm

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby doom » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:47 pm

Take the classes and come back in two years.

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

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby Helio » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:11 am

between now and the GRE a lot of time and concepts will pass... you will no longer be strong in basic mechanics or basic e&m... i am just facing that dilemma.. i hate learning to be a human calculator...you will find that the basics become hard and the hard things become easy.

As doom said... come back when you have taken the classes

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

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby quizivex » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:28 am

Velocitaneous wrote:I am currently a freshman undergraduate... My goal is to ace the GRE Physics exam with a 990. How do I achieve this goal?

Velocitaneous wrote:I'm currently enrolled in Quantum Mechanics I... However, my knowledge in optics, electrodynamics... and other areas are lacking. What is the best way to prepare for these areas?

Does your school happen to offer any courses in optics or E&M, or do these topics seem too elementary for someone taking QM as a freshman?

I mean seriously, you're already far ahead of the game, and have apparently been studying physics long before starting college. You have several more years to fill in any gaps in your knowledge, while many of your peers are hearing F=ma for the first time.

I think you will be fine. Make sure you don't rush to take the GRE practice tests too fast just to see if you can get a 990. These tests are most helpful if you use them after you know all of the undergrad material and within weeks/months of taking the test than if you look at them too early. Good luck!

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:43 pm

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:02 pm

F = ma?? Of course!!!!!!!!!

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals

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

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby trani » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:06 pm

I have to agree - there is no point in starting to study 2-3 years ahead for the GRE. If you have time on your hands (which apparently you do) and want to do something that would bring you closer to being a scientist:

Start doing research. It is never too early to do that! Ask professors in the physics department if they have a spot for you and surely you will find a professor that will give you something to do - they like free labor :) The bonus for you: you will be amazed how much you learn. Also if your initial task seems too easy - don't worry about it too much. You will get opportunities to prove yourself and will then be given more responsibility.

Also a lot of semesters of research with professors having good things to say about you will be much more beneficial in your grad application then getting 990 on the GRE.

Good luck!

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G01
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:54 pm

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby G01 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:16 am

The best advice i can give to someone who is just starting out as a freshman, other than to start doing research, is to tutor intro physics starting as soon as possible. Once you get close to the PGRE, you'll realize how much tutoring introductory physics for 3 years will help in preparation for that test.

vytrvalost
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:26 am

Re: Starting to prepare for the GRE

Postby vytrvalost » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:46 am

Hey fellow physics GRE test takers,

If you're in the Pasadena/Los Angeles area, join me and my small study group! We're aiming for the November test date so we have a good long month to prepare! And even if you're doing October or April, it'd be good to hear from you.

We usually meet on every Saturday, 1:30 pm, in Pasadena, at the Caltech libraries, though my time is flexible and we can accommodate accordingly. We're going through the GRE physics problem sets from Ohio State and the 4 available GRE exams.

Also, even if you physically can't make it over here, we can try to get alot accomplished over iChat, instant messenger, over the phone, email, passing back and forth latex documents, etc. It's called telecommuting. ;)

Good luck to everyone, I'm aiming for that +900 and I'm inspired by the results subpage of this website and those who've scored high and got accepted in some of the best schools (on this planet). Please, please, please don't be a stranger and don't hesitate to contact me!

-vytrvalost




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