tutoring to prep for PGRE

mhazelm
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:33 pm

tutoring to prep for PGRE

Postby mhazelm » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:57 am

hi everyone,

I might be accepted somewhere this year with my awful GRE scores, but I plan to re-study and re-take the PGRE anyways (unless the NSF also overlooks abysmal scores!). I was thinking that tutoring freshman physics is probably a great way to prepare, starting ASAP, but my department is REALLY small and there aren't any undergrads to really tutor (the few grad students pretty much have all the tutoring slots). Are there any websites or other places that you all know of that are good for tutoring?

Or can you recommend another good way to prepare, starting 10 months in advance? I don't want to break out the 400 practice questions just yet - figure it's best to spend a few months studying the basics first.

swepi
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:15 pm

Re: tutoring to prep for PGRE

Postby swepi » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:38 am

I would suggest taking one test down off of the shelf and organizing what you need to know. I found MIT open courseware to be a very good resource, since I am big on oration and enjoy a well prepared lecture. The PGRE is a pretty specific test, I think, and requires its own preparation. I wouldn't get discouraged either, and if you need a place to start I could probably send you a PDF of some notes that I have been working on to prepare for the test. They are not finished yet, but if you would like to take a look just send me a message.

valkyrie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:50 am

Re: tutoring to prep for PGRE

Postby valkyrie » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:14 pm

swepi wrote: I would suggest taking one test down off of the shelf and organizing what you need to know.

I agree. I found it really helpful to take one test before starting studying, to identify what my weakest areas were. (I knew I didn't remember much thermo or optics, but I was surprised to see how much E&M I got wrong, for example, I thought that was one of my stronger areas.) Since you have many months, by the time you start doing practice tests you have probably forgotten the specific questions anyways.

Once you've reviewed and feel comfortable with the basics, it might be a good idea to use the released tests mainly to get up to speed, as sadly ETS prefers someone who answers 100 questions and gets 30 wrong to someone who answers 50 and gets them all right.

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

Re: tutoring to prep for PGRE

Postby secander2! » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:06 am

valkyrie wrote:Since you have many months, by the time you start doing practice tests you have probably forgotten the specific questions anyways.


Definitely true (or maybe I just have a bad memory). I took each practice test about 3 times with gaps of ~9 months between the first and second testing, and another gap of ~2 months between the second and third testing. Within the 9 month gap, I forgot all the questions, and in the 2 month gap, I forgot about 80% of the questions. I found that taking the tests and then studying the areas where I struggled was an extremely effective way of studying. Also, if you're having trouble with time or with making "stupid" mistakes, you might want to consider working large amounts of physics multiple choice questions. I worked through all the problems in Physics Builder and many from the Purple Book, and I found that they helped me greatly with my speed (even though both books suck!).




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