Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

themast3r
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:46 pm

Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby themast3r » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:13 pm

Hello, I am a newly registered user to this forum but have been lurking as a guest for quite sometime. I came to this site to learn how to prepare for the PGRE from the people who performed well on it. Over the past couple of weeks I slowly read every thread in this 'Physics GRE Forum' part of the website. After reading through all of the topics I've come up with a general plan of attack for preparing for the PGRE and would like some final advice on my strategy.

1. Read an entire undergraduate textbook and answer all of the questions. I will take notes on key concepts for review later.
-The point that the PGRE contains mostly questions from the first two years of undergraduate study has been echoed many times on this forum. The book I am most likely going to use is 'Physics' by Halliday Resnick and Krane. I know many recommend 'Fundamentals of Physics' by Halliday Resnick and Walker but is there a big difference between the two? I heard that one of the books is more in depth than the other but since I only own 'Physics' I cannot analyze the validity of that comment.

2. Review my upperlevel physics coursework.
- I will go through my notes/books/problems from my upper level coursework in Mechanics, Modern, E&M, Quantum Mechanics, Thermo, and Solid State physics.

3. I will then take a practice test. After taking the test I will review areas where I was weak and had difficulty. After this I will take the remaining 3 practice tests under timed conditions. After each test I will again review my weak areas.

That is my very general three step plan. I have no time-outline other the the boundary times of starting next week and ending in October.

Well that's it, thank you to all who post on this forum for your great advice and first hand accounts of the PGRE and grad-school admission process. Any advice on my preparation path would be great!

nonick
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby nonick » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:41 pm

Sounds like a good plan to me.
Good luck!

tmc
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby tmc » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:02 pm

I'd say it's still much too early to start studying. Come October, you probably won't remember what you've learned the previous winter.

I'd start studying around mid-summer, though your plan sounds quite good. Only thing I'd change is put more emphases on the tests themselves. It's great to learn the physics and everything, but ultimately, you're studying for the test which doesn't necessarily correlate well with learning the physics. I would probably do at least one practice test earlier on to guide you through the important bits of Halliday.

cato88
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby cato88 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:26 am

Read the nobel site then you wont regret it when you come up with random question that isnt based on your ug curriculum.

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secander2!
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby secander2! » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:28 pm

tmc is right that you'll forget most of what you study if you start now, however, depending on what type of learner you are, you could use this to your advantage. I took the PGRE twice. Once in Nov 2008 and once in Oct 2009. I took all the practice tests in preparation for the Nov 2008, but I found that I forgot all the problems by the time I started preparing in early summer for the Oct 2009. However, I hadn't forgotten many of the concepts from when I studied previously. Based on this, you might be able to take some of the practice tests twice and use them both as a gauge of your initial knowledge, thereby helping you to decide what to study, and then again later as a test to make sure there are no holes. Of course, if you cram, this method won't help you at all, but if you're actually learning the concepts, then it could help you a lot!

My two cents: if you've got nothing better to do, there's no reason to not start now, but if it will make your grades suffer or if you're the sort of person who gets burned out pretty easily, it's probably best to just study over the summer.

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grae313
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby grae313 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:06 pm

themast3r wrote:Hello, I am a newly registered user to this forum but have been lurking as a guest for quite sometime. I came to this site to learn how to prepare for the PGRE from the people who performed well on it. Over the past couple of weeks I slowly read every thread in this 'Physics GRE Forum' part of the website. After reading through all of the topics I've come up with a general plan of attack for preparing for the PGRE and would like some final advice on my strategy.

1. Read an entire undergraduate textbook and answer all of the questions. I will take notes on key concepts for review later.
-The point that the PGRE contains mostly questions from the first two years of undergraduate study has been echoed many times on this forum. The book I am most likely going to use is 'Physics' by Halliday Resnick and Krane. I know many recommend 'Fundamentals of Physics' by Halliday Resnick and Walker but is there a big difference between the two? I heard that one of the books is more in depth than the other but since I only own 'Physics' I cannot analyze the validity of that comment.

2. Review my upperlevel physics coursework.
- I will go through my notes/books/problems from my upper level coursework in Mechanics, Modern, E&M, Quantum Mechanics, Thermo, and Solid State physics.

3. I will then take a practice test. After taking the test I will review areas where I was weak and had difficulty. After this I will take the remaining 3 practice tests under timed conditions. After each test I will again review my weak areas.

That is my very general three step plan. I have no time-outline other the the boundary times of starting next week and ending in October.

Well that's it, thank you to all who post on this forum for your great advice and first hand accounts of the PGRE and grad-school admission process. Any advice on my preparation path would be great!


It's a good plan but keep in mind that the PGRE is not about solving physics problems, it's about solving physics problems FAST, and a huge part of the test is finding quick little tricks to all the problems... limits, units, etc. That's why the practice tests are so important, so when you go through them, solve the problems but then go through each problem's solutions at http://grephysics.net, look for other ways to do the problems more quickly. Doing every single problem in your lower division textbook is a little overkill. Practice with representative problems from each section. Keep notes of useful equations and try to memorize them. Good luck!!

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coreycwgriffin
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby coreycwgriffin » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:03 pm

secander2! wrote:I took the PGRE twice. Once in Nov 2008 and once in Oct 2009.


You're the second person I've seen who has already taken the PGRE in the future on this forum.

surjective
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby surjective » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:52 pm

I recommend trying one of the sample PGRE tests early, near or at the start of your studying. This will help you see what you need most to figure out, and when you see that stuff in your reading, it will sink in more. I also found it pretty motivating: I saw that I really needed to put in some effort.

So, your plan sounds good (a bit ambitious, maybe, but that's not a bad thing), but I'd start with a sample test.

Best of luck!

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secander2!
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby secander2! » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:42 am

@coreycwgriffin, oops :oops: I must have been mixing PGRE dates and the corresponding admission dates, i.e. if you take the fall 2008 PGRE, you're usually applying for fall 2009. I actually took the Nov 2007 and Oct 2008 tests. Thanks for the correction!

kt32
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby kt32 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:09 pm

my situation is exactly the same as that of the thread starter, can somebody please help me the books which I ought to study to do PGRE well and may I know the dates during which the exam is usually conducted in the UK. Pls post the books that are needed for preparing the PGRE, and your recommendations. Thank you.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby tensorwhat » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:26 pm

im only giving myself a month to study (taking it in a april) whilst taking 4 physics classes =] but i figured it couldnt hurt, and theres always the cheap way out hehe

siddmn4u1
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:32 pm

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby siddmn4u1 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:23 am

I am also planning to take the test in October 2009, and I am unsure of the date, on which I need to register. I feel that the dates for October PGRE has not been fixed by ETS.

As soon as the test dates are out, I shall register for it, or else, I may not get the appropriate date for the test.

I am from Instrumentation backgrond (3rd year, B.Tech), and have not taken any UG courses in Physics. I am planning to start by April end, as starting now may dwindle my performance in my end semester exams.

I am looking for suggestions from you all, if you can share with me. :)

nonick
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby nonick » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:30 am

siddmn4u1 wrote:I have not taken any UG courses in Physics.

What do you mean you haven't taken any courses in Physics? Are you applying for a physics phd? Because if that is the case, you are in trouble. I am pretty sure that most of the schools require that you have taken at least the core physics courses.
As for registering for the PGRE, the deadline was something like 6 weeks before the test, so you have time until the end of august, beginning of September to do that. Also, you can always try to register for the test as a walk in and still take the test even if you completely miss the deadline, so don't worry.

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xudis149
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Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby xudis149 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:51 am

siddmn4u1 wrote:I am also planning to take the test in October 2009, and I am unsure of the date, on which I need to register. I feel that the dates for October PGRE has not been fixed by ETS.

As soon as the test dates are out, I shall register for it, or else, I may not get the appropriate date for the test.

I am from Instrumentation backgrond (3rd year, B.Tech), and have not taken any UG courses in Physics. I am planning to start by April end, as starting now may dwindle my performance in my end semester exams.

I am looking for suggestions from you all, if you can share with me. :)


Seems you are studying in India [since u used the word 'B.Tech']. In case if it is so then remember that GRE subject test is held only once in India in November. Of course you will have to wait till ETS comes with official dates for 2009 but what I said is the general trend.

If you have not taken the normal undergrad physics courses [QM, SM etc] it does hurt your chances. But you can offset it a bit with good PGRE score. I did something similar and have got admit to few places. Best thing to do would be to get involved in research and take few courses in physics.

Hope it helps!

ceyhanb
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:46 pm

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby ceyhanb » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:00 pm

themast3r wrote:3. I will then take a practice test. After taking the test I will review areas where I was weak and had difficulty. After this I will take the remaining 3 practice tests under timed conditions. After each test I will again review my weak areas.


I found only 1 practice test on the ETS site. Where did you find the other 3???

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Taking the october 2009 PGRE exam

Postby nathan12343 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:11 pm

ceyhanb wrote:I found only 1 practice test on the ETS site. Where did you find the other 3???


Various places, search for 'Physics GRE practice tests' on google. For example:

http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/undergrad/ugs_gre.php

At the bottom of the page.




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