math and physics subject tests simultaneously

manicwhale
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:43 pm

math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby manicwhale » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:50 pm

I want to take both my physics and math GREs (to apply to both schools) in October, but there's only one test date. Has anyone else had this problem, and what are my options?

Also, if (as it looks now) they won't let me do both, I'll have to take one later. This will mean that my scores don't arrive in time for the application deadlines. How bad is this?

Does anyone have any general advice for me?

Thanks

physics_auth
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby physics_auth » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:24 pm

manicwhale wrote:I want to take both my physics and math GREs (to apply to both schools) in October, but there's only one test date. Has anyone else had this problem, and what are my options?

Also, if (as it looks now) they won't let me do both, I'll have to take one later. This will mean that my scores don't arrive in time for the application deadlines. How bad is this?

Does anyone have any general advice for me?

Thanks


At first you should have known the fact that all subject tests have the same test dates. Anyway. Since you cannot sit both tests at the same time, change the date of the other test. Let me explain further. As I know from some co-students, somebody who is specialized in physics has a lot of chances to achieve a mediocre (or even a low) score in Math GRE test in their first try, since both of them are highly specialized types of tests. The same is true for mathematicians that plan to sit physics GRE test (even though this case is more unusual). Thus, the next best step is to think which branch (MAth or physics) is more interesting for you and then attack the pertinent subject test -> first (since there are more possibilities for success...). You can arrange, then, to sit the other subject test maybe in a nearby exam date (if does exist). Besides, I do not know how good would be for somebody to burden their brains with so extensive a reading material, since both subject tests require a hard preparation. Finally, my opinion is that if somebody does NOT have all the prerequisites of an application, then it would be better not to apply, since students who have submitted all the required papers have priority over those you haven't. In some cases, the application may be rejected even for this reason!

meno
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:13 am

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby meno » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:20 pm

If you take the Physics GRE in November, your scores will get to schools on time.

manicwhale
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:43 pm

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby manicwhale » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:02 pm

physics_auth - Unfortunately, right now I'm equally well prepared to do grad school in both fields, so I can't decided based on that. Perhaps I will ask for advice on this specific issue (choosing between them) in a later post. For now, I just want to keep my options open by being able to take both GREs

meno - Thanks! That's what I was hoping for. However, just in case, do other people agree that this is the case? Also, is it true that even if it comes a bit late, grad schools will still look at it? That is, even though it might be a strike against you, it's not an automatic rejection?

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

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby nathan12343 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:16 pm

I took the novermber test, all my schools got the scores in time.

They say they want you scores by December 15th, this actually means they'll be sitting on them for up to three months while they wait for applications to trickle in from Asia (mostly India and China).

Also, many international students only have one test date, in November, so if schools made decisions before they got the November scores, these students would be rejected.

WakkaDojo
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:10 am

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby WakkaDojo » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:10 am

Why apply to both Math and Physics programs? You're going to have to choose Math or Physics eventually, so work out your preference now before wasting time doing twice the work for grad apps.

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grae313
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby grae313 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:13 am

More people applying to graduate school in the winter take the November test than the October test.

physics_auth
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby physics_auth » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:47 am

[quote="manicwhale"]physics_auth - Unfortunately, right now I'm equally well prepared to do grad school in both fields, so I can't decided based on that. Perhaps I will ask for advice on this specific issue (choosing between them) in a later post. For now, I just want to keep my options open by being able to take both GREs

It depends on what branch of Mathematics one wants to follow. I think that most physicists who turn to mathematics follow either mathematical physics or appplied mathematics. I do not know if somebody who earned a bachelor degree in physics is well prepared to attend Theoretical Mathematics. It does not seem very possible that a Physics institute encompasses in its undergraduate program so specialized mathematical subjects (that most mathematicians are taught), or else one should pass a very large number of subjects to earn a degree. On the other hand, there is also the case that somebody who studied physics along with pure mathematics (mainly being self-taught) to be well prepared to attend a math school. In any other case, it is required a lot of effort from a physicist to attend successfully a graduate math school. Besides, even if you score well in both GRE tests, this does not necessarily mean that you will succeed in the other field. Finally, in my counrtry as in many others, GRE test is held in November and in April, thus, somebody should take the one test before deadlines and the other after the deadlines, which means that their first choice (that before November) has greater possibilities of success, unless somebody wants to spend 1,5 year before being ready to apply (you should wait one year for the exams and another year or half a year to apply for mid-year or for the autumn)!

manicwhale
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:43 pm

Re: math and physics subject tests simultaneously

Postby manicwhale » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:19 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. They have been very reassuring!




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