How do I study?

peppy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:02 am

How do I study?

Postby peppy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:24 pm

This exam covers so many different branches of physics and many of my books are 1000 pages long covering each branch (mechanical,electrodynamics,quantum,optics,ect...). Also, I remember many problems during courses that took a long time to solve, like a week assignment to solve just a few high level electrodynamic ones.

Is there some guideline on narrowing down what they are going to ask? Is there some easier way than doing the brute force way of going through every single 1000 page book and trying to get really good at everything again?

Thanks

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

Re: How do I study?

Postby blackcat007 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:50 pm

Be assured that you will never get problems similar to the ones you got in your home assignments.. PGRE tests only basics and conceptual things.. atmost taking 5 mins (worst case, atleast in my case)
you have to be a bit politic while studying for the PGRE, its better to start with Resnick and Griffiths(QM and EM). I don't know which books you are using, but i think you will be familiar to most of those 1000 pages of each topics, if you did well during your UG..

peppy
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:02 am

Re: How do I study?

Postby peppy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:40 pm

blackcat007 wrote:Be assured that you will never get problems similar to the ones you got in your home assignments.. PGRE tests only basics and conceptual things.. atmost taking 5 mins (worst case, atleast in my case)
you have to be a bit politic while studying for the PGRE, its better to start with Resnick and Griffiths(QM and EM). I don't know which books you are using, but i think you will be familiar to most of those 1000 pages of each topics, if you did well during your UG..


I remember Griffiths EM (black book) had some pretty badass EM problems, at least later on in the book. Does the test expect us to know the different derivations of Maxwells equations for conductors/dielectrics/insulators, ect...? Or the potential in the tube?

Also, we only got through about the first 4 chapters of Griffiths QM (blue book with Schrodinger cat on it?). How "deep" does the GRE go into this QM book?

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

Re: How do I study?

Postby blackcat007 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:03 am

peppy wrote:
blackcat007 wrote:Be assured that you will never get problems similar to the ones you got in your home assignments.. PGRE tests only basics and conceptual things.. atmost taking 5 mins (worst case, atleast in my case)
you have to be a bit politic while studying for the PGRE, its better to start with Resnick and Griffiths(QM and EM). I don't know which books you are using, but i think you will be familiar to most of those 1000 pages of each topics, if you did well during your UG..


I remember Griffiths EM (black book) had some pretty badass EM problems, at least later on in the book. Does the test expect us to know the different derivations of Maxwells equations for conductors/dielectrics/insulators, ect...? Or the potential in the tube?

Also, we only got through about the first 4 chapters of Griffiths QM (blue book with Schrodinger cat on it?). How "deep" does the GRE go into this QM book?

I wouldn't recommend you to do unsolved problems from Griffiths, though you may go through the solved ones. Griffiths I recommended basically for the following things :
1.Image charge methods
2.Reflection of EM waves for normal incidence on a surface (oblique I don't think its necessary)
derivations won't be asked, but sometimes they are very useful to understand the underlying concepts (eg: the reflection of em waves from a surface)

as far as QM is concerned, first 4 chapters are sufficient. But you have to also cover time independent Perturbation part on your own. try to solve the 4 test papers, they will give a fairly sound idea about what sort of depth they require..

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

Re: How do I study?

Postby physics_auth » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:16 pm

Speaking personally, I would sooner condense as much as possible the reading stuff rather than reading various books page by page. The main reason is that I sought for the gist of a physics topic, not for various "tangential" details (I think that this is what the test requires ...). Now, I express a personal opinion: Since Griffiths' book omits several topics that are included in the Electromagnetism reading stuff, like alternating currents, elements of electronics, waveguides and transmission lines etc., an "elementary" book that touches more topics -but in a superficial manner; exactly as the real PGRE test- is "Electricity and Magnetism" of W.J.Duffin. The book doesn't touch only electricity and magnetism but goes further to the field of electromagnetism/electrodynamics. It also examines elements from the theory of circuits. The book is not burdened with proofs of various kinds, and therefore is thought to be a good toolkit for one's PGRE preparation (proofs are not required to know ...). However, as for exercises it would be better to have a look at Griffiths' book, chiefly at the solved examples.

P.S.: Griffiths' book is not that good at explaining the method of images, especially when he solves problems with dielectrics via this method. Of course, it depends on the extent to which you want to understand the physics behind this method ... . I personally don't find attractive either the way that this method is presented or the space that is devoted to this otherwise "ingenious" method for solving E/M problems. As for the case of E/M waves, the main point is to learn to apply the boundary conditions when crossing the interface between two media; all the story is around it.

geshi
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 am

Re: How do I study?

Postby geshi » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:18 am

You are studying the exam, not physics. It's similar to (not exactly like) the relation between your middle school and high school math and the math portion of the SAT. You don't go back and study all the math from those classes. You may find some of it useful, but studying all of it will inevitably be a waste of time. I *only* studied the 4 published official PGREs and managed to get a decent score. While I didn't get a great score, this was only from studying the exam itself. Basically you need to study the exam and understand the exam itself. Beyond that, intro level physics material is the stuff you need to study. The exam doesn't test your ability as a physicist, it tests your ability to recall semi-random stuff, mostly along the lines of formulas, experiments, numbers, etc. Ideally it is stuff you have seen in some capacity as an undergrad (if you went to a small liberal arts college, then that certainly won't be the case). One consensus I see a lot is that you only need to study the basics from the first year (maybe first 2 years) of undergraduate physics. There's some miscellaneous stuff from upper level courses, but they're usually just basic stuff from those courses. Had I put effort into studying a lot of the intro level undergraduate material, I would have gotten a better score (I also was from a liberal arts college and hadn't seen a reasonable portion of the exam during UG).

In summation, my opinion:
1. Study the 4 published exams thoroughly. Make sure you understand every problem on every exam (assuming you've seen the material at least once upon a time).
2. Study the intro level UG stuff from those exams that you don't remember so well. Some of the upper level stuff won't hurt if you have the time.

A very important resource on this site: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2444
And a good place with lots of links: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2559

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grae313
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Re: How do I study?

Postby grae313 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:43 am

peppy wrote:This exam covers so many different branches of physics and many of my books are 1000 pages long covering each branch (mechanical,electrodynamics,quantum,optics,ect...). Also, I remember many problems during courses that took a long time to solve, like a week assignment to solve just a few high level electrodynamic ones.

Is there some guideline on narrowing down what they are going to ask? Is there some easier way than doing the brute force way of going through every single 1000 page book and trying to get really good at everything again?

Thanks


Have you looked at the old practice exams posted? These days, I'd say the majority of the PGRE questions can be solved conceptually, with limits, or with units. Another third involve short calculations. If it's taking you more than three minutes, you're probably missing the easy way to do the problem. Also, you don't need to learn every little detail the test covers to do well. A solid grasp of introductory physics will get you very far. Do lots of practice problems, and focus on the core subjects (mechanics, E&M, thermo, quantum). Most of the questions on these subjects are at a very basic level--Griffiths or below.

msccc
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:12 am

Re: How do I study?

Postby msccc » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:24 am

I'm Rimpi Banik..i'm a 1st year mecanical engineering student.from kolkata..please can any of u give me some information about GRE...wht's the subject's are,and how to prepare,name of some good books...i don't know anything :cry: ...can u help me.. :?: :)

mobytish
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:44 pm

Re: How do I study?

Postby mobytish » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:57 am

I'd recommend searching the forum or internet for these answers.

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HappyQuark
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Re: How do I study?

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:09 am

msccc wrote:I'm Rimpi Banik..i'm a 1st year mecanical engineering student.from kolkata..please can any of u give me some information about GRE...wht's the subject's are,and how to prepare,name of some good books...i don't know anything :cry: ...can u help me.. :?: :)


Every question you asked is addressed in the previous posts of this thread. What else are you looking for?

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: How do I study?

Postby pqortic » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:02 am

msccc wrote:I'm Rimpi Banik..i'm a 1st year mecanical engineering student.from kolkata..please can any of u give me some information about GRE...wht's the subject's are,and how to prepare,name of some good books...i don't know anything :cry: ...can u help me.. :?: :)

you've asked the question in different places. in this way, you will ban yourself from posting. all you need to do is to search.




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