What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

AriAstronomer
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What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby AriAstronomer » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:38 am

Hey guys,
I'm wondering how much schools look at your general GRE scores over your PGRE scores. Assuming you did average, or perhaps even a bit below average (but didn't bomb it) on the GRE but did very well on the PGRE, do you think you would be hindered into getting into a good school (assuming all else equal)? What time allotment would you give to the GRE vs. PGRE??

Cheers,
Ari

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HappyQuark
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:28 am

AriAstronomer wrote:Hey guys,
I'm wondering how much schools look at your general GRE scores over your PGRE scores. Assuming you did average, or perhaps even a bit below average (but didn't bomb it) on the GRE but did very well on the PGRE, do you think you would be hindered into getting into a good school (assuming all else equal)? What time allotment would you give to the GRE vs. PGRE??

Cheers,
Ari


Listen and listen closely. Nobody cares how well you do on the GRE. There is somewhat of an expectation that as a physicist you should do at least reasonably well on the quantitative section but even if you failed it miserably and then did well on the PGRE, nobody will care.

AriAstronomer
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby AriAstronomer » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:49 am

haha thank you. You've made it very clear. Anyone else feel the way he does?

bfollinprm
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:06 pm

Make sure you get a 750 on the GRE quantitative, and at least try on the other two. Otherwise there are some admissions committee members that might dock you (for very low verbal or analytical scores). Basically, the GRE can only really hurt you; no one is going to accept you on the strength of your GRE score (only the PGRE). And, of course, a bad GRE coupled with a really good PGRE (850+) isn't going to matter at all to the vast majority of committees.

TheBeast
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby TheBeast » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:12 pm

Sometimes, the School of Graduate Studies for the university has a minimum GRE threshold. So, if you do atrociously poor on the GRE, it's possible that the department of physics will admit you, but the graduate school will not. Sometimes, such thresholds can be overridden through additional paperwork or effort on the part of the department, but you can't count on this happening.

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midwestphysics
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby midwestphysics » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:57 pm

AriAstronomer wrote:Hey guys,
I'm wondering how much schools look at your general GRE scores over your PGRE scores. Assuming you did average, or perhaps even a bit below average (but didn't bomb it) on the GRE but did very well on the PGRE, do you think you would be hindered into getting into a good school (assuming all else equal)? What time allotment would you give to the GRE vs. PGRE??

Cheers,
Ari


Don't worry about the general, if you did fine then you'll be fine, the PGRE is the money maker of the two tests. As for time allotment, for the general I did 1 to 2 weeks of prep beforehand, if you haven't taken it I can tell you it's simple. For the PGRE some people prepare as close to the date as a week or two, others I've heard of as far back as a year. I think both are extreme, my approach was that if you plan to take it in Oct start preparing in mid-July to early-August. Now I'm not saying go crazy then, but start then so you can have a smooth relaxed pace. That way you can identify weak spots and not feel the crunch of time. You could then punch it up a few weeks before, getting timing down, and just basically squaring yourself up for the test.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:19 pm

I've found that sending a picture with your shirt off to the admissions committee was much more important than the PGRE and GRE COMBINED.

Seriously, You shouldn't have trouble getting over a 700 on the quantitative. If you do, that would be the only need for concern.

-Riley

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quizivex
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby quizivex » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:36 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:I've found that sending a picture with your shirt off to the admissions committee was much more important than the PGRE and GRE COMBINED.
Yea, however, the result is typically much different for females vs. males. But indeed, either way, the picture does become the deciding factor in the application.

AriAstronomer
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby AriAstronomer » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:57 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:I've found that sending a picture with your shirt off to the admissions committee was much more important than the PGRE and GRE COMBINED.

Seriously, You shouldn't have trouble getting over a 700 on the quantitative. If you do, that would be the only need for concern.

-Riley



Haha brilliant! Thanks everyone. This forum has been very useful.

Ari

negru
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby negru » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:59 am

AriAstronomer wrote:haha thank you. You've made it very clear. Anyone else feel the way he does?

you mean gay?

bfollinprm
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:41 am

quizivex wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:I've found that sending a picture with your shirt off to the admissions committee was much more important than the PGRE and GRE COMBINED.
Yea, however, the result is typically much different for females vs. males. But indeed, either way, the picture does become the deciding factor in the application.


We need a controlled experiment. Now accepting applications from seniors willing to undergo mid-semester sex change operations (also should be willing to pose nude).

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HappyQuark
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:34 am

negru wrote:
AriAstronomer wrote:haha thank you. You've made it very clear. Anyone else feel the way he does?

you mean gay?


I don't think it's possible to feel gay. You can feel 'a' gay but I wouldn't recommend it unless the person has given his/her consent.

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InquilineKea
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby InquilineKea » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:16 pm

Well, there are some astro/planetary science people in this forum so I'll go up and say that verbal is often a bigger factor (not a strong one, but they do look at it - see Washington's Astronomy department page) in astronomy/planetary science programs.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:36 pm

InquilineKea wrote:Well, there are some astro/planetary science people in this forum so I'll go up and say that verbal is often a bigger factor (not a strong one, but they do look at it - see Washington's Astronomy department page) in astronomy/planetary science programs.


Are they looking for people who have read a lot of science fiction?

-Riley

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grae313
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby grae313 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:23 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
AriAstronomer wrote:Hey guys,
I'm wondering how much schools look at your general GRE scores over your PGRE scores. Assuming you did average, or perhaps even a bit below average (but didn't bomb it) on the GRE but did very well on the PGRE, do you think you would be hindered into getting into a good school (assuming all else equal)? What time allotment would you give to the GRE vs. PGRE??

Cheers,
Ari


Listen and listen closely. Nobody cares how well you do on the GRE. There is somewhat of an expectation that as a physicist you should do at least reasonably well on the quantitative section but even if you failed it miserably and then did well on the PGRE, nobody will care.


I disagree. Doing poorly (<700) on the quantitative section is a huge red flag for graduate admissions, and is troubling even if you do well on the PGRE. That said, a high school student could get over a 750 on that test so it's still not worth worrying about.

AriAstronomer
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby AriAstronomer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:55 pm

quantitative I understand, and I plan on putting some studying into that. But as far as verbal and analytical sections go, if you did average, would that hurt your chances?

Ari

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grae313
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby grae313 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:14 pm

No, and you'll probably do fine on the quantitative part without studying.

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HappyQuark
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:22 pm

grae313 wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
AriAstronomer wrote:Hey guys,
I'm wondering how much schools look at your general GRE scores over your PGRE scores. Assuming you did average, or perhaps even a bit below average (but didn't bomb it) on the GRE but did very well on the PGRE, do you think you would be hindered into getting into a good school (assuming all else equal)? What time allotment would you give to the GRE vs. PGRE??

Cheers,
Ari


Listen and listen closely. Nobody cares how well you do on the GRE. There is somewhat of an expectation that as a physicist you should do at least reasonably well on the quantitative section but even if you failed it miserably and then did well on the PGRE, nobody will care.


I disagree. Doing poorly (<700) on the quantitative section is a huge red flag for graduate admissions, and is troubling even if you do well on the PGRE. That said, a high school student could get over a 750 on that test so it's still not worth worrying about.


I disagree with your disagreement. I don't think anyone will be concerned with a student that gets a 500 on the quantitative and a 700+ on the PGRE. If you can do the math on the subject exam, it's unreasonable to think the person can't do the math on the quant section of the general exam and most admissions committees would just assume it's a fluke without even bothering to ask.

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grae313
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby grae313 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:04 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
grae313 wrote:I disagree. Doing poorly (<700) on the quantitative section is a huge red flag for graduate admissions, and is troubling even if you do well on the PGRE. That said, a high school student could get over a 750 on that test so it's still not worth worrying about.


I disagree with your disagreement. I don't think anyone will be concerned with a student that gets a 500 on the quantitative and a 700+ on the PGRE. If you can do the math on the subject exam, it's unreasonable to think the person can't do the math on the quant section of the general exam and most admissions committees would just assume it's a fluke without even bothering to ask.


My statement is based on watching several years of profiles go through the system, but more importantly, admissionprof's words:

search.php?keywords=quantitative&terms=all&author=admissionprof&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

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HappyQuark
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:25 am

grae313 wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:
grae313 wrote:I disagree. Doing poorly (<700) on the quantitative section is a huge red flag for graduate admissions, and is troubling even if you do well on the PGRE. That said, a high school student could get over a 750 on that test so it's still not worth worrying about.


I disagree with your disagreement. I don't think anyone will be concerned with a student that gets a 500 on the quantitative and a 700+ on the PGRE. If you can do the math on the subject exam, it's unreasonable to think the person can't do the math on the quant section of the general exam and most admissions committees would just assume it's a fluke without even bothering to ask.


My statement is based on watching several years of profiles go through the system, but more importantly, admissionprof's words:

search.php?keywords=quantitative&terms=all&author=admissionprof&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search


I've looked through all of the profiles pretty thoroughly both in the past and just now and I'm not exactly sure how you feel any of them agrees with what you said, especially since nearly every member that did well on the PGRE did well on the GRE-Q.

Below is a complete list of the few exceptions to the general trend of doing either good in both or poor in both (For my purposes, I assumed that any GRE-Q less than 700 was considered bad and anything above 700 on the PGRE considered good.)

jdhooghe:
Profile Year: 2008
GRE-Q: 680
PGRE: 740
Got In: Nowhere

christopher3.14:
Profile Year: 2008
GRE-Q: 670
PGRE: 750
Got In: UC Irvine, UIUC, Rutgers, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, NYU, Columbia

geshi:
Profile Year: 2010
GRE-Q: 670
PGRE: 710
Got In: U Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Colorado State, Oregon State, Brandeis, Ohio State, U of Iowa, Rice, Lehigh, UC Merced, U of Arizona

wmwolf:
Profile Year: 2010
GRE-Q: 590
PGRE: 750
Got In: UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, U Rochester, U Arizona, U Maryland College Park, UW Milwaukee, Montana State, Cambridge Applied Math

bulldog:
Profile Year: 2010
GRE-Q: 670
PGRE: 800
Got In: U Central Florida, Washington State U, University of Oregon, Texas A&M, University of Washington

Fortisimo:
Profile Year: 2011
GRE-Q: 660
PGRE: 790
Got In: University of Wisconsin at Madison Physics, University of Wisconsin Engineering Physics, Northwestern Applied Physics

The only person in the list that didn't get into a very good school, in this case it was no school at all, was jdhooghe and I think we can both agree that his application was weak in most or all of the major areas.

As to "admissionprof's words", it seems to me that the three examples that come up in the search were primarily describing the quantitative section of the general GRE in relation to the verbal and analytical sections, not the application as a whole. Regardless, even if admissionprof felt that the GRE-Q was an important aspect of the total application and his/her opinion was representative of many or even most other admission committee members, it just isn't born out in the data. It seems to be the case, and it seems to me to be reasonable, that the committee wants evidence that a student is intelligent, well qualified and sufficiently skilled/talented. In light of a subject specific standardized exam, course grades, research experience and recommendations from your superiors, a high school level multi-choice math test is damn near meaningless.

AriAstronomer
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby AriAstronomer » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:48 am

Hey guys. I appreciate all the links and backup to your arguments. I'm not sure who is right, but I think the main thing is that you've both rested my fears of just simply studying mostly for the physics GRE and only putting a bit of time into the general GRE. It seems that either it won't matter how well I do on the GRE, or the quantitative will be easy enough that I shouldn't worry about it. Either way, keep plugging with the Physics GRE. Thanks guys.

Ari

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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby astroprof » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:23 am

Just as a reminder, the General GRE is changing format (and scoring range) on August 1, 2011.
If you take the test after August 1, you will not know your scores until late November (presumably
so that ETS can normalize the scores correctly in the new format). While the General GRE is
not usually the deciding factor in admissions, you may wish to take the test in the old format
simply so that you will know your scores going into admissions season.

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grae313
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby grae313 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:51 am

HappyQuark wrote:I've looked through all of the profiles pretty thoroughly both in the past and just now and I'm not exactly sure how you feel any of them agrees with what you said, especially since nearly every member that did well on the PGRE did well on the GRE-Q.

Below is a complete list of the few exceptions to the general trend of doing either good in both or poor in both (For my purposes, I assumed that any GRE-Q less than 700 was considered bad and anything above 700 on the PGRE considered good.)

jdhooghe:
Profile Year: 2008
GRE-Q: 680
PGRE: 740
Got In: Nowhere

christopher3.14:
Profile Year: 2008
GRE-Q: 670
PGRE: 750
Got In: UC Irvine, UIUC, Rutgers, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, NYU, Columbia

geshi:
Profile Year: 2010
GRE-Q: 670
PGRE: 710
Got In: U Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Colorado State, Oregon State, Brandeis, Ohio State, U of Iowa, Rice, Lehigh, UC Merced, U of Arizona

wmwolf:
Profile Year: 2010
GRE-Q: 590
PGRE: 750
Got In: UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, U Rochester, U Arizona, U Maryland College Park, UW Milwaukee, Montana State, Cambridge Applied Math

bulldog:
Profile Year: 2010
GRE-Q: 670
PGRE: 800
Got In: U Central Florida, Washington State U, University of Oregon, Texas A&M, University of Washington

Fortisimo:
Profile Year: 2011
GRE-Q: 660
PGRE: 790
Got In: University of Wisconsin at Madison Physics, University of Wisconsin Engineering Physics, Northwestern Applied Physics

The only person in the list that didn't get into a very good school, in this case it was no school at all, was jdhooghe and I think we can both agree that his application was weak in most or all of the major areas.

As to "admissionprof's words", it seems to me that the three examples that come up in the search were primarily describing the quantitative section of the general GRE in relation to the verbal and analytical sections, not the application as a whole. Regardless, even if admissionprof felt that the GRE-Q was an important aspect of the total application and his/her opinion was representative of many or even most other admission committee members, it just isn't born out in the data. It seems to be the case, and it seems to me to be reasonable, that the committee wants evidence that a student is intelligent, well qualified and sufficiently skilled/talented. In light of a subject specific standardized exam, course grades, research experience and recommendations from your superiors, a high school level multi-choice math test is damn near meaningless.


Well thanks for doing the legwork on this -- it seems that things are not quite as dire as I had felt but I'd still argue that PGRE < 700 is a problem if you're aiming for top schools. However, it's good to know that it's certainly not a death blow to the application and that some very decent programs are still on the table.

christopher3.14 is very surprising, getting into two top 10 programs in Columbia and UIUC. I think graduating first in his class in his master's program with fellowships and taking (and presumably doing very well in) classes at top 15 universities must have had an impact here. I have to imagine that even more that this, something about his application must have been exceptional.

geshi had outstanding research experience and came from a liberal arts school (making his QGRE slightly less damning). He applied to schools within his reach and was accepted to some great institutions, but nothing inside the top 20.

wmwold lists his quantitative as 590 84% ... there is a typo here, and he probably meant 790. With his perfect GPA and excellent research experience he's now attending UCSB astrophysics.

bulldog may be the true exception to the rule here, and I feel he truly made up for the low quantitative score with a PGRE of 800. Still, even with solid research experience he barely squeaked into UW in March. The next best place he was accepted to was Texas A & M ranked in the 40s.

Fortisimo lists his Q score as 660 (94%), again, clearly there is a typo somewhere.

I expect you to balk at my emphasis on program ranking. I definitely believe it's possible to get as good an education or better at a lower ranked school than at a higher ranked school *IF* you find an excellent and highly-regarded research group in your area of interest. However I think excellent and highly-regarded research groups are more plentiful at top 10 and top 20 universities, and I think you're constantly fighting an uphill battle against name recognition and the wealth of resources and opportunity at top schools when you're at a lower ranked school. The merits of going to a top university can and have been debated elsewhere, but I feel confident in saying that if your Q score is under 700, you should have a masters degree or a PGRE score over 800 to even be able to consider top 20 schools.

That said, I still feel that all of this is almost a pointless debate, as in almost 500 applicants over 4 years, only 4-6 students (unknown due to typos) have scored under 700 and very few people take the QGRE seriously and study for it.

My advice to students is that a score over 750 is safe, but the closer to 800 the better. I think anything below 750 is going to have some sort of negative impact on your application. From the examples you found, it's clearly not a death sentence, but I think it has some negative impact.

AriAstronomer
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby AriAstronomer » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:07 am

thanks alot for the advice.

bfollinprm
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:56 am

grae313 wrote:christopher3.14 is very surprising, getting into two top 10 programs in Columbia and UIUC. I think graduating first in his class in his master's program with fellowships and taking (and presumably doing very well in) classes at top 15 universities must have had an impact here. I have to imagine that even more that this, something about his application must have been exceptional.


Fellowship for grad school (NSF)? Doesn't say which one or for how much, but i'd guess he didn't need funding.


Grae313 wrote:I expect you to balk at my emphasis on program ranking. I definitely believe it's possible to get as good an education or better at a lower ranked school than at a higher ranked school *IF* you find an excellent and highly-regarded research group in your area of interest. However I think excellent and highly-regarded research groups are more plentiful at top 10 and top 20 universities, and I think you're constantly fighting an uphill battle against name recognition and the wealth of resources and opportunity at top schools when you're at a lower ranked school. The merits of going to a top university can and have been debated elsewhere, but I feel confident in saying that if your Q score is under 700, you should have a masters degree or a PGRE score over 800 to even be able to consider top 20 schools.


Top schools are vital for people who haven't already made up their minds (completely and totally). That said, there are certainly reasons (http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1319&p=36204&hilit=+Re%3A+University+of+California%2C+Davis+MS%2FPhD+Physics+#p36204) to pick a lower-ranked school over a top 20.

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grae313
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Re: What Ratio would you put on GRE:PGRE?

Postby grae313 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:10 am

bfollinprm wrote:Fellowship for grad school (NSF)? Doesn't say which one or for how much, but i'd guess he didn't need funding.


He was in a masters program (usually unfunded) and it was a departmental fellowship, point being that he excelled and was recognized in his master's program.




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