Preparing for the physics GRE test for someone who did not major in physics

physicsisfun000
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:36 pm

Preparing for the physics GRE test for someone who did not major in physics

Postby physicsisfun000 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:41 pm

Hello ,

I'm preparing for the physics GRE.

I have two concerns.
First , I'm 25 years old. I think I'm older than most students preparing for the Physics GRE text. Are there many physics graduate students in their first year who are about my age ?
Second , I did not major in physics. And I did not take the freshman physics course ( Typically , from texts such as halliday & Resnick ). In fact , I did not take a single course in physics while I was an undergraduate student.
However , I have spent a lot of time working through Griffiths , Sakurai , goldstein , cohen tannoudje & peskin & schroeder and some other texts.

Also , I like the feynman's lectures on physics. Can I read it & then do the practice problems from the usual sources ?

yeshuamo
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:50 pm

Re: Preparing for the physics GRE test for someone who did not major in physics

Postby yeshuamo » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:21 am

I can answer only some of your questions, because I myself haven't taken the test yet. I'm 24 and also studying for the pGRE. We're not the only ones doing this, and the age difference with someone who's 21 isn't extremely significant. I have a friend entering his third year in physics PhD, and he is in his early thirties. If anything, you and I have more life experience to back us up. In the mid-twenties, we're at an advantage.

As for the texts, Conquering the Physics GRE has a list of literature that is most relevant on page xv. From first glance, you may be going into the weeds on Quantum, but I could be wrong. Everyone swears by Griffiths for quantum, E&M, and particle.

For mechanics, I'm using Young's and Freedman's University Physics, because that's what I have on hand, and because it has a plethora of problems. As for Feynman's lectures, they're great for learning the physics, but doing practice GRE problems will do you more good for the test specifically.

Jeff Asaf Dror's summary is very succinct and comprehensive. It has a lot of typos, and the practice problems aren't fleshed out, because these were this dude's personal study notes. But they've been helpful to me. Good luck.

Aikya1
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:28 pm

Re: Preparing for the physics GRE test for someone who did not major in physics

Postby Aikya1 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:26 am

Yep, You can do that. I too, prepare in a similar manner. I read from Halliday-Resnick-Walker, and some online videos, Coursera courses and practise from PGRE specific books.

I will be 24 by the time I give PGRE this October and I graduated from Computer Science in 2014. Before I started preparing, the last I had seen a Physics text was in my 12 th Class! :(

I refer to Conquering the Physics GRE and I also have a Sterling book for practise problems.

AlexisPrel
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:26 pm

Re: Preparing for the physics GRE test for someone who did not major in physics

Postby AlexisPrel » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:31 am

I believe the fastest and most accurate way to find out is to take a previous's year exam and see how well you do.

The 8677 is a bit old but relatively balanced in difficulty, so I guess it's a good choice to start, because it won't "spoil" you too much (I try to keep 2001 and 2008's tests for the end, because they are closest to the real test).

If you don't have time to answer more than 50 questions the first time, it's perfectly normal. But you should determine weither you actually understand most questions or not.

If you are good at quick arithmetic and memorization, many formulas you will need can be memorized and made sense of, without having followed the full lecture on the topic.

Best of luck !

EDIT : Most textbooks you mention (at least those I know) are in Quantum Mechanics, which only represent 12% of the questions. Did you also look through Classical mechanics or electromagnetism textbooks?

mohammedzidane
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:30 am

Re: Preparing for the physics GRE test for someone who did not major in physics

Postby mohammedzidane » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:36 pm

physicsisfun000 wrote:Hello ,

I'm preparing for the physics GRE.

I have two concerns.
First , I'm 25 years old. I think I'm older than most students preparing for the Physics GRE text. Are there many physics graduate students in their first year who are about my age ?
Second , I did not major in physics. And I did not take the freshman physics course ( Typically , from texts such as halliday & Resnick ). In fact , I did not take a single course in physics while I was an undergraduate student.
However , I have spent a lot of time working through Griffiths , Sakurai , goldstein , cohen tannoudje & peskin & schroeder and some other texts.

Also , I like the feynman's lectures on physics. Can I read it & then do the practice problems from the usual sources ?

Hi,
I read your post. I am in a similar situation, I am majoring in Biochemistry and wanna shift to physics (25 years too). it sounds that you spend a good time in studying physics.
I have started from a couple of weeks working on halliday & Resnick and willing to take the exam in September
What do you think about that, is it possible?




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