What level of physics should I know to take the PGRE?

glic7236
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:33 pm

What level of physics should I know to take the PGRE?

Postby glic7236 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:44 pm

My degree was not in physics, but I have recently taken it up as an old man. I don't have any intention of going back to grad school at my age, but I think it would be fun to study for and take the PGRE. I am working through the series Six Ideas That Shaped Physics which covers freshman mechanics, electricity and magnetism, relativity, quantum theory, and thermodynamics. I have been told that most of the PGRE questions are based on this level of material. I intend to study the same topics at a more advanced level, e.g. Mechanics (Taylor), Quantum Mechanics (Griffiths), etc. I'm wondering if it would be a good or bad idea to take the PGRE before I study these more advanced topics.

Qwaps
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:21 am

Re: What level of physics should I know to take the PGRE?

Postby Qwaps » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:22 pm

It would be a bad idea to take the actual PGRE before doing the 5 practice exams. It wouldn't bet THAT bad to do one or two of the existing 5 practice exams before delving into more advanced topics.

glic7236
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:33 pm

Re: What level of physics should I know to take the PGRE?

Postby glic7236 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:55 pm

Qwaps wrote:It would be a bad idea to take the actual PGRE before doing the 5 practice exams. It wouldn't bet THAT bad to do one or two of the existing 5 practice exams before delving into more advanced topics.


I don't know if it's possible to put an estimate on it, but I basically want to know what kind of score I could get assuming I am totally dominate at the level I mentioned, but am clueless about Taylor, Griffiths, etc. Of course I plan to study those topics, but I'm trying to gauge what kind of test this is going to be.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: What level of physics should I know to take the PGRE?

Postby TakeruK » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:35 pm

glic7236 wrote:
Qwaps wrote:It would be a bad idea to take the actual PGRE before doing the 5 practice exams. It wouldn't bet THAT bad to do one or two of the existing 5 practice exams before delving into more advanced topics.


I don't know if it's possible to put an estimate on it, but I basically want to know what kind of score I could get assuming I am totally dominate at the level I mentioned, but am clueless about Taylor, Griffiths, etc. Of course I plan to study those topics, but I'm trying to gauge what kind of test this is going to be.


Well if you have the time and the money to take the PGRE just for fun, then sure it wouldn't be a "bad" idea to take the test before studying Taylor, Griffiths etc. and then take it again after you study that material and see what the difference is.

It would be hard for us to answer the question of whether or not it's a "good" or "bad" idea because if you are just taking the test for fun then a bad score has no consequences.

Note that the PGRE is only offered 3 times per year (once in Sept, Oct and April), respectively. This means that you will have to wait 3 months for the next test. One plan you might have is to study the basic material between now and Sept/Oct, take the PGRE then, and then study the advanced materials and retake in April.

If that timing doesn't work or if you don't want to pay for the PGRE twice, then I recommend studying the basic material and then taking the 2008 Practice test whenever you want. It's very similar to the real thing and you can completely simulate the test if you print out the scoring bubble sheet and time yourself. Then, you can study the advanced material and pay for and take the PGRE at the next offered time.




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