Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

gachmian86
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:50 pm

Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby gachmian86 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:03 pm

Hi, I scored 680 on the PGRE, which, after reading this forum with those >950 scores, looks really bad. I got 780 on the quantitative section of the general GRE, which I think is good, but nothing exceptional. I am a mexican student who is applying to canadian universities. On the admission requirements it says that PGRE is not compulsory, although strongly recomended for international students. When I received my scores at home, the universities had already received them, so there is no way back.

Do you know the importance to the GRE given by canadian universities? Do you think that anyone with less than 700 has any chance to be admitted?

mhazelm
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby mhazelm » Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:42 pm

let me know what you find out. I did MUCH, much worse than you on the PGRE. If we can get in without it there, hey! I'm looking into German schools too. The Germans do seem to know their physics.

happymonkey
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:47 am

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby happymonkey » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:23 am

I know I have it relatively easy as an American citizen but I scored 640 on the pgre and also 780 q on the gre. I have unfortunately always had problems with anxiety and test taking evidence dating back to elementary school. In any event just make sure your recommenders are well aware of your circumstances. If you are a relatively strong candidate, as I think I am, your recommendors will understand and will help you explain where your weaknesses arise and why they shouldn't make that much of a difference in selecting you as a candidate in a doctoral program. Best of luck, please let me, us, know how things go.

gachmian86
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:50 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby gachmian86 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:31 pm

Thank you, I cannot consider Germany since I do not speak german, however, I am considering the U.K. They do not require the GRE (But they do not offer garanteed financial support as Canada). I used to think that I was a strong candidate, but since I have been looking the profiles of other candidates, I am not so confident anymore. I am the top student of my class (Out of 10 students), of a not very prestigious university in Mexico. I took a year as an exchange student at the University of Edinburgh and got an "A" in all but one of my courses. (10 physics or math courses in total). Besides my undergraduate thesis, I have no further research experience. I do have teaching experience, both in the tutorial centre of my university and in rural high schools as part of my social service, but I think that is pretty standard among science students.

Unfortunately, my recommenders already sent the recomendation letters, so nothing can be added regarding any weakness on standarizes tests. By the way, what is a doctoral program? In spanish a "doctorado" is equivalent to a Phd. I am applying to a Master program, and do not know if that counts as a doctoral program.

Of course I will let you know how things go

nonick
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby nonick » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:47 pm

gachmian86 wrote:Thank you, I cannot consider Germany since I do not speak german


Aren't most of the graduate programs in Europe taught in English? I have friends in Netherlands and in Switzerland and both are studying in English, and they actually cannot speak the native languages there.

gachmian86
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:50 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby gachmian86 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:00 pm

nonick wrote:Aren't most of the graduate programs in Europe taught in English? I have friends in Netherlands and in Switzerland and both are studying in English, and they actually cannot speak the native languages there.


Not in Germany. I think (but I am not sure) that in countries like Netherlands or Scandinavian countries where the local language is spoken by very few foreigners most graduate programs are indeed in english. However, as german is a relatively widely spoken language (As a second language), most courses in Germany are in german. However, in Switzerland people speak german or french, so it is an exception

mhazelm
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby mhazelm » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:54 pm

There are a few programs in Germany that are taught in English, but yeah, it's helpful to speak German. I don't know if I'll actually apply to any out of the US, yet, though - I want to stay here if possible.

In terms of feeling discouraged by all the amazing profiles on this website, don't be... I feel the same way, but I also think that this website is not a random sampling of all physics students (look how many are applying to top 10 schools!). Perhaps the top students are more inclined to worry more about graduate acceptance and check this website, or the more "average" scoring of us are too scared to post our stats with all the good ones there...

But the fact is, a bunch of numbers is not really an indication of one's true potential as a scientist, so focus on your own applications, and if it doesn't work out the first time then try again (I'll most likely be!). I figure a good scientist won't give up the first time something doesn't work, so that's my PGRE philosophy... sometimes mistakes are the best experience ever!

Physics Teacher
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:28 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby Physics Teacher » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:00 am

Hello I am a mexican student as well, just out of curiosity: Where did you study your B.Sc.?, btw you can apply anywhere in the world, there are hundred of places where all you need is English.

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G01
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:54 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby G01 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:25 pm

gachmian86 wrote:Unfortunately, my recommenders already sent the recomendation letters, so nothing can be added regarding any weakness on standarizes tests. By the way, what is a doctoral program? In spanish a "doctorado" is equivalent to a Phd. I am applying to a Master program, and do not know if that counts as a doctoral program.


A master's program is NOT equivalent to a doctoral program. Usually, when someone applies to a master's program that means they will exit with a M.S. not a Ph.D. Of course, it is very possible to then apply to a Ph.D. (doctoral) program and get accepted. However, you will not neccessarily be able to continue on at the same university without going through the admissions process again.

chishon
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:34 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby chishon » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:44 pm

Hi gachmian86,

I go to a Canadian university, and have spoken in-depth with professors about the admissions process.

There is usually a committee that looks over all applications, and decides who is admitted. HOWEVER, it is common for every professor to have access to every application. If you make professors aware of your application, they can be on the lookout for it---otherwise, you may just be "another application".

In addition, I should note that grades and GREs are often used as a "quality check". I don't think there are many professors in the world that don't take letters of reference much more seriously than those quality checks.

Hope this helps!

gachmian86
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:50 pm

Re: Really bad PGRE, canadian universities

Postby gachmian86 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:16 pm

Thank you to everybody who has answered this.

I was accepted at the University of British Columbia! Seems that the PGRE was not so important after all. I did not even contacted directly any professor as chishon suggested (but thanks anyway for the advise).

Good luck to everyone else who is applying!




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