Bad PGRE scores

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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:48 am

Bad PGRE scores

Postby Curiousstudent » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:58 am

Hi all,

I am extremely passionate about physics and want nothing else in the world more than I want to go to graduate school in physics. How likely do you believe it will be for me to get into a good nuclear or quantum optics program with:
GPA: 3.9
PGRE: 490
QGRE: 162
VGRE: 154
Only have research experience from a top ten nuclear physics school this past summer (REU) which I should get a good letter of rec out of and a published paper and research this semester on quantum optics. I go to a state school that doesn't have a very strong physics dept, but I will be graduating at 19 years old which is why I stayed there. Any words of wisdom or advice help. I am so upset about this score ans I am extremely nervous for the future of my physics schooling.

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Re: Bad PGRE scores

Postby Curiousstudent » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:05 am

Side note: My other two letters of rec will be coming from a professor I have known for two years and gotten A's in all of his classes and the physics dept chair at my school.

I really psyched myself out for the PGRE and basically stopped eating which is why I believe I did so poorly because this in no way accurately reflects my physics abilities.

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Re: Bad PGRE scores

Postby Catria » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:54 am

Are you willing to go abroad for a physics graduate program?

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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:28 am

Re: Bad PGRE scores

Postby Explorer33 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:09 am

If it makes you feel better I did terribly too. And like you I also psyched myself out.

I had to re-learn Physics in 3 months time for this Test!

I know sour grapes and all but come head was literally spinning while giving this test. It is so much against time that unless you have worked out lots ( and lots ..and lots ) of problems and mugged all the formulas can you hope to get a good score. I did not think I did so poorly but what the heck. And I don't think it is an indication of intellectual ability in Physics because of the super speed expected. While preparing I solved nearly every sum I ran across at my home through reasoning and understanding so I am convinced I am good.

Dont get disheartened. You have a clear passion which is rare. Keep it going. Nothing is going to stop me from trying to get into a Ph.d program in Physics. Neither should you!

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Re: Bad PGRE scores

Postby Curiousstudent » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:58 am

I would be willing to go abroad, but I would definitely prefer to stay in the states.

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Re: Bad PGRE scores

Postby drunkphysics » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:03 pm

my recommendation would be to take a year off, study hard and re-take it next year. I was in almost exactly your shoes last year, except with a 540 for PGRE. I applied to 10 different places with rankings from 40-100's and didnt get accepted anywhere. I've been working in a research facility since, studying my buttocks off for the test and it really payed off, >30 percentile increase, which is all I need for my target schools.

bottom line: it's not the end of the world. If you're graduating at 19 yrs old, you have so much time to start into grad school ahead of you. don't rush in with sub-par scores and ruin the rest of your career with a sub-par school. you only get one shot at this stuff, make sure you're as prepared as you can be.

If you do take this option, hit me up for more advice.

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