really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

scallions
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:06 pm

really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby scallions » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:46 pm

There's already one of these topics on the forum, but that level of "bad score" doesn't come close to mine. I managed a whopping 470, 5th percentile. Honestly, I don't know how I did that bad, felt fairly confident I'd be at least 100, if not 200 points higher :( I posted my stats in the 2009 thread, and from looking at previous years a stupidly low PGRE score is probably the only thing wrong with my application for trying to get into not-first-tier experimental unfortunately.

If I don't get in for spring (I am due to hear back on that before ETS mails out scores so there's some hope!) I need some backups I can start the application process for and just blitz through as soon as I hear back from Rutgers. I'm limited to commuting distance to NYC... Stony Brook says PGRE is "(highly) recommended" so I'm wondering if it's a good idea to contact ETS and get just the subject test off the score report to send there. I'm going to assume Columbia and NYU are right out, but that leaves me with just Stony Brook and Rutgers for fall and that seems suicidal...

Is there anywhere else I can apply to? Would such a dismal PGRE score be seen as a fluke and not cause my application to get chucked out immediately? Am I basically doomed? If so, my undergrad institution would accept me in a heartbeat, but there are few research fields available and I'd feel bad because it's obviously a last-ditch case to get in anywhere...

Comedy option - is there anyway the phone reporting service could have been wrong?

User avatar
secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby secander2! » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:02 pm

Wow... that really sucks about the score! The big problem is that you might run into unofficial or official "cutoffs". I'd recommend contacting some professors by phone or in person. If you can impress them, show them how much you're interested in attending their school, and get them on your side, I would bet that you could still have a strong chance at places like NYU and even Columbia. Try to find a female professor if you can, they might be more understanding of the low PGRE score (recognizing that the test seems to be biased against women and is thus a poor indicator of their potential), and willing to plead your case in the hopes of getting more women into physics. At the very least, if you contact some people, they can probably ensure that your application receives full consideration despite the PGRE scores.

tmc
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby tmc » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:42 pm

That'll be hard to overcome though. A 5th percentile isn't something you can really explain; your best bet is to hide it at this point.

scallions
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:06 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby scallions » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:56 pm

Who exactly would I want to contact? Groups I'm interested in working with, admissions..? Alas, NYU has a deadline of next week, probably other schools I'd need to get as a backup too so I have to move fast - that deadline is why I can't just wait around for Rutgers to get back to me for spring admission unfortunately (and that's why I'm worried NOW and not after I'm possibly rejected!) And what do I say that doesn't sound like a giant excuse for bombing it? Sad thing is, I actually have a doctor's note excusing me from class all that week of the exam from a sinus infection, but that's no excuse for doing THAT bad.

On a related note, this is something I definitely want my LORs to touch upon - I'm embarrassed to tell my profs I did so bad but I guess I have to now - so I'll need to get them modified before sending them wherever they need to go but I guess since my score was so dreadful my letters might not even get read. I'm just on my way in to class now and hopefully can catch at least one of my recommenders for advice on what I can do from here.

Comedy option #2: Anyone have experience with those spambox-fodder online PhD programs? Maybe I'm just making things needlessly complicated for myself :wink:

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:52 pm

I wouldn't worry too much about it. As a domestic student I've been told PGRE means very little. I didn't do too much better than you, yet my professors are telling me not to change my grad school choices (I wasn't shooting incredibly high to begin with, see my 2009 profile).

User avatar
Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby Helio » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:54 pm

scallions wrote:Who exactly would I want to contact? Groups I'm interested in working with, admissions..? Alas, NYU has a deadline of next week, probably other schools I'd need to get as a backup too so I have to move fast - that deadline is why I can't just wait around for Rutgers to get back to me for spring admission unfortunately (and that's why I'm worried NOW and not after I'm possibly rejected!) And what do I say that doesn't sound like a giant excuse for bombing it? Sad thing is, I actually have a doctor's note excusing me from class all that week of the exam from a sinus infection, but that's no excuse for doing THAT bad.

On a related note, this is something I definitely want my LORs to touch upon - I'm embarrassed to tell my profs I did so bad but I guess I have to now - so I'll need to get them modified before sending them wherever they need to go but I guess since my score was so dreadful my letters might not even get read. I'm just on my way in to class now and hopefully can catch at least one of my recommenders for advice on what I can do from here.

Comedy option #2: Anyone have experience with those spambox-fodder online PhD programs? Maybe I'm just making things needlessly complicated for myself :wink:


You mean NYU as in this friday not next week

What about the MS somewhere?

User avatar
secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby secander2! » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:03 pm

I would probably try and contact groups you're interested in working with. If you can, maybe try and see if anybody at your school knows people at the schools you're applying to (especially people who they consider to be "good potential advisers"). If so, that gives you a way to kinda start a conversation. This is what I did last year and I think it really helped me... in fact, I got into all seven schools where I had contacted somebody and I got rejected from the one school where I hadn't contacted anybody. Contacting admissions directly probably wouldn't help much, but it might be worth doing to keep them from automatically trashing your application.

I think having your recommenders address it and have them make mention of the REALLY BAD sinus infection seems like a good idea to me but I don't know for sure.

PoincareSection
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby PoincareSection » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:12 pm

Hi Scallions. We were talking a few weeks back. I also did really really horrible. I am just saying eff it and applying everywhere I was planning on applying to anyway. I am banking on the admissions committees understanding for a few reasons: 1. I'm up to my eyeballs in research and coursework, and 2: the whole domestic thing.
Last edited by PoincareSection on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scallions
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:06 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby scallions » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:28 pm

Can't afford to pay out of pocket for a masters... also would it look obvious I only did that just because I couldn't get in anywhere else?

The best Plan B idea if I'm too screwed to get in for any other PhD program is I think just staying at my undergrad school and then look into transferring... do people do that at the grad level?

I have already visited a group at Rutgers, so if I don't get in for spring I'll probably update them and see if they can help fight for me come fall.

I'm working on an email to my academic advisor/one of my recommenders right now seeing if he has any suggestions, and meeting with another later today (the latter kept joshing me for being sick yet dragging my butt to class until I finally went to the doctor.) All hope is not lost yet I think!

PoincareSection
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby PoincareSection » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:29 pm

.
Last edited by PoincareSection on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scallions
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:06 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby scallions » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:34 pm

See, I'm telling mine because I KNOW this test isn't a reflection of my physics knowledge and abilities, my profs know that... but admissions people reading my application don't. If they can see past the redflag score, I gotta redeem myself somehow I think.

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:13 pm

I have a related question, but I feel like it could be answered adequately in this thread, rather than making a new one.

How would you guys compare the November 8th exam to the previous four released practice exams?

I'm almost thinking my score is impossibly low, and I want to do out the worst case scenario math.

stardust
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby stardust » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:43 pm

There is a serious problem with the domestic female argument where you don't to do as
well and expect to get in anyway. One is that on average women do 80-150 points lower than the average male depending on which study showed a discrepency. If you are way lower than that, the committees may not think your score is competitive. The real thing is that figure out the percentages of women in each class. If women are at 13% of a class size and a class size is 40 people the most, that's all of 5 women. It's possible they will find 3-5 women with higher scores especially when thrown into that mix are foreign women. I think its just a psych out that allows you not to do better or doesn't hold you to the same standards. Granted, I don't think the pgre is good measure for anyone, but that's the yard stick. You are asking to be exempt from the yardstick way beyond what a competitive male has to live up to and
way beyond what is considered low scores for rescaling to women's averages on the test. There becomes a point of diminishing returns where it becomes unfair. I think its delusional to think
the schools will overlook it and just lower standards for women.

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby cato88 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:31 pm

stardust wrote:There is a serious problem with the domestic female argument where you don't to do as
well and expect to get in anyway. One is that on average women do 80-150 points lower than the average male depending on which study showed a discrepency. If you are way lower than that, the committees may not think your score is competitive. The real thing is that figure out the percentages of women in each class. If women are at 13% of a class size and a class size is 40 people the most, that's all of 5 women. It's possible they will find 3-5 women with higher scores especially when thrown into that mix are foreign women. I think its just a psych out that allows you not to do better or doesn't hold you to the same standards. Granted, I don't think the pgre is good measure for anyone, but that's the yard stick. You are asking to be exempt from the yardstick way beyond what a competitive male has to live up to and
way beyond what is considered low scores for rescaling to women's averages on the test. There becomes a point of diminishing returns where it becomes unfair. I think its delusional to think
the schools will overlook it and just lower standards for women.


She should apply and let the schools decide. She also isnt applying to a top 30 school.

User avatar
muonman
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:19 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby muonman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:44 pm

If you were able to move geographically, I'd consider up-and-coming programs established recently that don't even require a physics gre, ex. Emory University. For whatever reason these types of school accept mostly americans over better qualified foreigners. I guess they want good, caring TAs for their undergrads rather than a miopic research assistant.

If they are not asking for your score, don't volunteer the information!

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

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby mhazelm » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:02 am

I think the fact that women score lower on the PGRE on average is just yet another indicator that the exam is flawed. The concept of an exam is not bad, but ETS should be able to produce a test that, on average, does not bias itself against women. Especially in a field where we are ridiculously outnumbered as it is...

I would be willing to bet that if we had something more like the math subject GRE - 60 questions in the same level of time - we (women) would do much better. From what I've read, studies say that we score worse because 1) we tend to work slower and be more careful about our work, and 2), we are more reluctant to guess even when we've narrowed down the five choices to fewer.

Anyway, scallions, don't give up. :wink: Apply to the places you planned on - worst case scenario, do a 1 year Master's, or take a year off and work in a lab maybe; then study like mad next year and get the score up. That's my plan if I don't get accepted anywhere.

ether
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:46 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby ether » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:53 am

I am really sorry but I couldn't hold myself from commenting on this topic.....a couple of weeks ago someone suggested me to go into some other field when I said that I come from poor country and I don't have enough money to apply at 15 universities....No I am telling you why don't you just switch field if you did that bad...I mean you can get 5th percentile blindfolded or by random guessing without even reading questions....I think most great physicists did their great work in their early twenties, so if you can't even get 50th percentile in that infantile physics exam you have very little hope.....I only want to get outta my country and phd admission is my only hope, otherwise I am in no iilusion that that I have any of those talents that great souls in physics had, bearing in mind that they were not the product of any institutions so even if you can get into harvard it doesn't mean anything.....physics is an all or none thing, you either have it or you don't, nobody can teach you physics, it doesn't matter if you did phd from harvard and worked there for 30 years as professor before retiring, if you haven't contributed anything substantial then you are nobody and trust me those who have contributed something are outnumbered by zillions to 1 by those who are just statistics.....so if you just want to be a statistic then I have nothing to say.....

User avatar
secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby secander2! » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:13 am

@ether...yes, and by blind guessing you could also score a 95th percentile too... it's all just probabilities :D

Sure, most of us want to become great physicists, but most of us are realistic enough to know that this is extremely unlikely. Fortunately, you don't need to be an Einstein to make a contribution. Trust me, I've been at CERN doing research long enough to know that even if you're a moron, you can still do a lot of good and important work. If every physicist was an Einstein, no physics would ever get done! In fact, I believe there's a strong argument to be made that those things which make a great physicist like Einstein are completely different from those things which make a great researcher. Anyways, we all know that getting into Harvard doesn't really mean anything... getting into Harvard will not make your wildest dreams come true and it sure as heck won't turn you into an Einstein. Furthermore, the professors at my home institution told me that the "education" you receive at any top 50 school will be pretty similar. What Harvard does help with is the "Law of Descending Prestige". Most of us want to become professors... the "Law of Descending Prestige" says that if you got your Ph.D. from a top 20 school, you can probably only be be hired by a top 40 school... so if you want to teach at a top 20 school, you'll need to have gone to a top 10 school. Furthermore, the "better" the school, the more funding they have... thus, there is strong motivation to work at top schools as a professor. This, at least, is the reason why I am so hell bent on attending a top school and I would guess that others might be similar.

You say that you are pursuing a Ph.D. for the utilitarian reason of getting "outta my country" and you say that "I am in no illusion that I have any of those talents that great souls in physics had". To me it seems like we're both pretty utilitarian about our goals, so I don't understand why you say "if you just want to be a statistic then I have nothing to say". Anyways, I really applaud your efforts to pursue a Ph.D. in the US, but I'm confused as to why you're so hostile to scallions who just wants to do the same thing.

User avatar
Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby Helio » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:13 am

@ether i read the post and it was NOT saying you should switch subjects, it was simply stating the fact that other careers may be more lucrative. in plain english, physics is not the highest paid, but you still get money to live. Additionally, you have to realize that some people have test anxiety or something else (i was physically shaking during the exam for one), so 5th percentile might be the product of something else and not people being stupid.

As much as it "infantile" (try to imagine the GRE as a baby... yeah with 2 horns and a tail) easy, some people do not work well under stress or are not as quick as others. I know for one i am not quickest mathematician, but is that what physics is about? How fast you can add two numbers, multiply them or do whatever? If you really think that you might really want to switch your career path to something like accounting (btw pays more than physics. and yes this is SARCASM)

Moreover, I have to agree with secander2!, being hostile will bring you nowhere. You both have the same goal, he might just have the less beneficial position that you do.

scallions
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:06 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby scallions » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:02 am

Don't worry guys, I'm WELL aware I scored as well as someone who had guessed blindfolded :wink: - which is why I suspect there was that went horribly wrong (nerves/sickness/maybe I really did miss a bubble/etc etc) since if you check my profile, the results of this one single test isn't exactly meshing with my performance in the field for the past 4 years. Which I guess is the main argument to this test being flawed - far easier to screw up one day than 4 years.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize I just would not have made it to this point without excessive grief and studying for 27 hours a day if I simply "didn't have" any physics in me and I was a complete lost cause. Yeah, I messed up the test, yeah it's a set-back and might require changing my plans for the next year or so, and yeah I'm right out for any of the top schools, but it's far too early to give up completely and resign myself to flipping burgers for the rest of my life.

On a similar note, no I don't aspire to be SUPER NUMBER ONE PHYSICIST or be the next [insert name here] or anything. As of now, I eventually want to teach at the university level but I want to still be able to work on some sort of research on the side, and a PhD is the best way to get to that point - I really enjoyed all the tutoring I did, but I know the high school level will make me miserable.

I do wish I wasn't so limited geographically - I'm getting married in the summer, and with this economy I really don't want to make my fiance quit his well-paying job in NYC for no guarantees. I suggested having a long distance marriage so I could expand my options but that didn't go over so well :P

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby pqortic » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:19 pm

@scallions

Transfer is also available in Grad Schools.
anyway, will you address to this deficiency in your SOP or somewhere?
Last edited by pqortic on Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby cato88 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:03 pm

secander2! wrote: If every physicist was an Einstein, no physics would ever get done! In fact, I believe there's a strong argument to be made that those things which make a great physicist like Einstein are completely different from those things which make a great researcher. Anyways, we all know that getting into Harvard doesn't really mean anything... getting into Harvard will not make your wildest dreams come true and it sure as heck won't turn you into an Einstein.


Im not sure how relevant Einstein. Einstein was kind of blacklisted and never got a postdoc position because his college performance until 1905 special relativity. I suppose the moral of the story is to come up with something like special relativity to come out of the doghouse.

User avatar
secander2!
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby secander2! » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:46 pm

Sorry, I didn't intend to imply that Einstein was a perfect student, I was just using him as an example of those "great physicists" to which ether referred, and my point was that you can make contributions to science and have legitimate reasons for wanting to go to Harvard without being as bright as Einstein. I realize that Einstein was something of a black sheep, but for the record, Zurich Polytechnic, where Einstein attended college, is probably the best school on the European mainland (although I'm not sure how it was considered as such when Einstein went there).

Hypernova
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:12 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby Hypernova » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:41 pm

scallions wrote:On a similar note, no I don't aspire to be SUPER NUMBER ONE PHYSICIST or be the next [insert name here] or anything. As of now, I eventually want to teach at the university level but I want to still be able to work on some sort of research on the side, and a PhD is the best way to get to that point - I really enjoyed all the tutoring I did, but I know the high school level will make me miserable.


Same as me exactly. Just adding that I do want to make a research group in my county (eventually, of course not right after I graduate). I want to make a place where those (in my country) who like physics but are not fortunate enough like me to go aboard do have a hope in doing some real research in physics. I'm still debating whether or not to add this on my SOP.

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:01 pm

emperial wrote:@scallions

Transfer is also available in Grad Schools.
anyway, will you address to this deficiency in you SOP or somewhere?


If you're referring to low PGRE scores, I know I'm throwing a line or two into my SOP about it. After talking to a ton of people, it sounds like the best option for those of us who only took the test once and did badly is to say something along the lines of, "Unfortunately I only had the opportunity to attempt the Physics GRE once. Myself and others do not believe it is an accurate reflection of my abilities."

And leave it at that.

pavement
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:03 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby pavement » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:37 am

scallion, just go ahead. it can't hurt. dont apply to those you know you will in no way get in. it is a costly procedure. but for most, it is worth the shot.

and good folks of this group

"don't let school get in the way of your education." - twain

yea, its sappy. but it is a good one.

cheers.

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

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby mhazelm » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:13 am

Scallions -

Don't listen to the people who say "you'll never make any contribution". You and I and most of us realize that a single standardized test doesn't REALLY mean that much. If we brought Einstein back from the dead and didn't give him any time to practice, just sat him down to a PGRE, he'd probably do awfully. The people who are worrying about become the next Einstein, Feynman, whatever, have their heads in the clouds (for the most part). Science today is not the same as it was when these important discoveries happened; we're all much more specialized now (because there is more physics as a whole), and I think that the increase in specialization means it will be harder and harder to make these revolutionary new theories (if Newton were reborn, what contribution would he make now??).

Also, to reply to those who claim a low PGRE means you're doomed to be "nothing" as a physicist: if your whole goal is just to become the next famous physicist, well, that's awfully self-centered and frankly, not highly probable (regardless of who you are and how smart you think you are). I think it is very immature to profess that your life dream is to be Einstein #2. Those of us who live in the real world, and understand modern science, realize that we're going to make meaningful contributions even without Nobel prizes. Besides, it takes all of us to make discoveries... e.g. Hubble couldn't have discovered galaxies without Henrietta Leavitt's discovery of Cepheid variables. Did she get a Nobel prize or become famous? no. Hubble did. But she was still important. Some even suggest that Einstein's first wife (who was also a physicist!!) may have helped him with some of his ideas. So, the point is, we can have success as physicists without acing the PGRE, and without IQs surpassing 180.

Every major discovery involves more than one, some explicitly and many implicitly.

Ok, that's my rant. :lol:

ether
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:46 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby ether » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:20 am

a lot of sentiments presented here are typical american infatuations with intoxicating overconfidence, probably stirred heavily by toxic doses of prozac......one interesting typical american thing to do when you get 5th percentile would be arm yourself with your dad's machinegun and shoot everyone in the physics department, even the freaking annoying secretary, lock yourself in the department toilet, flush down all your transcripts with 4 GPA and shoot yourself.....now i am giving an advice based on what i've heard about american schools....

User avatar
muonman
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:19 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby muonman » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:36 am

Ether, in America, you are allowed to dream...

What I mean by that is that in a lot of places in the world, you are simply not allowed by you fellow to try to better yourself- it's almost a communist-style thinking. In america a man sees a rich guy and he thinks to yourself "I'm gonna work hard and be rich like him one day"; in most third-world countries (where I suspect you're from), a man sees a rich guy and he thinks "capitalistic pig is taking advantage of poor workers, let's burn his house down!!!!!!". Why do you think that in these places the well-off have to build incredible defenses around their own homes like a prison? I believe that the anti-success, anti-dreamer attitute of their cultures has a bearing on the poverty of such countries....

...and you are a perfect example. You see a fellow human being trying to improve herself and you don't think "how can we can we all succeed together?" (secander and other), instead you're like "stupid American, drop your dreams of grad school so that there will be more room for ME! Give ME an affirmative action seat! Me, me, me!!!!!!!"

rohit
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby rohit » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:09 am

I thought US academia would be free of commie-bashing. :lol:

admissionprof
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby admissionprof » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:47 am

scallion---don't give up. I'm admissions director at a school which is top 50 but not top 20. We have occasionally accepted people with scores that low, if it is completely out of line with all of the other data. It does help if a recommender states explicitly in his/her letter that the score is completely unrepresentative, so you should tell them. I won't tell you it isn't a big deal---it certainly does hurt your application--but you've got a chance, especially later in the process when some departments find themselves with a class that will be way too small. Good luck.

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:59 am

ether wrote:a lot of sentiments presented here are typical american infatuations with intoxicating overconfidence, probably stirred heavily by toxic doses of prozac......one interesting typical american thing to do when you get 5th percentile would be arm yourself with your dad's machinegun and shoot everyone in the physics department, even the freaking annoying secretary, lock yourself in the department toilet, flush down all your transcripts with 4 GPA and shoot yourself.....now i am giving an advice based on what i've heard about american schools....


From this post you have made painfully obvious that you know little to nothing about America, Americans, our colleges, or life in general.

I think advocating someone's suicide based on GRE scores is more than grounds for a banning.

PoincareSection
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby PoincareSection » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:20 am

ether wrote:a lot of sentiments presented here are typical american infatuations with intoxicating overconfidence, probably stirred heavily by toxic doses of prozac......one interesting typical american thing to do when you get 5th percentile would be arm yourself with your dad's machinegun and shoot everyone in the physics department, even the freaking annoying secretary, lock yourself in the department toilet, flush down all your transcripts with 4 GPA and shoot yourself.....now i am giving an advice based on what i've heard about american schools....


Ok, so maybe you should not come here. ever. :shock:

Scallions, I managed to get accepted to a few schools with a horrible score a few years ago. My score this year isn't much better. I really think that if we can demonstrate that this is so out of line with our application then we should be ok (like admission prof said).

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

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby G01 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:48 pm

coreycwgriffin wrote:
ether wrote:a lot of sentiments presented here are typical american infatuations with intoxicating overconfidence, probably stirred heavily by toxic doses of prozac......one interesting typical american thing to do when you get 5th percentile would be arm yourself with your dad's machinegun and shoot everyone in the physics department, even the freaking annoying secretary, lock yourself in the department toilet, flush down all your transcripts with 4 GPA and shoot yourself.....now i am giving an advice based on what i've heard about american schools....


From this post you have made painfully obvious that you know little to nothing about America, Americans, our colleges, or life in general.

I think advocating someone's suicide based on GRE scores is more than grounds for a banning.


I agree. Advocating suicide for any reason should be grounds for banning. If you have such a bad opinion about America, ether, then don't go to an American school.

User avatar
Andromeda
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:17 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby Andromeda » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:40 pm

I've been lurking here on and off for awhile now but registered to post in this thread.

First of all, do not feed the trolls guys, as it's obvious ether was just posting to get a reaction (and he very obviously did that).

Second, scallions, I can sympathize as I have been where you are- I am good at a lot of things but standardized testing just isn't one of them, so I got your score this past spring and didn't do much better now- 500, 12th percentile. So I can totally understand how demoralizing it can be, or to forget how you're still just as smart and capable as you were.

Talking to my profs about this (I recommend talking to yours, as I doubt you're the only student they've had in your situation) the general consensus is talk to people at the school you want to apply who are professors there and can decide they want you in their program, particularly if they're people your letter writers know. I was advised that you should never put explanations of negative things in your personal statement because it only draws more attention to them- rather, get your letter writers to address it. (On an infuriating note, upon mentioning to one of my letter writers my score/percentile he was astounded- he'd gotten about the same as me on the PGRE ~20 years ago but back then it was a 40th percentile score!)

Another interesting note on perspectives, the only school I could find which actually said their 'spread' of scores as opposed to the average was Yale Astronomy (I'm going the astrophys route) and their lowest score accepted last year was a 540. I thought that was interesting... Also a surprising percentage of graduate students in my physics department had "there was a cool grad student at my decent undergrad institution who got in with single digit/ not much better scores" so it's obviously a surmountable obstacle. I mean, it's one I'll be happier to deal with on the other side of the acceptance fence, but reassure yourself how best you can right? :wink:

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby twistor » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:54 pm

I agree. Advocating suicide for any reason should be grounds for banning.



I think advocating someone's suicide based on GRE scores is more than grounds for a banning.


And what about advocating censorship? Grounds for banning?

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:20 am

twistor wrote:
I agree. Advocating suicide for any reason should be grounds for banning.



I think advocating someone's suicide based on GRE scores is more than grounds for a banning.


And what about advocating censorship? Grounds for banning?


This website is, in my opinion, here to be a supportive resource for people who want to pursue further study in Physics. Not a place where we make uninformed, irrational statements to purposely break people's spirits or trash talk their people or cultures.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby twistor » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:39 am

This website is, in my opinion, here to be a supportive resource for people who want to pursue further study in Physics. Not a place where we make uninformed, irrational statements to purposely break people's spirits or trash talk their people or cultures.


Welcome to the internet.

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:20 am

twistor wrote:
This website is, in my opinion, here to be a supportive resource for people who want to pursue further study in Physics. Not a place where we make uninformed, irrational statements to purposely break people's spirits or trash talk their people or cultures.


Welcome to the internet.


Hahaha...it's funny that you would be telling me that. I just figured at least this place should be a bit more tame.

User avatar
Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby Helio » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:42 am

ether wrote:a lot of sentiments presented here are typical american infatuations with intoxicating overconfidence, probably stirred heavily by toxic doses of prozac......one interesting typical american thing to do when you get 5th percentile would be arm yourself with your dad's machinegun and shoot everyone in the physics department, even the freaking annoying secretary, lock yourself in the department toilet, flush down all your transcripts with 4 GPA and shoot yourself.....now i am giving an advice based on what i've heard about american schools....


So let me get this you want to get OUT of your country to get INTO a country where you seem to hate the culture, clearly you have thought out your career thoroughly. Getting out does not necessarily mean you get happier

I am not American, btw, so that you know. I might agree to hand wavering and optimistic thought process that occur here, but that is how it works here. This is the country of the opportunists and the culture is based on it. If you can't live with it you shouldn't try so hard to come here

ether
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:46 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby ether » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:34 am

Screw you all......let me make few things clear....I don't hate America and I am not dying to go over there either....I haven't even applied anywhere yet coz the free ones have deadlines till 15th january and I am still trying to contact them to see if they accept photocopies of the score report that I have otherwise fu.ck them....I don't have money to send them official ones....Also I am not advocating suicide but you can still kill yourself without being suicidal......and you know what 12th percentile encouraging 5th percentile to not lose hope and perhaps even apply to Harvard is like Britney Spears acting Dr. phil to Paris Hilton....they are both screwed.....screw you all, you people never understood me so I will never come here again....good bye

User avatar
Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby Helio » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:09 am

ether wrote:Screw you all......let me make few things clear....I don't hate America and I am not dying to go over there either....I haven't even applied anywhere yet coz the free ones have deadlines till 15th january and I am still trying to contact them to see if they accept photocopies of the score report that I have otherwise fu.ck them....I don't have money to send them official ones....Also I am not advocating suicide but you can still kill yourself without being suicidal......and you know what 12th percentile encouraging 5th percentile to not lose hope and perhaps even apply to Harvard is like Britney Spears acting Dr. phil to Paris Hilton....they are both screwed.....screw you all, you people never understood me so I will never come here again....good bye


where is the holy garden when you need him

robertson
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:23 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby robertson » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:00 pm

This guy is funny, isn't him? In my country we say, "dos no discuten si uno no quiere" which means: two do not argue if one of them doesn't want to. I guess that you have to be quite agressive if you can come to this friendly forum and find hostility. You might be a good guy, but think that most of your school mates in USA will be like the people in this forum, perhaps you will not fit in the american culture and you will be another lonely guy doing nothing but studying. Reconsider your status, it is up to you.
Good luck! Rob

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

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby mhazelm » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:48 pm

@ Scallions -

Just got my score. We are pretty much in the same boat. My score is really, really awful. There is no way I am even going to post it. I did so badly that I might as well not have studied at all. I think I could have scored higher with random guessing. Well, let's just apply anyway and see what happens!

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:40 pm

mhazelm wrote:Well, let's just apply anyway and see what happens!


That's what I'm doing.

scallions
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:06 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby scallions » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:22 pm

Three cheers for not letting a lousy score ruin our lives!
It sucks, but we're not doomed yet!

I hadn't updated this lately (was too amused on how our "futile American hope" managed to frustrate a troll off the boards!) but there was no money for new spring students, which I wasn't too surprised about as this was the same situation at my fellow state school. As it stands, I'm going to also be applying to CUNY and SUNY Stony Brook, both not requiring the PGRE - too late for NYU alas, even if I could have my LORs address the score. My academic adviser's suggestion was to see about taking a course or two non-matriculated at my first choice school (the silver lining to having to stay in the area.. this is very doable) to prepare myself for a possible fall admission... and if decisions times come and they would have turned me down based on that score alone, I'd hopefully be doing well enough in the grad class(es) to show that the PGRE wasn't an accurate measure of how well I'd perform in the PhD progam. Only downside is this limits the possible jobs that can work around day classes, but in this economy a Real Job right out of undergrad isn't a guarantee either!

My logic is why not apply? Worst that can happen is you don't get in anywhere for the fall and you're out a few hundred bucks. If you give up and don't apply, then you're AUTOMATICALLY not getting in anywhere for the fall either!

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

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby mhazelm » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:26 pm

It's just a setback. It really sucks and I am pretty miserable right now, but I'm not giving up. Though I am seriously considering going into math now. I am much better at math than physics... :roll:

boomsdaydevice
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:44 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby boomsdaydevice » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:25 pm

muonman wrote: In america a man sees a rich guy and he thinks to yourself "I'm gonna work hard and be rich like him one day"; in most third-world countries (where I suspect you're from), a man sees a rich guy and he thinks "capitalistic pig is taking advantage of poor workers, let's burn his house down!!!!!!".


... interestingly, this is almost verbatim what Bono said on some talk show about growing up in Northern Ireland.

User avatar
coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby coreycwgriffin » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:07 pm

scallions wrote:I'm going to also be applying to CUNY and SUNY Stony Brook, both not requiring the PGRE


Since when does Stony Brook not require the PGRE?

(too late for me, since they've already got mine, but still...)

PoincareSection
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: really really REALLY bad PGRE scores... what now?

Postby PoincareSection » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:42 pm

CUNY doesn't require the PGRE? I thought they did, but I could be wrong.... :?:




Return to “Tests and Scores”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest