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Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:54 am
by Sina
I'm gonna finish my undegraduate in this february. I've taken PGRE in 10 Nov, I just did 53 true. I just have time matter, if not I'm sure I can did 80 right at least. I have not enough time to review my undergraduate books. The time restriction comes me because I should get accept unless I have to participate in compulsive military service. Unfortunately in this semester I'm full with differnet kinds of exams, for international to interrnal. My country is Iran and it's really breath taking in this year for me which can damage all my future.
I'm gonna apply to Oklahoma State University for next fall in master degree, but I think I'm not good enough in PGRE. what's your suggestion ? It's better to be mentioned which I need full fund, because our currency is taking sorrowful days. And by regard to deadlines which is in first February, do they wait for me to show myself in April PGRE?

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:23 am
by blighter
Answering 53 isn't too bad. You can easily score 700+ with that raw score.

You can't be sure of getting in if you just apply to Oklahoma State. Make sure you apply to a lot of low ranked schools to be absolutely sure of getting admitted somewhere. PGRE is not the only part of the application. If rest of your profile is good, you have nothing to worry about.

It's also unlikely that they'll fund you for a master's.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:44 am
by Sina
Unfortunately My GPA 2.5 and isn't shining. and about Financial Aid it's stated in Oklahoma state University which most of applicants been funded by TA or RA. As I said in previous post our currency worth declines extremely down, and honestly I just have money for two application fee. Two case I have in mind, Fisrt is Oklahoma state University and second is University of Miami. What do u think? Do I look brilliant enough to be accepted by finanical aid ??? :(

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:53 am
by blighter
Apply to places which don't have an application fee. The likelihood of your getting funded is higher if you are a PhD applicant.

If you are just interested in getting out of your country, apply to a whole bunch of European grad schools. Look into different departments, not just physics. European schools usually don't charge application fees.

Even I am in a similar situation as you, as far as grades are concerned. My GPA is way less than yours (I'm talking < 2). So I don't have any high hopes about grad school.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:16 pm
by Sina
I really die for physics, and I risk a lot to choose physics in Iran by its dark future in job. However you're saying me apply for Phd than master, does it change my chance in acceptance ? I mean it's my favorite studying for Phd in USA, but always I think that I have no chance be admited in Phd than master ?
I think U.S. is more generous in financial aid ? do u believe on any chance for fund from European universities?? see me there are different knids of people in Iran. one group have lots of money which they can study in high top ranks( by their own money) and one group like me which fall in problem even in applicatin fee ?

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:30 pm
by blighter
Almost nobody actually pays to do a PhD. So yeah, you'll get funded.

A lot of different departments are actually doing research closely related to physics. So it is wise to look into those.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:40 pm
by bfollinprm
A 2.5 GPA is probably too low to get funded for a phd.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:56 pm
by blighter
Well, he is an Iranian student. There might be scaling issues. I can't really say.

OP, you could also apply to some non-funded master's programmes. Take a loan to pay your way through. Then get a job and work for a year to pay back your loan. Then apply for a PhD programme. At least, that's what I intend to do.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:24 pm
by Sina
thanks to all you, people who are sensitive to around. When I see this kind of people I feel better in this world. I don't know what to do, confused indeed. However I want to apply to Universities which I mentioned before and wait to result, If they worry about my PGRE I should beg them to give a chance for me in PGRE in April. Maybe this time physics accept my dedicating :D

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:33 pm
by blighter
The problem is with your GPA, not with your PGRE score. Even if you can manage to score a 990 on the Physics GRE, you really can't be sure to get in anywhere with a low GPA. Most schools won't even look at your forms unless you have a GPA of 3.0.

Of course, a good PGRE score might be helpful.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:37 am
by Sina
I know what you mean. But there's a difference here. Best GPA in our class was 3 and even one of best in our faculty. In university which I passed exams, the difficulty was extremely high. But maybe you're true. Who care what's going in our damned university. However don't you know universities which are good in physics and at the same time don't look everything through GPA eyes?

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:28 pm
by Lavabug
I don't know what to say, as I'm in a similar situation myself. Although my grades are considered decent back home, they don't look so great on a 1-10 scale (apparently it does translate to above a 3.0). My school was pretty hard as well, entering class of ~45, 4 years later, graduating class of < or = 5. Does your transcript state GPA or some other numeric scale? If you're doing the conversion yourself, don't, let grad committees look at your transcript as is as before making it easier for them to apply a hardline cutoff.

I am not very optimistic about admission committees looking much into a country's grading scheme if it isn't a system they're familiar with (guessing they've seen a lot of transcripts from some Asian countries and the UK but not much else), they'll probably rely a LOT more on the PGRE. Everything indicates we are expected to score higher than US students on average, so I don't think a 700 will cut it at most places, and getting there is not so easy IMO. You could get up to around a 700, assuming you got no more than 2-4 questions wrong approx.

Question: Have you already taken the TOEFL and general GRE? It looks like you need to work on your English, I would be more worried about reaching the TOEFL minimums at the schools you're applying to).

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:58 pm
by bfollinprm
Lavabug wrote:I don't know what to say, as I'm in a similar situation myself. Although my grades are considered decent back home, they don't look so great on a 1-10 scale (apparently it does translate to above a 3.0). My school was pretty hard as well, entering class of ~45, 4 years later, graduating class of < or = 5. Does your transcript state GPA or some other numeric scale? If you're doing the conversion yourself, don't, let grad committees look at your transcript as is as before making it easier for them to apply a hardline cutoff.

I am not very optimistic about admission committees looking much into a country's grading scheme if it isn't a system they're familiar with (guessing they've seen a lot of transcripts from some Asian countries and the UK but not much else), they'll probably rely a LOT more on the PGRE. Everything indicates we are expected to score higher than US students on average, so I don't think a 700 will cut it at most places, and getting there is not so easy IMO. You could get up to around a 700, assuming you got no more than 2-4 questions wrong approx.

Question: Have you already taken the TOEFL and general GRE? It looks like you need to work on your English, I would be more worried about reaching the TOEFL minimums at the schools you're applying to).


Both of you definitely need to explain the grading and difficulty of your undergraduate institution in your SOP (that dropout rate is a stark statistic). Many schools will look holistically at every application before throwing any out, though I agree that a ~700 PGRE isn't going to be good enough to get into top notch schools, especially for an international student. And yes, English skills are important, because you'll probably be funded through at least your first year by teaching undergrads, and you're no good at that if they can't understand you.


To the OP:
As for recognition, I know here at Davis we have 2 Iranian-born grad students, and I don't think we're particularly known to Iranians, so I'd take that as semi-representative (poisson noise is high though). Try contacting those who've gone before you, and see what their advice is.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:55 pm
by Izaac
Don't your high school make any rankings out of the GPAs? I'm not an expert, but that seems a rather universal way of assessing a student's level at school... You have a GPA of 2.5 or 12.5/20 or 62.5% or whatever, doesn't matter! What matter is, you kept in the top 5% of your classes' students.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:51 pm
by blighter
Izaac wrote:Don't your high school make any rankings out of the GPAs? I'm not an expert, but that seems a rather universal way of assessing a student's level at school... You have a GPA of 2.5 or 12.5/20 or 62.5% or whatever, doesn't matter! What matter is, you kept in the top 5% of your classes' students.


I think he is in college.

Class ranks don't always correlate to how good you are in the global sense. Among your classmates, maybe.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:23 pm
by Izaac
Sorry, just a slip of the tongue (or keyboard). I indeed meant college.

I agree with you, but still this looks to me a more objective way of assessing a student's level than GPA. You see how good the student is relative to her university, and then you weight by the university's reputation (or notable alumni or whatever).

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:17 am
by bfollinprm
Izaac wrote:Sorry, just a slip of the tongue (or keyboard). I indeed meant college.

I agree with you, but still this looks to me a more objective way of assessing a student's level than GPA. You see how good the student is relative to her university, and then you weight by the university's reputation (or notable alumni or whatever).


Such a strategy works well when you have an impression of a university's reputation. You often don't. And judging by the outliers (notable alumni) is a bad idea, for the same reason that I shouldn't assume that Romanians are excellent gymnasts just because I watched Nadia Comăneci in Montreal.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:34 am
by blighter
bfollinprm wrote:
Izaac wrote:Sorry, just a slip of the tongue (or keyboard). I indeed meant college.

I agree with you, but still this looks to me a more objective way of assessing a student's level than GPA. You see how good the student is relative to her university, and then you weight by the university's reputation (or notable alumni or whatever).


Such a strategy works well when you have an impression of a university's reputation. You often don't. And judging by the outliers (notable alumni) is a bad idea, for the same reason that I shouldn't assume that Romanians are excellent gymnasts just because I watched Nadia Comăneci in Montreal.


In that case, PGRE remains the only objective way they can judge you.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:05 pm
by Sina
I think mine is over. My PGRE score is "11/10/2012 PHYSICS 620 37% ", I'm really in trouble. I don't know what to do ?
I lose my energy to continue studying for TOEFL completely which is in 26 Jan. What do u think? Unfortunately this year our currency worth declined sharply, I have no enough money. Maybe I could pay just for one exam and I have time to last month of summer.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:21 pm
by kangaroo
Sina wrote:I think mine is over. My PGRE score is "11/10/2012 PHYSICS 620 37% ", I'm really in trouble. I don't know what to do ?
I lose my energy to continue studying for TOEFL completely which is in 26 Jan. What do u think? Unfortunately this year our currency worth declined sharply, I have no enough money. Maybe I could pay just for one exam and I have time to last month of summer.


Well, not much to say really. Your best bet now is probably using any Iranian contacts you may have in US universities and see if they can pull some strings for you.

And there are certain state schools that waive the application fee. Off the top of my head Ohio State I think, but there are definitely a few others. Go search for them, so application fees will not be an issue.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:00 pm
by Sina
haha. surely no string. I don't think I can do something by this way. I want to postpone my TOEFL for three months more. Maybe another PGRE in April. What do u think about spring admission. Do u think contact with a Proffesor could be helpful? And how much should I pay to delay my TOEFL exam.
Thank you for your help.

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:30 pm
by kangaroo
Take the exam only when you think you're ready for them, no point flushing money down the drain. Spring admissions is typically more of a backdoor procedure for professors who want to take in students asap without having to wait till fall, so unless you have a professor's backing spring admissions is not a good idea.

And well sure you can contact a professor, but you'll also need to interest them with your skills and what you can bring to their lab. If you're just going to contact them for the sake of doing it, don't bother. They are busy people, and they receive tons of junk mail as well.

And turns out Ohio State is not free, but it's only 5 dollars, which is basically nothing.

https://physics.osu.edu/graduate-admissions-application

Re: Really in stressful situation, please help.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:46 pm
by Sina
I think it's better to wait for 21 december. If I can't do anything till last month of summer I should go millitary service for 2 year. I hate army stuff. At least these exams makes my heart feel pain. I think sth bad happened for its healthy. Maybe in this way they neglect me for millitary 8)