Is my profile/physics GRE strong?

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thisisphysics
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:43 am

Is my profile/physics GRE strong?

Postby thisisphysics » Mon May 06, 2019 6:29 pm

So I recently got a 780 on my physics GRE. I'm looking at top programs like Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Caltech, etc. Will my score be a detriment?

Profile:
3.76 GPA
4 years of research experience
Majoring in math and physics at an Ivy
URM: first-gen, low-income, racial minority

jabennett2194
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:54 pm

Re: Is my profile/physics GRE strong?

Postby jabennett2194 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:38 pm

What kind of research have you done? In the field you plan to pursue? Any publications/ talks/ posters?

How many out of the park/amazing letters of rec will you have? From well-known people in the field you're applying for?

I think your GPA (given it is at an ivy) is acceptable, hopefully it will raise with your grades coming out at the end of this semster, and then again after the fall semester (some schools with a 12/15 deadline allow you to resubmit your fall grades after the deadline).

Why are you not taking the pGRE in Septemeber or better yet October? For example, I took it in April Junior year... I got a 3rd percentile.... (btw some schools ask for your unofficial score report card, MIT and British Columbia are the two I experienced, just FYI) then took it Sept Senior year, 41tst percentile, and then in Oct I got 750 for a 59th percentile. If you got a 780 a a junior, you are absolutely capable of plus 85th percentile if you go ham and study over the summer and take both the fall pGREs[/list]

thisisphysics
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:43 am

Re: Is my profile/physics GRE strong?

Postby thisisphysics » Tue May 07, 2019 1:33 am

Hey! So I've done a lot of AMO, did one project on quantum information, and doing a project this summer on Astro instrumentation, but it's with a particle physicist. I'm considering experimental particle physics and/or quantum information science. I got a publication in a peer-reviewed high school journal, going to get a publication in an undergraduate journal, and might get authorship/acknowledgements on another.

Is the GPA an impediment? Still waiting on grades/in the midst of taking finals, but if all goes well, I'll hopefully go up to a 3.78-3.79. But it seems I'd have to get solid As for the next semester to break 3.8.

So right now, I anticipate 3 strong letters: 2 from previous PIs and one from my summer mentor this upcoming ummer since we've talked a bit and I plan to really interact with him a lot.

I'm considering retaking but I'm wary of how busy I'll be this upcoming year and kinda dreading doing extra work, but maybe I'm overestimating it. Should I take both Sept and Oct?

jabennett2194
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:54 pm

Re: Is my profile/physics GRE strong?

Postby jabennett2194 » Tue May 07, 2019 7:03 pm

I actually never knew about undergraduate journals, thank you for pointing these out to me. Do you have any publications in Physical Review A or Physical Review Articles via the work you did with your PIs?

I do not think your GPA is an impediment at all. Given that it is at an Ivy, I think anything over 3.5 is very impressive. This is just my opinion though, I'm not sure. I just think, your 3.7 GPA at an Ivy will look much better than my 3.9 from a small high admission rate liberal arts college.

Yes absolutely, your summer PI will make a great letter. My adviser over my junior year REU was pivotal in my success. This will be especially true if your adviser is well-known in a field you intend to pursue in grad school.

No question, you should retake it. Take your time over the summer to expand your comfort level with a variety of topics. What worked the best for me was, after studying all summer following the study plan I link below, was learning the 2008 and 2017 back exams to a tee, i.e. memorizing every aspect of the problems.

Study plan I will be following (includes old pGRE tests):
https://sites.google.com/a/uw.edu/physi ... est-gr8677

The "essential text" although I hate it:
https://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Physi ... TS3MQ8H7WW

Go-to intro text for literally everything (free online pdf):
google "halliday and resnick fundamentals of physics pdf"

A supplementary text I love:
https://www.amazon.com/Physics-Student- ... wry+kirkby

Article/website with good info:
http://www.alexhunterlang.com/physics-gre

After you have gotten through all the practice tests, use this to study specific areas (I say after because these problems are from old tests):
http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/undergrad/ugs_gre.php

Email this person(s) at Case Western Reserve for free online flashcards:
http://physics.case.edu/flashcards/

thisisphysics
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:43 am

Re: Is my profile/physics GRE strong?

Postby thisisphysics » Fri May 10, 2019 9:22 pm

Thank you so much! These resources will be helpful.




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