Need advice and safety school suggestions

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

Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby Hypernova » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:13 am

Hello, my first post here. I know that my PGRE is pathetic and no publication leave me in despair for a while that I don't even think about making a post asking. I tried to improve my PGRE and I think I did better on Oct 18 but it shouldn't change by much. I still have the Nov exam but my graduate class that I'm taking is getting in the way. Wait, I'm making excuses again.

Anyway, I need advices about what else I could do to make my application looks better. I just updated my profile, so please take a look a that. I really want to do cosmology or astrophysics theory. With that in mind, could you guys suggests some safety schools? I looked at the other threads, so I know which are top ones, and I tried to use gradschoolshoppers, but it doesn't seem to get me anywhere.

Thank you in advance.

Updated: I will post my profile here so people don't have to register & click the link

Physics GRE Score: 610
GRE Quantitative: 0
GRE Verbal: 0
GRE Writing: 0
Undergrad Institution: Around 60 in physics in US. (I guess)
Major(s): Physics/Math
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near Top
Residency: Thailand
Undergraduate Location: United States
TOEFL Total (if applicable): 0
Gender: Male
Research Experience: 1.5 years of doing rotating star simulation code
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Top 100 GPA in junior year (Not that I think it's gonna make any different)
Bonus Points?: Taking graduate classical right now
Theory or Experiment?: Theory
Physics Field(s): Cosmology/Astrophysics
Application Year: 2009
Last edited by Hypernova on Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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xudis149
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:03 am

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby xudis149 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:14 am

hmm..
I don't know whether I am giving any solution but what does everyone think about TUFTS institute of cosmology and Brandeis are they a safety school or not??? They lie in my radar too...

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WontonBurritoMeals
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:43 pm

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:37 pm

I'd be more concerned with your normal GRE scores @ this point.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Wonton Burrito Meals

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

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby Hypernova » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:31 pm

Thanks both of you above who replied. I will add something here in case someone else might kindly look at this post :wink:

I do starting to worry about my General GRE. I will spend a couple days making sure I am similar with Quantitative part, but Verbal, especially the analogy, will be a tough for me. Also, while I am pretty confidence about writing critically, I am not good on making a beautifully written sentence. Hope that won't hurt too much.

Update on my profile: My Oct and Nov GRE should be better. The possible range could be 650 to 800, but realistically I am hoping for a mid-700.

Now for the schools on my list (I'm :oops: by saying this, really):

Princeton/SUNY Stony Brook/U Michigan AA/Chicago/Ohio/Penn State/UO

Now some of these is certainly out of reach, but do you think I have enough varieties? (I don't think so, but I can't find any more "safe" one, hence my original topic.) I do want to go to grad school, so as long as I can do the research I want, I wouldn't mind much which school.

Again, thanks in advance for any comments.

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

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby cato88 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:24 pm

realistically Princeton is an unrealistic reach because PGRE unless you have a professor who knows a professor there and is willing to make it a point to get you in there. I think that departments like to use PGRE scores as an admissions shortcut (at least for top programs).

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

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby Hypernova » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:34 pm

cato88 wrote:realistically Princeton is an unrealistic reach because PGRE unless you have a professor who knows a professor there and is willing to make it a point to get you in there. I think that departments like to use PGRE scores as an admissions shortcut (at least for top programs).


I think about this so many times. Should I just give up and save $85 after all?

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

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby PoincareSection » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:26 pm

Hypernova wrote:
cato88 wrote:realistically Princeton is an unrealistic reach because PGRE unless you have a professor who knows a professor there and is willing to make it a point to get you in there. I think that departments like to use PGRE scores as an admissions shortcut (at least for top programs).


I think about this so many times. Should I just give up and save $85 after all?



Honestly, I probably scored around a 680 or so, but I have papers and good research experience and a good gpa. My recommenders are pretty well known and well connected, and I have a Masters degree already. I am just going to apply to the top programs, including Princeton, and hope for the best. I thought about saving the $$ too, but even if I get rejected (which I probably will), at least I know I tried...

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

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby Hypernova » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:51 pm

PoincareSection: If I were you, I would definitely give it a shot. Personally I think your chance of getting in is quite high. Of course, that makes me even more sad.

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

Re: Need advice and safety school suggestions

Postby PoincareSection » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:35 pm

Hypernova wrote:PoincareSection: If I were you, I would definitely give it a shot. Personally I think your chance of getting in is quite high. Of course, that makes me even more sad.


The way I see it, everyone has at least one weak spot in their application (mine is GRE scores). The trick is to play up your strengths and why you are a match for the department.




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