Concerned about my PGRE score

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highbounce
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Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby highbounce » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:38 pm

So I just got my PGRE score today. It is a little disappointing, 810 - 74%. I am an international student studying at a U.S institution known for its physics program (I also went to high school in the U.S, if that matters). I know that international students are pretty much expected to get 990 on the PGRE. So will I still be competitive with this score for top 20 programs?

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grae313
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby grae313 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:45 pm

highbounce wrote:So I just got my PGRE score today. It is a little disappointing, 810 - 74%. I am an international student studying at a U.S institution known for its physics program (I also went to high school in the U.S, if that matters). I know that international students are pretty much expected to get 990 on the PGRE. So will I still be competitive with this score for top 20 programs?


International students are "expected to get 990s" because they study at international schools that do not have general education classes and instead spend the entire curriculum focusing on physics and math. Their knowledge of physics with their undergraduate degree is often comparable to a US student with a master's in physics. You did not receive that education and will not be held to those standards. Your score will be compared to other US applicants from similar Universities and will definitely not keep you out of top 20 universities. However, you're still harder to fund as an international student and will cost the University more, so those disadvantages do still apply.

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:32 am

It also varies from school to school. I know that the UC system has to pay like twice as much for an international student. A private school, however, probably doesn't have that limitation.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals

wisegops
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby wisegops » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:34 am

I agree only in part to grae's comments. Being an international student myself, one knows very well that the majority of the institutions across the world are below par standard. The USA and Europe encompass virtually all the best institutions in the world.
The 'real' reason for wanting greater scores from international students is for the same reason alone. The admissions committee need to know that the student they select from a country they have never been to, from an institution they have never heard of and from a culture they know nothing of, are at par with, if not better than the standard of the students the best of their institutions produce. No one wants to take a gamble, and to be safe they would be willing to take one only if there is something to show for. They have that indicator in the PGRE.
It's true however, that students from India or China are exposed to math and science at more advanced levels at an earlier age, however, one thing you will surely find is that, a student of physics from even a tier III US institute has a more concrete conceptual base of everything he has learned to date than most international students.
Take day b4 yday's PGRE for instance, only the basics were tested, they didnt require one to make insane calculations.

However, 810 isn't a bad score, its the scaled score and not the percentile that counts, so dont fret.
What was your raw score by the way (the number of correctly answered questions), if you dont mind sharing that piece of info?

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grae313
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby grae313 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:55 am

wisegops wrote:I agree only in part to grae's comments...
You make some good points and I think I agree with what you wrote. However, I do think that the percentile matters more than the scaled score. Scaled scores wander all over the place; it's the percentile that's supposed to mean something year after year.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:46 am

wisegops wrote:It's true however, that students from India or China are exposed to math and science at more advanced levels at an earlier age, however, one thing you will surely find is that, a student of physics from even a tier III US institute has a more concrete conceptual base of everything he has learned to date than most international students.


Not sure how this applies to everyone, but I'd consider myself enrolled in a tier III US institution and I have been completely hampered by it. If India/China schools don't have a tougher cirriculum/better teaching staff than my tier III US institute I'd be amazingly shocked. For instance, after 3 months of Quantum Mechanics, we have just started commutators. I usually spend the class reading through a QM book and trying to learn it myself.

-Riley

nathan12343
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby nathan12343 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:53 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:Not sure how this applies to everyone, but I'd consider myself enrolled in a tier III US institution and I have been completely hampered by it. If India/China schools don't have a tougher cirriculum/better teaching staff than my tier III US institute I'd be amazingly shocked. For instance, after 3 months of Quantum Mechanics, we have just started commutators. I usually spend the class reading through a QM book and trying to learn it myself.

-Riley


There are bad profs at every school. During Statistical Mechanics I had a prof tell me that if you boil water you crack the water molecules and get H2 and O2 gas. Needless to say, this prof was more than a little senile, but it was still at what many consider to be a pretty good school.

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quizivex
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Re: Concerned about my PGRE score

Postby quizivex » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:16 am

wisegops wrote:its the scaled score and not the percentile that counts, so dont fret.

grae313 wrote:However, I do think that the percentile matters more than the scaled score. Scaled scores wander all over the place; it's the percentile that's supposed to mean something year after year.

Admissions people pick whoever they like the best among the applicants that apply. So far as judging GRE scores, it doesn't matter whether they look at percentiles or scaled scores (or Ln(percentile * scaled score)/7.43 or any strictly increasing function of the scores) when comparing you to other people... the effect will be the same.

The scaled score is supposed to be an objective measure of performance independent of what version of the test was taken, what year it was taken and the performance of the other students who took it. I don't know how they come up with it statistically, but it still has information that the percentile doesn't as far as comparing the performance of test takers over the years. But that's not really relevant for the current group of applicants, who all took the test recently. The percentiles, OTOH, are updated every year to represent the recent test takers.




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