Memorable applicant stories

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

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InquilineKea
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Memorable applicant stories

Postby InquilineKea » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:28 am

Do professors sometimes share stories of memorable applicants with professors in other departments?

For example, stories like this: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmi ... sh-to-see/. ;) Of course, there are some applicants who might even be more memorable than that.

Sometimes, some applicants are just so memorable that you just can't resist sharing their stories with professor X and school Y, maybe over a beer. ;) . And then Professor X might reply, "hey, I remembered that guy too!" Of course they'll try to anonymize the person's name.

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grae313
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby grae313 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:01 pm

admissionprof has mentioned some funny stories on these very forums. I'm sure you can find them with some digging. I remember one example in particular where an applicant recounts his youthful "bedroom experiments." Aaah... language barrier humor :p

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HappyQuark
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:04 pm

One of admissionprof's funnier comments, at least that I can recall off the top of my head, was the following excuse given for a poor PGRE score

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3681&p=31777&hilit=farting#p31777

admissionprof wrote:The most interesting excuse was someone who said they did poorly because the person next to them kept farting for the entire exam. Not sure what to make of it (but we said no since their grades were also pretty awful)....

admissionprof
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby admissionprof » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:51 pm

Some stories (ALL of these were more than 5 years ago):

Most memorable excuse for not taking the GRE (from the mid 90s): The testing center was destroyed by NATO fighter jets the week before the exam, so we couldn't figure out where to take it.

Most interesting grade: A D- in "Human Sexuality--Lab section". (we accepted them immediately)

Most transparent lie: I took the Physics GRE in late August, but they must have lost it. (it isn't offered in late August).

Best sentence in an SOP (from a Chinese student)--after telling us how they became interested in science as a young child watching the light rays from the Sun go through a hanging prism, and doing various experiments, "My bedroom experiments taught me a lot about the proper use of my hands".

Worst application: Student had a 1.8 GPA and said that they hoped to get off probation and graduate by May.


Biggest eye-roller: A white South-African student who claimed to be African-American

Biggest forehead banger: A student who was using the same SOP but changing the name of the institution forgot to make the change in several places, and ended up with four different institutions mentioned. Another referred to us as "put name of institution here".

axiomofchoice
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby axiomofchoice » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:17 pm

admissionprof wrote: Another referred to us as "put name of institution here".


:lol: :lol: :lol: Maybe there is a ghost writer involved?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:45 pm

admissionprof wrote:Some stories (ALL of these were more than 5 years ago):

Most memorable excuse for not taking the GRE (from the mid 90s): The testing center was destroyed by NATO fighter jets the week before the exam, so we couldn't figure out where to take it.

Most interesting grade: A D- in "Human Sexuality--Lab section". (we accepted them immediately)

Most transparent lie: I took the Physics GRE in late August, but they must have lost it. (it isn't offered in late August).

Best sentence in an SOP (from a Chinese student)--after telling us how they became interested in science as a young child watching the light rays from the Sun go through a hanging prism, and doing various experiments, "My bedroom experiments taught me a lot about the proper use of my hands".

Worst application: Student had a 1.8 GPA and said that they hoped to get off probation and graduate by May.


Biggest eye-roller: A white South-African student who claimed to be African-American

Biggest forehead banger: A student who was using the same SOP but changing the name of the institution forgot to make the change in several places, and ended up with four different institutions mentioned. Another referred to us as "put name of institution here".


Sure hope I applied to admissionprof's school so I can be on this list in 5 years. *ahem*

-Riley

vesperlynd
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby vesperlynd » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:02 pm

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Last edited by vesperlynd on Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kubikat
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby kubikat » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:53 pm

admissionprof wrote:Biggest forehead banger: A student who was using the same SOP but changing the name of the institution forgot to make the change in several places, and ended up with four different institutions mentioned. Another referred to us as "put name of institution here".


I did that last year in one of my Personal statements. Realized it later on as I was editing it for another school. This year I made sure to only include the school's name in the last paragraph.

P.S. That school accepted me anyways.

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YodaT
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Re: Memorable applicant stories

Postby YodaT » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:19 am

admissionprof wrote:Most memorable excuse for not taking the GRE (from the mid 90s): The testing center was destroyed by NATO fighter jets the week before the exam, so we couldn't figure out where to take it.


My personal favorite.




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