For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

  • 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.

mhrazeghi58
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:28 pm

For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby mhrazeghi58 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:35 am

My BS GPA is not very good. Actually I am seeking for programs that in which I will be able to cover my GPA defect with a high PGRE score. My prefered field is Biophysics and Condensed matter physics. Appreciation to your kind helps :)

DiracMan
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:59 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby DiracMan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:52 pm

mhrazeghi58 wrote:My BS GPA is not very good. Actually I am seeking for programs that in which I will be able to cover my GPA defect with a high PGRE score. My prefered field is Biophysics and Condensed matter physics. Appreciation to your kind helps :)


This is the wrong way to look at things. Virtually no school will ignore a bad GPA due to a sufficiently-high PGRE score (conversely, a low PGRE score can definitely kill a high-GPA applicant, especially at top programs). You can find a list of schools sorted by approximate PGRE score acceptance window here:

http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5004,

but I do not think it answers the underlying question you are posing.

If you think your GPA is bad, your response should be "I ought to apply to a number of less-selective schools that have multiple faculty members doing cool research in areas that interest me," not "I need to find schools that will ignore my GPA and look primarily at my PGRE." I doubt such a school exists (and I am not sure you would want to go there if it did).

It might be worth noting also that schools will (usually) give at least some weight to the time-derivative of your GPA. Your grades in higher-level classes matter quite a bit more than your grade in E&M 101 to most admissions committees, from what I gather.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:24 pm

Top tier (as in, R1 research universities) schools will generally require around a 3.5 GPA from a successful applicant, except under extenuating circumstances that either (a) explain the low GPA, or (b) make up for it in some other aspect, like an extraordinary research record or extraordinary departmental fit (for instance, if you were previously a collaborator with a faculty member at the university). I doubt the ability of the PGRE to play the role of such a foil.

amirpouyan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby amirpouyan » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:44 pm

there is one thing which you have ignored ... the weight of gpa for an international is much less than a domestic student ... the evidence is that the average of pgre for international students is always higher than domestic students => for admission committee the main factor for international student knowledge of physics is pgre not gpa. the reason is obvious: for international students who study in lower rank universities the educational system and grading system is less effective to include the knowledge and research ability of students. because the research is not even recognized in most of undergraduate systems in 3rd world countries. in such countries grading system is just based on memorizing some formulas. so, if my reasoning is right: students in north america must need higher gpa and lower pgre with respect to international ones to be accepted, and you can easily check that this is the case.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:52 pm

amirpouyan wrote:there is one thing which you have ignored ... the weight of gpa for an international is much less than a domestic student ... the evidence is that the average of pgre for international students is always higher than domestic students => for admission committee the main factor for international student knowledge of physics is pgre not gpa. the reason is obvious: for international students who study in lower rank universities the educational system and grading system is less effective to include the knowledge and research ability of students. because the research is not even recognized in most of undergraduate systems in 3rd world countries. in such countries grading system is just based on memorizing some formulas. so, if my reasoning is right: students in north america must need higher gpa and lower pgre with respect to international ones to be accepted, and you can easily check that this is the case.


A domestic student with the same GPA, same GRE, and similar research will most likely be accepted over the equivalent international student. It has more to do with the amount to fund an international student and the overwhelming amount of international students seeking education in the United States. It's hard to compare where the line is for a domestic vs an international student, but it's pretty easy to see that usually the credentials of a domestic student can be much less than an international student for similar opportunities.

-Riley

amirpouyan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby amirpouyan » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:44 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
amirpouyan wrote:there is one thing which you have ignored ... the weight of gpa for an international is much less than a domestic student ... the evidence is that the average of pgre for international students is always higher than domestic students => for admission committee the main factor for international student knowledge of physics is pgre not gpa. the reason is obvious: for international students who study in lower rank universities the educational system and grading system is less effective to include the knowledge and research ability of students. because the research is not even recognized in most of undergraduate systems in 3rd world countries. in such countries grading system is just based on memorizing some formulas. so, if my reasoning is right: students in north america must need higher gpa and lower pgre with respect to international ones to be accepted, and you can easily check that this is the case.


A domestic student with the same GPA, same GRE, and similar research will most likely be accepted over the equivalent international student. It has more to do with the amount to fund an international student and the overwhelming amount of international students seeking education in the United States. It's hard to compare where the line is for a domestic vs an international student, but it's pretty easy to see that usually the credentials of a domestic student can be much less than an international student for similar opportunities.

-Riley

i think if a department has funding for 10 international students but the pgre of such students is low, no matter how high is their gpa's, the department will decide to not admit any international in that year, here is my idea: "i didn't say anything about comparing international vs domestic", "i said an international with high pgre and low gpa is better by far from an international with low pgre and high gpa" , i don't know in which country you live, but in my country(iran) it is an established fact that pgre is by far more useful than gpa,

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:10 pm

amirpouyan wrote:"i said an international with high pgre and low gpa is better by far from an international with low pgre and high gpa"


I agree! It's the same for domestic students who came from unknown schools... PGRE score is more important than GPA.

-Riley

Godot
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby Godot » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:43 am

The PGRE isn't the most important factor anywhere. The PGRE and GPA are basically both filters; they can keep you out of a program, but they won't get you in. You need good research experience/recs for that.

amirpouyan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby amirpouyan » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:00 am

Godot wrote:The PGRE isn't the most important factor anywhere. The PGRE and GPA are basically both filters; they can keep you out of a program, but they won't get you in. You need good research experience/recs for that.

we didn't say it's the most important factor, we said for internationals from unknown schools and domestic applicants from small schools: "PGRE is more important than GPA", of course Research experience and LOR are two major factors in any admission process, no doubt about that!

mhrazeghi58
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby mhrazeghi58 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:29 pm

I have a good research experience in my field of interest. Also very good LOR's. So, I can be hopeful for getting into a good program in spite of bad GPA and not very good PGRE. :? I am doubtful about it. I believe that GPA and PGRE are very bad filters. without them, the faculty can't trust to an applicant. :(

amirpouyan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: For Which programs the PGRE is the most important factor

Postby amirpouyan » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:14 am

mhrazeghi58 wrote:I have a good research experience in my field of interest. Also very good LOR's. So, I can be hopeful for getting into a good program in spite of bad GPA and not very good PGRE. :? I am doubtful about it. I believe that GPA and PGRE are very bad filters. without them, the faculty can't trust to an applicant. :(

i think you have a chance, and i hope see your admission soon in this site, just select the schools that fit with your resume ,be hopeful , "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loosing your enthusiasm",...




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests