Importance of trying this year and fail vs try next year

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caronte
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:51 pm

Importance of trying this year and fail vs try next year

Postby caronte » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:25 am

Hello Everyone...

I'm an international student and I want to persue PhD studies in one of the top 5 school in the US, I have great GPA 3.95, excellent lett. of rec., and I have one publication as primary author buuuuuuuuttt I have done terrible in my Physics GRE (620 %40) :( :( . As may know there is no time to do again the test before the deadlines of the school.

My question is, do you think that there is any chance to be accepted in one of the the top 5 school this year, or I would wait until next year with a better GRE score. Also, if I finally apply and I am rejected, how this could affect my admission process next year in the same school that rejects me.

Thanks a lot for your answers!!!

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grae313
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Postby grae313 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:38 am

In my opinion, you have no chance of getting into a top 5 US school with your subject GRE score. As long as you spend your time between now and next year doing something productive and physics related (RESEARCH!), it won't look bad on your application. In fact, it might look good. If you want to get into a top 5 US school as an international applicant, plan on having a subject GRE above 900.

I also think it's unrealistic to think your score could go up by almost 300 points in one year. Possible, but unrealistic. There are many, many excellent schools besides MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and CalTech.

Jia
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:57 am

Postby Jia » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:21 am

I don't get it. You have a 3.95 GPA and you only managed to have a 620-40%? This score is unacceptable, man! I wonder how you got the 3.95 GPA, which should mean you have very good understanding of college physics. But...

Jia
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:57 am

Postby Jia » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:27 am

@grae313

Yet it is possible. I know a guy who did it within 4 months, from 670 to 970.

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quizivex
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Postby quizivex » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:13 am

@ Jia

Do you know the details of how that happened? Did he take the test the first time with no preparation at all? Or maybe he didn't properly budget his time and ended up not reaching the last 40 questions, a mistake he could fix the second time?

Jia
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:57 am

Postby Jia » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:20 am

@quizivex

Yeah, he's not prepared when he took the test for the first time. Actually he thought it's easy to get a 900 with little preparation, but he was wrong.

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:25 am

@ Jia: WOW! Buy that man a drink! :shock: That's incredible.

vicente
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

Postby vicente » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:37 am

how are your TOEFL scores?

ashar84
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:19 pm

Postby ashar84 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:03 pm

@grae313

Its quite possible, believe me. I scored really bad ( 650 )primarily because I couldn't prepare well enough. Would you believe I knew the answers to the problems but was just really slow?

It was so bad that I had to literally derive whether parallel currents attracted each other or not using the right-hand rule.

I learned my lesson: Prepare better.

I plan on taking the test again, and I will hopefully score better.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:35 pm

ashar84:

Your post shows exactly why I think the GRE is a piss poor test of knowledge.

You could've easily memorized whether or not parallel currents attract each other, but you didn't. The marvelous thing is that you were able to derive it from scratch. Anyone can memorize things from a book, but doing what you did shows real knowledge of and aptitude for physics. Of course, that is precisely the type of thing that is NOT measured by the GRE.

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butsurigakusha
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:05 pm

Postby butsurigakusha » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:25 pm

Actually, I can never remember if parallel currents attract or repel, either. I can also never remember things like whether I am supposed to add or subract in formulas like the one for the doppler effect. I also have trouble remembering when I am supposed to use sine and when cosine. I always just have to think conceptually what I think is supposed to happen, and look at limits, and then chose the one that corresponds. I never really been big on memorization. Pretty much the only formulas I memorize are the ones that we use so much that we can't help but memorize them.

I don't think memorizing trivial things like whether parallel currents attract or repel is very important for doing well on the GRE.

caronte
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:51 pm

Postby caronte » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:15 pm

Thanks a lot everyone!!...

In fact I didn't prepare myself properly, I thought that it would be ok if I derive all the answers in the test, but I was wrong, I think that some question of elementary particle physics and that I wasn’t quick enough to reach many questions kill me. But, I have learn the lesson now, I think I will let pass this year, I will do some research in my institution (ITESM, in Mexico) and I will apply with a better GRE next year.

Vicente my score in the TOEFL is 107/120 IBT. Anyone knows, how bad is to apply this year and next year in the same school?




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