F*** the ETS !!!

  • 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.

brothermalcolm
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:27 pm

F*** the ETS !!!

Postby brothermalcolm » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:51 pm

i think everyone shud contribute here with passion :evil:

cancelled20080417
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:30 pm

Postby cancelled20080417 » Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:08 pm

Oh yeah!
Sure thing!

F*** the ETS!

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twistor
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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Postby twistor » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:38 pm

We're stuck in this mess together, but we can fight back!

Ways to *** with the ETS:

1) The ETS collects information for research purposes. DO NOT PROVIDE CORRECT DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION. Lie and tell them you're an English major with 2.4 GPA and of Hmong ancestory. Completely undermine the validity all their statistical information.

2) Pay for your friends to take the subject test with you and let them fail it. If everyone gets one other person to take the test we can double the number of people with low test scores and shift percentiles up!

If anyone has any other ideas, post them here!

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will
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Postby will » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:44 pm

I'm sad to say I didn't do the second suggestion, but I do always do my duty to provide incorrect statistical data. I didn't pay somewhere around $300 now for ETS' sociology research.

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:31 am

Image

I hope they can see this, because I'm doing it as hard as I can...


F*** THE ETS!

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:45 am

lmao, grae313

mathlete
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Postby mathlete » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:27 am

Their fees are ridiculous. I wish someone would start a rival service. Where's the competition?

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will
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Postby will » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:53 am

Even if there was, who would accept it? ETS is an entrenched monopoly precisely because graduate programs allow its continued existence.

There's no reason whatsoever students to take the general GRE. They don't care about domestic applicants' verbal or writing results, and the math is too simple to be anything more than a cut-off. The TOEFL is a better test of English skills for internationals. The general GRE merely showed that I was capable of paying some hundred dollars to prove that I am perhaps literate. I know if I ever chair a physics department, that requirement will be right out.

The physics GRE is bad, for sure, but I'm not sure how to fix that one. We can't just take Landau's theoretical minimum at every place we apply.

Suggestions?

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fermiboy
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Postby fermiboy » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:30 am

I think most physics department chairs would agree with you, Will, but it's not so simple as saying "my department won't require this test anymore," because each department also has to answer to the graduate school/college of the university. I think this is where the general GED requirement comes in.

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will
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Postby will » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:49 am

It's just bureaucracy though. Sure you have to be admitted to "the graduate school," but isn't it people from the physics department that make the selections for people applying to physics? I've never heard of a candidate being accepted to a physics program, but rejected by the graduate school.

In any case, the general GRE isn't even a tolerable measure of language skill for people doing humanities, and I'd say that the math is too simplistic even for people doing social science. I think a forward thinking graduate school of arts and sciences would do away with the general GRE requirement outright even without my meager suggestions.

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fermiboy
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Postby fermiboy » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:43 am

I read about a student accepted in a department (not physics) but rejected by a graduate school in my guide to writing a SOP (the text by Donald Asher) and Asher claims that this does happen. Probably not in physics because we tend to score high on the general GRE.

Another thing, I was in a program with other future graduate students from all disciplines, and the the math section for social science majors is not trivial. Any score above 600 is very good for them, and 1200 total is very good. My non physics friends were surprised how I scored a 1390 total with no sweat.

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will
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Postby will » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:14 am

What I meant by the math section being too simplistic is "ignoring the point of mathematics in various fields." Obviously the math section isn't a logic test and is pointless for the humanities. Math for social sciences is based on a lot of statistical analysis, which my own test had one question on, and absolutely not on geometry, which I had several questions on. Now physicists are absolutely using geometry all the time, but so exceedingly far ahead that not getting a perfect score on the quantitative section, for potential theorists, should be quite heartbreaking.

What I'm suggesting is that for people who use a ton of math, even a perfect score says nothing about whether or not you're a stellar grad school candidate (I have high school students I tutor who found the GRE math questions easier than the SAT ones). For people in fields that use quite a bit of math but not as the primary tool of their study, from business to sociology, it tests the completely wrong things, and so neither a bad score nor a good one means that they have a skill set comparable to the best grad students in those fields. If you're applying for a masters in political science, and you scored a 760 on the quantitative, should you be seen as having mastered all the math you'll need? What if the only question you missed was the one statistical analysis one?

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:47 am

An even bigger problem with the scores, and something I didn't find out until after I took the general test the first time, is that because the scores are computed by the CAT software scores at the beginning of the test are more heavily weighted than scores near the end. When you first begin the computer has no information about you so the first third of the test is what determines the bulk of the scores (600, 700, so on), the second third tunes, and by the time you get to the end of the test the questions will hardly affect your score at all. So you can know 90% of the material, but because of the various weightings end up with a lower percentile score because you missed a few questions at the beginning of the test.

Addtionally, while I would certainly claim to have mastered all the math on the GRE, I have not mastered the art of doing it in 1.6 minutes per question. This is especially true in the case of graphical analysis questions, where I have to read the question, look at the computer, look at my paper, back at the computer, ad nauseum just to estimate some basic quantity from the graph. Personally I'd rather get the right answer slowly than the wrong answer fast.

I think the bottom line is that after four years of college we have done enough scholarly work that we should be measured by our achievements and not an arbitrary number assigned by a large corporate conglomerate. If I get an A in upper division math and physics classes (and I do) and less than perfect on the general quantitative section, does that mean I can't do math? Of course, not.




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