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Can I pass this exam very well without well knowledge of physics if analyzed 400 tasks from GRE tests?

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:29 pm
by mikie
Good day! I am student from Russia. I study in a related field, which includes physics, chemistry, mathematics and computer science. At school I solved physics problems well. And then back at the university I had classic physics subject the first two years of study. After that, I did not solve problems from official physics. But I want to try to pass PhysicsGRE. I have a question: If I analyze 400 tasks in GRE physics, can I pass this exam? I mean, are the tasks typical or unique in this exam? When I was preparing for the university entrance exam in my country (Unified State Exam), I solved the problems for the exam in physics. And after 500 solved problems, I noticed that all tasks are typical and of the same type. When I came to the exam, even without reading the conditions, I already knew how such a task was solved. Is such a phenomenon possible in GRE?

I really well know only a few sections of physics that are related to my field of study. And physics is not my specialty.

Re: Can I pass this exam very well without well knowledge of physics if analyzed 400 tasks from GRE tests?

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:19 am
by Nishikata
Physics GRE is a broad exam, so you are expected to be able to solve basic physics questions across subfields instead of in-depth ones in a specific subfield.

It is best to look at the practice exams from previous years, and check this book out. ... 1108409563
I hope you will get a better idea about the exam afterwards.

There is no passing/failing the exam.
You get a score from 200-990.

The grad school you apply for, shall evaluate whether your scores are meeting their necessary-but-not-sufficient criteria for admission. There is no official passing score that guarantees admission, as this is only one factor among many for the decision.

Re: Can I pass this exam very well without well knowledge of physics if analyzed 400 tasks from GRE tests?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:49 am
by rhmancil
I think your vision of Physics GRE test is too much naive.

I mean there are many people who to enter the university got perfect score in their Tests. This is the idea of local maximun. However, the physics GRE is a test which is taken by the best people in the world. It is very different being local maximun that global maximun.

Normally, tests for undergraduates are taken for anyone without any restriction. On the contrary, I am pretty sure that most of the people who take Physics GRE are the best of the best because it is a test for graduated people in phycics. Perhaps in USA everyone takes the exam. However, international people are pretty good (The best of the best in their respective countries).

I do not want to discourages you. On the contrary, be more realistics in order to satisfy your own expectation.

As Nishikata answered you, the test is broad not depth. Even so, you need to learn the basic things in order to start doing 400 problems.

Re: Can I pass this exam very well without well knowledge of physics if analyzed 400 tasks from GRE tests?

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:03 pm
by FrankFu
Yes, to some degrees you can.

I am a Chinese international studying in an US public university. I have good physics background, but have not taken atomics, stat mech or classical (did have some experience taking a QFT tho), which are key topics of the test. Think the style of Chinese test-prepping I experienced through high school is similar in some degrees to yours, so I'd post some stuff I did here. (got 970 in my first try)

PGRE is somewhat tolerant in its grading. To get a full 990 you only need to have <5~10 mistakes out of 100 questions, and they are all multiple choices. Time is the biggest issue though, since on average you only get 1.7 mins each. (170 mins in total)

So yeah, make good use of all the normal test-taking strategies, because they're all real useful in PGRE. Do elimination, and avoid full derivations at all cost. Figure out patterns in each topic (trust me, there's a lot). Review your formulas a lot. I strongly recommend "Conquering the physics GRE", since it has a comprehensive explanation of mot topics involved, and gave 3 realistic practice tests. I agree that you should look at official tests, but DON'T USE THEM UNLESS you're through all the memorization and concepts. There's only, like, 7 of those released, and you don't want to run out of fresh practices early through your review. I didn't trust other unofficial practice material.

Here's a link for some of them

Lastly, there's only 3 tests each year in US, and 1 in China (dunno how many in Russia). It's much less frequent than the general GRE, which is a whole other trouble. Make sure you got the date and registration right and it works with your application plans.

Good luck!