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Two GRE Questions

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:04 pm
by thomas.wade.johnson
Hi everyone,

A couple quick questions:

1) How long does a physics GRE score stay valid for?
2) Has anyone on this forum written the GRE with only second year courses?

Elaborating on the second question: I have taken a full year of Introductory Mechanics, 1 semester of Electricity and Magnetism, 1 Semester of Quantum Physics and 1 Semester of Electronics, plus 1st and 2nd year calculus and a full year of 3rd year differential and partial differential equations. What do people think of my prospects of writing the physics GRE this April? I have lots of free time to study and am a good self-learner, etc... What sort of challenges would I face?


Re: Two GRE Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:27 am
by cato88
Why would you do it second year?

Re: Two GRE Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:56 am
by thomas.wade.johnson
My thoughts for doing it right now is that I am actually on 3 co-op terms in a row = one full year of no classes, just working in research labs...This gives me a heck of a lot more free time in the evenings/weekends, and I figured that getting it out of the way before the crazy mayhem of my third and fourth years begin would be a good idea...the question is really how much material I will have to learn from scratch as opposed to simply review, e.g. at my school we don't cover Hamiltonian systems until third year mechanics, meaning I will have to learn that...

I was just hoping someone could comment on the level of material on the test, etc.

Re: Two GRE Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:06 pm
by secander2!
Like you already said, you'll have to review up on Hamiltonian (and Lagrangian if you haven't covered it yet) mechanics, but these problems usually only make up a very small fraction of the test so you should be fine. The biggest areas you'd probably have to study are thermodynamics and optics; together these take up about 20% of the test so they're pretty important. That's really smart of you to try and take the PGRE before the craziness of junior and senior year begins, so if you think you can get optics and thermodynamics covered in time, I'd definitely recommend doing it. Plus if you happen to do poorly, it's not the end of the world, you would have the chance to take the test again, and I'd bet that most admissions committees would look kindly on a poor score from sophomore year. Of course, this is just my opinion, I'm sure that many others would recommend that you wait until you have had all the requisite classes. To be safe, if you don't mind wasting a bunch of money, you can always sign up for the test and if you don't feel like you did very well afterward, you can cancel your scores.

I don't think you need to worry about the scores expiring. If I'm not mistaken, the scores remain valid for five years.