## April 4th weeeeeeee

• If you want to know something about the GRE subject test in physics then chances are you will find it in here.
• If something about the physics GRE it isn't already discussed in here then please put it in here.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### April 4th weeeeeeee

Everyone ready to give the test a nice spanking?

a bucket
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:02 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Good luck to everybody taking the test.

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Thank you.

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

It's time!

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

whoaaaaaaaaaaa we got FORM C!!!!!!!!!!

mother fkers lol

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Engage
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:18 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Attempted probably in the 90s, but at least 5 were guesses. I also didn't have time to go through and check most answers. A little heavy on the word problems, i thought, at least towards the beginning. How do you guys think the scaled scores will turn out? I am going to guess that the 900s will start in the 80s.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

no, 990 will be around 65

edit: on the test I took (form C), around 60 is a 900

just recall which form # you had to fill out.......mine was 4CGR

Engage
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:18 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

tensorwhat wrote:no, 990 will be around 65
I am hoping with you that it will be, but i don't think that is likely. The test was hard but definitely think do-able. It was harder than the 01 practice, but not by a huge amount. Not sure though. I definitely want more people to post and tell us their thoughts, its eating me alive haha.

EDIT: Yes, mine was the same form. How do you know that that is what the scaled score is? U seem quite sure haha
Last edited by Engage on Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I didn't notice. 4CGR sounds like what might was. How do you know form C is supposed to be hard? Did the first question on yours give you the graph of a force applied to an object as a function of time?

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

yeah matonski, same first question, 4CGR, the forms are described at the beginning of each practice booklet, look for example in 0177 for the latest (lol 2001) distribution of scores for a 900 on form C.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Engage wrote:The test was hard but definitely think do-able. It was harder than the 01 practice, but not by a huge amount. Not sure though. I definitely want more people to post and tell us their thoughts, its eating me alive haha.
The quantum was all way harder then previous versions, as were the longer mechanics & E&M problems......there were some other questions I had no idea about.....like the zeeman stuff near the end of the test etc....

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I had to piss like race horse starting about the middle of the test. Sucked.

On a sidenote, I couldn't sleep last night and so I watched a video of Richard Feynman giving a lecture about particle physics. Because of that, I was able to answer 4 questions.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

hahaha awesome, yeah i couldnt sleep much either, i think we should be ok with the number of probs answered, i wish i had done more, but i think as soon as i saw it was form c, i just took my time and tried to get all the ones i answered correct

Engage
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:18 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

tensorwhat wrote:hahaha awesome, yeah i couldnt sleep much either, i think we should be ok with the number of probs answered, i wish i had done more, but i think as soon as i saw it was form c, i just took my time and tried to get all the ones i answered correct
So are you guys sure that all the form c's are harder? I thought it just depended on the year...

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

yeah im about 90% sure of this, i asked the proctor actually lol.....its just ETS's standard, form A you need to answer about 85, form B like 75-80, and C is way below at 65, I think were ok =]

and if im mistaken, im taking it again in october hahahah

stardust
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

How did you know that about form C being harder?

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

because ETS states this, in 2 of the practice exams, and my proctor verified it......

0177: page 7
9677: page 7

quizivex
Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

tensorwhat wrote:yeah im about 90% sure of this, i asked the proctor actually lol.....its just ETS's standard, form A you need to answer about 85, form B like 75-80, and C is way below at 65, I think were ok =]
I'd be really skeptical of statements like that. The proctors are there to distribute, supervise and collect the tests. Most of them know nothing about the tests themselves or about ETS. I've heard lots of myths like that on here. Some were obviously wrong and we could debunk them with evidence. Some, such as this, I can't prove wrong but it would really be absurd. Would ETS really make it so that students could know how hard their test is just by looking at the front cover? That would introduce an obvious bias into the test. That would be really stupid, and would look bad on them. All the logistical information worth knowing is on ETS's website and on the pamphlet they mail you when you register. Anything else is probably a myth. The letters are just there to identify different forms of a test. They name them A, B, C just because that's how everyone labels things. ETS says each new form is scaled based on how a sample of students do on that particular test, though statistical analysis. So they really don't even know how "hard" the test is when they label the test "Form C".

Edit:
RE: tensorwhat...
I don't have the pamphlet in front of me, but that page 7 you're talking about is probably that hypothetical example they use to illustrate how the different forms are scored/scaled. It doesn't mean all form C's are harder.

stardust
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Actually it doesn't seem to be that much different, only a 73 is needed for form A
and 64 for form C.

See page 5 of
http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/Physics.pdf

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

quizivex wrote:I'd be really skeptical of statements like that. The proctors are there to distribute, supervise and collect the tests. Most of them know nothing about the tests themselves or about ETS. I've heard lots of myths like that on here. Some were obviously wrong and we could debunk them with evidence. Some, such as this, I can't prove wrong but it would really be absurd.
Obviously what they had said was taken with a grain of salt

quizivex wrote: Would ETS really make it so that students could know how hard their test is just by looking at the front cover? That would introduce an obvious bias into the test. That would be really stupid, and would look bad on them.
I don't see why this would reflect as being stupid or bad on their part, it would just indicate to the test taker of what they were in for, it changed how I took the exam this morning, and my feelings about whether it was form C (or a more difficult version) were essentially confirmed by the caliber of questions, I would put its difficulty in between the 96 and 01 test, leaning slightly on the 96 side of things.

quizivex wrote: I don't have the pamphlet in front of me, but that page 7 you're talking about is probably that hypothetical example they use to illustrate how the different forms are scored/scaled. It doesn't mean all form C's are harder.
I cant make a cold hard definitive statement that form C is always the hardest, but from the two pamphlets and arguing against your logic above, why would they change what form was harder? It would just make scoring things a bigger pain in the ass for them, and I know they're lazy bastards so I figure they keep it the same.

Anyways, it was a tricky test, and I'm sure answering about 60 correct questions is above 80%tile for sure.

uranium
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:07 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Are we allowed (by ETS, or forum rules) to discuss the questions from today's exam on this forum?

bryony
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:40 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I liked the word problems, they didn't require remembering as many equations. Plus, you can't make stupid math mistakes that eat time trying to figure out why you got none of the above despite being sure of the formula. I think I answered 60-ish of them. Almost all the ones from the first 50 and then one question every three or four after that. I agree, the particle stuff and quantum towards the end was nasty.

Hope you're right on the form c being harder.

dlenmn
Posts: 578
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

stardust wrote:Actually it doesn't seem to be that much different, only a 73 is needed for form A
and 64 for form C.

See page 5 of
http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/Physics.pdf
I don't think they mean that Form A will always be harder than Form B which will always be harder than Form C. I think they're just giving an example -- to demonstrate that different forms may be of different difficulties -- where it happens to be in that order.

As they say on the previous page,
ETS wrote:The three test editions in the table that follows were selected to reflect varying degrees of difficulty. Examinees should note that future test editions may be somewhat more or less difficult than the test editions illustrated in the table.
Last edited by dlenmn on Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

dlenmn wrote: I don't think they mean that Form A will always be harder than Form B which will always be harder than Form C. I think they're just giving an example -- to demonstrate that different forms may be of different difficulties -- where it happens to be in that order.

Its not that, they just give examples in the practice booklets that appear to make form C the most difficult, just go look.....so I'm jumping to the conclusion that judging by the test today, and that it said form C, and that ETS has in the past stated form C is the most difficult (twice), that we had a more difficult exam, and so form C is and will remain the more difficult one because ETS is a bunch of lazy pricks.

dlenmn
Posts: 578
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

If you believe that they're lazy, why do you believe that they'd go through the trouble to ensure that form C is the hardest? Wouldn't they just make the tests and give them letters without thinking about difficulty? Seems like quite a conclusion to jump to.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

that statement you added to your post could just as well mean that form C > form B > form A.....but they all vary at some level, while remaining harder than one another

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Do you find out how many questions you missed and how many you got right etc whe you get your scores?

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

yes indeedy, but not which in specific

look at this lol.....
http://www.scribd.com/doc/2214198/Physics-GRE-Original

OsCiL8
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:16 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I took the same one as you guys - answered ~75 questions, 'guessed' on around 10. I've been rolling around those guessing in my head the last 24 hours, and definitely know I got a good handful of them wrong!

As far as scoring, I'd say it was most comparable to the practice test mailed out to us (the latest one - 0177), so the 700's start at 40.

Hope you all did well - now the epic wait till May!

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I had the A version and the difficulty was comparable to the 01 version, although it seemed much longuer, I couldn't finish in time.

And also it seems that elimination was harder, I know that I did quite a few mistakes by forgetting a factor of 2 here and there ....

I'm guessing the scaling will be pretty much like for the 01 version. Now the waiting is unbearable ... specially since every couple of hours I realize a new stupid mistake I did and shouldn't have done .... the thing with the GRE that makes you want to kill yourself is not the harder questions that you missed, but the easier questions that you did too fast and missed ....

How many time per year are we allowed to do it ? (If I did it in april can I do it again in november ?)
Last edited by Mataka on Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Mataka wrote:the thing with the GRE that makes you want to kill yourself is not the harder questions that you missed, but the easier questions that you did too fast and missed ....

How many time per year are we allowed to do it ? (If I did it in april can I do it again in november ?)
yeah.....I realized that on a couple too

I think its the same for everyone, April, October, and November............

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Mataka wrote:How many time per year are we allowed to do it ? (If I did it in april can I do it again in november ?)
I think you can do it as many times as you want. Just know that schools will see the results of each test and not just the latest.

zaijings2008
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:49 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Do not fool yourself. The April PGRE test is not as difficult as 9677, it is just ordinary, like 0177. I barely finished 99 problems. at least guess 20 of them. Most of my guesses are wrong, as I recalled later. Even though I felt bad, but it does not mean that the exam is hard. It is normal. It has too many quantum problems which killed me.

Engage
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:18 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

zaijings2008 wrote:Do not fool yourself. The April PGRE test is not as difficult as 9677, it is just ordinary, like 0177. I barely finished 99 problems. at least guess 20 of them. Most of my guesses are wrong, as I recalled later. Even though I felt bad, but it does not mean that the exam is hard. It is normal. It has too many quantum problems which killed me.

yeah i agree with you about the test difficulty. I think it will be scaled like the 01 - possibly a tad harder though. I ended up guessing on a good deal too, but only on ones where I could eliminate some choices. But unfortunately after thinking about some of my answers, I am sure that many guesses were incorrect. but yeah it was definitely a bit heavy on some of the quantum - I haven't taken the senior quantum yet so my limited knowledge definitely threw me off here and there. We will see. this wait till may is going to be painful haha

coreycwgriffin
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

quizivex wrote:
tensorwhat wrote:yeah im about 90% sure of this, i asked the proctor actually lol.....its just ETS's standard, form A you need to answer about 85, form B like 75-80, and C is way below at 65, I think were ok =]
I'd be really skeptical of statements like that. The proctors are there to distribute, supervise and collect the tests. Most of them know nothing about the tests themselves or about ETS. I've heard lots of myths like that on here. Some were obviously wrong and we could debunk them with evidence. Some, such as this, I can't prove wrong but it would really be absurd. Would ETS really make it so that students could know how hard their test is just by looking at the front cover? That would introduce an obvious bias into the test. That would be really stupid, and would look bad on them. All the logistical information worth knowing is on ETS's website and on the pamphlet they mail you when you register. Anything else is probably a myth. The letters are just there to identify different forms of a test. They name them A, B, C just because that's how everyone labels things. ETS says each new form is scaled based on how a sample of students do on that particular test, though statistical analysis. So they really don't even know how "hard" the test is when they label the test "Form C".

Edit:
RE: tensorwhat...
I don't have the pamphlet in front of me, but that page 7 you're talking about is probably that hypothetical example they use to illustrate how the different forms are scored/scaled. It doesn't mean all form C's are harder.
I agree with this. When I took the PGRE the proctors knew almost nothing. They were just people paid by the university to come in on a Saturday, basically.

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I know this had been discussed a bit before, but as far as I know no consensus was reached about retaking the GRE. How does the committes feel about retakers ? Is it worth to go from 850 to 950 for example ?

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

coreycwgriffin wrote:
quizivex wrote:
tensorwhat wrote:yeah im about 90% sure of this, i asked the proctor actually lol.....its just ETS's standard, form A you need to answer about 85, form B like 75-80, and C is way below at 65, I think were ok =]
I'd be really skeptical of statements like that. The proctors are there to distribute, supervise and collect the tests. Most of them know nothing about the tests themselves or about ETS. I've heard lots of myths like that on here. Some were obviously wrong and we could debunk them with evidence. Some, such as this, I can't prove wrong but it would really be absurd. Would ETS really make it so that students could know how hard their test is just by looking at the front cover? That would introduce an obvious bias into the test. That would be really stupid, and would look bad on them. All the logistical information worth knowing is on ETS's website and on the pamphlet they mail you when you register. Anything else is probably a myth. The letters are just there to identify different forms of a test. They name them A, B, C just because that's how everyone labels things. ETS says each new form is scaled based on how a sample of students do on that particular test, though statistical analysis. So they really don't even know how "hard" the test is when they label the test "Form C".

Edit:
RE: tensorwhat...
I don't have the pamphlet in front of me, but that page 7 you're talking about is probably that hypothetical example they use to illustrate how the different forms are scored/scaled. It doesn't mean all form C's are harder.
I agree with this. When I took the PGRE the proctors knew almost nothing. They were just people paid by the university to come in on a Saturday, basically.
I also agree here, don't fool yourself, ETS don't make test C harder on purpose, otherwise that wouldn't be fair even with a proper rescaling; that would certainly not be justified (why the hell would they do that ?).

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Mataka wrote:I also agree here, don't fool yourself, ETS don't make test C harder on purpose, otherwise that wouldn't be fair even with a proper rescaling; that would certainly not be justified (why the hell would they do that ?).
They state that there are 3 forms.....and they are all varying difficulties......its not a hidden fact by any means....I think people are arguing that ETS would not tell us which form was harder.....

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

uranium wrote:Are we allowed (by ETS, or forum rules) to discuss the questions from today's exam on this forum?

No, we are not allowed, but I doubt an ETS agent is inspecting the forums to make sure we are respecting the law. So feel free to do so ...

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

tensorwhat wrote:
Mataka wrote:I also agree here, don't fool yourself, ETS don't make test C harder on purpose, otherwise that wouldn't be fair even with a proper rescaling; that would certainly not be justified (why the hell would they do that ?).
They state that there are 3 forms.....and they are all varying difficulties......its not a hidden fact by any means....I think people are arguing that ETS would not tell us which form was harder.....

This is exactly what I mean. ETS don't make a certain test harder on purpose, it can happen but it's not what they want. It's pretty hard to gauge the difficulty of a test before it's being taken by the students. My point is ETS don't even know in advance which test will be scaled as harder, if they knew they would revised the test to make them equally hard, because that is essentially their goal.

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Mataka wrote:I know this had been discussed a bit before, but as far as I know no consensus was reached about retaking the GRE. How does the committes feel about retakers ? Is it worth to go from 850 to 950 for example ?
If you retake and get a better score then admissions committees will largely disregard the low score as a fluke. On the other hand, if you retake and do not improve much or even do worse, this will be seen as confirmation that the original low score accurately reflected your physics abilities. Moral of the story: be careful and if you do retake, study study study and make SURE you get a better score.

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Is it May 6th yet?

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

No not yet... and yes life after the GRE sucks !

tensorwhat
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Mataka wrote:My point is ETS don't even know in advance which test will be scaled as harder, if they knew they would revised the test to make them equally hard, because that is essentially their goal.

Yeah I see what you're saying, but I disagree. I think they know, and have it set that way - so that their scales can stay the same, otherwise.......it would be an incredible pain in the ass to continually scale some randomized unknown difficulty level tests....

I mean, we know there are 3 forms, we know in the practice booklets ETS states they are all varying difficulties, and judging by what raw score gets you which particular scaled score, its obvious that the three forms do vary in difficulty, and increase in difficulty.

I'm not trying to be illogical here, I'm taking your considerations into the picture, I just think ETS is a cesspool of lazy administrators, and they probably don't make it as complicated as you think.

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

Well from my point of view it is much more lazy to do what I think they do. How can you possibly gauge the difficulty of a test ? This is extremely hard ! How can you say that 60 % students will correctly answer such or such question ... this is an impossible task ! This is why they need student to actually take the test, and by their performance ETS scale the difficulty of the test afterward ... This is much more easy and efficient than trying to gauge the difficulty of the test before students actually took the test.

Seriously, I really think you're trying to convince yourself that you had a hard test, but your reasoning simply doesn't make much sense.

Engage
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:18 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

tensorwhat wrote:
Mataka wrote:My point is ETS don't even know in advance which test will be scaled as harder, if they knew they would revised the test to make them equally hard, because that is essentially their goal.

Yeah I see what you're saying, but I disagree. I think they know, and have it set that way - so that their scales can stay the same, otherwise.......it would be an incredible pain in the ass to continually scale some randomized unknown difficulty level tests....

I mean, we know there are 3 forms, we know in the practice booklets ETS states they are all varying difficulties, and judging by what raw score gets you which particular scaled score, its obvious that the three forms do vary in difficulty, and increase in difficulty.

I'm not trying to be illogical here, I'm taking your considerations into the picture, I just think ETS is a cesspool of lazy administrators, and they probably don't make it as complicated as you think.
I think if your reasoning were correct, there would be no way for them to adjust the percentiles. If they gave us a test that they thought was so hard that a 900 was at 40, and 50% of people scored above this, we would have the 50th percentile being set at around 900. This is clearly not going to happen. The test takers are the ones who set the scales, regardless of how difficult the ETS thinks each form is. If they had a set scale, they might as well give us our scores at the test center after we take the exam.

Engage
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:18 pm

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

I looked some things up and it looks like the ETS has released the scaled scores for the three forms on at least three occasions: Here they are:

900s start:
Form A: 73, 75, 69
Form B: 68, 71, 65
Form C: 64, 60, 56

First column from 01 practice, second column from 96 practice, and third column from a set of 30 questions that were released at some other point.

Mataka
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

### Re: April 4th weeeeeeee

As far as I am concerned this is a too small sample to conclude anything. (third column is actually a kind of mix from column 2 and 1 so not very signnificant). Not to mention it's not clear whether or not what they call form A,B and C is the same as what we call A,B and C ; by this I mean can they rename the form in difficulty order afterward ?

In addition, can anyone tell me what would be the motivation in doing test C intentionnally harder ?