Design your own physics GRE!

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Design your own physics GRE!

Post by mhazelm » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:17 pm

Okay, here's a question: if you could restructure the physics GRE, what changes would you make? As in, pretend you're in charge of the whole thing, after winning your Nobel Prize or whatever. I'm curious to think of what alternatives we could use instead of the exam as it currently is, since the need for a standard measure of potential graduate students is high and grades are subjective, but the current test has its flaws. How would you design a physics GRE? Winner gets a free solution to a Griffith's E&M problem.

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Re: Design your own physics GRE!

Post by quizivex » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:30 pm

I don't want to ramble off another long post, but in short I think it's decent the way it is. It covers most of what is learned in undergrad without overemphasizing anything particular. Yes real physics problems aren't multiple choice, but having 100 questions is better since it's not as a luck-based as an in-class or prelim exam with 3-4 hit or miss problems. The length is appropriate, since you need a test covering 4 years of material to be as long as possible, and 3 hours is about as long as you can make an exam without breaking it up into sections.

While I thought a few of the questions on the practice exams (and my real exam) just weren't reasonable, I like the test overall. It has a good balance between calculation problems, theoretical derivations and conceptual word problems. The BIGGEST change that's needed would be the test dates. April/Oct/Nov is a major improvement over April/Nov/Dec, but they really should have a summer date!

There was a short discussion last year about restructuring the test:

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Re: Design your own physics GRE!

Post by cato88 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:52 pm

I would say get rid of the Other Topics and focus more on quantum so that test has closer to a symmetry in weight between Mech, E&M, Stat,QM. I also think the Other Topic section is usually used to create curves in scores by asking history questions and subjects that are a little obscure like cosmology questions.

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Re: Design your own physics GRE!

Post by slugger » Mon May 04, 2009 3:03 pm

Agreed, toss the other topics and expand QM and stat mech.

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Re: Design your own physics GRE!

Post by twistor » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:55 pm

No questions on anything. No fee. No test at all.

*** all tests.

ALL tests.

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