October 19 PGRE

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PeterH1
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:01 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by PeterH1 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:22 pm

Grant wrote:
ol wrote:This is a good time to remind everyone that discussing questions on the PGRE violates the agreement you signed on your answer sheet to not disclose the questions to anyone.
Thanks for reminding people. I edited out many of the specific questions that were referenced.
To be fair, I think the statement we had to sign was unreasonably broad. As I recall, it covers the entire contents of the exam, so it's technically a violation to say that your test had 100 questions, even though that's the format ETS specifically states it will be. Personally, I think it's perfectly reasonable to mention topics you noticed on the test (as long as you don't give details of the questions), since the topic pool is public knowledge.

But in any case, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry eh. It would indeed suck very much to have wasted all that time and money.

delsub
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:17 am

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by delsub » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:47 pm

where i took the test, there was a huge commotion and blaring music because the college where the test was administered had some function/football game later in the day and the band and cheer girls were practicing from early morning. The test proctor made a written note of then to ETS.

Question is can i contact that proctor and then contact ETS and ask them to give me some written certification that yes the exam was written under unfavorable conditions - I would surely have answered 10 questions more without it. IT was so bad that one of the proctors went repeatedly to the band and asked them to stop and when it was of little avail, she went to the local walmart and bought ear plugs for all examinees.

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by TakeruK » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:59 am

PeterH1 wrote:
Grant wrote:
ol wrote:This is a good time to remind everyone that discussing questions on the PGRE violates the agreement you signed on your answer sheet to not disclose the questions to anyone.
Thanks for reminding people. I edited out many of the specific questions that were referenced.
To be fair, I think the statement we had to sign was unreasonably broad. As I recall, it covers the entire contents of the exam, so it's technically a violation to say that your test had 100 questions, even though that's the format ETS specifically states it will be. Personally, I think it's perfectly reasonable to mention topics you noticed on the test (as long as you don't give details of the questions), since the topic pool is public knowledge.

But in any case, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry eh. It would indeed suck very much to have wasted all that time and money.
I would also agree that it's okay to say that e.g. "there was a quantum mechanics question" on the test, but one shouldn't reveal enough details to specifically pinpoint which question. I think Grant did the right thing though by deleting all mentions to specific questions, no matter how general because it is indeed better safe than sorry. In my opinion, it would really suck if ETS decided that sites like this were allowing users to violate their terms and have this forum shut down along with other useful parts not even related to the PGRE.

I also think that discussing which questions were on which version of the test, or trying to figure out which version of the test you had isn't very useful and it's a great example of how some applicants can truly over-analyse every little detail of their applications and potentially miss out on making their "big picture" application the best it can be. At this point, the PGRE is finished, and one can only wait for the scores!

I would be in favour of a forum rule preventing any poster from discussing any individual question on any PGRE other than the five officially published practice tests. This will protect the community without really hurting the usefulness of this site.

ThomBoh
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:20 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by ThomBoh » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:59 pm

I'm inclined to disagree. To say that there was a question on a particular topic, without saying what the actual question was (e.g. saying there was a question about quantum efficiency of a detector without saying exactly what they were asking you to calculate and in what scenario) shouldn't really be a violation. By that logic there's a lot of information about what types of questions have appeared in the past in the Conquering the Physics GRE book that would be considered a violation and if ETS cared they would take action.

Pointing out the types of obscure topics that showed up on my exam (without discussing what the question on the topic actually was) is really one of the more useful things this forum could provide: there was no way I would have thought to study those types of things because they specifically did not show up (or showed up a negligible amount) on the published practice exams and weren't mentioned in any course I've ever taken, in my prep book, or in ETS's topics list. It's important for people to know that their exam could either be very similar in content and style to practice exams as was the case with my september exam or could be very different as was the case with my October exam.

amirpouyan
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by amirpouyan » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:12 pm

ThomBoh wrote:I'm inclined to disagree. To say that there was a question on a particular topic, without saying what the actual question was (e.g. saying there was a question about quantum efficiency of a detector without saying exactly what they were asking you to calculate and in what scenario) shouldn't really be a violation. By that logic there's a lot of information about what types of questions have appeared in the past in the Conquering the Physics GRE book that would be considered a violation and if ETS cared they would take action.

Pointing out the types of obscure topics that showed up on my exam (without discussing what the question on the topic actually was) is really one of the more useful things this forum could provide: there was no way I would have thought to study those types of things because they specifically did not show up (or showed up a negligible amount) on the published practice exams and weren't mentioned in any course I've ever taken, in my prep book, or in ETS's topics list. It's important for people to know that their exam could either be very similar in content and style to practice exams as was the case with my september exam or could be very different as was the case with my October exam.
agree with you ... in conquering gre you see that many times it has stated that one of the authors had this kind of question about this particular subject and you must memorize it ... i think these guys are taking this issue too serious... they say take it easy and it is a crab but they don't take it easy and threat it like lazagna ... what we signed wasn't not to speak about anything ... it was not to speak about the exact form of questions and answers ... anyway, i will respect the law of the forum and won't speak about questions anymore ....
Last edited by amirpouyan on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by TakeruK » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:15 pm

ThomBoh wrote:I'm inclined to disagree. To say that there was a question on a particular topic, without saying what the actual question was (e.g. saying there was a question about quantum efficiency of a detector without saying exactly what they were asking you to calculate and in what scenario) shouldn't really be a violation. By that logic there's a lot of information about what types of questions have appeared in the past in the Conquering the Physics GRE book that would be considered a violation and if ETS cared they would take action.
I agree with you that I also personally do not think that saying "There was a question about the quantum efficiency of a detector" is necessarily a violation of the ETS agreement. I think this should be okay because this is not enough information for someone else to determine what question was actually being asked. However, if the discussion had gone further and people discussed exactly what was asked, how to solve it, what the answer was etc. then this would certainly be a violation.

What I was trying to say though, is that the administrator ended up editing out all references to any questions, without regard for how much or how little they revealed. I think this was necessary because it's easier to remove all references rather than determining exactly which ones would be a violation and in cases where the line is blurry, it's probably better to err on the side of caution and not discuss it.

I don't normally agree with "censorship" but in this case, I think it is justified because the gains one might have from discussing the questions is very small. But that's only my opinion of course.
Pointing out the types of obscure topics that showed up on my exam (without discussing what the question on the topic actually was) is really one of the more useful things this forum could provide: there was no way I would have thought to study those types of things because they specifically did not show up (or showed up a negligible amount) on the published practice exams and weren't mentioned in any course I've ever taken, in my prep book, or in ETS's topics list. It's important for people to know that their exam could either be very similar in content and style to practice exams as was the case with my september exam or could be very different as was the case with my October exam.
In my opinion, I don't think that's the most useful aspect of this website. I think the most useful portions are the parts that relate to all aspects of a graduate school application, not just the PGRE. For example, the annual profile and results postings.

In addition, obscure/random questions are by definition, unpredictable and knowing what obscure questions appeared on one edition of the test doesn't give you very much predictive power to guess future editions of the test. That is, I don't think knowing that your test had a question about quantum efficiency of a detector (I didn't write this exam so I have no idea what the question actually asked) would help me prepare for a PGRE if I were to take it in the future.

I actually believe that ETS does give us more than enough information to prepare for the test. We have the approximate breakdown of topics and I think they are fairly accurate, within reasonable "error bars". That is, ETS says 20% of the questions are Classical Mechanics. I don't think I can get enough information from this forum to be confident that the real tests are actually 35% Classical Mechanics (for example) because 1) no one has posted the breakdown of their individual test and 2) not enough people post enough information to distinguish "signal" over the random "noise" of test-to-test variations. In addition, even if the real percentage is like 15% or 25% Classical Mechanics, it's not like this information would significantly change study strategies.

You also mentioned that some of the questions didn't appear on ETS' topic list. They do say that "nearly" all questions will be on their list. Depending on what was actually asked in the "quantum efficiency" question, it could easily fall under "Laboratory Methods" or "Specialized Topics" (my exposure to this concept in my studies have all been related to how astronomical CCDs work). These two sections are highly unpredictable, and they make up a good chunk of the test (15%). Thus, this gives ETS a lot of wiggle room to put things test-takers might not expect in their tests, so I don't think it's very useful to know breakdowns of subjects down to the exact # of questions. Honestly, I think the only significant difference in the percentages given is that Classical Mechanics and E&M are the two categories with about twice as much weight each as any other category.

Finally, you say it's important for people to know whether or not the questions can be very similar to the old exams or very different. But that's basically all the possibilities -- all exams will either be like the old ones, or not like the old ones. It's not useful to know this unless you can somehow provide enough information that people will know what the April 2014 exam will be like. It's important for you to point out that exams are not always like the practice ones but I feel like this is already known. After all, ETS is pretty careful to say that you cannot expect the real test to be like the practice exams published. But if I am wrong about what is generally known, it's still possible for people to convey the important message that the latest test is extremely different from all previous tests without discussing the questions involved!

delsub
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:17 am

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by delsub » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:40 pm

this thread has changed course too many times and become totally different from what it was originally about

amirpouyan
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by amirpouyan » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:32 am

Next week the scores will be available, it's a proverb that says:
The better you take a test, the more you will be stressful ... i hope no one is stressful here :mrgreen:

photomagnetic
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Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by photomagnetic » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:50 am

i took both exams (sep-oc)
sep exam was easy but my score is a joke
im afraid oct results will be worse. but then i try to think about a-b-c forms
mabbe my score is better than the previous one

amirpouyan
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by amirpouyan » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:49 am

delsub wrote:ok fine - in this exam what do you think the raw score - final score conversion will be like. I think like this - what do you have to say??

... A.....B....C
40 500 520 540
50 580 600 620
60 660 680 700
70 740 760 780
80 820 840 860
90 900 920 940
i think you have underestimated the exam, i guess this:
... A.....B....C
80 870 880 920
90 940 960 990
it is more similar to ETS guesses, maybe i overestimated the test anyway!,

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Sina
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Sina » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:48 pm

This year is most stressful year of my life up until this age. I'm just hoepful to be higher than 850. My TOEFL exam is in next week too. I should try to not lose my concentration.

ol
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by ol » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:54 pm

amirpouyan wrote:
delsub wrote:ok fine - in this exam what do you think the raw score - final score conversion will be like. I think like this - what do you have to say??

... A.....B....C
40 500 520 540
50 580 600 620
60 660 680 700
70 740 760 780
80 820 840 860
90 900 920 940
i think you have underestimated the exam, i guess this:
... A.....B....C
80 870 880 920
90 940 960 990
it is more similar to ETS guesses, maybe i overestimated the test anyway!,
I think you all are stressing way too much about the exam. If the exam was similar in difficulty to the 2008 or 2001 tests, then they will have similar scoring. This means a 72-73 will be a 900. Somehow you've convinced yourselves that people have gotten so much smarter in the past five-ten years that a test of similar difficulty will have a harsher scale. Guess what, undergrads haven't magically gotten more intelligent! Now stop worrying. Now I remember the exam I had a while ago had something like 64-66 giving 790, and that was about the easiest test I had seen. In other words, your scales are unrealistically harsh.

torch000
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:24 am

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by torch000 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:37 pm

ol wrote:
amirpouyan wrote:
delsub wrote:ok fine - in this exam what do you think the raw score - final score conversion will be like. I think like this - what do you have to say??

... A.....B....C
40 500 520 540
50 580 600 620
60 660 680 700
70 740 760 780
80 820 840 860
90 900 920 940
i think you have underestimated the exam, i guess this:
... A.....B....C
80 870 880 920
90 940 960 990
it is more similar to ETS guesses, maybe i overestimated the test anyway!,
I think you all are stressing way too much about the exam. If the exam was similar in difficulty to the 2008 or 2001 tests, then they will have similar scoring. This means a 72-73 will be a 900. Somehow you've convinced yourselves that people have gotten so much smarter in the past five-ten years that a test of similar difficulty will have a harsher scale. Guess what, undergrads haven't magically gotten more intelligent! Now stop worrying. Now I remember the exam I had a while ago had something like 64-66 giving 790, and that was about the easiest test I had seen. In other words, your scales are unrealistically harsh.
Thank you, I keep thinking the same thing when I'm seeing people saying that a raw score of 90 will be a 900 when the scaling for almost every past exam has been closer to ~70 is a 900. Especially if everyone is stating that the Oct was "more" difficult which means even lower raw scores should correspond to higher scaled.

amirpouyan
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by amirpouyan » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:13 am

Nasty scores are available, i got a 890(84%), and i am something between happy and angry with it ,although i am not satisfied by this score and it isn't good enough but as ol said, it isn't worth our deep feelings, , hope the best for you, :P

TomServo
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by TomServo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:50 am

amirpouyan wrote:Nasty scores are available, i got a 890(84%), and i am something between happy and angry with it ,although i am not satisfied by this score and it isn't good enough but as ol said, it isn't worth our deep feelings, , hope the best for you, :P

I'd kill to get that! I had two days to cram in all of my studying for the PGRE and got a 700. Pretty lousy since I want to do theory. :( Still got a 3.8 GPA, maybe that'll help.

Mmm_Pasta
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Mmm_Pasta » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:57 am

I got 820 (75%). I am very happy with this since I plan to do experimental physics. Now I know I have a shot at my top choices. =)

gbrixey
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by gbrixey » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:05 am

I got 880 (83%) which is way better than I thought I would do. :shock:

Arbitrary
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:05 am

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Arbitrary » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:24 am

980 (93%) !
Almost nailed it.

The dream lives on though...

ali8
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by ali8 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:26 am

680 (49%).

Well, I only had 10 days to study, plus I never studied thermo or optics in my life, so I think I did good with these in mind.

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Sina
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Sina » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:13 am

I got 760 (65%). I failed again to get higher than 800.

the_cowboy
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by the_cowboy » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:52 am

Almost got it! 980.

AbnormalAlias
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by AbnormalAlias » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:33 am

800 (72%), pretty happy with it considering I'm going for experimental and not too worried about getting into a top tier school.

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Sina
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Sina » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:56 am

You think 760(65%) with a 2.5 GPA, Do I have any chance to get a fund position for theoretical physics fileds?

Mmm_Pasta
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Mmm_Pasta » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:14 pm

Sina wrote:You think 760(65%) with a 2.5 GPA, Do I have any chance to get a fund position for theoretical physics fileds?
With a 2.5 GPA your application may not even be looked at. Most schools in the U.S. require at least a 3.0 GPA.

mhrazeghi58
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by mhrazeghi58 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:43 pm

Mmm_Pasta wrote:
Sina wrote:You think 760(65%) with a 2.5 GPA, Do I have any chance to get a fund position for theoretical physics fileds?
With a 2.5 GPA your application may not even be looked at. Most schools in the U.S. require at least a 3.0 GPA.[/quote
If you have research experience and good LOR's, I believe you have enough chance for 90+ ranked schools. For international students the PGRE score is crucial. Your PGRE score is pretty reasonable.

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Sina
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Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by Sina » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:20 pm

mhrazeghi58 wrote:
Mmm_Pasta wrote:
Sina wrote:You think 760(65%) with a 2.5 GPA, Do I have any chance to get a fund position for theoretical physics fileds?
With a 2.5 GPA your application may not even be looked at. Most schools in the U.S. require at least a 3.0 GPA.[/quote
If you have research experience and good LOR's, I believe you have enough chance for 90+ ranked schools. For international students the PGRE score is crucial. Your PGRE score is pretty reasonable.
Thank you mhrazeghi58. First I thought I game overed and I was so disappointed. Then I mailed the graduate adviser and she told me somethings similar to what you said. And about research experiences, I have RA experience in electronic lab and some computational projects. I want to apply in theoretical fields, you think the research experience is effective in my case too?

mhrazeghi58
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by mhrazeghi58 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:01 pm

Thank you mhrazeghi58. First I thought I game overed and I was so disappointed. Then I mailed the graduate adviser and she told me somethings similar to what you said. And about research experiences, I have RA experience in electronic lab and some computational projects. I want to apply in theoretical fields, you think the research experience is effective in my case too?[/quote]
I am not sure but I think your performance in even unrelated research can be useful if you have good LOR about them. Please focus on a good SOP. You can reflect your abilities and also your interests in your SOP. Please notice that GPA is only one of the requirements.

metaphyx
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 am

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by metaphyx » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:40 pm

820!! I just attempted 71. Quite a relief. I am applying for Applied and Medical Physics. Is it good enough?

delsub
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:17 am

Re: October 19 PGRE

Post by delsub » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:58 pm

640 and curtains i guess



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