when to take physics GRE?

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larry burns
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:12 pm

when to take physics GRE?

Post by larry burns » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:13 pm

so I graduated last December with a BA in physics (not BS, so I didn't take any physics electives such as solid-state, optics, atomic, etc) because I didn't think I would pursue a phD in physics and thought engineering was better. But after doing a few internships and learning more about the research areas in engineering, I'm strongly considering going back to physics to get a phD

Now, I know the physics GRE is offered in Oct and Nov. Since I haven't taken any physics electives, but just the core physics classes, if i start studying for it now, would that be enough time to do well on the Oct or Nov tests?

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Re: when to take physics GRE?

Post by geshi » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:29 pm

It would most likely be enough time to study for the November exam, depending on how much time you have to prepare.

The registration deadline and late registration deadline have already passed for the October exam.

I have also heard a (as far as I know completely unsubstantiated) rumor floating about that the October exam is "easier" then the November exam. It's not easier in the sense of having different material, it is supposedly easier because most international students take the November exam. Thus the pool of competitors is much more difficult in November (as international students typically do better than Americans). Now how much of this is true, I don't know. I do think it is still worth a mention. For what it's worth, I took the exam in Oct and Nov of last year. I had a higher raw score in November, but a lower scaled (and thus percentile) score. However, the numbers weren't that far off from each other, so it's hardly what I'd call convincing evidence.

If you plan on applying for F2011 entrance, you would probably want to start studying for November exam immediately as it is less than 2 months away.

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Re: when to take physics GRE?

Post by kroner » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:06 pm

For the most part the test only covers core material, so I don't think it should a problem not having taken more exotic topics, as long as your fundamentals are solid.

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