Tips for studying for both pGRE and general GRE

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Tips for studying for both pGRE and general GRE

Post by hopefulastro » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:51 pm

This fall is going to be my second time applying to grad schools. I didn't get into any of the schools I applied to last fall (PhD in Physics or Astrophysics programs; focus on theory and cosmology). This time I'll be applying to a few of the same schools, but also at least 5 that are different and less prestigious. I got my BS in Physics from a top school, but my GPA is only ~3.6, and I did very poorly on the pGRE last fall (21st percentile). Granted, at least half of the schools I applied to last year didn't even require submittal of the pGRE score, and this year it'll be even less (probably 3 out of 10). I'll also be applying to more observational astrophysics/cosmology groups instead of theory.

I'm retaking the pGRE this October (I basically didn't even study for it the first time...), but I also want to improve my general GRE scores since I think they're pretty mediocre: 163Q/156V/4.0AW. I have not signed up for my retake date for the general GRE yet and am struggling figuring out when the best time is to take it, given the timing of the pGRE and my ability to study for both of them simultaneously (which is not that good, since I'm currently working full-time).

Does anyone have any suggestions about studying for both of them, and when a good time to take the general GRE might be? Last year I took it in September, but now I feel that's so close and there's still more studying I want to do (if I took it again now, I'd probably get around the same score). If I took it in October, I feel that my pGRE studying would suffer more, and if I took it in November I worry it might be pretty late and also wouldn't even have much time between the pGRE and mid-November (only a couple weeks) to focus on the general GRE. Any tips?

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Re: Tips for studying for both pGRE and general GRE

Post by Nishikata » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:49 pm

It’s probably too late to ask this question now.
You have considered all of the situations.

Take early in September and you are not ready, take in October and it clashes with pGRE. Take in November, that is your only option. In the next two months, study both of pGRE and gGRE as a combined study plan. (Like do it in alternate days)

I took pGRE in Apr/Sept/Oct followed by gGRE on Nov 2017, so it can be done but of course by Oct my pGRE studies have been 90% ready from previous takes, so I can study my gGRE more.

After all, what I could study for gGRE is the Verbal section, especially of the flashcards. I did this on my commute so this didn’t take the time for pGRE studies as the latter could not be done during commute.

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