PGRE Preparation for October Test

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PGRE Preparation for October Test

Post by Sats » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:44 pm

Hello all, I've been preparing for the PGRE this october, with a few hiccups along the way. I've not taken thermal physics, so I basically can't answer any of those problems haha.

Anyways, what I wanted to ask was:

I just recently took a practice test and got a 640. I know this isn't atrocious or anything, but I still have a ways to go to get a better score. To those who've been preparing or who've taken the test: What seemed like the most important thing to study/be able to do?

Anything that helped you guys prepare/up your scores?


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Re: PGRE Preparation for October Test

Post by djh101 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:20 pm

Classical mechanics will take up a large portion of the test and for me those were the problems that I would tend to get stuck on (particularly collision problems). A few days before the test I went through Young & Freedman and solved a bunch of the momentum, torque, and energy problems. Something that I also had to review a little because it would throw me off a lot was sign conventions in optics for radii, s, s', foci. Relativity, also, should definitely be practiced.

If you don't know anything about particle physics, a quick overview shouldn't take long and should get you one or two added points. Electrons, muons, and taus are leptons, baryons have three quarks (protons, neutrons), mesons have two quarks, weak interaction doesn't obey lepton number conservation, neutrinos usually come up in particle equations to conserve lepton number, processes are usually mediated by the weak interaction in decays.

Positronium has half of the zero point energy of hydrogen because its reduced mass is lower by a factor of 2.

Everything that will be on the test is listed on the ETS site and the practice tests give a good representation of the topics.

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Re: PGRE Preparation for October Test

Post by Yourself » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:34 am

Having taken 4 of the 5 practice tests, I noticed that a LOT of questions are recycled or almost recycled over the years. There's always a question about the hydrogen/positronium spectrum, always a question about the moment of inertia of some system of bodies, always a question about selection rules, always a question about the work done/heat absorbed by an ideal gas... if you remember all the standard questions, it saves a lot of time on the real test.

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