Physics GRE blown my chances?

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Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:40 pm

Physics GRE blown my chances?

Post by njk » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:22 pm

Hi everyone, just got my PGRE score and disappointed by what I see... 700 exactly.

In short, Im worried that this has just ruined my chances off getting into the programs I was aiming at and wonder how much I should be changing the universities I apply to.

Info on me:
- white male, US resident, but doing combined 4 year MS/BS degree at top 5-10 UK university (Im claiming to be domestic in the application process until told otherwise!)
- GRE: 800, 630, 5.5
- v. good grades (equiv to 3.9 gpa), taking all the usual undergrad classes and some pretty advanced ones ...
- research experience: 2 REU projects at same top 20 US institution (3 peer-revied papers submitted, 1 accepted so far, all 3rd author), Master's project ongoing. All in condensed matter.
- good letters...Im assuming!
- PGRE: 700 :(

I had been planning to apply to a lot (15 or more) of universities ranked between 1 and 30, for condensed matter/nanotechnology. I thought Id have a good chance at the lower ranked ones and was willing to role the dice with the higher ones, understanding that theres a good chance Id get rejected. Now Im thinking I might have to ditch the top few and pick up a couple of lower ranked safeties.

Any opinions would be great! Thanks!

Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:32 pm

Re: Physics GRE blown my chances?

Post by leedj23 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:56 pm

well actually need to check the percentage but 700 sounds not really good.. I recommend you to retake it if you ve got another chance to do so

also just apply as many school as you can since you are not gonna lose anything by that except for the application fee lol

btw, 3.9 avg means 1st degree in the UK uni? which uni is it? I study at london :)

Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:05 am

Re: Physics GRE blown my chances?

Post by Mataka » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:23 pm

You seem to have some pretty good research experience, I think you should still apply to some top schools. Try to write an awesome SOP and have excellent LOR. Also, are you applying for theory or experiment ?, if you are applying for experiment top schools tend to forgive more easily a bad PGRE.

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:40 pm

Re: Physics GRE blown my chances?

Post by njk » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:40 pm

Thanks for the first replies. Im applying for experimental, so I guess that leaves me slightly more of a chance. Sadly, theres no chance to take the PGRE again, it is what it is.

Apologies if this has been asked before, but does anyone know of higher-ranking universities that give the PGRE lesser consideration (ie the average PGRE is simply lower than you might expect, or students with scores of 700 or less are regularly admitted)? Only a few of them publish averages or ranges, the others always give the same bland "there is no minimum" statement... oh, how useful that is...

Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:11 am

Re: Physics GRE blown my chances?

Post by twinb87 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:13 am

Check the 2009 and 2008 profile pages for people who have a comparable PGRE score. This will give you some idea of what to expect from certain schools.

My own opinion is that your profile seems pretty strong. 700 is a bit low....but I don't think it is a disaster score. The rest of your profile seems excellent, with your PGRE being the only blemish. From what I've researched, most schools weigh your letters of recommendation and research experience much more heavily than your PGRE. If your letters are good, which you seem to think they will be, I don't think your score will hurt too much. Therefore, you should definitely apply to the top schools. I would be surprised if you didn't get into at least one of them.

However, I would recommend applying to some other "lower tier" schools...just to be on the safe side. Good luck!

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