Taking Physics GRE

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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:16 pm

Taking Physics GRE

Post by jackshroff40 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:09 pm

I am applying to Ph.D. this year so I will be taking Physics GRE. There are two dates for taking GRE: one of October 15th and second one on Novemnber 10th/12th.

I confuse between two things:

1) Should I take Physics GRE on october 15th to see how does exam looks like get some practice?. And, I will take physics GRE again on Novemeber 12th whose score I will send to school.


2) Take exam only once in November 12th and send its score.

Any one wan give any advice (personal opinion or based on personal experiend)? PLEASE

FEW more questions:
1) If I see my score of october 15 exam, will I be able to take exam again in november? Because I thought if we look at our score, then GRE office will send that score to schools and we wont get another chance to take exam again.

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by TakeruK » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:18 pm

I don't think it's a good idea to take the October exam with the mindset of "oh well I will just take it again in November". I remember it took about a month for me to get my PGRE scores, so you won't have much time, if any, between finding out your October exam score and your November exam date. Actually I just checked online for the score availability date: http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/scores/get/ You won't get your October score until after the November test.

It's a lot of money to take the exam twice, and it will cost you yet more money to send scores from a selected test date (see point below). In addition, one extra month isn't going to be that helpful in improving your score. Personally, I would not think this was a good use of my money or time, but you might have a different opinion!

As for scores -- when you register for the test, you can select 4 "free" schools. You can change/choose these schools up to the Friday before the test by mailing in a form. The GRE scores will be automatically sent to these 4 schools and your undergrad school for free after the test unless you cancel your score when writing the test (but you won't know your score). But, if you don't select any of the 4 schools and uncheck the "send scores to my undergrad school" box, you will be able to see the scores online or by phone. You should do the same for your November test, then after you get both scores, you can order additional score reports (~$20 per school) and use the new ScoreSelect option to pick your best score. So, even more expenses. (See http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/scoreselect)

It also sounds like you are implying that you don't think you can take the test after knowing your score, but that's not true! You can take the test and see scores as many times as you want, but if you use the free test score option, all the schools will know your scores too.

It's better to take the test in April and Oct/Nov if you really want to do a "practice run" or have a second chance if necessary. But if you are applying this winter, then obviously this is not an option for you. I would recommend NOT using the 2008 practice test to prepare/study and then write the 2008 exam in "test conditions" about 2-4 weeks before your test date to simulate the experience. I recommend taking the time to fill out all the bubbles for your name, testing number etc. too just to simulate things exactly.

Good luck!

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by quizivex » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:37 am

I think you should register for both the October and November tests (this is what I did and I would recommend it to EVERYONE). It's only July 5th, so you have plenty of time to get prepared for October. Take the test with your best effort, hoping to do well and get a good score. If it doesn't go well, you will probably feel it, and you can cancel the score immediately and take the November version. Your canceled test will not show up on your record**, so there's no harm and it would be equivalent to the "practice" session you were asking about.

You can't see your October score before deciding whether to take the November test because the scores are scheduled to come out after the Nov test. (Actually, the October scores are often available by phone before the listed date, but historically they tend to come out the same day of the November test. So there's still no way to get the score before and have enough time to study all over again.) Also, I think I remember that the registration for November either ended or was not guaranteed to be available after the October test. So that's why I said to register for both in the summer. If you do cancel the Nov test after the Oct test, you can still get half of your $ back**.

**These were the policies back in 2007 when I took the PGRE and general GRE. Check the ETS website or call them to make sure things haven't changed.

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by blighter » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:57 am

Now you can selectively send the scores for a particular instance of the test. So no need to cancel your score.

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by microacg » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:58 am

If it's true that you can take both and ultimately pay to just send the higher one of the two, then I might do that. Are we 100% sure that will work for the next round of phd applications?

I would be very cautious about deciding whether or not to cancel based on how the test 'felt'. This (at least for me, and probably for many other people) can be very misleading!

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by TakeruK » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:13 pm

Here is the page about ScoreSelect for Subject Tests: http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/scoreselect/

It clearly says that this option is effective July 1 2012 and is retroactive to the last 5 years too (i.e. if you order any score reports now, you can select your scores).

However, you DO NOT have the "select score" option for the 4 free (+undergrad) school that you have to supply before the test date. (For the free schools, you can choose "All scores" or "most recent scores" only).

So if you want to be able to pick and choose your score for every single school, you cannot use any of the free reporting options.

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by taraneh » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:22 am

you can pass the sooner exam and after the results if it satisfies you, you can pay some fee and send it to your favorite grad school and if it doesn't you can ignore it and pass the next one

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Re: Taking Physics GRE

Post by Failnaught » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:31 pm

Practice makes perfect! But practice at home, where you only have to pay the electric bill. : )

Get to it!

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