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low physics GRE score

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:21 am
by alba27
Hi all,

Well can't say I didn't predict this one. I posted earlier wondering about my chances for graduate school assuming I'd do poorly on the physics GRE, and having just received my nov. 4th scores I now realize I wasn't exaggerating.

Anyway, I was just wondering what my chances were for a top 10 astronomy school. I have a physics GRE of only 60%. I probably should have taken the test twice but my 21 credit schedule was so busy I just didn't have time to study.
My GPA is a 3.96 and I am an astrophysics and math major. I have a pretty good verbal GRE of 89% and good research experience in astronomy. Yet, I notice there are a lot of physics majors with records far better than mine that are deciding they want to pursue astrophysics. The point is, do top 10 astronomy schools ever accept students like me?

Thanks for the help,


Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:50 am
by graviton
I'll give you the canonical grad school wisdom and you can take it or leave it because I don't have a ton of evidence on this one way of the other:

Astro programs are supposed to be less interested in the Phys GRE and scores around 60% are not unheard of at good schools in this range--especially if you are interested in observation. In physics programs it could be a stretch, but for astronomy don't think its necessarily a deal-breaker, considering what sounds like a pretty good undergrad record.

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:39 pm
by rjharris
i tend to agree with graviton. i seem to recall hearing that cornell loves astro students with a physics gre at the 60 percentile and above, and cornell's no slouch in astro for sure. plus, with what seems to be like a good overall academic record, i wouldnt worry so much, esp if you want to do observational work.