In Dire Need of Grad School Help-an addenum

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

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Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:12 pm

In Dire Need of Grad School Help-an addenum

Post by maxwell200 » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:08 pm

I have already posted this message, but now I'm updating it with a final peice of info-my physics gre test score.

Well, I guess as application time is looming I need help figuring out which tyoes of schools would be safe schools and which types would be schools I have a "good chance" but not "gauranteed.

My over all gpa is 3.3, my physics gpa is 3.6; I'm expecting my physics grades to rise to A- average by the time I graduate. Specificially, half my physics major grades were A or A-, the other half B+'s. Quantum mechanics was the one advanced physics course that brought me down for my major gpa, plus I had an unusually hard combe of classes. I had one quarter where I was doing quantum, E/M and biochemistry and research one quarter, another where I was doing quantum, E/M, upper level microbiology, a fourth class and research in one quarter. In fact, all quarters where I did not get all A's in my physics classes were quarters where I was taking physics concurrently with upper level chemistry and microbiology classes. Partially because of this, partially becuase I have a tougher time staying mentally organized than others, and for other reasons my physics gpa is not quite where I wanted it to be. Obviously, I am pretty disappointed with my physics grades, esp quantum, and do feel I had the ability to do a lot better. It was at Ohio State University undergrad, which i do believe is recognized for being increasingly tough in physics and other areas.

As for research, again I am unfortunately not very strong in that area either. I started research during my autumn of my junior, and plan on continuing the smae project through my senior year with a possible publication/recommendation from a very highly repsected professor in his field of particle physics.

Now, I would like to think I'm not completely out of touch with reality. I'm aware that for me getting into a school like stanford, MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley, etc would basically be like winning the lottery, regardless of how well I do on my physics gre. However, the grad studies chair in physics said, when i asked him abvout my grades, he said,

"Your grads look good. Based on these grades I would say you would have a
good chance of being accepted into a strong physics graduate program of
the level of OSU or possibly higher...your grades look very good".

General GRE Scores:

Math 790, Verbal 690, Writing: 5.5

My Physics Gre was atrocious-660. Now I'm really scared-I was only 49th percentile on the physics gre test. I really wish I could redo it, but I think I dont have time at this point.

I was wondering if anyone could help me determine, as dependent on my physics gre score, my chances of getting into these types of schools:

University of Illnois
University of Wisconsin Madison
University of Virginia
University of Arizona
University of Minnesota
Rice University
Penn State
Michigan State
University oF Rochester
Ohio State Biophysics
Johns Hopkins Biophysics

This is the final list of schools I am applying to. I need help in determining my chances of acceptance in these said schools.

ALso, is there any way I can request a regrade on ETS tests? I had heard something about it and wanted to know if I can request it because I really do not think I missed as many questions as I did. I actually think there may have been scoring errors and wanted to know if anyone knew what I could do about that.

Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:27 pm

Post by xdebugger » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:49 pm

I think you should do fine with most of these schools, with the exceptions of illinois, which is a lot harder to get into. Your physics gre is definitely on the low side. I doubt that getting a regrade will help at all. It probably will cost you a lot too. I know somebody who requested a regrade on the writing and got a lower score than the original.
I think you should make sure that you get strong recommendations which in my opinions are more important than any test scores. Your grades are pretty decent so I wouldnt worry too much about it. Focus on the application, let the people reading know that your candidacy is stronger than what that number seems to indicate.

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