physics gre Definition and Topics - 167 Discussions

The GRE physics test is an examination administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test attempts to determine the extent of the examinees' understanding of fundamental principles of physics and their ability to apply them to problem solving. Many graduate schools require applicants to take the exam and base admission decisions in part on the results.
The scope of the test is largely that of the first three years of a standard
United States undergraduate physics curriculum, since many students who plan to continue to graduate school apply during the first half of the fourth year. It consists of 100 five-option multiple-choice questions covering subject areas including classical mechanics, electromagnetism, wave phenomena and optics, thermal physics, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, laboratory techniques, and mathematical methods. The table below indicates the relative weights, as asserted by ETS, and detailed contents of the major topics.

View More On
  1. U

    Admissions COVID-19 and Physics Graduate Admissions

    Several universities say that taking courses pass/no-pass or credit/no-credit during terms disrupted by COVID-19 will not necessarily harm those applying to their graduate program. There are also more open-ended invitations for applicants to discuss how the pandemic has impacted their lives. In...
  2. P

    Schools To include or not include the Physics GRE scores?

    Hello everyone! I am an international student at a US university applying for PhD programs in Physics and Astronomy. I recently got my PGRE results back and I have an 800/990 (which put my at a 70 percentile). I have a perfect 4.0 GPA as a Physics and Math major, have 1 publication and 4 on the...
  3. P

    Testing Sending Physics GRE Scores

    Hello! When I apply to grad schools and sent my Physics GRE scores, will I be able to send only my score from the October test and not the September one? Or is it the case that most Physics grad schools require you to send all of your scores; that is, send the score for all the tests you took...
  4. P

    Testing Previous PGRE Exams

    Are there any recent (after 2014) PGRE exams available online for practice?
  5. M

    Testing Moving Physics GRE date

    I have been studying for the physics gre for a couple months now and can't seem to do better then getting 40/100; I have taken all but the 2008 physics gre test. I am taking a gap year so would it be a bad idea to move my test date to April instead of doing poorly in October and taking the test...
  6. S

    Are my GRE scores acceptable for PhD in Optics?

    Hello Everyone! I am Sharvari from India, interested in quantum and non linear optics and wish to pursue PhD in this domain. I am looking forward to active discussion on the grad school discussion forum as I will be applying for grad schools this year.
  7. neosoul

    Testing Preparing for Physics Preliminary Exams & Retaking PGRE

    PF: So here is the situation. I scored really really low on my Physics GRE. Honestly, I didn't prepare for it as much as I should have. I feel that I have legitimate reasons (one being that around that time, I was being stalked and kept going to security at my school but they said they really...
  8. N

    Testing One Week to Physics GRE 2016: Tips from past exam takers?

    There's about one week to the Physics GRE. I've worked through all five past exams and corrected mistakes. What would those of you that scored well recommend I do in this last week or so before the exam? Should I retake the five exams timed? Work through the 500 exam questions slowly? Just...
  9. R

    I Differential number of particles in Fermi gas model

    I'm practicing for the Physics GRE, and came across a question that has me stumped. "In elementary nuclear physics, we learn about the Fermi gas model of the nucleus. The Fermi energy for normal nuclear density (ρ0) is 38.4 MeV. Suppose that the nucleus is compressed, for example in a heavy ion...
  10. T

    Testing Do I have a chance with low physics gre ?

    hi, i have been applying to ms in physics at umass dartmouth for fall-15, I have 85% cgpa in undergrad and I have my paper and thesis, but my first physics gre is out today and I got only 580(25%)! I cant believe I scored this bad. my toefl and genera gre are to be held soon. I hope optimum...
  11. omephy

    Testing Sending a Poor Physics GRE Score

    I appeared in Physics GRE exam but did very poor: got only a 600. My other admission requirements are moderate. Should I send my poor Physics GRE score or not? Please give me advices. Thanks.
  12. L

    Testing Missed My Physics GRE Signup, What To Do?

    I am graduating with my BSc in Physics next spring and I want to go to graduate school. The problem being that I missed the sign up date for the Physics GRE, I did however, take the general GRE. What can I do now to get into graduate school?
  13. C

    Testing What to take in Physics GRE exam hall?

    Hi, I am going to take PGRE this 25th October. as my country does not arrange it, I need to fly to another, so I need to know the materials I need to bring in the hall. I have my GRE admision ticket printed. what else should I carry with me? pencil, paper, food ?
  14. S

    Graduated with a BS in Physics with terrible GPA. What next? help?

    So like the title indicates, I graduated with a terrible GPA (2.6) and no papers published and no research experience in December. It took me 5 1/2 years instead of 4. I could go into how this happened but I doubt it is relevant to either you all or potential employers. Since I graduated I've...
  15. S

    Engineering Physics to Robotics/Electrical Engineering

    Hi Everyone, I was wondering how Electrical Engineering graduate schools particularly concentrating in Robotics and Automation would view an undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics? I just wanted to gauge how my chances would be. I have a 3.96 GPA with 1 REU, 1 paper and 1 poster...
  16. Vannay

    Does the valance shell determine overall electron charge distribution?

    I'm going over the Physics GRE and this question has me a little confused. The configuration of the potassium atom in its ground state is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s1. The answer to which of the following is true is this statement: "Its electron charge distribution is spherically symmetrical." Is...
  17. ShayanJ

    Schools How to get scholarship from a leading university?

    I'm thinking about going abroad for my graduate school. I'm not sure about this and just trying to see whether it is a plausible plan for me or not. So I need some help. I'm pretty good in English. But that's the only foreign language I know. So can I say only England and US are my options? I'm...
  18. S

    I want to be an astrophysicst

    i want to be an astrophysicst. currently im 17 and about to join undergradaduation. im confused which course to take bsc/btech i know that bsc physics is the best way but it doesnt have much scope as btech does. so im thinking if it is btech then which is the best course that can get me...
  19. V

    Schools Looking for Grad Schools that do research in ClassMech

    Strange topic, I know, but that really is my field. Planetary Dynamics, to be exact. I need to look for schools to apply to soon, since I'm (hopefully) graduating in March next year and want to get out of here as soon as possible. Sadly, all I find are either doing research in nonrelated fields...
  20. S

    A suitable GRE verbal score for a PhD application

    Dear all, I just finished my GRE general test yesterday, and my score in verbal reasoning is low (147). I am worried about the effects of this score on my graduate school application, but I have heard from some of my friends that the verbal section does not matter much for a Physics...
  21. S

    Phd Physics vs Applied Math

    Background: I completed my undergraduate degree in physics, from a reputed liberal arts college, a couple of years ago, and wrote a capstone senior thesis on experimental condensed matter project. Along the way, I took plenty of match classes, falling only one class short of a math major. My...
  22. skujesco2014

    Soon-to-be Physics Ph.D. In Need Of Advice

    Dear PF: I've spent a decade-plus in school by now. I earned my BS in a country different than the US in 2002. My degree allowed me to work as a Math & Physics teacher in high schools in my country, but not in colleges or universities. From the beginning, I knew I didn't want to be a high...
  23. C

    Grad. School in Physics w/ BA in Romance language

    How would one apply to a physics graduate program when they have a BA in Romance Languages from NYU? Are prerequisites specific to each school? I assume a GRE is required for all schools. Does one need an undergraduate degree in Physics? Any advice along these lines is greatly...
  24. Hercuflea

    Schools Torn between Math and Plasma Physics for grad school

    I did my undergrad in mathematics, and I really enjoyed studying that subject. After graduating, I've been continuing my study in Real Analysis with one of my undergrad professors, and I really feel like I'm blooming into a decent analysis student. This week I'm going to start learning...
  25. K

    PhD in Astrophysics: Wasting my time?

    Hello all, so I'm just finishing up my basics in undergrad school and am starting to take math and introductory physics classes, and just wanted to clear something up to make sure that I'm not wasting my time. My goal is a PhD in astrophysics. Now I know that in order to get into a good grad...
  26. jbrussell93

    Retake GRE?

    Hey all. It has been a while since I've posted a question in the academic guidance section so here we go. I am a physics major who just took the general GRE and am a bit disappointed in my scores. V 157 (74%) Q 161 (80%) I scored much higher on the quantitative during practice tests (>90%)...
  27. J

    Transferring to US to do PHD from UK Bsc Physics

    Hi,everyone. I'm from asia, doing a BSC degree Theoretical physics in Imperial college London, currently finished my second year and got approximately 75% .. As an international student, I understand that very high academic achievement is needed to get any source of funding e.g. scholarship from...
  28. S

    Can a biochemist become a physicist?

    I am currently 22 years old, I graduated in Biochemistry and am now finishing my Master's in Bioengineering and Nanosystems, both with high grades. I've been thinking of leaving life sciences since I've rediscovered my passion for Physics (and Philosophy). Having some background on classical...
  29. S

    Schools Is NCSU within my reach? And other "safety schools"

    Hey guys, i am an industrial engineering student from india studying in one of the top 5 colleges down here (NIT only next to IIT's). I am applying for 2015. and i have selected few schools as of now. I just wanted to make sure is the list i have is "okay" My profile as of now - 1...
  30. L

    Schools Grad University vs SUPERvisor

    Hello, I am facing a difficult dilemma. I am between taking the GRE exams and go study in USA and at the same time I am holding an offer in studying in Europe at a relatively new university but with two very famous and kind professors. On one hand, holding a master in theoretical physics, and...