What is Physics gre: Definition and 187 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.

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  1. V

    Grad school with no Physics GRE but research experience?

    Due to not having any money after financial aid this semester (also covid, no job, etc.) I don't have money to afford to take the physics GRE. I do however work in a lab as a research assistant and have research experience. I'd like to get into a school for astrophysics potentially. Any...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. P

    Testing Previous PGRE Exams

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

    Testing Physics GRE or Math GRE for theoretical physics?

    I'm a student from the UK, completing a degree in theoretical physics. I'm interested in pursuing graduate opportunities in both the UK and the US. Of course, I am much more familiar with the 'UK standard' for graduate studies, in that the areas I want to pursue can fall into either the maths...
  7. T

    Testing Is my physics GRE score strong enough?

    Hey! So I got my physics GRE score back. Got a 780, which I'm happy with, but I'm wondering, is it strong enough for the most competitive programs? Here's my profile: 3.76 GPA 4 years of research experience, 2-3 publications URM: racial minority, first-gen, low-income Majoring in math and...
  8. J

    B field and H field confusion, physics GRE

    I'm getting ready for the exam that's coming up and I just took the 2017 practice exam to see what the last gaps are that I need to fill. Question 96 of this exam asks: "The magnetic field inside a long coil of wire (solenoid) has a certain magnitude and direction when the coil is air filled...
  9. M

    Testing Is there a Europe equivalent to the Physics GRE?

    Is there a qualification undergrad engineers can take during university to show their aptitude for physics and maths? Like a recognised test, aptitude test that they can put in their academic record as well? Anything along these lines at all? Is there one that is recognised in UK, Europe and...
  10. Greg Bernhardt

    Testing Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book

    Undergrad physics students, are you taking the physics GRE in April or next fall? We have a contest for you! Big thanks to Cambridge University Press for donating a copy of the newly published 3rd edition of Conquering the Physics GRE! How to win: Post your favorite physics problem you've run...
  11. 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...
  12. 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.
  13. G

    Testing Book for Physics GRE

    I am a Mechanical Engineering student. I have four months to prepare for physics GRE. How should I study for it? Which book is most preferred ?
  14. RJLiberator

    Other Is "Conquering the Physics GRE" book worth my time/money?

    Upon my path towards studying for the physics GRE, the only book that I've had recommended is "Conquering the Physics GRE" located here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1479274631/?tag=pfamazon01-20 The book is not too expensive, which is nice ($46.00). However, I'm not entirely sure that it is...
  15. RJLiberator

    Testing Need Help planning my study for Physics GRE

    Hi all, I will be taking the Physics GRE in September/October of this year. I am looking to (on average) take a couple hours per day to study for the physics GRE starting as soon as possible. However, I need a smart study plan (obviously it's a big world out there!) First, I've noticed a...
  16. S

    Preparing for Physics GRE: What to Expect?

    Homework Statement Hello! This is not a real homework question but I was not sure where to post it. I am preparing for my physics GRE exam and I am not sure what to expect. I looked over some old exams (1980's, 2001 and a practice they posted from 2008) and they seem fine (in the sense that you...
  17. 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...
  18. 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...
  19. Crush1986

    Testing Physics GRE and Normal Modes

    I'm just looking for any tips one might have for finding normal modes quickly? The GRE always seems to have a question or two on them and I have no idea how they expect someone to do a problem like that in the time given. I know that there is normally, in the problems given, a symmetric and an...
  20. D

    Programs Planning on doing the physics GRE (not a physics major)

    Hi everyone, I've read a few posts on this forum and thought they were helpful enough that I should try to get some help as well. My situation is a little unusual in that I am a third year undergraduate student majoring in biochemistry, minoring in mathematics. I want to tackle biological...
  21. 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...
  22. Prins

    Physics GRE Test: Preparing for a PhD Program

    I'm thinking of giving gre test i don't know if i need only to give the subject test or general is must. i'm thinking of getting into physics Ph.D program so Physics GRE test. Please someone explain how am i supposed to give the test to be considered for a phd thanks
  23. S

    Testing Invalidation of physics GRE scores?

    This is probably the wrong place to ask, but I'm curious. This morning, I took the physics GRE. For the entire test, they forgot to cover up the giant periodic table hanging from the ceiling at the front of the room. I assume that this is one of those things we aren't supposed to have access to...
  24. I

    Other Book recommendation to study for the Physics GRE in ~40 days

    I recently took the decision to apply for physics grad school and registered for the GRE test coming up on Oct. 24, a couple of days ago. The thing is I feel I'm vastly under-prepared as my academic background is in engineering. I have had only a freshman course in physics. I've been recently...
  25. L

    Testing Conquering Physics GRE book wanted

    ..anyone who used this book to study for the Physics GRE test willing to sell it? I can't find used copies anywhere.
  26. 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 can't believe I scored this bad. my toefl and genera gre are to be held soon. I hope optimum...
  27. Greg Bernhardt

    Testing Physics GRE Preparation Resources

    During the Physics GRE Subject Test there is no formula sheet given and none can be brought in. It is best to try and memorize these fundamental formulas. Please feel free to link to other useful formula sheets.
  28. 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.
  29. 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?
  30. 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 ?
  31. 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...
  32. 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...
  33. 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...
  34. 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...
  35. S

    I want to be an astrophysicst

    i want to be an astrophysicst. currently I am 17 and about to join undergradaduation. I am confused which course to take bsc/btech i know that bsc physics is the best way but it doesn't have much scope as btech does. so I am thinking if it is btech then which is the best course that can get...
  36. 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...
  37. 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...
  38. 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...
  39. 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...
  40. 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...
  41. 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...
  42. 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...
  43. jbrussell93

    Should I Retake the GRE for Geophysics PhD Programs?

    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%)...
  44. 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...
  45. 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...
  46. 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...
  47. 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...
  48. HeavyMetal

    Programs Chemistry Major Thinking (too much?) about Physics

    I have been doing research in chemistry for quite a while now. I love chemistry! But for about a year now, all of the questions that I've had are of a more purely physical nature. My mentor has some good answers for me, but a lot of the time he doesn't seem to care or know about the answer. He...
  49. P

    Physics Education in South America

    I am doing a research for the top physics universities in south america. By a collection of 'comments' from various physics professors, I arrived to the conclusion that the best physics bachelor programs are in Argentina, specially the Faculty of Exact Sciences (Facultad de ciencias exactas) of...
  50. M

    Going into Physics from a non-Physics background

    Hi, I'm in a slightly odd situation as I am not directly enrolled in a Physics program but am highly interested in certain topics (e.g. Plasma Physics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Particle Physics, Theories). I am actually enrolled in a Biochemistry program but will hopefully be either...
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