1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are these General GRE scores decent?

  1. Sep 29, 2008 #1
    Quantitative: 90% 780
    Verbal: 85% 600
    Analytical Writing: 58% 4.5 :(

    I haven't taken the physics subject GRE yet. I thought I would do better with the analytical writing, to be honest... but I'm not sure how people grade that. I would think it would be more important than the verbal, though, which is why I'm a sad panda today. :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2008 #2
    There's no "decent" GRE score; It's only used as a metric by which you can be automatically rejected from somewhere.
  4. Sep 29, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    They are good for a non-native english speaker, I think. Mine were close to those.
  5. Sep 30, 2008 #4
    Snap... I'm fluent...
  6. Oct 1, 2008 #5
    I think 85th percentile in Verbal is good even for native speakers. I think top grad schools say you have to be above 80th percentile to be competitive.
  7. Oct 1, 2008 #6
    For physics? Gosh, I'm pretty sure even the top 5 engineering grad schools have an average GRE verbal of much less than 600.
  8. Oct 1, 2008 #7
    I know they generally don't look at your verbal, but is the analytical writing that important?
  9. Oct 2, 2008 #8
    Physics GRE is way more important than the general GRE. Nobody cares if you get a great general GRE but bomb the physics.
  10. Oct 2, 2008 #9
    What he said. If you seriously bomb the general GRE, I'm sure that some schools will reject you. But your general GRE is fine (more than fine, actually), so it won't be a hindrance. But will it actually help you? Probably not.

    Physics grad programs don't care about the general GRE. They care a lot about your physics GRE. So I would spend a lot of time studying for this. If you get a high score, it'll open a lot of doors to good schools.
  11. Oct 2, 2008 #10
    what constitutes a 'fine' score on the general gre? 500-550 range? so anything below taht is 'bombing'?
  12. Oct 2, 2008 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Don't these comments contradict each other?
  13. Oct 2, 2008 #12
    I believe he's insinuating that if you are average on the General GRE but 990 the Physics GRE...your gen GRE will become much less of an eyesore.

    Conversely, if you are top 1% on the General GRE but 400 the Physics GRE....you might get some suggestions to go into one of the "soft" sciences.

    I agree he worded it a bit awkwardly.
  14. Oct 2, 2008 #13
    Yeah, I've been studying and will continue to study up until the day of the test. It's disheartening to realize how much physics I've forgotten from just last year. And it also sucks that a lot of the material on it I won't learn until this year after I take the test.

    Main advice I've gotten is to get a hold of all 4 tests floating around and just cram the hell out of it for as long as possible. Nothing else compares for preparation.
  15. Oct 2, 2008 #14


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yeah, that is what I heard. Focus on the actual released PGRE problems, not problems from elsewhere. Also, the 2001 test (Green Cover, they send it to you when you register) is supposed to be the most representative to the new test in both content and scoring.
  16. Oct 2, 2008 #15
    Sounds like a plan. From my experience taking the physics GRE, there really aren't that many secret tricks or anything involved. There's a few general guidelines that apply to standardized tests. For example, don't read the directions, answer all the questions (since they don't take off points for wrong answers), use the process of elimination, etc. But really if you just do a ton of physics GRE problems, then you should be good to go.
  17. Oct 2, 2008 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I believe they do, in fact, take off points for incorrect answers.
    -1/4 point for incorrect answer,
    0 points for an omitted answer,
    1 point for a correct answer.
  18. Oct 2, 2008 #17
    It would still be beneficial to answer every question then, even if you had no idea.
  19. Oct 5, 2008 #18
    I'm interested in knowing this as well. I haven't taken the GRE but from my physics GRE practices I'll probably aced the physics one but do pretty badly on the general one. I really want to apply to the top grad schools so how hard should I work for the general GRE? (I'm not a native speaker...if that matters)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook