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Average time taken to study before GRE

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  1. Aug 9, 2012 #1
    Hey all,

    Directed towards those of you that have tried, finished or are trying to get into a (US) graduate program (physics, but not necessarily); how long before the test did you start studying. I know in the case of physics the test is mostly lower division knowledge, but I'm just curious. Couldnt find other posts with this as a topic though, I know they existed at one point.


    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2012 #2

    Nabeshin

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    Roughly a month, with maybe an average of an hour a day studying. So ~30hr total?
     
  4. Aug 9, 2012 #3
    Seems like the summer before your senior year is the normal time to begin preparation for the Oct/Nov exams. That is what I'm doing.
     
  5. Aug 13, 2012 #4
    Is this also true for the GRE Math Subject test?
     
  6. Aug 13, 2012 #5
    I'm from the UK and the GRE covers all the suff in the 1st and 2nd years. 1st year had 186 lectures. 2nd year had another 186. So, in total, 372, but if i ignore the maths courses, then the number of lectures stands at about 300. 1 lecture takes 2 hours to revise. So, 600 hours of work to revise my first and second years and prepare for the gre.
     
  7. Aug 13, 2012 #6

    Nabeshin

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    This is completely absurd, and only makes sense if you retain absolutely nothing from your classes and thus need to completely relearn it.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2012 #7

    king vitamin

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    I took the October 15th test, and I started studying at the beginning of September. I actually really ended up regretting starting late since I had a heavy courseload, but I made sure to practice consistently and spend a lot of time on it during the weekends and I did well. The trick is to space out the practice tests (which you should take under real test conditions).
     
  9. Aug 14, 2012 #8

    ZombieFeynman

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    Honestly, the GRE is a very basic test. The hardest part is the time constraints and really they are not that bad. It's possible to do quite above average with minimal review if you actually paid attention to your coursework prior to this and take one or two practice tests.

    That said, if you paid attention and prepare a lot, you will ace it.

    More attention is given to this test than it's worth, I think.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2012 #9
    I agree with those statements but its definitely a bit harder than I was expecting. I took the my first sample test (the one from '86) last week and only got halfway through around the 170 minute mark. It's definitely going to require a complete change of exam-taking philosophy if one is used to 4-5-hour finals that cover the entire course, which is my case.

    I saw a lot of trivia I could answer on the spot (and a lot that I couldn't), but I'm not one to rush my computations so I spend more time on things that require calculation doing them from scratch. I need to fix that.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2012 #10

    ZombieFeynman

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    I agree. I think one of the best ways of preparing in that regard (the trivia stuff) is by reading a lot of good popular science. Not so much the fluffy, stringy stuff. Good, grounded pop sci. The Quantum Story by Jim Baggott, Chaos by James Gleick, Neutrino by Frank Close, etc. Also reading a few modern physics texts (Thornton and Rex or similar) can give a student a more well rounded knowledge than just the core undergraduate courses (CM, QM, EM, SM).
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  12. Aug 14, 2012 #11
    ... I thought this was a serious thread?
     
  13. Aug 14, 2012 #12

    ZombieFeynman

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    This is. Reading pop sci before bed (not in place of traditional studying) is an excellent way to broaden one's knowledge of trivia (if I'm understanding your use of the word correctly). You can get a lot of diverse, correct, qualitative information quickly by reading pop sci. As a bonus, you get cogent (sometimes quite lucid) explanations geared toward a layperson. These can sometimes greatly impact how you think about a particular concept. Frankly, if you don't read pop sci (I must emphasize, responsibly written pop sci) you are doing yourself an injustice as a student of science.
     
  14. Aug 14, 2012 #13
    It's been a couple years since I heard this but I have heard the physics GRE was much, much harder in the 1980s than it is now.
     
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