Did anyone take the exam this last Saturday? I got completely destroyed. To be honest, I thought it'd be much, much easier ;(. Anyway, I'm glad it was the first and last time I take it.
A lot of people don't realize that many standardized tests are designed to produce a mean score of 50%, or somewhere in that ballpark. If you are used to typical classroom tests that have average percentages in the 70s or 80s, it's easy to think you did worse on a test like the GRE than you really did. So you won't really know until you see your test results.... I got completely destroyed. To be honest, I thought it'd be much, much easier...
If you had a reason to take it in the first place, why would you not be glad if you could take it again, assuming that you did in fact do poorly? The reason you have for taking it doesn't change due to your doing badly. Wouldn't you want a chance to improve your score if you could?
One practice exam? What did you expect? Most people who are serious about grad-school study for months for the PGRE, and take all five of the possible back-exams out there.
You should have done every single one of them, some for just practice problems, and some under the true test conditions. If you barely prepared, then you should expect to get a bad score, which is going to affect your chances of getting into grad school.
Well I'm sorry you feel that way, but unless you applied to fairly low-ranked schools, the PGRE is far more important than your GPA or any other score. It's second only to letters of recommendation and research experience.
I got the idea from actually going through the grad-school application process, speaking with people on admission committees, and to senior graduate students and also looking at data my old department had collected correlating PGRE score with acceptance rate.
Also, you know, you could just read almost any good schools website and look at their requirements and see for yourself the fact that a lot of emphasis is placed on the PGRE.
You, I assume like the OP, are an undergrad with no first-hand experience. So where exactly did you get your ideas? Dare I say?
I had a conversation with two profs. who are in the graduate admission committee from U. of Chicago and U. of Illinois at Chicago, and they both told me they don't even care about the GRE! :)
I think the issue here isn't the acceptance into grad school. There are many schools that will accept you even with a mediocre grade, if you're paying full fare. The question is, can you survive? There are many schools in which at least 1/2 of the incoming applicants could not make it past the qualifier. One would be setting one up for a disappointment, not to mention wasted resources and at least 2 years of one's life, not being able to continue pursuing the physics graduate degree. That's why I raise the bar on the GRE a little bit, especially since the GRE is considerably easier than most qualifying exams.