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Did Not Take PGRE now what?

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I had multiple reasons why I missed the November PGRE, I believed those reasons were legitimate. Now however I'm worried that I'll have to take a year off for graduate school. I applied to 9 places, so far I only heard back from one place & it was a rejection. But no interviews or anything of that nature. I had a 3.8 GPA, 4.0 in physics but from a small school. 1 Summer of research (no paper "yet" but we're finishing it soon), 2 years paid tutoring at college, & some higher level math courses (ring/group theory, combinatorics, calc. based stats... that sort of thing, no PDE though b/c it was cover in my Mathematical Physics class, though I think it might look bad not having it on my transcript). Regular GRE I did "okay," 500 verbal, 730 quantitative.

Anyway, my question is, even if the PGRE is "required" am I completely out of the running, or just very unlikely? I guess my biggest question is, what am I going to do for a whole year off? Are internships the best bet? Also do graduate schools "always" interview first? I'm older (27), so this is why taking a year off isn't very appealing to me.

Oh and to be honest these are the places I applied,
Lehigh, Florida State, University of Florida, Pittsburgh, Indiana, N.M. Tech., Ohio State, York Canada (rejected), Florida Tech.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
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That sounds like a pretty big hole in your application considering it's the only thing that really allows them to compare you to everyone else who is applying besides the normal GRE.
 
  • #3
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We can't tell what an individual university might do, but if a school requires the PGRE and you didn't send them the scores, the most likely possibility is that your application is sitting on a pile marked "incomplete" and that nobody has even looked at it.
 
  • #4
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I live in Turkey where PGRE is not required.
come to Turkey, the best university is bogazici university which has an education in english and has professors having PhD degrees from MIT, Yale, Caltech, etc.
visit: www.boun.edu.tr
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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At the least notify them that they shouldn't expect to see anything from ETS. That way, if they have no interest in accepting someone without a PGRE score, you'll know sooner rather than later.

Also, what graduate schools interview? In my personal experience, none of the graduate schools I've applied to or researched ever mentioned anything about interviewing students. Remember, this isn't undergraduate admissions.

If you have to take a year off, try to get some work at a lab or SOMETHING in the field. You claimed to do a summer of research. See if that can be a road to some place. I'm not sure where though, as I can't imagine what you could do. Maybe use the time to do some self-study, learn some programming languages, do your own research, whatever. Just don't waste it.
 
  • #6
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Just thinking about this, if I don't get accepted anywhere, I may not stay in the US. I mean I understand why the PGRE is required almost universally (as a basis for comparison), but at the same time, it's also like saying if you don't take this test, unless you have the right connections, your degree is worthless... in that you can't get into graduate school. Just kind of irks me I guess 4-5 years of work can really go down the drain for what I see as a "superficial" test with "superficial" problems.

Though I know I'll probably get flamed for saying it :)... since there are many GRE supporters here. Thanks all for the advise ^_^.
 
  • #7
Gokul43201
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Anyway, my question is, even if the PGRE is "required" am I completely out of the running, or just very unlikely? I guess my biggest question is, what am I going to do for a whole year off? Are internships the best bet? Also do graduate schools "always" interview first? I'm older (27), so this is why taking a year off isn't very appealing to me.

Oh and to be honest these are the places I applied,
Lehigh, Florida State, University of Florida, Pittsburgh, Indiana, N.M. Tech., Ohio State, York Canada (rejected), Florida Tech.
There is also the option of applying for Spring admission, so you won't quite be sitting out an entire year. There are generally not a lot of seats open for admission in the Spring, but I suspect your chances will be better if you take the test and then apply in the Spring, as long as you do the legwork of figuring this stuff out by talking to individual universities.
 
  • #8
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Anyway, my question is, even if the PGRE is "required" am I completely out of the running, or just very unlikely?
If the application says that the PGRE is required then its required, and yes, you are out of the running.

Also do graduate schools "always" interview first?
Graduate schools rarely interview.

I'm older (27), so this is why taking a year off isn't very appealing to me.
You can delay graduation and take more courses.

it's also like saying if you don't take this test, unless you have the right connections, your degree is worthless...
Graduate schools have very good reasons to require a PGRE. If you do poorly on the PGRE, that suggests that you won't survive the course. I'm not sure what's the big problem with taking the test.

in that you can't get into graduate school. Just kind of irks me I guess 4-5 years of work can really go down the drain for what I see as a "superficial" test with "superficial" problems.
I'm not sure what the issue is with the PGRE. Personally, I think it's a pretty good test for physics knowledge.
 
  • #9
Pengwuino
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Just thinking about this, if I don't get accepted anywhere, I may not stay in the US. I mean I understand why the PGRE is required almost universally (as a basis for comparison), but at the same time, it's also like saying if you don't take this test, unless you have the right connections, your degree is worthless... in that you can't get into graduate school. Just kind of irks me I guess 4-5 years of work can really go down the drain for what I see as a "superficial" test with "superficial" problems.
Think of it this way, what if you took the PGRE but didn't submit transcripts and a school didn't know what your GPA was? Then they are running the same risk and you could make the same "superficial" arguments about GPA.

Also it really is not that bad of a test. Everyone I know who has a heh, "superficial" knowledge of physics does poorly on that test.
 
  • #10
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Graduate schools have very good reasons to require a PGRE. If you do poorly on the PGRE, that suggests that you won't survive the course. I'm not sure what's the big problem with taking the test.



I'm not sure what the issue is with the PGRE. Personally, I think it's a pretty good test for physics knowledge.
Personally I would have taken it, it's not that I skipped out because I thought it was lame (though I do think it's lame) or that I had special rights, I had other reasons. Honestly, I don't see why the test is pretty much universally required in the US, as I said, it invalidates 4-5 years of work. Suggested, perhaps, required, ridiculous in my opinion. Good recommendations, portfolios of school work, grades, etc. is what I think should matter. But as you said, "required" label, you're out... & what, there are a whole 10-15 schools in the US that don't require it?
 
  • #11
Pengwuino
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Personally I would have taken it, it's not that I skipped out because I thought it was lame (though I do think it's lame) or that I had special rights, I had other reasons. Honestly, I don't see why the test is pretty much universally required in the US, as I said, it invalidates 4-5 years of work. Suggested, perhaps, required, ridiculous in my opinion. Good recommendations, portfolios of school work, grades, etc. is what I think should matter. But as you said, "required" label, you're out... & what, there are a whole 10-15 schools in the US that don't require it?
Think about this. To a graduate committee, what do your recommendations really say? The admissions committees don't know who the people are. They also don't know if there is grade inflation at play. Portfolios would take up way too much time to process for the sometimes thousands of students who apply. There is a need for a standardized way to determine if a student is properly prepared to enter graduate school.

If a university constantly produced students with 4.0's and great letters of recommendation but they were all scoring single digits on the PGRE..... what does that tell you? Think of this from the admission committee stand point.
 
  • #12
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Ok, if we're going to head down this line of whether the GRE is good or bad... think about it like this, should we require an IQ test just to get into college because it would be a good indicator of whether someone would succeed or not? You could reason we have the SATs, but the SATs don't hold the same monopoly as the GRE does... namely that if don't take the SATs, you can still get into college relatively easy. If you don't take the GRE, you're pretty much guaranteed not to go on the US. Also, I took the general GRE, but what for? Universally it's pretty well known it makes no difference "unless" you bomb it. So you take a test to prove you can do basic algebra in a given amount of time under pressure. Why then even require the regular GRE? The fraction of people who would bomb it, get good recommends, GPA, etc. has to be pretty slim.
 
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  • #13
Pengwuino
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If they blow the GRE, then you know something is wrong. Every aspect of a graduate package is a consistency check for universities. Physics majors are expected to score 750+ on the math portion and if you don't, that's kind of odd.

In the end, the bottom line is that you have no rights to be allowed into graduate school. There are far more people wanting to get into graduate school than there are spots and if admissions committees feel that a PGRE score is a good indicator of your knowledge of physics, then they have a right to use it to purge applications. You CAN just wait a year, you haven't been categorically bared from graduate schools and you haven't had your bachelors degree taken away. You didn't do the PGRE and universities want it. What's done is done.

There are also PLENTY of masters-only programs in the US that require only a GRE score, if that, as well.
 
  • #14
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If they blow the GRE, then you know something is wrong. Every aspect of a graduate package is a consistency check for universities. Physics majors are expected to score 750+ on the math portion and if you don't, that's kind of odd.

In the end, the bottom line is that you have no rights to be allowed into graduate school. There are far more people wanting to get into graduate school than there are spots and if admissions committees feel that a PGRE score is a good indicator of your knowledge of physics, then they have a right to use it to purge applications. You CAN just wait a year, you haven't been categorically bared from graduate schools and you haven't had your bachelors degree taken away. You didn't do the PGRE and universities want it. What's done is done.

There are also PLENTY of masters-only programs in the US that require only a GRE score, if that, as well.
:) and this is exactly what I'm talking about... I scored a 730, clearly there must be something "odd" about me. You made a point and I countered, personal attacks are unwarranted. The bit about me not having the "rights" is tacky and why I didn't want to go down this line, as I knew I would be flamed to high heaven...

Though, with the masters-only programs, I've only recently started to look into this. There aren't too many schools that have a masters-only program in the US (that require only the GRE), but this is an option, as I said I recently began to look into.
 
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  • #15
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Ok, if we're going to head down this line of whether the GRE is good or bad... think about it like this, should we require an IQ test just to get into college because it would be a good indicator of whether someone would succeed or not?
Let's not get into analogy wars.

We are not talking about IQ tests and undergraduate admissions, we are talking about GRE scores and graduate school. If you can't get a certain score on the PGRE, then you are just not going to be able to handle the coursework of a physics graduate school.

I happen to think that the PGRE is a very good test to measure if you have the basic knowledge that you need for physics graduate school. That has nothing to do with other tests in other situations. If you want to argue that the PGRE *isn't* a fair or useful metric of graduate school performance, fine, but that has nothing to do with IQ tests and undergraduate admissions.

The problems on the PGRE are pretty similar to the ones that you will be expected to do in graduate school, and if you can't do them, then you are going to have huge difficulties once you get there.

Universally it's pretty well known it makes no difference "unless" you bomb it. So you take a test to prove you can do basic algebra in a given amount of time under pressure.
Because not everyone can do basic algebra under time pressure, and if you can't, then you aren't going to be able to get through the coursework of a physics graduate program. Rather than waste everyone's time including your own taking classes and then getting kicked out, I think it's better just to give people a test, and if they can meet the basic standards then they can work on it until they do.

Why then even require the regular GRE? The fraction of people who would bomb it, get good recommends, GPA, etc. has to be pretty slim.
Sure, and if getting too low a GRE score keeps you from submitting an application, that saves everyone time including you.
 
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  • #16
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I scored a 730, clearly there must be something "odd" about me.
Which is a decent score for the general part. However the physics GRE is very different from the general section. The physics GRE are more or less based on graduate coursework, and if you can't or won't get a reasonable score on that part of the test, you are just not going to survive the coursework in grad school.
 
  • #17
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Of admissions committees feel that a PGRE score is a good indicator of your knowledge of physics, then they have a right to use it to purge applications.
It's also not a matter of rights. If I thought that the PGRE was a bad test that didn't really reflect the graduate curriculum, I'd complain. But I don't. The GRE General scores are pretty bogus which is why people don't take them seriously.

Also, one skill that you'll need in order to survive graduate schools is to be able to fill out forms and meet deadlines. If the graduate school wants your dissertation printed out on a certain type of paper with certain margins to be submitted by X date, you do it.
 
  • #18
Pengwuino
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:) and this is exactly what I'm talking about... I scored a 730, clearly there must be something "odd" about me. You made a point and I countered, personal attacks are unwarranted. The bit about me not having the "rights" is tacky and why I didn't want to go down this line, as I knew I would be flamed to high heaven...

Though, with the masters-only programs, I've only recently started to look into this. There aren't too many schools that have a masters-only program in the US (that require only the GRE), but this is an option, as I said I recently began to look into.
I did not mean that as a personal attack. I didn't even remember what you said your math portion score was. I probably should have said something like 700, that is a more reasonable number. The point is, though, that physics majors are simply expected to do well. If you don't, somethings odd. People applying to graduate schools are expected to have 3.0s at the least. If they don't, again, it is odd and signals a red flag. If you can't get 3 people to say they would recommend you for graduate school, again, that's odd. There are just all these things that are simply expected for a good graduate candidate.

And regardless of whether or not you agree with how I put it, the fact of the matter is if a graduate committee wants A, B, C, and D, and they have 1000 students who provide A, B, C, and D, you're in trouble if you could only provide A, C, and D. Remember, you don't just need to show a department that you'd do well in a graduate program and are a good student, you need to show them you're better than the other people who also want your spot.
 
  • #19
Gokul43201
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Honestly, I don't see why the test is pretty much universally required in the US, as I said, it invalidates 4-5 years of work. Suggested, perhaps, required, ridiculous in my opinion. Good recommendations, portfolios of school work, grades, etc. is what I think should matter.
Quite the contrary, the PGRE should be thought of as something that validates the rest. Your recommendations and grades are somewhat subjective and can vary significantly from one school to the next. Producing a decent score on the PGRE, which is not subject to such a whimsy, tells the graduate committee that your grades and recommendations should be taken seriously.
 
  • #20
G01
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The University of Kentucky does not require the PGRE. I have a friend who got accepted there without stating a PGRE score.
 
  • #21
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I think that most of the problems with the PGRE are more with the form of the test than the concept of it. As it is, the extreme timing constraints encourage test takers to give up if the right answer can't be found immediately and to look for easy problems instead of tackling the tough ones... and neither behavior is a good idea in general.

But despite its flaws, I suppose it's better than having no uniform standard.
 

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