Difference between my PGRE score and 900+ scores

  • Admissions
  • Thread starter Bishop556
  • Start date
  • #1
37
4
Hello everyone,

I know this will sound slightly silly, but I'm feeling a little inadequate about my physics GRE score. I recently took it and scored an 860 (80th percentile), but I'm wondering if not getting in the 900s will hurt my chances for a top grad school. Do most schools recognize that once you get past a certain threshold that the PGRE doesn't hold weight? I just can't see how scoring a few more correct answers dictates that I'm better at physics considering the test is extremely unnatural towards how real physics is done.

Also, would the fact that I'm a Hispanic domestic student help me in the long run? Considering that most minorities score less than white students, could that factor greatly into interpreting these scores?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Student100
Education Advisor
Gold Member
1,649
416
Hello everyone,

I know this will sound slightly silly, but I'm feeling a little inadequate about my physics GRE score. I recently took it and scored an 860 (80th percentile), but I'm wondering if not getting in the 900s will hurt my chances for a top grad school. Do most schools recognize that once you get past a certain threshold that the PGRE doesn't hold weight? I just can't see how scoring a few more correct answers dictates that I'm better at physics considering the test is extremely unnatural towards how real physics is done.

Also, would the fact that I'm a Hispanic domestic student help me in the long run? Considering that most minorities score less than white students, could that factor greatly into interpreting these scores?
Difference between 860 and 900, zero. No one cares.

Do they really? What evidence do you have to back up that assertion?
 
  • #4
37
4
It's likely that the OP is referring to this: https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199607/gender.cfm which is a little light on sources.

That was what I was referring too. I was just concerned how stringent grad schools are for scores. However, I can't imagine that they would think someone who got a 890 or 900 is better than someone who got an 860. A few wrong answers doesn't equate to being the better physicist.
 
  • #5
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
26,128
9,504
However, I can't imagine that they would think someone who got a 890 or 900 is better than someone who got an 860.
By the same argument, there is no difference between an 860 and an 820. Or an 820 and a 780. And so on.
 
  • #6
37
4
By the same argument, there is no difference between an 860 and an 820. Or an 820 and a 780. And so on.
Well, there is a difference in score, but not in ability, in my opinion. I don't think you can made a judgement call on someone's ability given that they answered 2 or 3 more questions correctly than someone else on a poorly made multiple choice test.
 
  • Like
Likes clope023
  • #7
Dr. Courtney
Education Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2020 Award
3,282
2,437
You need to shift your focus to things that you can improve rather than things you cannot. Research, letters of recommendation, grades in courses you have left, improving your PGRE score if you have time for another try.

I am Hispanic, but I never checked that box, because I never wanted benefits of affirmative action or diversity programs. Checking that box may or may not get the bar lowered for you at a given institution, depending on how they approach diversity and their applicant pool in a given admissions cycle.
 
  • #8
radium
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
763
242
I don't think it will affect anything for most schools, even ones like Harvard and Stanford for example if you have outstanding letters and research experience. They reject a lot of 990s for people with lower scores, definitely in the range you scored.

Some schools like MIT seem to care a bit more, but I think you would still be ok with the score you have. From what I have heard PGRE is most strongly correlated with how you will do on a written qual and a lot of schools have gotten rid of them. For example, Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago have no written qual, and MIT's is no longer required since you can fulfill the requirement with classes. So if you fail the qual there you can just take the class.
 

Related Threads on Difference between my PGRE score and 900+ scores

  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
883
Replies
83
Views
14K
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
27
Views
8K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
863
Replies
14
Views
1K
Top