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Admissions Do physics grad admissions care about the general GRE?

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  1. Aug 27, 2009 #1
    I know that the PGRE is a big deal, in that a poor one can easily disqualify you, but what about the regular GRE's? Should I spend much time studying for them?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2009 #2
    Every department I applied to didn't give a rip about the physics GRE. Some departments even go so far as to say on their website that they don't even look at your general GRE. You have to take it for your school's graduate college to stay happy, and you probably should take it slightly seriously. But it can't do you any serious harm (or help).
     
  4. Sep 1, 2009 #3
    i don't understand this reasoning. all things being a position will go the graduate applicant with the higher gre score. the point is not that general gre says anything about your qualifications but that it's another easily parsable metric that allows graduate committees to differentiate between applicants.
     
  5. Sep 1, 2009 #4
    I suppose the general GRE could be used as another free parameter, all other things being equal. Then again, how often do you see any applications that are identical in every other way? And it's certainly conceivable that a very low quantitative score might make a committee raise an eyebrow, but physicists have to work hard to screw up the math section. As I said, some committees explicitly state that they won't even look at the general GRE.

    I think the reasoning is that the general GRE exists purely for bureaucratic reasons. The graduate college at the institution you're applying to probably requires a score, and so they make you take it. If this isn't the case, then I have no idea why they'd even bother.
     
  6. Sep 2, 2009 #5
    On the plus side, you really don't need to study for them provided you have can do high school algebra and have a decent vocabulary. The test really is rather trivial.

    I think the test could be used to keep someone out but wouldn't guarantee acceptance over another qualified candidate. I don't think admissions committees care if you scored a 700 on the math section and the next guy scored a 780. More important are your grades and letters of recommendation.
     
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