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General GRE + grad school (what's my chance)?

  1. Aug 23, 2009 #1
    Hello, I know this has been asked many times... but I am greatly worried about the verbal GRE session.

    English is not my first language but I've been around long enough to be considered a fluent speaker. Realistically speaking, I'll probably get around

    Verbal: ~450 (what if I completely bomb it and get ~200-300?)
    Writing: ~500
    Qualitative: probably 800

    My Physics GRE is 990. I heard that people don't really care much about the general GRE but I'm afraid that such a low verbal score may kill my application before the people even see it.

    Other than the General GRE, I have 3 summer + 2-3 semesters of research (one summer at CERN), really good recommendation letters + 3.9ish GPA with plenty of grad classes.

    My goal is Princeton/Santa Barbara/Cal Tech High Energy Theory, I believe/and people say that I have a great shot at the top schools, however, I would like some completely honest opinions from other people. If the verbal will affect my admission, I'll take a week of focus to straighten it out (of course, I would much prefer focusing on my research + classes). Also, what about the NSF graduate fellowship? Do I have a pretty good shot at it?

    I'm getting slightly stressed out even before school begins... this semester will be hectic. I'm trying to plan out how I'll spend my time early on and so any comment is appreciated. Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2009 #2
    As I am just entering a university program this fall, I have nothing to really offer you as personal advice. However, I have been looking at a website lately, physicsgre.com, that has people profiles (GRE scores, GPA's, research lengths, etc.) and could give you a good idea in what shape you're in and which programs you should look at. This site also tells you not only what schools people applied to, but also if they got in or not, when they were notified, and what date they were notified on.

    Hope this helps, and good luck at grad school! :)
  4. Aug 23, 2009 #3
    Sorry I forgot to mention this. When you get to the site, click on Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics, then scroll down and click on 2008 or 09 (whichever you choose) Applicant Profiles and Admission Results. Enjoy!
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