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General GRE requirements?

  1. Oct 10, 2008 #1
    I'll be applying to grad school next year. I'm slightly worried about the General GRE.

    Although it might sound superficial, my goal is to become a high energy theorist. So I'd like to apply to some top grad school like Princeton and what not.

    I have quite a solid background, I've done research the past 2 years, first one is a REU regarding a medium ion accelerator, the second one is with the high energy group in my university (mainly coding). I'll try to get into somewhere again next summer.

    By the time I am graduated, I'll have finished a standard undergraduate curriculum, a couple graduate courses (the quantum fields sequence, GR, and a couple other courses). I'll also have had some math background (the standard stuffs, topology, analysis and maybe more next year). My GPA is expected to be quite high. Right now it's 4.0 (there is no A+ in my university so the maximum is A).

    I talked to a couple people and I think realistically, there are some decent chances for getting into top graduate schools. However, I've heard that they will throw away applications with low general GRE score.

    I'm not a native English speaker and my vocabularies aren't that good at all. I may very well score poorly on the General GRE. I've practiced on some physics GRE material and I should do fine in that case.

    So, how much can a General GRE hurt me? what kind of score do I need? what are my chances (realistically speaking) of getting into top schools given that I do well in General GRE? and what if I do poorly on it? Any comment is welcome. Feel free to bash me if what I think is wrong.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2008 #2


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    Probably as you are a Physics student they will expect the quantitative section of your General GRE to be high (700-800).

    From what I've read in this board the Physics GRE is way more important than the General GRE for the committee.

    Good luck!
  4. Oct 11, 2008 #3
    You should do well on the quantitative portion of the general GRE e.g. 25% of students who go on to earn math PhDs score perfect on this section.

    I don't think a bad verbal GRE will stop you from going to these top schools, as long as your have good letters of recommendation. You should practice your english though, since it is not uncommon for grad schools to advise you to take easy classes (that would be a review for you) until your english gets better.
  5. Oct 11, 2008 #4


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    4.0 GPA, grad courses, research experience...I'd say your chances are extremely good of getting into some top grad schools.
  6. Oct 11, 2008 #5
    Thanks for the comforting comments. I tend to get extra anxious about certain issues. I guess I don't need to cram that 3000 word list in the near future.
  7. Oct 11, 2008 #6


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    Well if you have a hard time getting into good grad schools, I'm gonna have to start getting very worried myself...
  8. Oct 12, 2008 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    I think you might be confusing measurement and ability. If your English is poor, work on improving it. It will help you with your entire career, not just this one test.
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