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Graduate school qualifiers

  1. May 9, 2007 #1
    I don't know if this is common, but at the graduate school I am enrolling in starting in the fall they give all incoming grad students a "free shot" at the qualifier. Is it common for students that come in to actually pass it (or parts of it) straight out of undergrad? Also, does anyone know of any schools that post their qualifiers AND solutions? It seems that old qualifier tests are readily availiable from different physics department websites, but there are no solutions too them.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2007 #2
    Hey, if you have a free shot, you should take it. In addition, I'm not sure you should look to other schools' qualifying exams for help in studying. They can vary drastically from school to school, especially if you school specializes in a certain field.
  4. May 9, 2007 #3


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    I completely agree. If it is a free shot that will not count towards the maximum number of tries that you can take, I'd say take it. Not only you have a "remote" chance of passing it, but even if you don't, it tells you directly what areas you need to pay attention to, and what type of questions they tend to ask for. Even knowing how the exam is conducted and how you need to pace yourself are valuable information.

  5. May 9, 2007 #4


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    maybe some physicists would be willing to post a few sample questions. maybe followed later by hints.
  6. May 9, 2007 #5
    yeah i was definatley going to try the quals. i'm really just trying to find resources to help study for it. its true i can look at the old quals given out, but it doesn't do me much good to write up solutions and not know if its right or not. it seems to me that studying old quals with solutions is probably better than going through goldstein, jackson, etc... trying to learn the stuff from the textbook.
  7. May 10, 2007 #6
    Is this Illinois?
  8. May 10, 2007 #7
    Hey Imastud, at the grad school I'm attending, they also give me a free shot at the qualifier (I'll take it this August). I just went down to the department's office, and they gave me a CD that contains 25 years of previous qualifiers and solutions, as well as a Powerpoint version of the prep course that the older grad students teach. I'm sure your school should have something similar.
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