GRE Mathematics Subject Test

  • Thread starter mrb
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  • #26
mrb
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In case anyone cares about a followup...

I've decided to delay the GRE and grad school applications for a year. This is really disappointing for me but I have no choice; getting a satisfactory score on the GRE is just not going to happen right now. This will also mean I can slow down my ridiculous pace at school. 18 hours of freshman level classes was a cake walk; 18 hours of upper level classes is starting to get silly.

I still don't think the key is going to be taking more classes at this school. A poster said "... if you need to remind yourself what vector spaces are... then you aren't ready for advanced undergraduate coursework." Well, I took the Linear Algebra course, made an A, and didn't learn what vector spaces are. So I'm going to have to do it on my own.

Right now I'm taking the Analysis course I mentioned (Adv Calc), Abstact Alg, Topology, Calc 4, and non-math stuff. The math is still more lightweight than I would prefer but it has at least moved towards real math territory. We actually have to write proofs (sadly, a lot of students are having real trouble with this... they have had 2 or 3 years of paint by numbers style math and now are suddenly dropped into courses that require a little bit of sophistication and they don't know what to do).

This is all a little bewildering to me. I am not used to being unprepared. Anyway, this way I will have until November of next year to prepare for the GRE and until the following fall to prepare for grad school. Hopefully I will be able to get into a good school; I don't know how weak my undergrad stuff will look.
 
  • #27
Yeah... you're making the smart decision. Even if you got in somewhere, it's better to wait a year and strengthen your background, otherwise you will drown in Grad School.

As for the GRE Subject Test, make sure you go over all the practice tests and get used to the format/timing/tricks. The first practice test I took, I got like 32/66 correct and was very discouraged. Then as I went through EACH problem and figured out why I did it wrong/didn't get it (lots of stupid mistakes, overlooking simple tricks), I took another practice test 2 weeks later and got 47/66 correct. It's all about getting into the "find a trick fast and solve fast" mindset. That, and you need a VERY strong understanding in the basics (Calc I-III, Diff EQ, Lin Alg, Abs. Algebra) and at least a basic understand of the other topics (Analysis, Topology, Complex Vars, Probability etc.)

Good luck. I think you made the right choice.
 
  • #28
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Calc 1 - 4
Calc 4? Good lord, they have ill-prepared you for the pace of a regular university class.
 
  • #29
mrb
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I'm taking that to mean that you think it's unusual that the Calculus material is spread out over 4 semesters?

Yeah. Looking through other school's course catalogs, I haven't seen any others offering a Calc 4.

The class seems to be more or less a retread of Calc 3 with maybe a little bit more. In my case this is a very good thing as the Calc 4 prof seems to actually care that we learn. (I got through Calc 3 with an easy A... without knowing how to find a tangent plane or what Green's Theorem is or Curl and Div... notice a trend?)
 
  • #30
I'm taking that to mean that you think it's unusual that the Calculus material is spread out over 4 semesters?

Yeah. Looking through other school's course catalogs, I haven't seen any others offering a Calc 4.

The class seems to be more or less a retread of Calc 3 with maybe a little bit more. In my case this is a very good thing as the Calc 4 prof seems to actually care that we learn. (I got through Calc 3 with an easy A... without knowing how to find a tangent plane or what Green's Theorem is or Curl and Div... notice a trend?)[/QUOTE

hmm - some schools still go by the old naming stanrad, that is, calc III is multivariable calc and calc IV is diff eq. is this true at your school maybe?
 
  • #31
mrb
101
0
No. Diff Eq is a different class which I have taken already.
 

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