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GRE Physics Subject Test

  1. Dec 2, 2009 #1
    I have been trying to figure out whether I should submit my physics subject test score to grad schools if it is optional. I scored a 29 percentile on the test which despite being relatively high for my school doesn't look great on a grad school app. 'm not applying to any really top schools but I am applying to a few mid grade ones. Am I better off omitting this score from my application or will I be penalized for that?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2009 #2


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    If it's optional, don't bother. Many schools are now realizing that subject GRE test scores don't correlate well with finishing the PhD (in fact, I heard the best correlation, even in physics, is with the general GRE English score - go figure). While 29% is often pretty high for a liberal arts college graduate, it still doesn't look very good - and it doesn't necessarily mean you're a poor student. My highest score was a 18% coming from a small liberal arts school, and I'll be finishing my PhD in physics soon (if I get a job, that is). Concentrate instead on pushing any research experience you might have gotten.
  4. Dec 2, 2009 #3
    Thats good to know, I was a little worried it might put me at a huge disadvantage not to submit it but it sounds like that isn't the case. I had no idea the correlation was that poor.

    Its also great to hear from someone else coming from a smaller school who has done well in grad school. I think I have a decent amount of potential in physics but I was starting to get a little worried I wasn't going to be adequately prepared for a serious school.

    Thanks for the help.
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