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## Main Question or Discussion Point

GRE math subject score: 590 (42%)

I guess I don't have what it takes to be a mathematician.

I guess I don't have what it takes to be a mathematician.

- Thread starter eastside00_99
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- #1

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GRE math subject score: 590 (42%)

I guess I don't have what it takes to be a mathematician.

I guess I don't have what it takes to be a mathematician.

- #2

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You mean you don't have what it takes to do a bunch of basic, yet tricky, math problems under extreme time constraints and with the tremendous pressure of knowing that it can influence your admissions prospects. I took the physics test, and I did not do as well as I thought either.GRE math subject score: 590 (42%)

I guess I don't have what it takes to be a mathematician.

But I don't understand what these tests are supposed to say about our ability as researchers. I know when I do my research, I try to go as fast as possible, and if I have multiple possibilities for an answer to a research question, I just eliminate some until I'm down to 3, then I guess. I try to solve everything w/o any algebra or calculus, because it takes too much time. I NEVER check my work, because it takes too much time. I try to average 1.7 minutes per research project.

Don't EVER let ETS tell you don't have what it takes. You can work around your score, I would suggest having your best referee address it in his/her letter of recommendation.

Or you could always wait a year, do some research, study for the MATH GRE, smoke it, and then apply again.

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You mean you don't have what it takes to do a bunch of basic, yet tricky, math problems under extreme time constraints and with the tremendous pressure of knowing that it can influence your admissions prospects. I took the physics test, and I did not do as well as I thought either.

But I don't understand what these tests are supposed to say about our ability as researchers. I know when I do my research, I try to go as fast as possible, and if I have multiple possibilities for an answer to a research question, I just eliminate some until I'm down to 3, then I guess. I try to solve everything w/o any algebra or calculus, because it takes too much time. I NEVER check my work, because it takes too much time. I try to average 1.7 minutes per research project.

Don't EVER let ETS tell you don't have what it takes. You can work around your score, I would suggest having your best referee address it in his/her letter of recommendation.

Or you could always wait a year, do some research, study for the MATH GRE, smoke it, and then apply again.

Haha, you really made me laugh there.

Yeah, I guess I was sort of joking and not joking at the same time. While the gre can't measure research ability, I know that I am probably off a lot of schools lists now. Thanks for your advice.

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- #6

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i guess ur GRE score right now doesnt truly reflect ur potential to be mathematician.GRE math subject score: 590 (42%)

I guess I don't have what it takes to be a mathematician.

assuming that u wrote the GRE test to get into a grad school, it's the motivation to become a mathematician that shud have driven you. this coupled with a little more hard work would definitely see you through.

also, i dunno whether this is true but your scores could have been circumstantial. like something inevitable that u had to attend to during ur exams could have interfered with it.

so dont get disheartened by one time score.

I'm not endorsing you to sit for the gre test again, but if u wish u could, after thoroughly preparing for it. even otherwise, this score is not everything in life. you can still work on mathematics and show your enthusiasm for it by making use of the opportunities that your present score could help you with..

good luck!

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Your percentile is much below. I will recommend to retake GRE.

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...good thing I went to grad school in physics instead.

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- #13

morphism

Science Advisor

Homework Helper

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I just took a look at the http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/Math.pdf, and I gotta say, it's shockingly stupid. I'm confused as to why grad schools would require applicants to take this. It pretty much has no actual content at all.

For example, just look at Q61. I simply took out my calculator and checked if 7^4 - 1 was divisible by 240, and it was. Done. Makes me wonder what the point of this question was. Was it put there just so that the already stressed out students taking this stupid test would stress out some more and try to find a slick (and proper) solution to this problem? In total, I only found about 10 problems that weren't terrible.

For example, just look at Q61. I simply took out my calculator and checked if 7^4 - 1 was divisible by 240, and it was. Done. Makes me wonder what the point of this question was. Was it put there just so that the already stressed out students taking this stupid test would stress out some more and try to find a slick (and proper) solution to this problem? In total, I only found about 10 problems that weren't terrible.

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If you could see me right now, you would see dumbass written on my forehead: I don't know what your talking about. I see that 7^4-1 =2400. But, I don't see a quick solution to this. There was a question like this on the last gre.

- #16

kaotak

7^4 - 1 = (7^2 - 1)(7^2 + 1) = 48 * 50

240 = 24 * 10.

24 | 48 and 10 | 50.

No need to despair. I think you should just study problem-solving from a problem-solving book.

240 = 24 * 10.

24 | 48 and 10 | 50.

No need to despair. I think you should just study problem-solving from a problem-solving book.

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- #17

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Lets be clear here though. The question is

Which is the largest value which divides P^4-1 for EVERY prime greater than 5.

(a) 12

(b) 30

(c) 48

(d) 120

(e) 240

The answer is indeed 240. But, I am missing the point where because 240 | 7^4-1, then this is true for all primes greater than P. I think I am missing some kind of theorem from elementary number theory. Just for the record only 25% of the people who took the test got this one right.

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They probably ruled out 30 and guessed from there. :P

- #19

kaotak

Well, one way to do it is to try stuff out. This may be the fastest way.

Lets be clear here though. The question is

Which is the largest value which divides P^4-1 for EVERY prime greater than 5.

(a) 12

(b) 30

(c) 48

(d) 120

(e) 240

The answer is indeed 240. But, I am missing the point where because 240 | 7^4-1, then this is true for all primes greater than P. I think I am missing some kind of theorem from elementary number theory. Just for the record only 25% of the people who took the test got this one right.

Another way to do this is by using flt, i.e. fermat's little theorem.

We know [tex]p^{5-1} - 1 \equiv 0 (mod 5)[/tex] for primes > 5 (note: p is always coprime to 5 if p > 5)

We know [tex](p^{2})^{2} - 1 \equiv 0 (mod 3)[/tex] for primes > 3 (note: p^2 is always coprime to 3 if p > 3)

We know [tex]p^4 - 1 = (p-1)(p+1)(p^{2} + 1)[/tex]. We know that either p-1 or p+1 is divisible by 4, since every other even is divisible by 4. Let's assume p-1 is divisible by four. Then p+1 is divisible by 2 and p^2 + 1 is also divisible by 2. Thus their product is divisible by [tex]2^4[/tex].

Since [tex]240 = 2^{4} * 3 * 5[/tex], it always divides [tex]p^{4} - 1[/tex]

This looks a bit long, but I think if you're experienced with flt you may be able to recognize this quickly.

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