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Testing Physics GRE - how to study

  1. Jun 8, 2010 #1
    Hi all, I am going to take the Physics GRE, which I think is offered in October 2010. I have some questions:

    1) Given that the GRE takes a noticeable amount of material from Griffiths-texts: I was wondering how much of Griffithe electrodynamics and Griffiths quantum I could skip while preparing...or if reading The Whole Book is the only adequate preparation. I have had a course using electrodynamics of Griffiths, but not quantum of Griffiths, so I was interested in what material out of quantum. However: electrodynamics-recommendations are handy too, so don't let those go untyped/unmentioned. (E.g., I'm guessing variation of parameters won't be on Physics GRE, but the conclusions it gives us about helium WILL be...?)

    2) There are 4 public-domain physics GRE tests. Should I:
    a) take the whole 100-question test, and simulate real-test-day conditions, OR
    b) divy up the questions into subject-matter (e.g., give myself a "Classical Mechanics" test only) so I can better gauge my weaknesses in each field?

    3) Griffiths quantum and griffiths electrodynamics are the standard tomes for Physics GRE fodder. Any standard tomes for mechanics (marion/thornton, taylor, or Morin's book?), relativity (Taylor/Wheeler), statistical mechanics/thermo (Reif ...?), and the other topics? I want a bare-minimum reading list...

    thanks! bjn
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2010 #2
    I was a big fan of trying to take the test under timed conditions.

    Here is the thing: the Physics GRE requires an *immense* amount of test taking skill, aside from all of the physics knowledge. If you don't know a question, skip it. If your answer doesn't agree with one of the choices, skip it. DO NOT LOOK FOR YOUR ERRORS! First priority has to be seeing all of the questions.

    Time flies when you are having fun...
  4. Jun 9, 2010 #3
    Dont waste the practice test by thumbing through them. Take one under strict test conditions, then spend a few weeks studying on the concepts you got wrong and how you can improve. Then take another one under strict test conditions and repeat.

    I think its very useful to take the test under test conditions, the more you do that the more familiar it will be when you take the real one.
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