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Testing Physics GRE questions

  1. Sep 12, 2006 #1
    It's time for me to start studying for those dastardly standardized exams and I had a couple of questions.

    1) Scoring: Does the GRE take away points for wrong answers?

    2) When should I take it: I was told that most students take it April of their junior year and a second time October of their senior year. If I won't have enough time to study by April (summer is almost over), is it best to just take it once in October?

    3) Review material: My college enjoys using archaic and obtuse textbooks, which are very indepth but seemingly useless in studying for the GRE. Right now I'm using Feynman's Lectures to study, but I realized that the material covered in the GRE and in Feynman is dissimilar. Any reccomendations for a textbook that covers physics on the level of the GRE?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2006 #2
    Yes, -.25 for every wrong answer. If you leave the answer blank, you are not deducted anything.

    This is definitely NOT the case, most students take the test in their senior year only. It is a good idea to take the test in April, however. The two main reasons:

    1. The people taking it are typically taking it for the first time. Hence, your percentile score will not be as brutal.

    2. If you mess up, you have a second chance before applying.

    Do not study your physics book to study for the GRE. The kinds of questions asked in text books are much different from the kinds that are asked on the GRE test.

    Find the digitized versions of old practice tests and study those. Take the first practice test or two with full references (Internet, text books), and identify what you need to brush up on. Then, take a practice test real-time and see how well you do. I found that this worked very well for me.

    Note: Avoid the practice book produced by REA (the purple one). It is pretty terrible, and the questions in that book are not at all like the ones you'll encounter on the GRE.

    Good luck!
  4. Sep 13, 2006 #3
    Hi mcah5, I've posted my thoughts on the physics GRE here:

    http://fliptomato.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/the-physics-gre-a-guide-for-undergrads/" [Broken]

    Hope that helps!

    The quick answers:
    If you can afford to take the exam in April (as well as in October if need be), I strongly recommend it. At best you can take advantage of the apparently nicer curve. At worst you get some valuable experience and practice.

    In terms of books, I wouldn't recommend reading books as the focus of your studying (see the link above). Instead, start from the 4 practice exams floating around (try www.physicsgre.com for a forum where people discuss where to find them) and study the questions that you get wrong. The physics GRE is too broad to study without knowing what exactly you're studying for. That being said, I think Halliday and Resnick (the extended edition) is a great resource that's just about at the level of the exam. Beiser's modern physics text was also helpful for me.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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