Studying for the physics GRE

  • #1
65
0
Hi all,

I am starting to plan my Physics GRE studying... I will probably take the test next September or October. I have a lot of reading to do between now and then. I would like to hear about any and all strategies that worked for you, what you believe was most important. I have tons of brushing up to do just to regain familiarity with concepts I've forgotten, so I was thinking I would reread my physics textbooks for a couple of months, taking notes and memorizing equations and stuff and maybe a sprinkling of problems. And maybe simultaneously go through a math for physicists book and really do problems. (Math is sadly my greatest weakness)

Then, in maybe March or April, I'll just start doing problems regularly and take practice tests.

The idea is that I'll get all the qualitative stuff firmly in my head and have stronger mathematical foundations, so that when I dig into the physics for real I can hit the ground running.

Of course, my real biggest problem is no doubt personal discipline! How to study after getting home from work at 7, how to avoid beer and friends, and the vidja games!

Let me know what you think, I am very open to suggestions about everything from studying practices to attitude and mental tricks! I want to succeed!

P.S. Are the Feynman lectures/books worth it? Are they all they are cracked up to be?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
866
37
Focus on the newest released sample by ETS. The November exam this year had many nearly identical problems. That and get yourself Halliday's Physics/Fundamentals of Physics with a solutions manual, a huge amount of the problems are shamelessly pulled from that book.
 
  • #3
king vitamin
Science Advisor
Gold Member
485
238
I went through schaum's 3000 problems in physics and would start on a section that I thought I was weak in and worked problems as fast as I could. It was rough at first but I got better. Some of the problems really require a calculator, but trying to estimate them by hand is good practice.

The 5 GRE practice tests are the real preparation though. Space them out and take them under test conditions. I liked to retake the tests, and got myself so that I could retake a test and finish with a 990 in two hours. Granted, some problems are automatic if you've seen them, but if you're actually forcing yourself to get all the math right you'll really be improving. And yes, when I took the real GRE they did repeat a couple of problems, and many were very similar, so I got a lot of freebies.

Good Luck!
 
  • #4
Mentalist
Nice advice king vitamin, I will be using it!
 

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