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Testing Yet another general GRE scores question thread-and physics GRE nightmares

  1. Sep 2, 2011 #1
    Yet another general GRE scores question thread--and physics GRE nightmares

    Sorry about that. I've done some searching, though, so I'm not too sorry.

    I haven't found anything that quite fits what I'm looking for. Namely, I'm wondering if physics grad schools might look highly upon high verbal/writing scores in the hopes that the prospective student might write clear, concise papers and do convincing work. I don't think that it matters much, but I feel as if somebody on the admissions board might take kindly to it.

    My scores were:

    780 (89%) quantitative
    660 (94%) verbal
    6 (99%) writing

    I'm kind of peeved that my quantitative score--probably the most important one--is the one on which I scored most poorly percentile-wise. The quantitative section is too easy and the score spread is fairly ridiculous (at least in my opinion, but this isn't the time or place to complain about that).

    I'm currently have panic attacks while studying for the physics GRE (which I'll be taking Oct. 15th) because my mechanics foundations are terrible. I had a teacher in high school that knew no calculus and didn't teach our class almost anything, and my first semester mechanics professor was the head of the Center for Relativity at my university and couldn't care less about teaching an intro mechanics course. Additionally, my thermodynamics/stat mech class seemed to be to a huge mishmash of formulae (we had a 20-page long formula sheet for our final, I kid you not), and I often find myself grasping for the right equation for the problem and misunderstanding fairly basic concepts.

    My E&M is pretty good, my QM is excellent, and my SR is quite respectable, though. I'm going through all of the released tests and trying my damnedest to build myself a foundation upon which to work, because I understand well that if I don't do well on this coming test, my general GRE scores won't matter at all and I will have made a grievous error with respect to my future. This coming test is quite possibly the most important one of my life, and I cannot let myself do poorly on it regardless of my what my background has been up to this point.

    ...Which is why I'm up at 3:45 right now. With that in mind, does anybody have any suggestions? Thoughts on how my general GRE scores will look to grad schools? How I might get a better grasp of mechanics or thermodynamics (I'll try and do problems out of my texts from these courses)? Perhaps most importantly, how I can keep myself sane while I try and do all of this?

    Any help whatsoever that you could provide would be greatly and sincerely appreciated.


  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2011 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: Yet another general GRE scores question thread--and physics GRE nightmares

    The good news is that 780 is a fine score. The bad news is nobody cares about your score on the general.

    Now the really bad news - in all likelihood, the admissions committee won't care if you had lousy professors in various subjects. They care if you learned the material or not. They are looking for people who excel at learning the material, not people who excel at excuses for why they didn't. You should spend the time between now and the exam learning the material the best you can.
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