Archive for September 9th, 2008


Eilean Donan Castle of Scotland.

Eilean Donan Castle of Scotland.

This morning I took the General GRE for the first and hopefully last time. To study for it I just used the Princeton Review Cracking the GRE book, the version without any CDs or DVDs included. The book really helped me get familiar with the types of questions being asked and how they are asked. Probably the most helpful section was the GRE Vocab, since without it I would have missed several more questions. To be fair I did not do any of the practice essays or any full length practice exams.

After a nervous morning I made it to the testing center well before my scheduled time. I waited in the car for a bit because I did not know if they were open (I did not want to check myself) and eventually I went in early. The center was very friendly and not as strict or stressful as I imagined (this being the Santa Rosa testing center). The essay portion went well as it was on a computer instead of being hand written so it was much easier for me to write and spell correctly. After that I had a verbal section, a math and another verbal. Overall the test took me from entering the building to leaving, three hours. I expected it to be more like four to five (assuming arriving early time). And I like that part where I got my test results, except the essay, right after I finished.

For the verbal section I got a 620 and for the quantitative I got an 770. These are out of 800, the essay part is out of 6 (I think) and the Physics GRE, which I will take in November, is out of 1000. I am glad the physics GRE is out of a 1000 since I saw some PhD programs list their average physics GRE as 800. I thought it was out of 800 so I was a bit dismayed on initially hearing that. With my scores, so far, I meet the minimums for all of the universities I want to go to.

I will keep posting about my graduate application process, including the personal statements, as I finish them.

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