Does taking test again raise score?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
lp
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:28 am

Does taking test again raise score?

Postby lp » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:46 pm

Can anyone comment on this? After taking it for the first time today, I don't really think, after months of very serious effort, that I could really increase my score much by repeating the test again unless I literally go back and do an undergrad in math instead of engineering (and I'm 2/3 through a master's in math at a mid- to low-level U.S. university, but many of the courses seem to be possibly lower than undergrad courses at a good school–but that's another topic altogether). With that said, I am retaking it in October, but I don't really have much time to do any more preparing for it, and like I said, at this point, I don't think anything I do in a month will make a difference anyway. Maybe if I studied for the next couple years and kept taking it twice a year (which I don't need to do since I'm looking at lower-level schools for the Phd). Any thoughts on this?

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DMAshura
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:53 am

Re: Does taking test again raise score?

Postby DMAshura » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:16 pm

Without getting into the content of individual questions, what kinds of topics gave you the most trouble?

Dani
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:26 am

Re: Does taking test again raise score?

Postby Dani » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:45 am

I took it today too, and my first time taking the test was this year in April. I wasn't well prepared for the April test at all - or more precisely, I did not expect the test was that hard at all before I took that. For this one, I didn't get too much time to prepare but at least I knew what topics I should really go over and how deep, roughly speaking, I should go into each topic. And I feel this time should be much better than last time. My own experience for preparing the test is that there is indeed a LOT of calculus in the test. We need to know a lot of things in calculus, but they are not that hard to pick up. Most of them are things we used to be good at but has been forgotten for a long time. Stewart's book should be able to cover almost everything about calculus tested in the GRE. There are questions sort of between real analysis and calc, so a background in analysis, which most test takers actually have, would be helpful. So I think even with an engineering background, the calc part is not hard to study, and if you can really handle 90% of them in the test you can get a descent score. However, on today's test, I actually found more abstract algebra and topology questions than what I expected. I took both classes in college but didn't really focused on studying them for the GRE. And I couldn't get at least 5 problems on these two topics today. For people who had not taken these courses before, the preparation might be harder, but you should still try your best to learn them. Plus, the linear algebra part, which is like the second important thing in the test, is probably easier to pick up than the algebra and topology. So I recommend people with not much undergrad math courses to focus on the calc and linear algebra. I'd also like to hear if anyone has the same feeling of the amount of algebra and topology in today's exam!

lp
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:28 am

Re: Does taking test again raise score?

Postby lp » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:37 am

Thanks, Dani. Good advice. The biggest issue is the time factor for me, but ring theory and ideals are pretty much undoable for me on the GRE. I've picked up some decent group theory so long as it's not too tricky. There were some tough geometry problems on there although I passed my teaching credential geometry test without a problem. The real analysis ones are tricky, too, but I'm taking RA right now for the first time, so by October, I hope to be better with that. Then they throw in some hard series questions as well.

I think overall just some of the twists and turns they put on the questions, the pressure factor, and especially the time crunch along with not knowing all the tricks or counterexamples to get the job done accurately and efficiently are the issues. Next time I will at least be more prepared for what to expect. I don't think I'll get ring theory down enough in 1 month to make a difference so I'll focus on other areas as time allows. Luckily, the schools I'm applying to don't even require it, so this is more about pushing myself to learn more topics and handling the pressure during the test than what score I actually earn. I would be happy with a 700 at this point in "math career." 8)




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