April 16, 2016 MGRE

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
rlightec
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April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby rlightec » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:37 pm

Although discussing particular questions is forbidden, feel free to comment on overall difficulty, how does it compare to old exams given by ETS and now available online, general topic distribution, any topic or question that was new, weird, etc. Or just share your anxiety, stress, hopes or crushed dreams :lol:
Last edited by rlightec on Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

pat2211
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby pat2211 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:05 am

It's harder than last year but I think I will get a higher score

SamSS
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby SamSS » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:34 pm

I felt like it was a little harder than the practice booklets available online (the one currently on the ETS website, #9367, #0568 etc). I could only attempt maybe 30 questions, but atleast I know that most (if not all of them) are correct. That won't fetch me a good score though, so yeah, crushed dreams. :cry:

jester
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jester » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:35 pm

Definitely harder than last year's. There was also a particular problem that is continuing to frustrate me, I've revisited it twice and can't seem to understand. It should be a very basic probability question but the answer I keep deriving wasn't one of the choices. Should I assume I'm wrong, or has anyone heard of an error on the exam? (Generally speaking, I would always assume that I am in error but this question just seems very basic.)

niccagefan
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby niccagefan » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:25 am

I thought the exam was pretty tough, so hopefully we get a nice curve out of it.

I had one of those questions where I got an answer and it was not one of the choices. Totally frustrated me because I was so proud of my work in solving (albeit incorrectly, I guess) this problem. I kept going over my question again and again thinking it was a tiny error that I could catch and easily correct. I never got anywhere. I think in the end I completely guessed, just because I could not allow myself to leave this question blank.

Also, I was in the middle of a question when the proctor announced, "pencils down!" I was a little upset as there was never a warning of 1 minute, or 5 minutes left, or something to tell me to hurry up. My fault, since she did announce when there was 20 minutes left. I just felt like ranting slightly to get this off my chest.

Well that is all I have to say. I hope you guys all got the scores you want and get into a program that works for you!

rlightec
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby rlightec » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:49 am

Hello people, thank you for your replies. I thought the exam was very though, too. For me, the first three questions were really easy. Then, starting with question 4, the whole exam was WOW. I also thought there were "advanced" topics in the exam (not advanced for someone who wants to go graduate school in math, but advanced for this test) especially in group and ring theory. The first half of the exam was still OK, but the second half and especially the last 10 questions were very hard. You really do feel the gradual increase in difficulty, don't you? Yeah, the last two posts above me suggest that there might be a wrong question in the exam. I also remember 3 questions from probability which was bad since I didn't take probability. I also thought there were some "general math maturity" questions which were difficult. They don't involve any integrals, groups, rings, or topological spaces, but still they were difficult, and honestly I don't know how to prepare for those kind of questions. What do you say? Any suggestions?

seanna
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby seanna » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:58 am

There was no question that you could easily got the answer with little calculation. More computationally heavy questions which were quite irritating with time constraint. More focus on abstract algebra. I'm quite frustrated since I thought I was much better prepared but it turns out that I did fewer questions than last time. :cry: lost sleep yesterday thinking about this horrible test.

jester
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jester » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:22 pm

Is it permissible to reframe a probability question so that it's not the same as on the test, but has the same elements and ask people here what they think the answer is?

jester
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jester » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:28 pm

I also agree that it was very computationally heavy/too time consuming. There were more abstract algebra questions and advanced topics than on the released exams or the one from last April, and some of them were trickier than I expected. Hopefully the curve reflects what we all seem to agree upon.

rlightec
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby rlightec » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:35 am

I don't think the curve changes drastically for each version of the exam. It should be more or less the same as the most recent released paper (from September), Form GR1268
63-66: 910
52: 850
47: 800
42: 750
37: 700 etc.

SamSS
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby SamSS » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:29 pm

rlightec wrote:Hello people, thank you for your replies. I thought the exam was very though, too. For me, the first three questions were really easy. Then, starting with question 4, the whole exam was WOW. I also thought there were "advanced" topics in the exam (not advanced for someone who wants to go graduate school in math, but advanced for this test) especially in group and ring theory. The first half of the exam was still OK, but the second half and especially the last 10 questions were very hard. You really do feel the gradual increase in difficulty, don't you? Yeah, the last two posts above me suggest that there might be a wrong question in the exam. I also remember 3 questions from probability which was bad since I didn't take probability. I also thought there were some "general math maturity" questions which were difficult. They don't involve any integrals, groups, rings, or topological spaces, but still they were difficult, and honestly I don't know how to prepare for those kind of questions. What do you say? Any suggestions?


That was exactly my experience. I solved the first 3 questions quite easily and thought to myself "wow this is going better than I thought". Then I turned the page and said "oh...crap". :shock:

And yes, I agree that the curve doesn't change drastically over successive exams.

dodoca
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby dodoca » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:28 pm

Any one remember what's the answer of question 66?

what is the connected subset of R^2?

Mendes
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby Mendes » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:02 am

dodoca wrote:Any one remember what's the answer of question 66?

what is the connected subset of R^2?


Didn't the question ask to choose the disconnected set? :shock:

pat2211
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby pat2211 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:13 am

The disconnected subset is something like the the topologist's sine curve, isn't it ?

rlightec
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby rlightec » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:41 am

@SamSS: I am glad that I am not alone :)
Yeah the question 66 was asking "which of the following is NOT connected?" The sets given were not the easiest.

danieloliveira56
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby danieloliveira56 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:19 am

I was able to solve and mark 50 questions on the answer sheet. Since I was not expecting to score more than 800, I am satisfied. Hope to have made few mistakes.

What's up with the no disclosure policy? Will any of the questions be on future exams?

fluentmundo
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby fluentmundo » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:28 am

I took this test and also thought it was too computationally intensive for the given amount of time. Even the 2012 practice test was significantly easier. I had been scoring in the 95th+ percentile under realistic conditions on all the practice tests, finishing some up to 40 minutes early, but on Saturday's test I ran out of time and left at least five questions blank (though not all at the end). I hate this, because the problems on the whole were very straightforward and solvable, given just slightly more time. But if you didn't see the key insight within a minute, you could easily waste too much time trying different approaches.

You should know that each test administration gives several -- at least two, but possibly more -- different versions of the test. I think this is largely to prevent cheating, both at a single test site and across various test sites. Standardized test writers call these different versions "forms." (I assume this is at least one reason why you have to bubble in your form number on the answer sheet.) I must have seen a different form than others in this thread because my test had no questions about connected sets; #66 was about rings. (I took my test in Boston. I remember 50 of the 66 questions; it's frustrating we can't share them.)

In principle, the curve *can* vary significantly between two forms. The curve is set by comparing the performance of the two or more groups on certain questions -- called "anchor items" -- that are common to all the forms. After differences in group ability are accounted for using these anchor items, the rest of the differences between performance on the various forms is attributed to the varying *difficulty* of the different versions. So the curve for different versions of the test could perfectly well vary by up to two or three questions right for each scaled score cutoff.

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:36 am

I took the test in Paris, April 16. The test center is called "Eurosites La Chapelle". Not a very good location. We are supposed to start at 8:30, but then the supervisors for the test waited for a while and the test started at 9:12, and ended 12:02. I think there were only around 10 people in the room who are taking the MGRE test. The others are for physics, literature... Yes. We are all in the same room.
Answered 55 and around 2 of them I guessed the answers. The first half only take me 1h or 1h10min something but then the other half I worked really slow. I did not got the time to look at the 11 questions I left, left alone to guess an answer. I also encountered the probability pronlem you guys are talking about, and I worked through it smoothly and none of them appeared in the five answers. I am also wondering that what if the ETS got the answer wrong, which is possible, and there seems to be no way for us to make an appeal for that. They are just so "intransparent" on info which they should provide.
I guess it is because the test is intense and thus, after a while you feel tired and hungry. The thing to mention is that sometimes the supervisor will not remind you the time when there is only 20min left. I am not sure if they are required to do so, but the teacher first announced that he will inform us and then forgot to do so. So when I realized that I got 15min left to fill in my answer sheet, I felt that I was lucky to have looked up for the time instead of waiting for the call from the teacher when 20min is left (that's how I planned at the beginning of the test). Thus, I guess the lesson is that do take care of the time on your own and remember to fill in the answer sheet.
I think the difficulty about the test is that it is intense so that you may be able to solve the problems but then you have to do that in 2h50min, and I guess about 10min is left for you to fill in the answer sheet, which is not a lot, at least from my experience. Thus, you need to do them in 2h40min.
And I am not so happy that there is so little statistics about the past tests and scores and how they are scaling it. The ETS is mean with all these information, which I think they should have made it more transparent.
Hope to see more people taking the test to post about some general information here.

fierydemon
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby fierydemon » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:00 pm

I took the test in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. I attempted 61/66 questions. I had initially attempted 59, and then took guesses on two. One of them is definitely wrong, and another is probably wrong.
What kinds of percentiles can I expect? I may have gotten a couple more wrong (have to keep such possibilities in mind). The version of the test I took had the subring question as the last question.

I'm an international student in a Masters' program here, who will soon be changing grad schools. Hence, getting >90 percentile will hugely affect my profile

leviethai
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby leviethai » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:06 pm

fierydemon wrote:I took the test in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. I attempted 61/66 questions. I had initially attempted 59, and then took guesses on two. One of them is definitely wrong, and another is probably wrong.
What kinds of percentiles can I expect? I may have gotten a couple more wrong (have to keep such possibilities in mind). The version of the test I took had the subring question as the last question.

I'm an international student in a Masters' program here, who will soon be changing grad schools. Hence, getting >90 percentile will hugely affect my profile


I got 6 wrong last year and got a 94 percentile. I think you can get above 90 if the other 59 don't go wrong significantly. I am international student in the US as well. High MGRE may help, but I believe my letters of rec are more effectivie. I already got accepted to grad schools by the way, so you can trust my words.

math_stu
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby math_stu » Tue May 10, 2016 12:14 am

To those of you who ask about percentiles, I did the test in 2012, and attempted only 51 questions. I got 91% (score was 860).

packfan89
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby packfan89 » Wed May 11, 2016 12:07 am

If I have taken analysis and linear algebra but not topology or abstract algebra can I expect to score above 800 or should I really study up on the basics of those topics

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Thu May 12, 2016 4:21 am

Is it true that we can get the score before the website on the phone? Does anyone know how to call them and how do they charge :?:

fierydemon
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby fierydemon » Thu May 12, 2016 10:54 am

^That is untrue. I called them just now. However, scores will be made available on the 16th this month. Can't wait!

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Fri May 13, 2016 5:06 am

:roll: :roll: :roll: Just really have no idea why it should take so long-- the answer sheet is machine-read.

fluentmundo
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby fluentmundo » Sat May 14, 2016 9:16 pm

jackiewu66 wrote::roll: :roll: :roll: Just really have no idea why it should take so long-- the answer sheet is machine-read.


I used to wonder this myself, but remember that the raw scores must be converted to scaled scores. Presumably that process (scaling and equating) is carried about by ETS statisticians/psychometricians. I don't know how this work could possibly take six weeks, but it probably does take a week or two. Add to that the time it takes for the answer sheets to reach ETS headquarters, and for managers to perform quality control and sign off on the final results, and for other bureaucratic bottlenecks...

fierydemon
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby fierydemon » Mon May 16, 2016 12:27 am

Scores are out. I got 850 (88 percentile). Really disappointed. I was expecting much more

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Mon May 16, 2016 7:54 am

Crushed 83% which is 820

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DMAshura
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby DMAshura » Mon May 16, 2016 8:06 am

910, 99th percentile! :D

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Mon May 16, 2016 9:14 am

DMAshura wrote:910, 99th percentile! :D


It seems that you have taken a lot of MGREs all these years according to your post... Any explanation for this???

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DMAshura
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby DMAshura » Mon May 16, 2016 9:21 am

jackiewu66 wrote:
DMAshura wrote:910, 99th percentile! :D


It seems that you have taken a lot of MGREs all these years according to your post... Any explanation for this???


Sure! I take the math subject GRE pretty regularly to keep up with what kind of material on the test so I can better tutor students in it. 99th percentile was a goal I've had for a while as part of that endeavor.

fierydemon
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby fierydemon » Mon May 16, 2016 10:29 am

jackiewu66 wrote:Crushed 83% which is 820


Hey! I'll be retaking the gre again in October. We could prepare together..... if you're planning to do the same?

SamSS
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby SamSS » Mon May 16, 2016 1:35 pm

80%. :(
I put in a lot of effort, and even though this is only my first try, I am still very disappointed with myself. The worst part is that I don't even know what area needs improvement, and more importantly, what do I do to improve my skills in that area. There are only so many papers available online, and picking up a subject textbook and randomly solving questions wouldn't be helpful (or so I think).

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Mon May 16, 2016 7:56 pm

fierydemon wrote:
jackiewu66 wrote:Crushed 83% which is 820


Hey! I'll be retaking the gre again in October. We could prepare together..... if you're planning to do the same?


Nice to meet you.
I am actually a third year student in a Chinese University, currently in the UK as an exchange student.
My major in China is Quantitative Economics, but I am taking Maths courses this year in the UK.
We are kind of on the same boat here. It seems really hard for students like us to transfer to Maths in Master or PhD.
Next semester is my last chance to take the MGRE for graduate application. I am going to take that in China. I don't really understand what do you mean by "studying together"(no offendance really). I would be very glad to share info and experience with you guys.

MathCat
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby MathCat » Mon May 16, 2016 9:53 pm

You guys shouldn't feel bad about scores in the 800s! This is for two reasons: first, being in the top 20% of people intending to applying to math graduate programs is very good. Secondly, it's only one part of your application! I'm an international student (from an English-speaking country) and didn't even know what the GRE was until the summer before I applied, so I just wrote it the one time. I got 800, and got into 6/8 of the programs I was applying to - all in the top 25, and several offered me fellowships. I didn't take a million grad classes or take part in exchange programs or anything either, though I did have research experience and strong recommendations.

yoan
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby yoan » Tue May 17, 2016 2:03 am

fierydemon wrote:
jackiewu66 wrote:Crushed 83% which is 820


Hey! I'll be retaking the gre again in October. We could prepare together..... if you're planning to do the same?


Me too!!
My question is what other dates this year, the GRE subject test will be available this year ?

ghjk
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby ghjk » Tue May 17, 2016 10:29 am

yoan wrote:My question is what other dates this year, the GRE subject test will be available this year ?


Isn't it September, October of this year and April of next year??

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DMAshura
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby DMAshura » Tue May 17, 2016 10:56 am

ghjk wrote:
yoan wrote:My question is what other dates this year, the GRE subject test will be available this year ?


Isn't it September, October of this year and April of next year??


That is correct.

bdd
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby bdd » Tue May 17, 2016 3:54 pm

fierydemon wrote:Scores are out. I got 850 (88 percentile). Really disappointed. I was expecting much more

SamSS wrote:80%. :(
I put in a lot of effort, and even though this is only my first try, I am still very disappointed with myself. The worst part is that I don't even know what area needs improvement, and more importantly, what do I do to improve my skills in that area. There are only so many papers available online, and picking up a subject textbook and randomly solving questions wouldn't be helpful (or so I think).


You guys should now abandon all your grad school plans. Taco bell is the only place which accepts such horrible scores. There is no way you will be admitted to any US university with these scores, for real.

jackiewu66
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby jackiewu66 » Tue May 17, 2016 4:34 pm

bdd wrote:
fierydemon wrote:Scores are out. I got 850 (88 percentile). Really disappointed. I was expecting much more

SamSS wrote:80%. :(
I put in a lot of effort, and even though this is only my first try, I am still very disappointed with myself. The worst part is that I don't even know what area needs improvement, and more importantly, what do I do to improve my skills in that area. There are only so many papers available online, and picking up a subject textbook and randomly solving questions wouldn't be helpful (or so I think).


You guys should now abandon all your grad school plans. Taco bell is the only place which accepts such horrible scores. There is no way you will be admitted to any US university with these scores, for real.


That is really a piece of desperate news for us. Any justification???

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DMAshura
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Re: April 16, 2016 MGRE

Postby DMAshura » Tue May 17, 2016 4:53 pm

jackiewu66 wrote:
bdd wrote:
fierydemon wrote:Scores are out. I got 850 (88 percentile). Really disappointed. I was expecting much more

SamSS wrote:80%. :(
I put in a lot of effort, and even though this is only my first try, I am still very disappointed with myself. The worst part is that I don't even know what area needs improvement, and more importantly, what do I do to improve my skills in that area. There are only so many papers available online, and picking up a subject textbook and randomly solving questions wouldn't be helpful (or so I think).


You guys should now abandon all your grad school plans. Taco bell is the only place which accepts such horrible scores. There is no way you will be admitted to any US university with these scores, for real.


That is really a piece of desperate news for us. Any justification???


He's being sarcastic. Percentiles in the 80's are nothing to be ashamed of. If you want to get it higher, just work at it.




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