October 15 Exam - Feedback

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
asny
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:52 am

October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby asny » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:02 am

I found the exam quite tough. Just attempted 35 questions, but I am quite sure of my answers. Considering max 4 mistakes, I would probably get a score of 30. I feel disgusted with my performance. Not sure if I would slip below 600 !!!!

People please share your observations..
Thanks!

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby goombayao » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:27 am

I know man, it was tough.

Definitely more difficult than the practice exams. I ended up leaving 6 blank, but I wasn't sure about sure about maybe 6 other problems and possibly made some mistakes. Hoping for low 50's raw score, but am probably in the upper 40's.

asny
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:52 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby asny » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:33 am

Hope the scaled scores are decided accordingly..

bemonocled
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:54 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby bemonocled » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:46 am

I thought it was a bit harder than the practice exams too - I had been answering 61-63 questions on each practice exam but I was only able to answer 58 of the test yesterday, guessing on 3 or 4 of them.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby goombayao » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:03 am

asny wrote:Hope the scaled scores are decided accordingly..


I would guess high 40's will be around 85%.

For a percentile estimate I would probably do the following:

1) add 3 to your raw score
2) look up the percentile in the conversion chart for GR0568 for this score

Just going "by feel," I think this will be a fairly accurate of estimate of your percentile.

AcidThinking
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Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:59 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby AcidThinking » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:06 pm

I hadn't slept well the last two days. So I arrived to the exam extremely tired. Bad stress managment!

Unfortunately I am going to take the november test as a standby. I won't have time to prepare a lot more, but this time I will just try to manage stress better and arrive in a good shape to the exam.

Other than that the exam was quite weird. Really hard.

fh32nj
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby fh32nj » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:48 pm

Total shit-show; all of my classmates agreed. I don't even want to see my score but my timetable doesn't allow me to cancel or even sit again. The official practice test wasn't representative of the actual test in terms of difficulty or content. Only one of the old tests came close to the level of the real thing. I'm pretty pissed at ETS about this, if I could have studied more I would have but they give you no resources. The Princeton Review book was obviously written with the old tests in mind - the questions that inspired review content were glaringly obvious. Given this, my 12 weeks of review were a total waste.

I'm glad I want to do statistics, I'm going to save my money and not send scores.

ilikegrapes
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:22 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby ilikegrapes » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:27 pm

I also found the test to be really hard. I'm concerned because I have no idea what percentile I got -- it could be quite good or it could also be really bad. I had a very hard time focusing because of the time pressure and also because I knew that the questions were hard. As a result I made a lot of silly errors and couldn't answer some of the somewhat tricky questions that aren't actually hard. I e-mailed one school and asked how important the math GRE's were and expressed my concern that I might want to retake the test. He said that if I can raise my score by around 100 points, it's worth retaking. Unfortunately it's too late to retake the test. Right now I'm just going to try to get kick-ass recommendation letters and not worry about the GRE until I see my actual percentile.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby goombayao » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:37 pm

ilikegrapes wrote:I also found the test to be really hard. I'm concerned because I have no idea what percentile I got -- it could be quite good or it could also be really bad. I had a very hard time focusing because of the time pressure and also because I knew that the questions were hard. As a result I made a lot of silly errors and couldn't answer some of the somewhat tricky questions that aren't actually hard. I e-mailed one school and asked how important the math GRE's were and expressed my concern that I might want to retake the test. He said that if I can raise my score by around 100 points, it's worth retaking. Unfortunately it's too late to retake the test. Right now I'm just going to try to get kick-ass recommendation letters and not worry about the GRE until I see my actual percentile.


How many did you answer and how many did you guess on?

ilikegrapes
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:22 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby ilikegrapes » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:41 pm

I didn't count. I didn't count how many I guessed. But I remember leaving a lot (at least 15) blank. That's really unusual compared to when I took the practice tests.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby goombayao » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:49 pm

ilikegrapes wrote:I didn't count. I didn't count how many I guessed. But I remember leaving a lot (at least 15) blank. That's really unusual compared to when I took the practice tests.


I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think it was hard for everybody.

ssass
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby ssass » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Yup, I also found it to be much more difficult than the available practice exams. One of the people in our testing venue was close to tears by the end, as doing badly in this exam can pretty much lock one out of many (but not all) of the better graduate institutions.

It would be great if they could give a more detailed list of content, as well as more practice material. It seems odd to me that old exams aren't just made available to everyone, but I guess standardised-test makers just like reusing content or something? I'm not sure what the norm is for this kind of thing.

Ah well, here's hoping for some over-the-top scaling.

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miguel
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Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby miguel » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:57 pm

It's nice to see that many of agree that the exam was not too similar to the past exams. I for one figured out a few problems in my head while leaving the exam!

It's safe to say that the test-writers frequent this forum and know how we prepare. So that we don't get all of the high scores, they are forced to change things up. I BLAME MATHEMATICSGRE.COM.

talkloud
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby talkloud » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:17 pm

Thanks everyone for venting. I feel much better about my poor performance yesterday reading your rants. This from another thread one in particular
I started to get shell shocked at the 1:50 mark and my last hour was not productive. You start to do the problems and realize that many are harder than expected. You end up with half finished questions, you realize you should have skipped the question and you burn time. After the 3rd or 4th such question your head starts spinning.

was like reading my own thoughts.

Zetetic
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:21 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby Zetetic » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:55 pm

talkloud wrote:Thanks everyone for venting. I feel much better about my poor performance yesterday reading your rants. This from another thread one in particular
I started to get shell shocked at the 1:50 mark and my last hour was not productive. You start to do the problems and realize that many are harder than expected. You end up with half finished questions, you realize you should have skipped the question and you burn time. After the 3rd or 4th such question your head starts spinning.

was like reading my own thoughts.


Same here. I was really off balance due to the shift in focus on the test, and wasted a ton of time re-learning certain calc topics and multivariable calc and tricky series stuff. My only saving grace was that I realized I should skip around and find problems that look familiar enough to tackle quickly. Hopefully I'll get a raw score in the upper 30's, I answered about 45 of them but was fairly confident with my answers. My exam was at 8:30 as well, which didn't help. I'm a bit envious of the people who were getting 'shell shocked' at 1:50 rather than 10:50. It was awful, I am not a morning person at all.

goombayao
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:17 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby goombayao » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:02 pm

Zetetic wrote:Same here. I was really off balance due to the shift in focus on the test, and wasted a ton of time re-learning certain calc topics and multivariable calc and tricky series stuff. My only saving grace was that I realized I should skip around and find problems that look familiar enough to tackle quickly. Hopefully I'll get a raw score in the upper 30's, I answered about 45 of them but was fairly confident with my answers. My exam was at 8:30 as well, which didn't help. I'm a bit envious of the people who were getting 'shell shocked' at 1:50 rather than 10:50. It was awful, I am not a morning person at all.


I think he meant 1 hour and 50 minutes into the exam.

I guess the consensus is that it was pretty tough.

ilikegrapes
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:22 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby ilikegrapes » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:17 pm

The only available practice tests are all (with the exception of one) quite old and don't accurately reflect the test. I wish ETS would release a couple more practice tests that are closer to the real thing. I have many friends who took the physics GRE and they all say it was exactly like their previous practice tests. *sigh*

mhancock743
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:08 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby mhancock743 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:48 pm

I agree. The test was a big, abusive, gnarly-toothed bitch with a drinking problem. Looking over some of the applicant information from previous years eases my worries some though. I never planned on applying to ivy league, mit etc... so I think I'll be content with any score that's not pitiful. The previous tests did have me expecting a much greater amount of multi-variable as well.

Anyway, it's too late to sign up for the Nov test, and I can at least be glad that the months are FINALLY over and done with - best to just coast it out now :)

owlpride
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Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby owlpride » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:16 am

To be honest, I am glad that they changed the format (at least that's what it sounds like). A test doesn't have much predictive value if all the preparation you need is to memorize a list of +- 70 problems and their solution methods.

May I ask what made this exam hard? Did it require difficult theorems that many test takers may not be familiar with? Was there not enough time? Did the solutions require intuition beyond the routine textbook application of theorems?

My impression when I took the exam 1.5 years ago was that all questions could be solved with standard results from every field, but that the theorems had to be used in non-standard ways that required a deeper understanding of the concepts involved.

ssass
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby ssass » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:05 am

owlpride wrote:To be honest, I am glad that they changed the format (at least that's what it sounds like). A test doesn't have much predictive value if all the preparation you need is to memorize a list of +- 70 problems and their solution methods.

May I ask what made this exam hard? Did it require difficult theorems that many test takers may not be familiar with? Was there not enough time? Did the solutions require intuition beyond the routine textbook application of theorems?

My impression when I took the exam 1.5 years ago was that all questions could be solved with standard results from every field, but that the theorems had to be used in non-standard ways that required a deeper understanding of the concepts involved.

I think that, besides one or two questions on topics I didn't think would be covered (e.g. geometric topology), it's very much a time thing. That can probably be a global criticism of the test, but it felt more pronounced in this one.

ilikegrapes
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:22 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby ilikegrapes » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:50 am

I think what mainly made it difficult was that I was so used to doing many of the easy/medium ones quickly and having ample time for the hard ones. But when I found out that I was falling behind, I panicked and couldn't focus enough, and made mistakes on questions that I actually knew how to do. It was more a time pressure issue that I hadn't really experienced on the practice tests that made me leave a lot of answers blank, rather than that I couldn't figure out the answers.

rahulshr
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:16 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby rahulshr » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:11 am

Hi folks,
I will be taking exam on Nov 12.
So far I have based my preparation on Princeton Review Book.
Are there any topics/concepts that you came across in the exam, that are not covered in the Princeton Book?

Also,
I find it confusing/meaningless to memorize all the anti-derivative formula - esp those of Hyperbolic and inverse trig functions. Are they worth memorizing?

Thanks.

Napot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby Napot » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:49 am

I would say yes it is worth it. It will probably help you with 2 questions which is an extra 3 percentile. Princeton Review book is just a basic preparation for the GRE. You need to prepare at a more advanced level than that.

AcidThinking
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:59 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby AcidThinking » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:15 pm

I thought about it again. I won't take it again in november. I will apply to few places that don't require the test and do the test again the upcoming april (but this will be for the year after). I know well now how to study for it. I believe getting a high score is within my reach after rethinking about the questions in my mind. I will be less busy than I am now starting february. I can solve plenty of hard problems. But I will be constantly reviewing stuff so that I don't forget everything and start again from scratch. It will be good to have two months and a half just for solving hard problems.

lemonjuice
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:55 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby lemonjuice » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:50 am

rahulshr wrote:Hi folks,
So far I have based my preparation on Princeton Review Book.
Are there any topics/concepts that you came across in the exam, that are not covered in the Princeton Book?

Also,
I find it confusing/meaningless to memorize all the anti-derivative formula - esp those of Hyperbolic and inverse trig functions. Are they worth memorizing?


I feel that the Princeton Review book is addressed to a reader that already knows the topics covered. As a result, the book briefly reviews those topics, emphasizing what is important. So, if you haven't properly studied, for instance, topology and intend on learning it just based on the book, you may not be able to answer the topology questions on the exam.

I agree with what you say about the anti-derivative formulas; some of them just don't appear.

lemonjuice
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:55 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby lemonjuice » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:54 am

i'm glad 2 c that many others struggled on this test. as owlpride said, it must be challenging and not just a memorization of a set of +/-70 problems. however, of the 4 practice tests, 0568 9768 were the hardest, and this one was much harder than those two. as others have said already, the time factor is the main problem. i don't believe that this is the way mathematics is meant to be done. i bet a lot of people, including myself, missed questions or got them wrong simply because we didn't have adequate time to devote to each question. after the test i was wishing that i registered 4 the november one, but the deadline for that was conveniently the day b4 the exam!

nikhil_may92
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:39 am

Re: October 15 Exam - Feedback

Postby nikhil_may92 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:43 pm

hii folks,
im taking test this november 12th..but im confused with abstract algebra and topology,as im from engineering background(and especially not maths).
1.so how are the questions from these topics,are they from basic fundamentals or typical ?? and are there any questions from graph theory and geometry??

thanks in advance




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