Low Toefl score

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
wgmzlh
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:23 am

Low Toefl score

Postby wgmzlh » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:30 am

Hi, I'm struggling for my English over one year, but now it's still low, only 90 in total and with speaking 17. Is there any chance for me to apply top50 math program? This may be the biggest weakness, and I hope I can get a suitable offer because I don't want to waste another year just to polish my English. So is there any way I can do to improve my chance to get offer?

I talked to my professor today and he suggested I just gave up these schools since my low Toefl score. And, my GRE is also not strong enough, and my research experience is also limited.
Now I have no idea what to do. Is there anybody who can advice to me?

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in China.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: 169(96%)
V: 148(39%)
W: 2.5(8%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 970 (99%)

TOEFL Score: 90(S:17)

Program Applying: Pure Math (Geometry and Topology)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: having taken over ten graduated courses
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some seminars

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!

lambert
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby lambert » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:36 am

That combo of low toefl / writing / verbal score is enough to make any US school very skeptical about accepting you. I've known people in similar situations (whose applications were otherwise stellar) that applied and got rejected everywhere. It's fixable though; one person retook the toefl and general gre test and performed better, and he got accepted to Michigan in the next application cycle.

That being said, I find it very fishy that a 970 mGRE score so far has been reported exclusively from international Chinese applicants, including ones whose profiles aren't nearly as strong to justify these scores. I didn't even know it could go up that high, as apparently a 920-930 suffices for 99%.

wgmzlh
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:23 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby wgmzlh » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:30 pm

lambert wrote:That combo of low toefl / writing / verbal score is enough to make any US school very skeptical about accepting you. I've known people in similar situations (whose applications were otherwise stellar) that applied and got rejected everywhere. It's fixable though; one person retook the toefl and general gre test and performed better, and he got accepted to Michigan in the next application cycle.

That being said, I find it very fishy that a 970 mGRE score so far has been reported exclusively from international Chinese applicants, including ones whose profiles aren't nearly as strong to justify these scores. I didn't even know it could go up that high, as apparently a 920-930 suffices for 99%.


Thank you for your replying. Maybe I need to gap another year just learning English. This is really not I want.

About my mGRE score, it is ture that I see the scaled Score is 970 and the precentile is 99%. Did I miss any other information? I'm also curious that I have found no one was more than 930 online yet. I upload my score here Image

MathCat
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby MathCat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:01 pm

Unfortunately, I think your low writing GRE score and low TOEFL will make it hard to get accepted. Many places have a strict cut off of requiring at least a score of 20 on the spoken portion of TOEFL, often set by the graduate school in general, i.e. the department cannot get around it. Make sure you read the requirements stated to check if you are even eligible to apply without meeting certain cutoffs. If they're not listed, it's of course worth applying provided that the application fee is not prohibitively expensive. Moreover, many places have a spoken Englist test that you have to pass before you can be a TA, which could make funding questionable (in my dept., anyone who can't TA always gets a grader position, so it works out. But it may not be this way in other depts.)

Epsilon
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:26 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Epsilon » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:41 pm

lambert wrote:
That being said, I find it very fishy that a 970 mGRE score so far has been reported exclusively from international Chinese applicants, including ones whose profiles aren't nearly as strong to justify these scores. I didn't even know it could go up that high, as apparently a 920-930 suffices for 99%.


I am a domestic applicant with a 960. I think after redoing the guessing penalty the ets also redid how scaling works and the scores go a bit higher.

Tianma799
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Tianma799 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:55 pm

I just want to tell you that you really should improve your English as it is going to haunt you even if you get into a top department. I have seen people struggling with English classes and exams over and over again in grad school and don't have enough time for their math classes, let alone doing research. Also it would be frustrated to talk with your advisor with poor English unless you are dead set to choose advisors who speak your mother tone.

jxwatmg
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby jxwatmg » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:12 am

lambert wrote:That combo of low toefl / writing / verbal score is enough to make any US school very skeptical about accepting you. I've known people in similar situations (whose applications were otherwise stellar) that applied and got rejected everywhere. It's fixable though; one person retook the toefl and general gre test and performed better, and he got accepted to Michigan in the next application cycle.

That being said, I find it very fishy that a 970 mGRE score so far has been reported exclusively from international Chinese applicants, including ones whose profiles aren't nearly as strong to justify these scores. I didn't even know it could go up that high, as apparently a 920-930 suffices for 99%.


I am a student from PKU, top2 in China. :D

Really, it’s no big deal for us to get a 970 in the MGre. Including myself, I have heard of six 970s for the test taken on 20171028, one of which even comes from a physics student. Frankly speaking, I am a little surprised to find most of you here cannot even get a 90%. :|

Bigsrw
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:29 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Bigsrw » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:25 pm

jxwatmg wrote:
lambert wrote:That combo of low toefl / writing / verbal score is enough to make any US school very skeptical about accepting you. I've known people in similar situations (whose applications were otherwise stellar) that applied and got rejected everywhere. It's fixable though; one person retook the toefl and general gre test and performed better, and he got accepted to Michigan in the next application cycle.

That being said, I find it very fishy that a 970 mGRE score so far has been reported exclusively from international Chinese applicants, including ones whose profiles aren't nearly as strong to justify these scores. I didn't even know it could go up that high, as apparently a 920-930 suffices for 99%.


I am a student from PKU, top2 in China. :D

Really, it’s no big deal for us to get a 970 in the MGre. Including myself, I have heard of six 970s for the test taken on 20171028, one of which even comes from a physics student. Frankly speaking, I am a little surprised to find most of you here cannot even get a 90%. :|


I think you are missing the implication here. There has been question of whether the Chinese scores are real. Whether there is cheating or maybe universities are altering the scores and awarding higher scores than were actually achieved. You're implying that you think people are incompetent for getting less than 90% but but everyone else wonders if you even got over 90%.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:12 pm

You are missing the fact that different countries have different education systems. So, some system may prepare people better for this test.

Bigsrw
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:29 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Bigsrw » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:35 pm

DDswife wrote:You are missing the fact that different countries have different education systems. So, some system may prepare people better for this test.


I'm not saying that they do cheat. I'm only saying there has been skepticism (and for many years) and am clarifying the point of the previous poster.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl scoregan

Postby DDswife » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:04 pm

I understand. My point is that international students, like myself, learn different stuff. I know a lot of things that nobody else, not even teachers, seem to know. To give you an example, I learnt in 11th grade how to solve a symmetric quartic, and nobody here, in Tucson, AZ, seams to have learnt that. I learnt how to calculate square root by hands when I was in 6th grade, and I was 11 years old.

But I didn’t know anything about how to using a graphing calculator when I came to the US. I didn’t know how to factor a quadratic expression. In my country I used the quadratic formula even for things really easy, like x^2+3x+2, that most Basic Algebra student solve just by inspection. I am a Math tutor, and students look funny at me when I tell them about that. I had to learn these things from what I was observing that they would do. I never learnt how to do transformations from a parent fu ction. But I know how to do a complete study and a sketch of pretty complicated functions analytically. Most people have a good laugh when I say that I had to do calculations by hand to check a scientific calculator when I began college and I finally could use one. Since I didn’t know how to use it, I kept getting a different result each time I tried to calculate something. I never used L’Hôpitals rule, though I learnt it. I had even forgotten about its existence. But I use Taylor expansion to calculate those limits.

I could go on giving you tons of examples, but I guess that those should be enough for you to get my point. The difficulty of an exam depends on how you were educated. Probably people in China are trained in solving these kind of problems, and they just know how to do it, while I have to sit down and figure a strategy to beat them.

djysyed
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby djysyed » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:26 pm

Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.

jxwatmg
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby jxwatmg » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:50 pm

djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.


You’re the one telling the truth.

Let me tell you what’s happening at PKU. Those questions in the MGRE are way simpler than we have to face in undergraduate courses. Only the top students have the chance to enter decent math programs in the US. Others? They have to quit for low GPAs, although I guess they are really able to get something like a 3.8+ in an American college. Here in China, for top students who wish to stand out, getting a score under 95% in MGRE tests will be considered a SHAME.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:48 am

I thought of an interesting problem, which was standard for 11th graders in Uruguay at the time I was a teenager.

P is a polynomial. If P is divided by x-1, the remainder is 7, and if it is divided by x-3, the remainder is 9. What is the remainder of dividing P by (x-1)(x-3)?

If someone showed you the trick, the problem is really easy. Took me less than a minute to solve it. Otherwise, you will scratch your head for a long while.

lambert
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby lambert » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:06 am

djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.



I'll tell you what I have heard - there are rumors about students in Asia learning the gre questions by heart, which is easy to do since many questions are recycled and can easily leak out of the test centers. For example the October test was the same as the September 2016 one, and the September test was the same as the October 2016 one. There have been instances of such students getting accepted to good programs and then failing horribly at them, so you can't blame people for being wary of accepting new students from that area.

All this leads to is admission committees caring even less about the mgre like they should. If you want to stand out and be smart about it, spend your time on advanced coursework and research instead of preparing for a 99% in mGRE. All the questions there can in theory be answered by a freshman math major after their first / second semester so it's not a good measure for standing out.

Singularity
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:00 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Singularity » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:23 am

jxwatmg wrote:
djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.


You’re the one telling the truth.

Let me tell you what’s happening at PKU. Those questions in the MGRE are way simpler than we have to face in undergraduate courses. Only the top students have the chance to enter decent math programs in the US. Others? They have to quit for low GPAs, although I guess they are really able to get something like a 3.8+ in an American college. Here in China, for top students who wish to stand out, getting a score under 95% in MGRE tests will be considered a SHAME.



What is this PKU you guys keep talking about?

jxwatmg
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby jxwatmg » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:30 am

Singularity wrote:
jxwatmg wrote:
djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.


You’re the one telling the truth.

Let me tell you what’s happening at PKU. Those questions in the MGRE are way simpler than we have to face in undergraduate courses. Only the top students have the chance to enter decent math programs in the US. Others? They have to quit for low GPAs, although I guess they are really able to get something like a 3.8+ in an American college. Here in China, for top students who wish to stand out, getting a score under 95% in MGRE tests will be considered a SHAME.



What is this PKU you guys keep talking about?

Peking University

djysyed
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby djysyed » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:05 am

lambert wrote:
djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.



I'll tell you what I have heard - there are rumors about students in Asia learning the gre questions by heart, which is easy to do since many questions are recycled and can easily leak out of the test centers. For example the October test was the same as the September 2016 one, and the September test was the same as the October 2016 one. There have been instances of such students getting accepted to good programs and then failing horribly at them, so you can't blame people for being wary of accepting new students from that area.

All this leads to is admission committees caring even less about the mgre like they should. If you want to stand out and be smart about it, spend your time on advanced coursework and research instead of preparing for a 99% in mGRE. All the questions there can in theory be answered by a freshman math major after their first / second semester so it's not a good measure for standing out.


This makes sense. At the end of the day, recommendations and coursework to back up those recommendations are 90% of what's looked at.

jxwatmg
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby jxwatmg » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:16 am

lambert wrote:
djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.



I'll tell you what I have heard - there are rumors about students in Asia learning the gre questions by heart, which is easy to do since many questions are recycled and can easily leak out of the test centers. For example the October test was the same as the September 2016 one, and the September test was the same as the October 2016 one. There have been instances of such students getting accepted to good programs and then failing horribly at them, so you can't blame people for being wary of accepting new students from that area.

All this leads to is admission committees caring even less about the mgre like they should. If you want to stand out and be smart about it, spend your time on advanced coursework and research instead of preparing for a 99% in mGRE. All the questions there can in theory be answered by a freshman math major after their first / second semester so it's not a good measure for standing out.


Bullshit.

We are talking about the MGRE rather than the GRE general, right? The truth is, there ARE certain kind of “recycled test problems”, but from GRE general tests rather than the mGRE. I know this because that’s not a secret, everyone was using them to perform better on general GREs, especially the vocabulary part(such a pain for non-native speakers).

As for mGREs, they are only held once a year in mainland China, around the end of October. So if any, those so-called “recycled problem” should be more popular where mGREs are held more frequently, like in the US, right?

The fact is, all the old problems I have ever heard of are from websites like this one: mathematicsgre.com, where problems are provided by former test takers. And as it turns out, at least on the 20171028 mGRE, every single problem I met is NEW to me (and to several of my friends I mentioned above).

I am not denying the fact that the mGRE is not a good measure. Of course it is not, and performing well on that is not worth mentioning compared to, say, high scores from grad courses. Actually, as you mentioned, they are just TOO SIMPLE, so simple that we don’t bother to “cheat” on such tests. My confusion is, why cannot you just admit that most of you who wants to become a future mathematician cannot even perform well in such a naive test, and ridiculously cast doubt on us? After all, they’re really nothing but ABCs for freshmen, as you mentioned.

qin2718
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby qin2718 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:38 pm

wgmzlh wrote:Hi, I'm struggling for my English over one year, but now it's still low, only 90 in total and with speaking 17. Is there any chance for me to apply top50 math program? This may be the biggest weakness, and I hope I can get a suitable offer because I don't want to waste another year just to polish my English. So is there any way I can do to improve my chance to get offer?

I talked to my professor today and he suggested I just gave up these schools since my low Toefl score. And, my GRE is also not strong enough, and my research experience is also limited.
Now I have no idea what to do. Is there anybody who can advice to me?

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in China.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: 169(96%)
V: 148(39%)
W: 2.5(8%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 970 (99%)

TOEFL Score: 90(S:17)

Program Applying: Pure Math (Geometry and Topology)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: having taken over ten graduated courses
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some seminars

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!

I can understand how annoying TOFEL is and I also struggle with it for a year. Do you consider master programs in US or EU? I know a master program in City college of New york near Columbia university. Maybe you can try it and apply to top 20 in US next year.

Junaid456
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Junaid456 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:41 pm

qin2718 wrote:
wgmzlh wrote:Hi, I'm struggling for my English over one year, but now it's still low, only 90 in total and with speaking 17. Is there any chance for me to apply top50 math program? This may be the biggest weakness, and I hope I can get a suitable offer because I don't want to waste another year just to polish my English. So is there any way I can do to improve my chance to get offer?

I talked to my professor today and he suggested I just gave up these schools since my low Toefl score. And, my GRE is also not strong enough, and my research experience is also limited.
Now I have no idea what to do. Is there anybody who can advice to me?

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in China.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: 169(96%)
V: 148(39%)
W: 2.5(8%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 970 (99%)

TOEFL Score: 90(S:17)

Program Applying: Pure Math (Geometry and Topology)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: having taken over ten graduated courses
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some seminars

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!

I can understand how annoying TOFEL is and I also struggle with it for a year. Do you consider master programs in US or EU? I know a master program in City college of New york near Columbia university. Maybe you can try it and apply to top 20 in US next year.


Hi,

Does the MS program at City University of New York provide (full) funding as well?

Tianma799
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Tianma799 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:18 pm

jxwatmg wrote:
lambert wrote:
djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.



I'll tell you what I have heard - there are rumors about students in Asia learning the gre questions by heart, which is easy to do since many questions are recycled and can easily leak out of the test centers. For example the October test was the same as the September 2016 one, and the September test was the same as the October 2016 one. There have been instances of such students getting accepted to good programs and then failing horribly at them, so you can't blame people for being wary of accepting new students from that area.

All this leads to is admission committees caring even less about the mgre like they should. If you want to stand out and be smart about it, spend your time on advanced coursework and research instead of preparing for a 99% in mGRE. All the questions there can in theory be answered by a freshman math major after their first / second semester so it's not a good measure for standing out.


Bullshit.

We are talking about the MGRE rather than the GRE general, right? The truth is, there ARE certain kind of “recycled test problems”, but from GRE general tests rather than the mGRE. I know this because that’s not a secret, everyone was using them to perform better on general GREs, especially the vocabulary part(such a pain for non-native speakers).

As for mGREs, they are only held once a year in mainland China, around the end of October. So if any, those so-called “recycled problem” should be more popular where mGREs are held more frequently, like in the US, right?

The fact is, all the old problems I have ever heard of are from websites like this one: mathematicsgre.com, where problems are provided by former test takers. And as it turns out, at least on the 20171028 mGRE, every single problem I met is NEW to me (and to several of my friends I mentioned above).

I am not denying the fact that the mGRE is not a good measure. Of course it is not, and performing well on that is not worth mentioning compared to, say, high scores from grad courses. Actually, as you mentioned, they are just TOO SIMPLE, so simple that we don’t bother to “cheat” on such tests. My confusion is, why cannot you just admit that most of you who wants to become a future mathematician cannot even perform well in such a naive test, and ridiculously cast doubt on us? After all, they’re really nothing but ABCs for freshmen, as you mentioned.


I think we are blaming on the wrong person here. The doubt mostly came from the intransparency of the test itself. We paid 150$ for the exam and guess what, the only result we got from the test is a score and a percentile, nothing else. Now if you got a ridiculously low score and your peers got above 90%, surely you want to know why and where you did wrong, on which part you should improve. However we don't know any of the basic information of our results including how many questions we did incorrectly. As I understand it they hide all this information from us so that they can reuse the problems (which is true). But then one of the consequences is that people who got low scores would be frustrated and become doubtful to what they got, including what their peers got. As you said, the test is only administrated three times a year, and ETS doesn't even bother to make completely new tests. The only thing we get from ETS is perhaps the practiced exam, and the most recent one is from 5 years ago.

About we performed poorly and want to be future mathematician, I think a reply above explained the reason very well. Some people are better at taking tests like this and some are not. Are you implying that doing well on this test is a basic requirement to become a mathematician?

Tianma799
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Tianma799 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:18 pm

Junaid456 wrote:
qin2718 wrote:
wgmzlh wrote:Hi, I'm struggling for my English over one year, but now it's still low, only 90 in total and with speaking 17. Is there any chance for me to apply top50 math program? This may be the biggest weakness, and I hope I can get a suitable offer because I don't want to waste another year just to polish my English. So is there any way I can do to improve my chance to get offer?

I talked to my professor today and he suggested I just gave up these schools since my low Toefl score. And, my GRE is also not strong enough, and my research experience is also limited.
Now I have no idea what to do. Is there anybody who can advice to me?

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in China.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: 169(96%)
V: 148(39%)
W: 2.5(8%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 970 (99%)

TOEFL Score: 90(S:17)

Program Applying: Pure Math (Geometry and Topology)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: having taken over ten graduated courses
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some seminars

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!

I can understand how annoying TOFEL is and I also struggle with it for a year. Do you consider master programs in US or EU? I know a master program in City college of New york near Columbia university. Maybe you can try it and apply to top 20 in US next year.


Hi,

Does the MS program at City University of New York provide (full) funding as well?


You should ask the department directly. And most likely if they do they will post this info on their website.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:42 pm

lambert wrote: The October test was the same as the September 2016 one, and the September test was the same as the October 2016 one.


How do you know?

nothing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby nothing » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:00 pm

DDswife wrote:I thought of an interesting problem, which was standard for 11th graders in Uruguay at the time I was a teenager.

P is a polynomial. If P is divided by x-1, the remainder is 7, and if it is divided by x-3, the remainder is 9. What is the remainder of dividing P by (x-1)(x-3)?

If someone showed you the trick, the problem is really easy. Took me less than a minute to solve it. Otherwise, you will scratch your head for a long while.


There are no tricks here. Everything is straightforward from the definition, as long as you understand what a polynomial is and what it means by "remainder". My teacher gave me a problem like this when I was in 6th grade ( around 12 years old). Around 10% students in the class were able to solve it.

lambert
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby lambert » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:10 pm

jxwatmg wrote:
lambert wrote:
djysyed wrote:Foreign standards are much higher than standards here, in the United States. Only the top students from the Asian countries are able to attend good undergraduate programs and guess what, they have to stand out from among billions of people. The only way to do this is to work extremely hard and understand everything inside out. These calculus problems you see on the MGRE are mere child's play to international students. The non-calculus problems on the MGRE aren't even hard, they're straight definitional so if you studied analysis at the level of Rudin, you could essentially knock out all the analysis and topology problems. Simple courses in complex analysis, graph theory, and abstract algebra give you what you need to cover the rest. For these reasons, I'm not surprised that more people in India and China receive 99% than here in the US. That being said, I'm sure there are more instances of cheating in foreign countries than here in the US but, there are certainly wayyy more people in these countries who score above 90%.

Note to OP: Your standards are slightly different from ours. Most top math majors just do the minimum work to get an A, or B, in calc courses so we can progress to serious classes.



I'll tell you what I have heard - there are rumors about students in Asia learning the gre questions by heart, which is easy to do since many questions are recycled and can easily leak out of the test centers. For example the October test was the same as the September 2016 one, and the September test was the same as the October 2016 one. There have been instances of such students getting accepted to good programs and then failing horribly at them, so you can't blame people for being wary of accepting new students from that area.

All this leads to is admission committees caring even less about the mgre like they should. If you want to stand out and be smart about it, spend your time on advanced coursework and research instead of preparing for a 99% in mGRE. All the questions there can in theory be answered by a freshman math major after their first / second semester so it's not a good measure for standing out.


Bullshit.

We are talking about the MGRE rather than the GRE general, right? The truth is, there ARE certain kind of “recycled test problems”, but from GRE general tests rather than the mGRE. I know this because that’s not a secret, everyone was using them to perform better on general GREs, especially the vocabulary part(such a pain for non-native speakers).

As for mGREs, they are only held once a year in mainland China, around the end of October. So if any, those so-called “recycled problem” should be more popular where mGREs are held more frequently, like in the US, right?

The fact is, all the old problems I have ever heard of are from websites like this one: mathematicsgre.com, where problems are provided by former test takers. And as it turns out, at least on the 20171028 mGRE, every single problem I met is NEW to me (and to several of my friends I mentioned above).

I am not denying the fact that the mGRE is not a good measure. Of course it is not, and performing well on that is not worth mentioning compared to, say, high scores from grad courses. Actually, as you mentioned, they are just TOO SIMPLE, so simple that we don’t bother to “cheat” on such tests. My confusion is, why cannot you just admit that most of you who wants to become a future mathematician cannot even perform well in such a naive test, and ridiculously cast doubt on us? After all, they’re really nothing but ABCs for freshmen, as you mentioned.


You can claim anything about you and your friends, but those rumors circulate for a reason. We are casting suspicion on those perfect 970s coming from one country as opposed to many, not on the fact that you get good scores - which people around the world do. I don't know why you get so defensive and think we are incompetent or something - you do realize there are a bunch of us that score good enough for any top department (say 85%+) without hitting those 970s. Unless you really think anything below 95% is a failure, in which case you're the one who's being ridiculous.

Anyway, once you go to grad school in the US you will really see exceptional graduate students cut out to become top mathematicians, and no one will care whether you got 80% or 99%.

Edit: I know that the aforementioned tests are the same from multiple friends taking the test(s) again.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:51 pm

There are no tricks here. Everything is straightforward from the definition, as long as you understand what a polynomial is and what it means by "remainder". My teacher gave me a problem like this when I was in 6th grade ( around 12 years old). Around 10% students in the class were able to solve it.


Yeah, trick is not a good work. I apologize for using it.

Can you post your solution or send it to me as a private message? And tell us, please, from which country are you,

Thanks
Last edited by DDswife on Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jxwatmg
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby jxwatmg » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:05 pm

“rumors circulate for a reason.” Hah.

Let me tell you the reason. You guys are just spoiled, and don’t need to get a very high score in order to get into great programs. In China, we have to struggle to make our profiles competitive enough (which is meaningless, I know. We should really not waste any time on such naive tests but pay more attention to math itself).

Again, doing well in MGRE is nothing. And I admit the fact that getting a 95% or 99% makes no difference. But to me, getting a low score is something, isn’t it? If one really tried and only get a 80%, I wonder how he/she would pass the qualifying exam, which is wayyy harder, you know.

Of course I am defensive on such topics. If someone says Asians perform better on quant part of GRE general because they cheat, what else am I gonna reply? They are pretty much the same thing to us: easy, naive, and meaningless. And now you are telling me we have to cheat on that?

I apologize for bad feelings caused by my previous replies. Sorry for that and wish you good luck on the following months.

nothing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby nothing » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:24 pm

DDswife wrote:
There are no tricks here. Everything is straightforward from the definition, as long as you understand what a polynomial is and what it means by "remainder". My teacher gave me a problem like this when I was in 6th grade ( around 12 years old). Around 10% students in the class were able to solve it.


Yeah, trick is not a good work. I apologize for using it.

Can you post your solution or send it to me as a private message? And tell us, please, from which country are you,

Thanks


So you have $P(x)=(x-1)a(x)+7 =(x-3)b(x)+9$, the remainder has to be of the form $cx+d$, which means you need 2 informations about $c$ and $d$, if $P(x)=(x-1)(x-3)H(x)+cx+d$ then substitute $x=1$ and $x=3$ give you the informations needed. I'm Asian too, but not from China.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:25 pm

Thank you

From which country are you?

nothing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby nothing » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:26 pm

DDswife wrote:Thank you

From which country are you?

I sent you a private message.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:28 pm

You are proving my point. Different countries have different education systems. So, please, quit arguing about that.

nothing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby nothing » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:41 pm

For the toefl scores, I think only the speaking portion matters to the graduate committee. You can try to apply for some master program with funding in US. Some of the good ones are Miami ( they even have a Field Medalist in geometry, Maxim Kontsevich), Utexas at san antonio have a very strong groups in Operator Algebras and PDEs ( the Professors in these groups are the same level at a top 30 schools, take a look at their publications), UCF ( central florida) has very good faculties in Functional Analysis and Operator Theory. The courses at these schools are probably much easier than PKU but you will have more time to do research and have some decent publications.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:00 pm

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-38212070

For whatever reason, Asian countries seem to perform better than most other countries. Here an example of PISA tests, which, as far as I know, are not a “secret” like the MGRE. So, any country can train their kids to do well if the government cares about that. Apparently, in my country, it does not. :(

I am a teacher, and I remember that, in 1999, when my 15 years old students took that, or a similar test, one of them finished quite soon. I was at the school, but not proctoring the test. I asked him how he did. He said that he did well. Then he added: “I just chose random answers”, as if he was thinking: “Aren’t I smart?” That shocked me. These kids didn’t even understand the point of trying to do well. They were representing their country. They only cared about the fact that that test wasn’t graded. So, why take it in a serious way? The Ministry of Education, the Public School System should have, the school, or even me, as the teacher, all of us failed at that.

The country’s policy on education can make a difference. And Chinese are 20% of the world population. Not to mention that there are lots of other Asian students, who are not Chinese and who probably perform well on the test

Singularity
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:00 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Singularity » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:59 pm

jxwatmg wrote:“rumors circulate for a reason.” Hah.

Let me tell you the reason. You guys are just spoiled, and don’t need to get a very high score in order to get into great programs. In China, we have to struggle to make our profiles competitive enough (which is meaningless, I know. We should really not waste any time on such naive tests but pay more attention to math itself).

Again, doing well in MGRE is nothing. And I admit the fact that getting a 95% or 99% makes no difference. But to me, getting a low score is something, isn’t it? If one really tried and only get a 80%, I wonder how he/she would pass the qualifying exam, which is wayyy harder, you know.

Of course I am defensive on such topics. If someone says Asians perform better on quant part of GRE general because they cheat, what else am I gonna reply? They are pretty much the same thing to us: easy, naive, and meaningless. And now you are telling me we have to cheat on that?

I apologize for bad feelings caused by my previous replies. Sorry for that and wish you good luck on the following months.


Please don't bring these arguments to this site. This site is about sharing and seeking advice. I don't like your sweeping statements about China or Chinese students. You do not represent anyone but your own opinion. As a Chinese, I hate to point out that, but you need to learn to think more individually rather than collectively in order to get used to the US. After all you want to come here to study right? About the high score, it is really a rat race. They obviously are not gonna admit more from China than they planned to because of GRE right? People in the US never prepared hard for it, but the competition is still fierce. You guys rarely have publications but US students more often do. Thus it makes most sense to divide the spaces by the education systems. GRE is just a cut off tool. No one is stopping students in China to care less about the scores and do more real math. If all do, they will still take the same number of people and high GRE will matter less. The misery is self imposed and completely arbitrary. What if they require really high GRE verbal for applicants? Chances are US student score way higher on that than their Chinese counterparts. You would think it is unfair right? Well, to be honest, I think a good verbal skill is way more important for a person than the petty calc problems. I would like to talk to a person who speaks and writes smoothly much more than a person who is good about crunching integrals but can't talk for shit. And you know what? They are both quite arbitrary to math PhDs. You don't see US undergrads whine about that in a Chinese blog?

Tianma799
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Tianma799 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:24 pm

jxwatmg wrote:“rumors circulate for a reason.” Hah.

Let me tell you the reason. You guys are just spoiled, and don’t need to get a very high score in order to get into great programs. In China, we have to struggle to make our profiles competitive enough (which is meaningless, I know. We should really not waste any time on such naive tests but pay more attention to math itself).

Again, doing well in MGRE is nothing. And I admit the fact that getting a 95% or 99% makes no difference. But to me, getting a low score is something, isn’t it? If one really tried and only get a 80%, I wonder how he/she would pass the qualifying exam, which is wayyy harder, you know.

Of course I am defensive on such topics. If someone says Asians perform better on quant part of GRE general because they cheat, what else am I gonna reply? They are pretty much the same thing to us: easy, naive, and meaningless. And now you are telling me we have to cheat on that?

I apologize for bad feelings caused by my previous replies. Sorry for that and wish you good luck on the following months.


1. Adcoms know more about passing the prelim or qual than students. If they think people get lower than 80% cannot pass the exams they would do something about it and you are not the one who should worry about that. Also this exams are not multiple choices and I hope you know the the difference.

2. Defensing yourself is totally understandable, but it doesn't mean you need to attack the others in order to defense yourself.

jxwatmg
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby jxwatmg » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:32 am

Sorry bros, I have realized I was overreacting and being arrogant.

I don’t want to continue the argument anymore. Thanks for your replies, especially those from @DDswife, @Singularity and @Tianma799. Apologies to @lambert and anyone else who got hurt by my inappropriate words.

Wish you all good luck on the following months and happy holiday~ :wink:

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:54 am

Happy holiday to everybody!

qin2718
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby qin2718 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:56 am

Junaid456 wrote:
qin2718 wrote:
wgmzlh wrote:Hi, I'm struggling for my English over one year, but now it's still low, only 90 in total and with speaking 17. Is there any chance for me to apply top50 math program? This may be the biggest weakness, and I hope I can get a suitable offer because I don't want to waste another year just to polish my English. So is there any way I can do to improve my chance to get offer?

I talked to my professor today and he suggested I just gave up these schools since my low Toefl score. And, my GRE is also not strong enough, and my research experience is also limited.
Now I have no idea what to do. Is there anybody who can advice to me?

Here is my information.

Undergrad Institution: Top university in China.
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): X
GPA: about 3.6/4.0
Type of Student: International, Male, Asian

GRE Revised General Test: not yet taken
Q: 169(96%)
V: 148(39%)
W: 2.5(8%)
GRE Subject Test in Mathematics:
M: 970 (99%)

TOEFL Score: 90(S:17)

Program Applying: Pure Math (Geometry and Topology)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: X
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: having taken over ten graduated courses
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: participates some seminars

Thanks for reading and thanks for replying for repliers!

I can understand how annoying TOFEL is and I also struggle with it for a year. Do you consider master programs in US or EU? I know a master program in City college of New york near Columbia university. Maybe you can try it and apply to top 20 in US next year.


Hi,

Does the MS program at City University of New York provide (full) funding as well?

City Collge of New york, not CUNY. they have a very low TOEFL requirement.

djysyed
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby djysyed » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:20 am

nothing wrote:
DDswife wrote:
There are no tricks here. Everything is straightforward from the definition, as long as you understand what a polynomial is and what it means by "remainder". My teacher gave me a problem like this when I was in 6th grade ( around 12 years old). Around 10% students in the class were able to solve it.


Yeah, trick is not a good work. I apologize for using it.

Can you post your solution or send it to me as a private message? And tell us, please, from which country are you,

Thanks


So you have $P(x)=(x-1)a(x)+7 =(x-3)b(x)+9$, the remainder has to be of the form $cx+d$, which means you need 2 informations about $c$ and $d$, if $P(x)=(x-1)(x-3)H(x)+cx+d$ then substitute $x=1$ and $x=3$ give you the informations needed. I'm Asian too, but not from China.


The way I did it was this:
Assume your polynomial has the form $x^2 + ax + b$. Then, since $(x-1)$ leaves a remainder of $7$, you have $1+ a+b = 7$. Similarly $9 + 3a + b = 9$.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:24 am

Which polynomial has this form? The remainder?

nothing
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby nothing » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:27 am

The way I did it was this:
Assume your polynomial has the form $x^2 + ax + b$. Then, since $(x-1)$ leaves a remainder of $7$, you have $1+ a+b = 7$. Similarly $9 + 3a + b = 9$.[/quote]

I think you misunderstood the problem. The polynomial here could be any order, for example the fourth order polynomial $f(x)=((x-1)(x-3)+x+6)((x-1)(x-3)+1)$ satisfies the condition of the problem. The meaning of this problem is no matter which order $f$ is, the remainder modulo x-1 and x-3 is enough to find the remainder modulo (x-1)(x-3).

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:56 am

Yes, the polynomial you divide by x-1 and x-3 can be of 100th degre. Its degree is totally irrelevant here.

lambert
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby lambert » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:17 am

It's only appropriate for me to apologize too, especially to jxwatmg, I may have been a bit blunt but didn't mean to undermine anybody's efforts. We're all doing our best to get into the best schools we can and this is the period of our greatest uncertainty. Good luck to all.

mishania1996
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby mishania1996 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:31 am


So you have $P(x)=(x-1)a(x)+7 =(x-3)b(x)+9$, the remainder has to be of the form $cx+d$, which means you need 2 informations about $c$ and $d$, if $P(x)=(x-1)(x-3)H(x)+cx+d$ then substitute $x=1$ and $x=3$ give you the informations needed. I'm Asian too, but not from China.

The way I did it was this:
Assume your polynomial has the form $x^2 + ax + b$. Then, since $(x-1)$ leaves a remainder of $7$, you have $1+ a+b = 7$. Similarly $9 + 3a + b = 9$.


Here we observe test-approach to the problem, where you know that there is a unique answer and it takes a place in one of the 5 choices. (I'm not trying to judge your ability to solve this problem if it wasn't a test, I'm just pointing to the argument against the mGRE).

mishania1996
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:06 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby mishania1996 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:51 am

One more thing which I would like to add regarding the discussion of importance of mGRE:
It is like playing chess with amateur players. It requires some training to win and most people aiming to top programs probably could do that after some work. But it has nothing to do with research abilities, come on guys. What is the point of remembering integral rules if you're not aware of what's going on in the research stream of your subject, if you've taken just 2-3 classes more advanced than real analysis or point set topology, if you've never discussed with your adviser fresh papers from the arxiv?

I hope students who haven't spent yet their precious time on this test will think about it. Attend seminars, conferences, take advanced classes, let your professors know your abilities. If I am accepted in graduate studies for next year, I would rather discuss with my fellows research stuff, instead of competing in evaluating integrals or exhanging counterexamples from precalculus 2.

Btw, I know a guy who got accepted to MIT with ~600 points on mGRE, because he spent his time on obtaining publications instead of practicing tricks for simple math gre.

Junaid456
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Junaid456 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:55 am

mishania1996 wrote:One more thing which I would like to add regarding the discussion of importance of mGRE:
It is like playing chess with amateur players. It requires some training to win and most people aiming to top programs probably could do that after some work. But it has nothing to do with research abilities, come on guys. What is the point of remembering integral rules if you're not aware of what's going on in the research stream of your subject, if you've taken just 2-3 classes more advanced than real analysis or point set topology, if you've never discussed with your adviser fresh papers from the arxiv?

I hope students who haven't spent yet their precious time on this test will think about it. Attend seminars, conferences, take advanced classes, let your professors know your abilities. If I am accepted in graduate studies for next year, I would rather discuss with my fellows research stuff, instead of competing in evaluating integrals or exhanging counterexamples from precalculus 2.

Btw, I know a guy who got accepted to MIT with ~600 points on mGRE, because he spent his time on obtaining publications instead of practicing tricks for simple math gre.


You're right. I studied a lot for this stupid exam, only to perform poorly on the exam because I am not a good exam taker at all. The test was easy/all right enough, but it seemed so much more hard under the time pressure.

Junaid456
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Junaid456 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:59 am

I can understand how annoying TOFEL is and I also struggle with it for a year. Do you consider master programs in US or EU? I know a master program in City college of New york near Columbia university. Maybe you can try it and apply to top 20 in US next year.[/quote]

Hi,

Does the MS program at City University of New York provide (full) funding as well?[/quote]
City Collge of New york, not CUNY. they have a very low TOEFL requirement.[/quote]

I checked with them, and they don't seem to have funding available. They do, however, fund students if they require grad students to teach a class in a particular term. The pay is good, too; about $1000/credit hour taught. However, I don't think one can rely on this gig to cover expenses on a regular basis.

DDswife
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby DDswife » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:06 am

I used to think that MGRE, same than TOEFL and verbal GRE was a stupid test, but now I think that it has some good sides.

It forces you to “merge” all the knowledge since a problem might need tools from different subjects.

It’s not easy to solve a problem in the amount of time you have for it. So, you need to be able to design more efficient ways to solve it. It’s good practice to work different ways to do the same thing till you find the one that takes maybe seconds instead of 10 minutes, like the one you learn in Calculus 3.

Some of these questions force you to think out of the box rather than to use your automatic pilot. I have grown to respect them. This learning you do if you take your preparation seriously will help you be a better researcher. Some of these tests questions are very “slippery”. They trick you, and you get them wrong because you are going too fast. You have to... But this let’s you make mistakes you don’t even notice. This opens your mind, though, and help you disregard what seems obvious, and to see beyond it.

I remember a question which had almost the same thing, but one of the functions had + and the other one, a -. I discussed it with another tutor. He thought that both were “the same thing”, and I first agreed. But, after a while, I wondered: why asking the same thing twice? It didn’t make sense to me. So, I paid more attention to it. And I realised that this - changed completely the behavior of the function. They appeared to behave the same, but they were completely different.

What I dislike is that people can’t discuss openly problems. Why? Just so that ETS learns money? This discussion leads to more learning.

Junaid456
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Low Toefl score

Postby Junaid456 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:52 pm

nothing wrote:For the toefl scores, I think only the speaking portion matters to the graduate committee. You can try to apply for some master program with funding in US. Some of the good ones are Miami ( they even have a Field Medalist in geometry, Maxim Kontsevich), Utexas at san antonio have a very strong groups in Operator Algebras and PDEs ( the Professors in these groups are the same level at a top 30 schools, take a look at their publications), UCF ( central florida) has very good faculties in Functional Analysis and Operator Theory. The courses at these schools are probably much easier than PKU but you will have more time to do research and have some decent publications.


Hi,

Any idea whether funding is available for the master's programs at these universities? I haven't been able to find anything concrete on the universities' websites. For e.g, Miami's website mentions:

Teaching Assistantship

The Department of Mathematics provides a number of teaching assistantships, with a current (2009-2010) stipend of $22,000. In addition to the stipend, TA's receive an 18 credit tuition waiver. TA's normally work 12 hours per week assisting with calculus labs, the math tutoring lab, teaching, and/or grading.

It's not at clear whether MS students are considered for the same amount of funding as PhD students?




Return to “Mathematics GRE Forum: The GRE Subject Test in Mathematics”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests