mGRE prep?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
MMDE
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

mGRE prep?

Postby MMDE » Fri May 25, 2018 3:48 pm

I intend on taking both the September and October mGRE and applying to schools this Fall so I only have two shots at the exam. For the schools I'm aiming I would love to get ~85th percentile. I've been doing some research about how to study for this exam and based on what I'm reading everyone is saying to "prepare for the test" rather than "preparing through deeply learning concepts", but what is the best way to go about doing this exactly?

I have found a few practice exams but I'm saving them for after my initial prep as they seem to be scarce. So far I'm just going through the Princeton book and a few Schaum's outlines. How are you guys preparing, and for those who already took the exam, what seemed to work?

w4rm4ch1n3
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:57 am

Re: mGRE prep?

Postby w4rm4ch1n3 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:41 pm

It's good to see you're ready to study for the mGRE. Unfortunately, the mGRE asks such a wide variety of questions about different mathematical topics, that it is not very easy to "study for the test" as you say people have been telling you to do. I can only say that it would be very beneficial to have a deep understanding of calculus; that is, knowing basically every theorem from calculus I,II, III, and vector calculus and how to apply those theorems. The thing with the mGRE is that there is almost always a trick or some theorem you can use to quickly solve the problem. Therefore, memorize useful nonobvious theorems. In each subject, there are a few theorems that stand out as being most important. For example in Algebra, Lagrange's Theorem and the Fundamental Theorem of Finitely Generated Abelian Groups can be used to solve a lot of problems on the mGRE, at least in my experience. Another difficulty of the exam that you can never fully prepare for is not knowing what types of questions will show up the most on the exam. I took the mGRE before I had taken Abstract Algebra, and it seemed that a very significant percentage of the exam concerned abstract. I've heard that some people take the exam, and it has tons of linear algebra or Complex Analysis. Nonetheless, you can know for sure that 50% of the exam will be about calculus, so be very solid in that area. My recommendation is that in addition to the study of Calculus, be proficient in your knowledge of Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, and Analysis. Those seem to be the areas which would give you the most bang for your buck in terms of study time for results. There will inevitably be some funky questions in complex analysis, number theory, geometry, or probability, but knowing what to study to anticipate those problems is near impossible.

I will say, though, that on many of the practice exams, the type of probability question that comes up the most concerns variables which have uniform distribution. I will not divulge any of the types of questions I encountered on the actual exam, but I can say that truly anything from any subject at the undergraduate level is fair game......anything.

Good luck! :D

MMDE
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: mGRE prep?

Postby MMDE » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:44 am

Thanks for the advice. I've began studying for the exam by focusing on calculus as you said, I'm currently working through all the review problems from Stewart's book. Afterwards I intend on doing a few problems on linear algebra, and then briefly reviewing abstract algebra, analysis, a few extra "additional topics", and then just taking practice exam after practice exam. It's imperative that I do good on this exam so I'm taking this preparation seriously. The only thing is the exam is still quite a while away and I feel as though I'll burn though all my resources in a month or two, given how little test prep is available for this exam (relative to other exams, that is).

I'd love to hear how everyone else is preparing for this exam, and good luck to all in your prep.

DDswife
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: mGRE prep?

Postby DDswife » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:59 am

If you do the test preparations now, by October you won’t remember the problems. You might remember some, but not all of them. And people say that they reuse problems. So, some might be repeated

MMDE
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: mGRE prep?

Postby MMDE » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:21 pm

DDswife wrote:If you do the test preparations now, by October you won’t remember the problems. You might remember some, but not all of them. And people say that they reuse problems. So, some might be repeated

I plan on taking the exam in September, and then in October if need be. I've started reviewing early since I only have two shots at the exam and need to meet a certain score, and based off what I've heard that's not easy. Also I haven't heard of them reusing problems, but even if they did no one has access to the exams they'd pull questions from, so it shouldn't matter. Have you taken the exam? Any advice for preparation?

DDswife
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: mGRE prep?

Postby DDswife » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:15 pm

I haven’t taken the exam. I have been here for years, and I have been working on the GRE at times. When I mentioned the repeated problems, I meant that, of you retake the test, you might have the same problem twice.




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