## Score as a function of preparation time?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm

### Score as a function of preparation time?

I'm interested in how long one has to prepare to get a good score on this exam. In particular, if you got a 70% or higher, could you tell me what your score was and how long you prepared?

I've been preparing somewhat lackadaisically for several months, but now that the exam is only one month away, I'm going into intense mode: I'm basically studying all day (I lost my job--thank God!), with breaks for food, exercise, and naps. I've listed the types of questions that I've seen on practice exams, and I work at least one problem from each topic every day using my undergrad textbooks. I'm wondering if this will be sufficient training to score in the 90th percentile.

eof
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:39 pm
I studied for a week for about 12 hours per day, the week before that a little less and the week before that even less. I had taken two years of graduate courses already (algebra, homological algebra, algebraic geometry, real and complex analysis, differential geometry, algebraic topology), so I knew the theory really well and only needed to brush up on calculating integrals and solving differential equations.

I also spent some time going through old tests and thinking on each problem if there was some standard example of a mathematical structure that could be immediately used to eliminate some answer choices. I then wrote all of them down and remembered them. It turned out that a pretty small set of examples were the only ones needed to solve practically all the problems on all the practice tests which asked if some equation is always correct.

My score was 97% BTW.

Ergodic
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:07 pm
Thank you, e(f). I've been getting around 95%-ile on the practice exams, so my studying seems to be paying off.

A few questions, eof:

1) Which top-10 schools did you get into with your 97%-ile? Are they pure or applied programs?

eof
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:39 pm
I got into Columbia, Chicago and Stanford in pure maths. I'm also an international with no really prestigious institutions in my country, so my undergraduate institution doesn't really matter. I did have a perfect GPA, but the grading in my country isn't very strict.

One important thing is that you shouldn't panic on the exam. Americans probably have some experience taking timed standardized test, but for me it was a new experience.

mathrun
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 10:33 pm

### Re: Score as a function of preparation time?

eof, you wrote:
"I also spent some time going through old tests and thinking on each problem if there was some standard example of a mathematical structure that could be immediately used to eliminate some answer choices. I then wrote all of them down and remembered them. It turned out that a pretty small set of examples were the only ones needed to solve practically all the problems on all the practice tests which asked if some equation is always correct."
Can you share these?
Thanks

zany8
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:28 am

### Re: Score as a function of preparation time?

hey guys
i am about to do my post grad from a decent place but i think i am not gonna score well...infact i am gonna score badly(btwn 55 to 60percent most probably)...i am interested in doing phd in maths/applied maths(algebra).
...i am a keen student otherwise and preparing for gre,subject gre and toefl quite sincerely,i might get decent recoommendations also..how flexible is the minimum gpa requirement...and what kind of grdauate schools should i apply to?kindly help,i feel so lost!