The time limit on this test is brutal.

 Posts: 137
 Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm
The time limit on this test is brutal.
I just took the Oct. 27 test, this was my first time actually taking the math subject test. My proctor called 20 minutes remaining when I was on question 47. After the test, I immediately ran over a few problems in my head and figured the correct answer, but I answered incorrectly on the actual test because I had no time to think about the question. I know I had to straight up mark randomly at least 15 questions due to lack of time. Suffice to say I already know I will not be happy with my results and am seriously contemplating holding off on applying to graduate school for another year because of it.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
It is brutal, yes. But this is so for everybody else.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
You still have a pretty good shot at getting at least 50 questions right!
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Agreed, I also ran out of time. Overall though I felt this exam was a little easier (though more computationally involved) than the September exam. Anyone know roughly how many questions right correlate to what percentile or where this information can be found?

 Posts: 137
 Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Yes I did not feel like the test was hard in terms of depth of knowledge. It just took me too long to do them. If I had to guess I probably got approx 20 incorrect. There were about 3 or 4 in the section I did that I blanked on, but of course the solution comes to mind a few moments to hours after leaving the test room.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
The ETS has a practice booklet that's been rescaled. It's the same as the 2012 test, but the scoring has been updated. 39 questions correct puts you at the 50th percentile.MMDE wrote:Agreed, I also ran out of time. Overall though I felt this exam was a little easier (though more computationally involved) than the September exam. Anyone know roughly how many questions right correlate to what percentile or where this information can be found?
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Thank you!ponchan wrote:The ETS has a practice booklet that's been rescaled. It's the same as the 2012 test, but the scoring has been updated. 39 questions correct puts you at the 50th percentile.MMDE wrote:Agreed, I also ran out of time. Overall though I felt this exam was a little easier (though more computationally involved) than the September exam. Anyone know roughly how many questions right correlate to what percentile or where this information can be found?
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
I feel the actual percentiles are lower than the percentiles in the booklet, maybe because the actual test was somewhat easier than the practice test. So I guess 50 questions won't get you an 800.ponchan wrote:The ETS has a practice booklet that's been rescaled. It's the same as the 2012 test, but the scoring has been updated. 39 questions correct puts you at the 50th percentile.MMDE wrote:Agreed, I also ran out of time. Overall though I felt this exam was a little easier (though more computationally involved) than the September exam. Anyone know roughly how many questions right correlate to what percentile or where this information can be found?
Last edited by jimmy on Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Can you clarify what you mean?jimmy wrote:I feel the actual percentile is lower than the percentile in the booklet.ponchan wrote:The ETS has a practice booklet that's been rescaled. It's the same as the 2012 test, but the scoring has been updated. 39 questions correct puts you at the 50th percentile.MMDE wrote:Agreed, I also ran out of time. Overall though I felt this exam was a little easier (though more computationally involved) than the September exam. Anyone know roughly how many questions right correlate to what percentile or where this information can be found?

 Posts: 137
 Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
I found the practice test to be far easier than the actual test.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
They were far too much easier than the Sept and Oct testschrisps1992 wrote:I found the practice test to be far easier than the actual test.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
I've heard that the test has become more difficult, especially after the penalty for getting a question wrong has been removed.
Could anyone comment (in detail) on how the difficulty has gone up? Have questions become more tough? More computationally involved? More varied? Etc.
Could anyone comment (in detail) on how the difficulty has gone up? Have questions become more tough? More computationally involved? More varied? Etc.

 Posts: 137
 Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Since this is the first time I’ve officially taken it, I can’t attest to previous years. However, in comparison to the official practice test the major differences are: more calculation intensive problems( more matrix operations and integrals\derivative\3D max and min problems ), the combinatorics\probability questions on the practice test are a joke compared to the ones on the real thing (with the exception of one or two freebies on the real test), the geometry problems are fairly similar, the diff eq was easy on both but computationally time consuming, several time consuming analytical geometry questions, the complex analysis was easy on both, the theoretical questions with Real Analysis/AA were harder while the Lin alg/topology were about the same, lastly, the questions generally ramped up in difficulty much faster after question 35 or so than the practice test. My friend took the one in September as well as this one and said that there was a lot more AA on the September test than this test, so he spent precious study time on AA when it would have been better spent practicing speed. So yea, they play around with question type composition to screw with you.
But someone in another post said almost the same. This test is mostly about how fast you can integrate, reduce\multiply matrices and find their eigenvalues\vectors. Also, you need to be as careful as you can when doing these operations, nothing is worse then spending lots of time row reducing a matrix only to find out your answer isn’t there because you made a mistake somewhere. The other thing I wish I had studied more for is the probability\combinatorics. This was probably my weakest area and you get like 1 really easy question, but the rest you really should just memorize formulas to fit specific problems. You don’t have time to reason through the question.
I just want to stress again: LITTLE MISTAKES KILL YOU. Dropping negative signs and things like that leading to your answer not being there and having to restart the problem or search for your error was probably my biggest time sink. Nerves play a big part into this. I was especially nervous because this was my one and only shot.
But someone in another post said almost the same. This test is mostly about how fast you can integrate, reduce\multiply matrices and find their eigenvalues\vectors. Also, you need to be as careful as you can when doing these operations, nothing is worse then spending lots of time row reducing a matrix only to find out your answer isn’t there because you made a mistake somewhere. The other thing I wish I had studied more for is the probability\combinatorics. This was probably my weakest area and you get like 1 really easy question, but the rest you really should just memorize formulas to fit specific problems. You don’t have time to reason through the question.
I just want to stress again: LITTLE MISTAKES KILL YOU. Dropping negative signs and things like that leading to your answer not being there and having to restart the problem or search for your error was probably my biggest time sink. Nerves play a big part into this. I was especially nervous because this was my one and only shot.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
We may have gotten different tests. In my version, there was only one complex analysis question (62) and I didn't get it. I found the analysis questions ok cuz I spent some time reviewing concepts like compactness/uniform continuity and they appeared on the test, however I am not quite sure about the cone question which appeared around question 55. Calculus questions were generally not hard but you gotta be very careful cuz a tiny mistake may lead you to the wrong answer. The double integral question (around 35) took me a long time and I ended up skipping it. Some linear algebra questions in the latter half were tricky as well. All probability questions seem to be straightforward to me (there was one which involves using bayes rules).chrisps1992 wrote:Since this is the first time I’ve officially taken it, I can’t attest to previous years. However, in comparison to the official practice test the major differences are: more calculation intensive problems( more matrix operations and integrals\derivative\3D max and min problems ), the combinatorics\probability questions on the practice test are a joke compared to the ones on the real thing (with the exception of one or two freebies on the real test), the geometry problems are fairly similar, the diff eq was easy on both but computationally time consuming, several time consuming analytical geometry questions, the complex analysis was easy on both, the theoretical questions with Real Analysis/AA were harder while the Lin alg/topology were about the same, lastly, the questions generally ramped up in difficulty much faster after question 35 or so than the practice test. My friend took the one in September as well as this one and said that there was a lot more AA on the September test than this test, so he spent precious study time on AA when it would have been better spent practicing speed. So yea, they play around with question type composition to screw with you.
But someone in another post said almost the same. This test is mostly about how fast you can integrate, reduce\multiply matrices and find their eigenvalues\vectors. Also, you need to be as careful as you can when doing these operations, nothing is worse then spending lots of time row reducing a matrix only to find out your answer isn’t there because you made a mistake somewhere. The other thing I wish I had studied more for is the probability\combinatorics. This was probably my weakest area and you get like 1 really easy question, but the rest you really should just memorize formulas to fit specific problems. You don’t have time to reason through the question.
I just want to stress again: LITTLE MISTAKES KILL YOU. Dropping negative signs and things like that leading to your answer not being there and having to restart the problem or search for your error was probably my biggest time sink. Nerves play a big part into this. I was especially nervous because this was my one and only shot.

 Posts: 137
 Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Yes we had different exams because I had 2 complex analysis questions and nothing about a cone and all of my linear algebra problems were straightforward. Also I did not have any questions with uniform continuity and the compactness questions were all only implied by the question. There were no direct questions about compactness.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Sounds like we had the same test. As a sanity check for me, do you happen to remember something to do with the order of a permutation and roughly what question number it was?jimmy wrote: We may have gotten different tests. In my version, there was only one complex analysis question (62) and I didn't get it. I found the analysis questions ok cuz I spent some time reviewing concepts like compactness/uniform continuity and they appeared on the test, however I am not quite sure about the cone question which appeared around question 55. Calculus questions were generally not hard but you gotta be very careful cuz a tiny mistake may lead you to the wrong answer. The double integral question (around 35) took me a long time and I ended up skipping it. Some linear algebra questions in the latter half were tricky as well. All probability questions seem to be straightforward to me (there was one which involves using bayes rules).
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Yes, we all get the same test. It's a myth that we don't.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Someone said they had a question involving a 10dimensional line integral on the October exam but I had that one my September exam.ponchan wrote:Yes, we all get the same test. It's a myth that we don't.
Oh yeah I had this question! It was a fun questionlindal wrote: Sounds like we had the same test. As a sanity check for me, do you happen to remember something to do with the order of a permutation and roughly what question number it was?
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
I guess it is somewhere between 4550. I am applying to statistics phd and I haven't taken any abstract algebra courses, so I gave up all algebra questions. There seems to be 5 algebra questions, which is a lot. I didn't do perfectly on other questions as I am aware that I got at least 3 questions wrong due to time pressure. Some other linear algebra and calculus questions in the latter half are tricky as well and I ended up guessing at least 5. I should get around 5052 correct, and I was hoping to get something around 80th percentile.lindal wrote:Sounds like we had the same test. As a sanity check for me, do you happen to remember something to do with the order of a permutation and roughly what question number it was?jimmy wrote: We may have gotten different tests. In my version, there was only one complex analysis question (62) and I didn't get it. I found the analysis questions ok cuz I spent some time reviewing concepts like compactness/uniform continuity and they appeared on the test, however I am not quite sure about the cone question which appeared around question 55. Calculus questions were generally not hard but you gotta be very careful cuz a tiny mistake may lead you to the wrong answer. The double integral question (around 35) took me a long time and I ended up skipping it. Some linear algebra questions in the latter half were tricky as well. All probability questions seem to be straightforward to me (there was one which involves using bayes rules).

 Posts: 137
 Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
Well now I have to determine if it is worth it to delay applying to graduate school for a retake of this exam. I am 26 years old, so I don’t know how favorably admissions committees view someone my age taking ANOTHER year to apply.
Re: The time limit on this test is brutal.
First, most applications don't ask for your age. Second, it is illegal for them to discriminate based on age, so I wouldn't worry about this. Lastly, people much, much older than 26 are found in grad departmentschrisps1992 wrote:Well now I have to determine if it is worth it to delay applying to graduate school for a retake of this exam. I am 26 years old, so I don’t know how favorably admissions committees view someone my age taking ANOTHER year to apply.