How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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chrisps1992
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:25 pm

I felt better this year than I did last year by quite a bit, but I still failed to complete the test on time and had to guess on 12-15 due to time constraints.

bark_muffalo
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by bark_muffalo » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:56 pm

I took the exam in April and I felt more confident coming out of the exam this time around. Then again, I got home and thought about a couple of questions, only to realize I made stupid mistakes (like miscounting planar regions by 2 and raising a 1 to an even power instead of an odd power...two little mistakes, two questions incorrect...). I feel like I did a little better this time, and perhaps even had a slightly more difficult exam? I hope both are true, really do not want to take this a third time!

chrisps1992
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Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:58 pm

Yup, I got home and remembered several stupid things I did.

bark_muffalo
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by bark_muffalo » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:02 pm

It's just the absolute worst feeling. I'm hoping for about 60th percentile here

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DMAshura
Posts: 55
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Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by DMAshura » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:07 pm

So I've got a question for anyone who might be responding to this thread.

Without going into specific questions, what do you feel like you need the most work on to do well on the next GRE? (Or what would you have needed to work on, if this was your last time taking it?

Okay response: I need to go over probability distributions.
Questionable response: I need to go over the Poisson distribution.
Not okay response: There was a problem about the Poisson distribution, and here it is...
(Please use your best judgment.)

I ask this because I'm trying to get a feel for whether there are any topics that the current prep material out there does not adequately prepare people for, so I can make sure my study material recommendations are up-to-date.

chrisps1992
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Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:18 pm

It is hard to answer that question. I felt confident about most of the questions I actually had time to do, then I think about them later and realize I made a silly mistake here or there. As far as simply being unprepared for the material, I would say statistics, but there are never that many of them on there. I guess general discrete math with graphs and stats would be my answer.

bark_muffalo
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by bark_muffalo » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:56 pm

I think maybe more than any specific topics, the most valuable change to current test prep materials would be to intentionally add more computationally intense problems that *most* people taking the exam should skip. Get people in the habit of identifying these problems from others that might seem computationally intense but have a quick solution (e.g., a Green's Theorem or Divergence Integral question). A lot of us (myself included) have not previously taken a standardized test when the 60th percentile (or 50th) is considered a win. We're in the habit of being able to answer every question without worrying about time constraints and we do not like to give up, for lack of a better phrase, on any questions. It's critical that people shake that habit (which is easier said than done).

Charles Rambo included a question of the type I'm describing on his most recent practice exam, and he explicitly mentions in the solution write-up that he included it for this reason. I thought it was a great inclusion to his test.

Beyond this more general point, I would agree with chrisps1992. I also felt good during and immediately after the exam, then realized several silly errors. I'd say my biggest gaps are topology and statistics.

chrisps1992
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Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:12 pm

I agree, problems that have a long solution and an elegant solution seem to be a favorite for ETS.

wujinya1
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:59 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by wujinya1 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:48 pm

I definitely did better than I was in April.
There were six (or seven) questions I don't know how to do (or not able to solve them due to the time constraint), but are pretty confident about the rest. Hopefully I can get above 90% this time.

About this test, I feel like Princeton review is far from enough...
Many integrals (around 3 to 4) in this exam requires special tricks and is not covered in the Princeton review...
eg, u sub (u = x + pi/2) when there are weird sins and cosines. and some when e^x showed up.
For the groups theory related questions, it is always a good idea to have several handy examples at hand.

In some sense, GRE math sub is not a test on math knowledge(in the sense of theorems and proofs), but a test on interesting examples one know.

For the preparation, I would recommend the UChicago REU one. Nearly covers every thing for the calculus, linear maps and group stuff. But for probability and some other questions, it didn't cover enough.

BTW, would it be too late to sign up for the November test after the grade for this one come out?

jimmy
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by jimmy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:01 pm

I got the exact same version that I took last October and I am feeling blessed! Having done the questions before, I was able to solve most questions pretty quickly. There are a few like 3-4 questions that I guessed on. So hopefully I should be able to crack the 90th percentile.

chrisps1992
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Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:31 pm

You got the same test you got last October??? I took the test last October and this was a completely different test...

jimmy
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by jimmy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:05 pm

chrisps1992 wrote:You got the same test you got last October??? I took the test last October and this was a completely different test...
I believe they have many different versions to keep the probability of getting the same test twice low. The last question I got in the test was to identify which one of the quotient rings is not a field. I actually tried to recall previous test questions that I didn't get when I studied for the test and actually it helped.

chrisps1992
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:22 pm

Are you sure the whole test was the same? I've heard they reuse questions from time to time, but to reuse an entire test and then send it to the same testing center, or even the same state, doesn't seem like ethical testing practices.

jimmy
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by jimmy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:38 pm

chrisps1992 wrote:Are you sure the whole test was the same? I've heard they reuse questions from time to time, but to reuse an entire test and then send it to the same testing center, or even the same state, doesn't seem like ethical testing practices.
The whole test was the same, but I took the test at a different test centre this time, which is not very far from the test centre last time. I am pretty sure that some other people got the same test when they retook as well. I guess that's one of the reasons why people are doing better and better. As a result, ETS adjusts your percentile down every year and forces you to retake, thus makes more money out of you.
Last edited by jimmy on Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

chrisps1992
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Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:40 pm

New testing strategy

Integreat
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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:29 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by Integreat » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:39 am

I thought it went a lot better than in April! Last time I took it, I blindly guessed on the last 10-12 because I ran out of time. Definitely hurt my score. I was a lot more relaxed this time around, stuck to my personal strategy, and I think I did well. Hoping to break 80th percentile, maybe 85th if I'm lucky.
DMAshura wrote:So I've got a question for anyone who might be responding to this thread.

Without going into specific questions, what do you feel like you need the most work on to do well on the next GRE? (Or what would you have needed to work on, if this was your last time taking it?
Stats and combinatorics. There's a lot of basic stats/combinatorics questions, but because I have little to no knowledge on how to solve them, they're very hard to answer. Stats is usually something like just calculating the probability of some event. The events usually aren't simple. Combinatorics questions I can at least solve by breaking them down into easier problems, but they can still be tricky. Like others have suggested, there's usually an elegant solution contingent on some observation; so if you miss it, you waste a lot of time.

nicorobin22
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:39 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by nicorobin22 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:44 pm

It seems like everyone did well in this test, and the competition for 90+ percentile is going to be much more intense for this time. I notice in other posts, there are many people complain about the time limit and difficulty of the test, but for this post, most people say it's not really hard at all :D

jimmy
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by jimmy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:39 am

nicorobin22 wrote:It seems like everyone did well in this test, and the competition for 90+ percentile is going to be much more intense for this time. I notice in other posts, there are many people complain about the time limit and difficulty of the test, but for this post, most people say it's not really hard at all :D
Your score is calculated based on the data for the past 3 years. So how people did in this test has little impact on your score.

HarmonicDog
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by HarmonicDog » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:28 pm

The scores are out this morning. :D

chrisps1992
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by chrisps1992 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:43 pm

HarmonicDog wrote:The scores are out this morning. :D
Did you do well?

mipha
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:36 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by mipha » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:37 am

I got 880/90%. I don't know whether it is enough for PHD of pure mathematics.... :(

Orpheus11235
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:00 am

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by Orpheus11235 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:07 am

mipha wrote:I got 880/90%. I don't know whether it is enough for PHD of pure mathematics.... :(
That's enough to not have to worry about it. PhD programs don't care about your score very much past a certain threshold (top ones often say 80% is an informal cutoff).

Camilo_Arosemena
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:40 pm

Re: How did you feel about Sep 2019 test?

Post by Camilo_Arosemena » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:42 pm

I thought it was easier this time, but I made lots of silly mistakes, 780/75% :cry:



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