Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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MMDE
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by MMDE » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:02 am

Do you guys believe it is a test that can be studied for, as in with enough effort most math majors can attain a stellar score, or rather is it something you should have accumulated throughout your time as an undergraduate?

chrisps1992
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by chrisps1992 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:13 am

MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:02 am
Do you guys believe it is a test that can be studied for, as in with enough effort most math majors can attain a stellar score, or rather is it something you should have accumulated throughout your time as an undergraduate?
It’s hard to study for because the biggest factor is speed and there are only a few good practice tests available. None of the material is particularly difficult, but you do not have time to derive things.

MMDE
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by MMDE » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:19 am

chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:13 am
MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:02 am
Do you guys believe it is a test that can be studied for, as in with enough effort most math majors can attain a stellar score, or rather is it something you should have accumulated throughout your time as an undergraduate?
It’s hard to study for because the biggest factor is speed and there are only a few good practice tests available. None of the material is particularly difficult, but you do not have time to derive things.
So it's one of those exams where either you know it or you don't? As in studying won't help significantly raise your score?

chrisps1992
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by chrisps1992 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:29 am

MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:19 am
chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:13 am
MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:02 am
Do you guys believe it is a test that can be studied for, as in with enough effort most math majors can attain a stellar score, or rather is it something you should have accumulated throughout your time as an undergraduate?
It’s hard to study for because the biggest factor is speed and there are only a few good practice tests available. None of the material is particularly difficult, but you do not have time to derive things.
So it's one of those exams where either you know it or you don't? As in studying won't help significantly raise your score?
I wouldn’t say that. The first time I took it I didn’t study at all and got a 44%, after I found out what it was like I focused on speed and scored a 70%. There was significant improvement but it was only because I got faster. I really didn’t gain any knowledge from studying for it. I still ran out of time with about 12 questions left. So the test is about speed mostly. The problem is how do you study for speed when there are only like 5 tests that actually come close to representing the real thing.

MMDE
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by MMDE » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:35 am

chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:29 am
MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:19 am
chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:13 am


It’s hard to study for because the biggest factor is speed and there are only a few good practice tests available. None of the material is particularly difficult, but you do not have time to derive things.
So it's one of those exams where either you know it or you don't? As in studying won't help significantly raise your score?
I wouldn’t say that. The first time I took it I didn’t study at all and got a 44%, after I found out what it was like I focused on speed and scored a 70%. There was significant improvement but it was only because I got faster. I really didn’t gain any knowledge from studying for it. I still ran out of time with about 12 questions left. So the test is about speed mostly. The problem is how do you study for speed when there are only like 5 tests that actually come close to representing the real thing.
Ah I see, thank you for the insight! How long did you study in between your two exams?

chrisps1992
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by chrisps1992 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:26 am

MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:35 am
chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:29 am
MMDE wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:19 am


So it's one of those exams where either you know it or you don't? As in studying won't help significantly raise your score?
I wouldn’t say that. The first time I took it I didn’t study at all and got a 44%, after I found out what it was like I focused on speed and scored a 70%. There was significant improvement but it was only because I got faster. I really didn’t gain any knowledge from studying for it. I still ran out of time with about 12 questions left. So the test is about speed mostly. The problem is how do you study for speed when there are only like 5 tests that actually come close to representing the real thing.
Ah I see, thank you for the insight! How long did you study in between your two exams?
I starting studying about 2 months before I took it.

CoronalRain
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:02 am

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by CoronalRain » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:32 am

I can provide some additional anecdotal evidence to support the idea that studying helps to improve mGRE test scores.

In April 2018, I scored a 670 (53%) with NO preparation whatsoever (I did this intentionally to figure out my baseline).

In October 2018, I scored a 710 (61%) after one month of pretty lax studying (mostly just calculus and linear algebra).

In September 2019, I scored a 740 (67%) after four months of part-time studying (on average 5-10 hours a week, since I was working full-time).

In October 2019, I scored a 760 (71%) after brushing up on some of my weaker areas in the month following the September test.

This isn't a huge jump, but it's important to keep in mind that my study schedule was pretty chill. If I had devoted more time to test prep in 2019, I think I could've broken 800, or at least gotten very close.

Cyclicduck
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by Cyclicduck » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:26 am

chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:29 am
I wouldn’t say that. The first time I took it I didn’t study at all and got a 44%, after I found out what it was like I focused on speed and scored a 70%. There was significant improvement but it was only because I got faster. I really didn’t gain any knowledge from studying for it. I still ran out of time with about 12 questions left. So the test is about speed mostly. The problem is how do you study for speed when there are only like 5 tests that actually come close to representing the real thing.
This isn't really true; you can do AMC10 or AMC12 tests (or two in a row) and that comes pretty close to what it's like.

chrisps1992
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by chrisps1992 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:55 pm

Cyclicduck wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:26 am
chrisps1992 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:29 am
I wouldn’t say that. The first time I took it I didn’t study at all and got a 44%, after I found out what it was like I focused on speed and scored a 70%. There was significant improvement but it was only because I got faster. I really didn’t gain any knowledge from studying for it. I still ran out of time with about 12 questions left. So the test is about speed mostly. The problem is how do you study for speed when there are only like 5 tests that actually come close to representing the real thing.
This isn't really true; you can do AMC10 or AMC12 tests (or two in a row) and that comes pretty close to what it's like.
I’m not familiar with those. Wish someone would have mentioned it when I was studying 😂

ahhhhmeh
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:13 pm

Re: Is the mGRE something that can be studied for?

Post by ahhhhmeh » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:19 am

From my dealings with the mGRE it covers the material that an undergrad math major should know. You can do pretty well with practice and studying. But Id say you need to take it once just to get a sense of what it’s like.

The problems are on the tougher side of undergrad math courses. Definitely can’t coast through it.



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