Summer between undergrad and grad school

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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blue_math
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:28 am

Summer between undergrad and grad school

Post by blue_math » Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:24 pm

Hi everyone,

I was just wondering, what do people do (usually) in the summer between undergrad and grad school? Study/REU? Travel? Take "jumpstart" courses? Any experiences or advice would be appreciated!

temporaryacct
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:23 am

Re: Summer between undergrad and grad school

Post by temporaryacct » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:59 pm

I'm a first year PhD student. I wasn't planning on doing anything the summer before grad school, but I ended up doing a very casual research project.

It partly depends on what school you decide to go to and their policy on entrance exams or qualifying exams. Some schools allow you to have a free chance at taking the qualifying exams or to test out of courses in the fall so you may want to spend some time studying for those.

However, don't feel obligated to do something productive. It's very common for people to take advantage of one of the last opportunities to have a summer off from math. Some people travel, some take the opportunity to make some money, some just sit around. All are common and totally acceptable!

UniformlyDivergent
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:32 pm

Re: Summer between undergrad and grad school

Post by UniformlyDivergent » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:08 pm

temporaryacct wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:59 pm
However, don't feel obligated to do something productive. It's very common for people to take advantage of one of the last opportunities to have a summer off from math. Some people travel, some take the opportunity to make some money, some just sit around. All are common and totally acceptable!
I'm in this camp, personally. My original plan was to take whatever money I had left and go tour Spain. Obviously with COVID (read "!@#$ing COVID"), that's not likely to happen, but the point stands. You're gonna be in school for another +4 years, so if there's anything you're really itching to do, I would do it now if you can. Mind you, there are still summers, and opportunities to travel are not uncommon from what I hear.

On the other hand, if you do decided to study up, it seems from what I've heard is that the best thing to do is to review your fundamentals. Crack open you analysis/algebra/topology books again and review. The first two years will teach you what you need to know, but they'll expect a lot of stuff you may have forgot. If you're a TA, it may pay dividends to go over some of your first-years coursework too. Especially if you know what class you will be teaching, I would consider spending the time.

Whatever you choose is good. Enjoy the journey. -UD



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