Confused, where to start.

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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priyanshu
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2022 4:46 am

Confused, where to start.

Post by priyanshu » Mon Dec 26, 2022 6:07 am

Hi everyone, I am new here. I am a first master's student (mathematics and computing) in India (in one of the NITs).
I have always been interested in mathematics and am willing to study more so I am thinking of a Ph.D.
But for starters, I have no research experience yet and I fairly like all disciplines like algebra and analysis. I am very confused about how to go about researching and writing my own papers to build a better CV.
Also, the sample papers for GRE seemed not so hard for me so I am a bit confused about the difficulty level of this exam.
Please guide me on a rough pathway to what should i do so in my next three semesters along with my studies to become a catch for the universities.
Btw my score in my bachelor math honors is 7.9/10. Is it bad?
Thankyou.

crepant
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2022 9:20 am

Re: Confused, where to start.

Post by crepant » Mon Dec 26, 2022 11:00 am

The situation might be very different between Universities. In my University, you need to choose a professor to work with when you start your master's degree. If not, you should find a professor to work with as soon as possible. You said that you are basically interested in everything, but you still need to choose one to start with, that would be worth it even if you ended up quitting. If you genuinely don't know, choose the professor who looks friendly.

You can consider asking the professors and your seniors about admission results. And you can choose the schools based on the feedback. (For example, you may know whether 7.9/10 is a good score.) You can pick 30 schools in the same ranking and start to look at the faculty members to target 10 schools. (Of course, the numbers are just hypothetical)

You can check the admission website of those schools. They will tell you what to do to improve your application, and what they are looking for.

In general, you should try to look for research experience in the subsequent semesters or in the summer. Furthermore, you can try to take more advanced math courses. You should definitely start to plan your source of recommendation letters.

The sGRE is slightly harder than the sample papers. This is because the sGRE is getting harder every year, and the sample papers are past tests. However, if you feel like it is way too easy, you are correct. In my opinion, the difficulty is closer to the entrance exam of the undergraduate math program, and the best time frame to take it is at the end of the first year of undergraduate study. As far as I know, you don't need to ace the test, because the programs know that this has nothing to do with math research. They just want to check whether you are mathematically flawed at a calculus level.

I studied for the test for 3 hours the day before the test, and my score was 95%. The score was not good compared to someone putting effort into preparing, but I don't think it was bad either. Furthermore, most programs don't need GRE or subject GRE. I don't think you should be worried about the test.

Finally, you should study for the language tests. I recommend you take the TOEFL before the application season. Especially if you think your English is not prepared.

SchursLemma
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:16 am

Re: Confused, where to start.

Post by SchursLemma » Wed Dec 28, 2022 12:07 am

priyanshu wrote:
Mon Dec 26, 2022 6:07 am
Hi everyone, I am new here. I am a first master's student (mathematics and computing) in India (in one of the NITs).
I have always been interested in mathematics and am willing to study more so I am thinking of a Ph.D.
But for starters, I have no research experience yet and I fairly like all disciplines like algebra and analysis. I am very confused about how to go about researching and writing my own papers to build a better CV.
Also, the sample papers for GRE seemed not so hard for me so I am a bit confused about the difficulty level of this exam.
Please guide me on a rough pathway to what should i do so in my next three semesters along with my studies to become a catch for the universities.
Btw my score in my bachelor math honors is 7.9/10. Is it bad?
Thankyou.
Your undergraduate GPA would be considered good or bad depending on where you did your undergrad. You must compensate for it by scoring as high as possible in your Masters.

Be warned that US universities expect more from Masters students, especially from places like India (because of the number of applications, and a wide spectrum of available institutions the applicant may be coming from), so dial back your expectations a bit. Without sounding rude, I must say that NITs aren't that known for math in the US.

You would probably have more luck with applying to applied math programs from mid-tier universities at best.



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