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#1 2007-06-19 16:12:03

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

GRE subject test

I've started studying for the Math GRE subject test today, you can click here to download a practice test.  1/2 of it is only introductory calculus, the other half on Algebra, Number Theory, Combinatorics, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and even some Topology and Vector Calculus thrown in there.  Some of them are fairly tricky.

Number 63 is a *$*# *#&*#&#* *#&#*# (don't try to interpret that, it's a random mashing of the keys).  Think of it like a computer scientists evaluating an algorithm and you should get the right answer.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#2 2007-06-19 18:30:21

MathsIsFun
Administrator
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,552

Re: GRE subject test

64 questions in less than three hours? And all of them quite different. That is one tough exam!

It says "The scores of the Mathematics Test population have increased substantially since the test was first scaled in 1952, and an increasingly large percentage of individuals each year have been earning 990, the highest possible score on the scale."

Good news for mathematics, but bad news for someone taking the test.


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#3 2007-06-19 18:43:46

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

64 questions in less than three hours? And all of them quite different. That is one tough exam!

66.  I finished and calculated my score in just over 2 hours, but a lot of problems I guessed on and didn't go back to like I would have while taking the actual test.  Got a 700, so not horrible for the first try.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#4 2007-06-20 04:29:05

Identity
Member
Registered: 2007-04-18
Posts: 934

Re: GRE subject test

Is the answer to 63

. All the other questions on the test are hard! You must have to be a polymath to do well on that.

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#5 2007-06-20 05:12:01

mathsyperson
Moderator
Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

Re: GRE subject test

There's a mark scheme with all the answers on page 56 of the PDF.
Interestingly, it also has the percentage of entrants who gave the correct answer. The question in question was answered correctly by 17% of them (so they could have done better by guessing tongue).
I got it right though. smile


Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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#6 2007-06-20 07:34:00

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

Nope identity, you gotta add one more.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#7 2007-06-20 08:13:56

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

60 is another one that I tried to take an educated guess on and got wrong.  But it becomes amazingly easy if you start at the top and work your way to the bottom.




"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#8 2007-06-21 03:26:40

Identity
Member
Registered: 2007-04-18
Posts: 934

Re: GRE subject test

Ricky wrote:

Nope identity, you gotta add one more.

But how???

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#9 2007-06-21 04:31:05

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

x¹² is eventually taken over 2^x.  You can see this by comparing their derivatives.  It happens at a fairly high number, but none the less, it happens.  And when it does, there is a third intersection.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#10 2007-06-21 07:25:43

Identity
Member
Registered: 2007-04-18
Posts: 934

Re: GRE subject test

Oh I see, too bad the 'solve' command only gives 2 solutions >.<

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#11 2007-06-21 08:18:31

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

It does so because there is no general algebraic way to solve an equation with 2^x.  All other methods like guess and check only work if you know where to guess.  So the solve function will guess values and compares the distance between the two functions.  x¹² = 2^x tricks the solve feature because it starts getting further from each other, and then after a while gets closer.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#12 2007-06-21 09:40:43

Zhylliolom
Real Member
Registered: 2005-09-05
Posts: 412

Re: GRE subject test

When are you taking it? I need to take mine very soon as well.

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#13 2007-06-21 09:43:03

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

I'm still not certain.  The last month I can really take it in is October.  But I'm hoping to take it in August so I have 2 more chances to take it if I screw something up.

Plus, I'll be taking Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Topology and Geometry, and Advanced Discrete Mathematics all next semester, so I figure by October I'll know more about some of the more advanced questions on there.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#14 2007-06-21 14:31:13

Zhylliolom
Real Member
Registered: 2005-09-05
Posts: 412

Re: GRE subject test

Sounds like a good plan. It's nice to have extra chances if you feel that you didn't prepare yourself well enough the first time around. I don't think that anything I'm taking this coming semester will help me too much on the exam, so I'm thinking about taking it in August too, and possibly a retake if I feel that I could have done better. My only problem is that I need to figure out if I'll be at home or at school when the test is administered. I'll probably be at school for TA training though. I think I have about 2 weeks still before I need to be certain of that so I can register by the deadline.

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#15 2007-06-22 16:35:28

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

On the test, there seem to be a lot I can solve, but I wouldn't be able to if it wasn't multiple choice.  For example, 31.  If I assume that 1/4 is a root of the polynomial, it becomes fairly easy to show that it must be 2^4 | 3^2 + 2^10b, which is impossible.  But is there another way to do this problem?


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#16 2007-07-22 09:11:10

bman
Member
Registered: 2007-07-22
Posts: 1

Re: GRE subject test

hi everybody. Check this out.
let x is in [1,3] and y is in [1,4] whare x and y are uniform random variables. what is the probability that y>x?

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#17 2007-07-22 09:40:08

mathsyperson
Moderator
Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

Re: GRE subject test

You should make your own topic for this question rather than put it on top of someone else's.

But, 2/3.


Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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#18 2007-11-06 14:18:52

LuisRodg
Real Member
Registered: 2007-10-23
Posts: 322

Re: GRE subject test

Ricky. Sorry for digging up this old topic but I was just interested in it. Did you actually take the GRE? How did you do? I am just a freshman right now doing a Math major and Im just taking Calculus I and I was fairly intimidated by that test...I hope the next 4 years of math classes prepare for it.

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#19 2007-11-07 05:47:13

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

I did actually just take it not more than 4 days ago.  It was fairly difficult although I feel I did quite well.  I have to wait till mid December to find out though.

But while I was taking the test, ever time I looked up when thinking over a problem, I noticed that the proctor was very frequently looking straight at me.  I have a tendency to let my eyes wander while I think, to make weird gestures with my hands, or even talk to myself unconsciously.  So I was thinking that she thought I was cheating or perhaps distracting others.  It wasn't until 3 or so minutes before the exam ended that I turned around and noticed there was a clock behind my head!  She was just watching the clock... not me.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#20 2007-11-07 05:58:12

LuisRodg
Real Member
Registered: 2007-10-23
Posts: 322

Re: GRE subject test

Hehe. I guess we are similar. I behave the same when taking tests or doing something that requires my total attention. Its like, my mind is totally concentrated on what im doing but its like my body starts moving to relieve the stress, like I start bumping my legs, making weird faces etc. tongue

Anyways, by knowing your taking the GRE I would assume you are an undergrad student, right? By looking at some of your posts I actually expected you to hold a Phd in math or something because you seem very knowledgeable. What college you going to?

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#21 2007-11-07 09:12:13

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: GRE subject test

Wow, thanks!  I am an undergrad attending Virginia Tech majoring in math and computer science.  Hopefully I'll be graduating this spring and get into a PhD program next year, but I'm still almost completely clueless as to which I want to attend.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#22 2007-11-07 11:40:48

LuisRodg
Real Member
Registered: 2007-10-23
Posts: 322

Re: GRE subject test

I see. Im still a freshman so i got a long way to go but hey, I heard time flies in college.

When I entered college I came with the idea of doing a Double Major in Math and CS but some of the classes that are required for the CS major I simply hate which require public speaking, presentations etc. So I decided to drop the CS major and actually just minor in it which doesnt require any of the useless extra classes so Im hoping to do a math major and cs minor.

You mentioned about getting into a a Phd program right after you graduate. I have similar ideas but also a lot of doubts since I dont know if one must first get a MS and then a Phd or just get the Phd straight. Whats the best route in your opinion?

Im currently attending FIU here in Miami and I would love to go to UM (University of Miami) for Graduate School. I was researching a bit and it shows that if you apply for the Phd and request financial assistance they give you a tuition waiver for 18 credits (each credit costs $1300 so you do the math tongue ) and also an stipend ranging from 15-17k for being a Teaching Assistance. That would be so PERFECT for me. They also dont require the GRE Math subject test but I think im still gonna take it just to see how im doing. Lets see what happens. As of right now I would love to go to UM's Grad School but then again im just a freshman.

Heres a post I made about it:

http://www.mathisfunforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=8598

Been nice talking to you Ricky.

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#23 2008-04-01 04:47:12

LuisRodg
Real Member
Registered: 2007-10-23
Posts: 322

Re: GRE subject test

So here i am just digging up your post again.

What was your score on the test? Did you graduate yet?

Also, when should one take the GRE subject test? Junior or Senior?

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