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July 2, 2021

Reevaluating the weight of the physics GRE in admissions

Currently, more than 200 students are enrolled in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy graduate program and like most applicants across the country, the physics hopefuls were required to take the physics Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, to get there. The test costs just over $200, is administered early Saturday morning and requires the prospective student to answer 100 rapid-fire questions in just three hours.

According to the physics GRE website, the money and time are worth it. Doing well on the test will help students stand out like a diamond in the rough among the thousands of other applications being sifted through admissions committees buried in them.

But will it?

New research published by Nick Young, fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering and his adviser, Danny Caballero, associate professor and co-director of the Physics Education Research Lab, used rigorous statistical models to analyze data on this important question and the answer, supported by the data, was no.

Read more on the College of Natural Science website.

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