Physics GRE Subject Test Prep
For the past three years, I have been organizing and teaching a short preparatory course on the Physics GRE Subject Test. The course is intended for third- or fourth-year undergraduates who are interested in applying for graduate school in physics. The course includes a review of topics from undergraduate physics as well as time-saving strategies for approaching problems on the test.
Spring 2016 Semester Slides
- Day 1 (2/23/16) : Introduction to the test and some problem solving tricks
- Day 2 (3/1/16) : Review practice test, Atomic Physics
- Day 3 (3/8/16) : Statistical Mechanics, Receive new practice test
- Day 4 (3/15/16) : Circuits, Optics
- Day 5 (3/22/16) : Diffraction and Interference Patterns; Making Difficult Problems Easy; Pass out extra practice tests
Spring 2015 Semester Slides
- Day 1 : Introduction to the test and problem solving tricks
- Day 1a : Review ETS practice test
- Day 2 : Statistical Mechanics; Blackbody Radiation
- Day 3 : Thermodynamics
- Day 4 : Special Topics: Atomic Physics; Particle Physics; Nuclear Physics; Overview of other advanced topics
- Day 5 : Example problems: making difficult problems easier
- Essentials : A list of basic topics to study that very often show up in various forms on the Physics GRE. You have no excuse to sit the test without reviewing the topics listed here.
Below is the curriculum and slides for the version of the course that was taught in the Spring semester of 2014.
- Lecture 1 : Introduction to the test and problem solving tricks
- Lecture 2 : Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
- Lecture 3 : Optics, Diffraction, Waves
- Lecture 4 : Atomic and Particle Physics
- Lecture 5 : Circuits, Nuclear Physics, Special Relativity
- Lecture 6 : Making Difficult Problems Easy
In addition to reviewing the slides, I recommend sitting down and taking practice tests in real time (at 8:30 AM on a Saturday morning) to get a feel for what it's like to actually take the Physics GRE. You can find four practice tests (real tests from past years) here at the Ohio State SPS GRE prep website or by using your favorite search engine. The practice exams include answer sheets and rubrics for determining your final score.
The official ETS website contains a lot of basic information about the format of the Physics GRE test. They also provide you with a fifth practice test.
Some additional study resources include the Ohio State SPS website (which includes practice problem sets with solutions) and GREPhysics.net (which has not been updated in years but does contain worked solutions to all problems from four of the practice exams).
Teaching Assistantships
I have worked as a teaching assistant for a number of physics courses at Cornell University:
- Laboratory Teaching Assistant, Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism (for majors), Fall 2014
- Teaching Assistant, Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2012
- Teaching Assistant, Physics I: Mechanics and Heat, Fall 2011