GRE Math Subject Test

Northern

Hall of Fame
Is anyone here preparing for this, has done the exam recently, or is familiar with it, and would like to share their approach to prepare for it? What books did you use? I would be interested to hear about books that cover the exam's topics well. I hear Calculus (including Analysis) is about 50% of the test, 25% is Abstract Algebra, and the rest is a bunch of other topics like Differential Equations, Topology, etc.

I'm thinking about preparing to take this last year at a leisurely (but constant) pace, so I want to lay down a strategy and materials to do it confidently. They idea is to get a great grade to apply to be able to apply to some demanding graduate schools.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Dude just buy a couple of the latest editions of the guides instead of posting here and read the instructions and practice questions that come for free online when you register. The guides are updated every year and carefully follow the latest trends.

I bought one for my son though he is in Chem and Physics, just to give him a broad reference of Math. He is not going to take the subject test in Math.
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
Dude just buy a couple of the latest editions of the guides instead of posting here and read the instructions and practice questions that come for free online when you register. The guides are updated every year and carefully follow the latest trends.

I bought one for my son though he is in Chem and Physics, just to give him a broad reference of Math. He is not going to take the subject test in Math.
The reason I ask here is because I know of at least a couple people who have PhDs in Math (I think) that frequent these parts. Also, because I have been told that those guides are really not good to get a great grade (alliteration, anyone?) and you actually need to get some books that cover the different areas involved.

As a matter of fact, I see Apostol/Spivak/Stewart recommended a lot for the Calculus portion, Dummit and Foote for the Abstract Algebra, etc. I want to get as much first-hand feedback from people who have actually walked the walk, because I think it would be valuable.

BTW, what guides did you get for your son?
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
Is anyone here preparing for this, has done the exam recently, or is familiar with it, and would like to share their approach to prepare for it? What books did you use? I would be interested to hear about books that cover the exam's topics well. I hear Calculus (including Analysis) is about 50% of the test, 25% is Abstract Algebra, and the rest is a bunch of other topics like Differential Equations, Topology, etc.

I'm thinking about preparing to take this last year at a leisurely (but constant) pace, so I want to lay down a strategy and materials to do it confidently. They idea is to get a great grade to apply to be able to apply to some demanding graduate schools.
What? I took it and finished in a very high percentile. It certainly did NOT have diffy q, topology, abstract algebra, or calculus.

It's was a lot like an SAT test. Some algebra and mostly common sense. It's more of an intelligence test than a test on how much math you know.

Those subjects you mentioned are high level math. Non math majors don't know them. They're not right for a GRE test. Who told you that? Were they pulling your leg? Best to look at old GRE tests. Just get good at answering the type of questions they have on the test.
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
Grad school tests are stupid. Most of the smart people i knew in college studied an hour for every 20 hrs of n64 smash brothers they played. An iq test would be a better employee/grad school success predictor than a GRE. Following your passion/interests in perhaps a narrow subject in math is better than just memorizing the basics of everything just to score well on the GRE. But im basing this on the premise that the GRE is more knowledge/fact based and less iq correlated than the SAT. I could be wrong about this; if GREs are just as dependent on iq as SATs they should be just as good a predictor of success.
 
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dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Is anyone here preparing for this, has done the exam recently, or is familiar with it, and would like to share their approach to prepare for it? What books did you use? I would be interested to hear about books that cover the exam's topics well. I hear Calculus (including Analysis) is about 50% of the test, 25% is Abstract Algebra, and the rest is a bunch of other topics like Differential Equations, Topology, etc.

I'm thinking about preparing to take this last year at a leisurely (but constant) pace, so I want to lay down a strategy and materials to do it confidently. They idea is to get a great grade to apply to be able to apply to some demanding graduate schools.
Sounds damn hard and I never went beyond Alg and geometry
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
The reason I ask here is because I know of at least a couple people who have PhDs in Math (I think) that frequent these parts. Also, because I have been told that those guides are really not good to get a great grade (alliteration, anyone?) and you actually need to get some books that cover the different areas involved.

As a matter of fact, I see Apostol/Spivak/Stewart recommended a lot for the Calculus portion, Dummit and Foote for the Abstract Algebra, etc. I want to get as much first-hand feedback from people who have actually walked the walk, because I think it would be valuable.

BTW, what guides did you get for your son?
Math geek would be the king of math on this board
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The reason I ask here is because I know of at least a couple people who have PhDs in Math (I think) that frequent these parts. Also, because I have been told that those guides are really not good to get a great grade (alliteration, anyone?) and you actually need to get some books that cover the different areas involved.

As a matter of fact, I see Apostol/Spivak/Stewart recommended a lot for the Calculus portion, Dummit and Foote for the Abstract Algebra, etc. I want to get as much first-hand feedback from people who have actually walked the walk, because I think it would be valuable.

BTW, what guides did you get for your son?
I don't remember. The only one I saw in the Barnes and Noble. Princeton Review I think. I mean, when you search on Amazon, you will be lucky to find 2 different books for it marked for the year you are taking it. Be careful: look for the "for 2018" or "revised for 2018" etc or checkout the publication date on the left page inside the book. You will not find more than 2. Barrons might be another.

BTW, whoever told you that the guides are enough? The guides are just to give you an idea of the focus of the exam, introduce you to some tricks, provide practuce, and serve as review just before the exam. The main study has to be from books.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
What? I took it and finished in a very high percentile. It certainly did NOT have diffy q, topology, abstract algebra, or calculus.

It's was a lot like an SAT test. Some algebra and mostly common sense. It's more of an intelligence test than a test on how much math you know.

Those subjects you mentioned are high level math. Non math majors don't know them. They're not right for a GRE test. Who told you that? Were they pulling your leg? Best to look at old GRE tests. Just get good at answering the type of questions they have on the test.
This is a college level test for math majors. It includes abstract algebra, probability, multivariate calculus, vector calculus and partial differential eqns probably not, but does include complex analysis etc.

I think you are confusing with GRE general test math portion.

GRE Subject test without Calculus is not possible. I do not believe you. Calculus is first year material for all science and engg majors so I don't know what you are talking about.

And OP: don't look at old subject tests. Look at the new ones in the guides and the free ones from ETS.

Steady Eddy you are getting senile
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Content Specifications
The following content descriptions may assist students in preparing for the test. The percents given are estimates; actual percents will vary somewhat from one edition of the test to another.

CALCULUS — 50%

Material learned in the usual sequence of elementary calculus courses — differential and integral calculus of one and of several variables — including calculus-based applications and connections with coordinate geometry, trigonometry, differential equations; and other branches of mathematics.

ALGEBRA — 25%

  • Elementary algebra: basic algebraic techniques and manipulations acquired in high school and used throughout mathematics
  • Linear algebra: matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, vector spaces, linear transformations, characteristic polynomials, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • Abstract algebra and number theory: elementary topics from group theory, theory of rings and modules, field theory, and number theory
ADDITIONAL TOPICS — 25%

  • Introductory real analysis: sequences and series of numbers and functions, continuity, differentiability and integrability, and elementary topology of R and Rn
  • Discrete mathematics: logic, set theory, combinatorics, graph theory, and algorithms
  • Other topics: general topology, geometry, complex variables, probability and statistics, and numerical analysis
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Grad school tests are stupid. Most of the smart people i knew in college studied an hour for every 20 hrs of n64 smash brothers they played. An iq test would be a better employee/grad school success predictor than a GRE. Following your passion/interests in perhaps a narrow subject in math is better than just memorizing the basics of everything just to score well on the GRE. But im basing this on the premise that the GRE is more knowledge/fact based and less iq correlated than the SAT. I could be wrong about this; if GREs are just as dependent on iq as SATs they should be just as good a predictor of success.
No they are not stupid. The ones for engg and computer science were stupid because they did not match the diversity in the curriculum across colleges and have since been eliminated, but the science and math ones are very important. They serve as a check against the non-uniformity of colleges: from what is taught in a private liberal arts school (not much) to what is taught at MIT. They make sure that flakes do not enter grad school.

Of course the general arguments against any such test I am not refuting. There are many who believe that there should be no SAT or GRE and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
 

Vcore89

G.O.A.T.
Is anyone here preparing for this, has done the exam recently, or is familiar with it, and would like to share their approach to prepare for it? What books did you use? I would be interested to hear about books that cover the exam's topics well. I hear Calculus (including Analysis) is about 50% of the test, 25% is Abstract Algebra, and the rest is a bunch of other topics like Differential Equations, Topology, etc.

I'm thinking about preparing to take this last year at a leisurely (but constant) pace, so I want to lay down a strategy and materials to do it confidently. They idea is to get a great grade to apply to be able to apply to some demanding graduate schools.
Did fine in both the GMAT and GRE right out of uni with the aid of Barron's Educational Series and scored in the 96 percentile and I'm not a good test-taker. I'm sure you're gonna ace it with little prep.

Edit: Missed the Subject Test part.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
Did fine in both the GMAT and GRE right out of uni with the aid of Barron's Educational Series and scored in the 96 percentile and I'm not a good test-taker. I'm sure you're gonna ace it with little prep.
Eh no. This is the SUBJECT test not the math portion of the General test.
 

Vcore89

G.O.A.T.
...
Of course the general arguments against any such test I am not refuting. There are many who believe that there should be no SAT or GRE and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
Agree on this [SAT, GMAT and GRE] but you gotta need the MCATs and the LSATs.
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
No they are not stupid. The ones for engg and computer science were stupid because they did not match the diversity in the curriculum across colleges and have since been eliminated, but the science and math ones are very important. They serve as a check against the non-uniformity of colleges: from what is taught in a private liberal arts school (not much) to what is taught at MIT. They make sure that flakes do not enter grad school.

Of course the general arguments against any such test I am not refuting. There are many who believe that there should be no SAT or GRE and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
I have met people with 4.3 high school GPAs who were dumber than people at non-grade-inflating high schools who had 2.5 GPAs.
In other words, you need SATs to prove your high school isnt a joke.
You can boost your sat a significant amount by learning alot of latin etc, but SATs still correlate heavily with iq.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I have met people with 4.3 high school GPAs who were dumber than people at non-grade-inflating high schools who had 2.5 GPAs.
In other words, you need SATs to prove your high school isnt a joke.
You can boost your sat a significant amount by learning alot of latin etc, but SATs still correlate heavily with iq.
There have been many studies on this, and the only thing that correlates with SAT score is household income. That may be related to IQ, but the only statistically provable correlation is with income, regardless of people's opinions.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
There have been many studies on this, and the only thing that correlates with SAT score is household income. That may be related to IQ, but the only statistically provable correlation is with income, regardless of people's opinions.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
Another curious correlation.

I wonder why SAT scores correlate with income?

 

Northern

Hall of Fame
I don't remember. The only one I saw in the Barnes and Noble. Princeton Review I think. I mean, when you search on Amazon, you will be lucky to find 2 different books for it marked for the year you are taking it. Be careful: look for the "for 2018" or "revised for 2018" etc or checkout the publication date on the left page inside the book. You will not find more than 2. Barrons might be another.

BTW, whoever told you that the guides are enough? The guides are just to give you an idea of the focus of the exam, introduce you to some tricks, provide practuce, and serve as review just before the exam. The main study has to be from books.
You are thinking about the general GRE Math part. The one I'm talking about is the exam Mathematicians and other Science students take to go into Masters programs. Not the same kind of beast at all.
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
This is a college level test for math majors. It includes abstract algebra, probability, multivariate calculus, vector calculus and partial differential eqns probably not, but does include complex analysis etc.

I think you are confusing with GRE general test math portion.

GRE Subject test without Calculus is not possible. I do not believe you. Calculus is first year material for all science and engg majors so I don't know what you are talking about.

And OP: don't look at old subject tests. Look at the new ones in the guides and the free ones from ETS.

Steady Eddy you are getting senile
OK, so you know the difference. Just wondering since you suggested the Princeton Review texts. I guess they have some out for the GRE Math Subject test, but everone I have talked to seems to think that's not a good plan, at least in the initial phase.

I am working through the Dummit/Foote and Spivak books at the moment, after going through Stewart for a quick refresher.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Did fine in both the GMAT and GRE right out of uni with the aid of Barron's Educational Series and scored in the 96 percentile and I'm not a good test-taker. I'm sure you're gonna ace it with little prep.

Edit: Missed the Subject Test part.
Wow 96 !!
That is almost perfect
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
If I had math geeks brain super imposed into mine I would be an engineer not a store owner
I am not that smart but i am pretty sure if I cut out his brain and dumped it in my skull while removing my broken brain ...I would be dead
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I have met people with 4.3 high school GPAs who were dumber than people at non-grade-inflating high schools who had 2.5 GPAs.
In other words, you need SATs to prove your high school isnt a joke.
You can boost your sat a significant amount by learning alot of latin etc, but SATs still correlate heavily with iq.
Is that why I did so poorly ???
Mediocre on everything but I never studied for it
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
No they are not stupid. The ones for engg and computer science were stupid because they did not match the diversity in the curriculum across colleges and have since been eliminated, but the science and math ones are very important. They serve as a check against the non-uniformity of colleges: from what is taught in a private liberal arts school (not much) to what is taught at MIT. They make sure that flakes do not enter grad school.

Of course the general arguments against any such test I am not refuting. There are many who believe that there should be no SAT or GRE and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
I agree with your first paragraph, but not necessarily with the second one for multiple reasons. First, the focus for a Masters student is different from that of a Bachelor student, and one can't assume that anyone who would attain a Bachelor degree would necessarily be a good candidate to be successful at a Masters program. Second, there must be some sort of selection mechanism separate from High School and BS performance, because many people can take years before they decide to pursue a MS degree. I know at least a couple of people in their 50s who are studying for the GRE right now.
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
If I had math geeks brain super imposed into mine I would be an engineer not a store owner
I am not that smart but i am pretty sure if I cut out his brain and dumped it in my skull while removing my broken brain ...I would be dead
How do you know for sure? Are you a Neurosurgery expert?
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
....and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
School and college are useless for alot of ppl. If i wanted to become an engineer i could have finished high school math thru calculus and science thru ap physics when i was 12 and started colllege engineering at age 13.
When i took high school physics it literally felt like something i could have learned easily at age 10.
If someone says nurture is what makes your intelligence, then i ask them, do you really think my upbringing made physics a complete joke to me?
Do you thi k my parents smiling all the time and getting me special toys is what made me breeze through math and
Science?
You get paid for what you can do with information, not simply what information you have memorized.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Just take it multiple times. That way, you will get better each time you take it and have time to brush up on your weaknesses in between test taking. I don’t know if the powers to be will let you do multiple test taking endless sessions, however. If they do and they only show the highest score, that is the way I do it!
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
https://www.usnews.com/education/be...good-gre-score-for-graduate-school-admissions

It seems to point to a “minimum” score or threshold score for getting in. Seem to focus on the section(s) and what the major you what to get in to. Looks like this article is just an update and the magazine did not update the new scoring range from those interviewed earlier.

It you have many years of related job experience already, I don’t think the GRE scores is important. My personal opinion only!
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
Just take it multiple times. That way, you will get better each time you take it and have time to brush up on your weaknesses in between test taking. I don’t know if the powers to be will let you do multiple test taking endless sessions, however. If they do and they only show the highest score, that is the way I do it!
But even if they allowed that I feel that would be sort of gaming the system, I'd rather do it once right. I thankfully have all my notes from class (I scanned all of it too) so that is helping. The Princeton Review book that @sureshs mentioned is not great, but it is the only one I can find. There are no others, and this one is a little anticuated (it is from 2010.)
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
https://www.usnews.com/education/be...good-gre-score-for-graduate-school-admissions

It seems to point to a “minimum” score or threshold score for getting in. Seem to focus on the section(s) and what the major you what to get in to. Looks like this article is just an update and the magazine did not update the new scoring range from those interviewed earlier.

It you have many years of related job experience already, I don’t think the GRE scores is important. My personal opinion only!
I don't have too much experience, and Mathematics is a little different in that regard. The schools I want to get into are very competitive with people all over the World applying to get in, so a great GRE score is a necessity.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Northern, you can take GRE up to 5 time a year if it is the computer exam and written GRE is unlimited per year. Cost about $205 each time and is about 3 hours long for computer version and longer for the manual written.

I would take it the 1st time and study on what you think are your weaknesses and wait for the scores to see if you score is within the minimum for your schools you want to apply too. Of course you could treat it as a game too, trying to max your score but it seems if you qualify, you qualify already!
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
Northern, you can take GRE up to 5 time a year if it is the computer exam and written GRE is unlimited per year. Cost about $205 each time and is about 3 hours long for computer version and longer for the manual written.

I would take it the 1st time and study on what you think are your weaknesses and wait for the scores to see if you score is within the minimum for your schools you want to apply too. Of course you could treat it as a game too, trying to max your score but it seems if you qualify, you qualify already!
Thank you, it does make sense from a tactical point to do that, but I would like to do it right the first time (or at least get as close to getting it right as possible.) The idea of taking the exam multiple times is not optimal.

EDIT: OK, I guess maybe this is a common thing enough to do that they have provisions for it: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/scoreselect

I don't know. Maybe I should take the test once to test the waters? The original plan was to take it next October.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Thank you, it does make sense from a tactical point to do that, but I would like to do it right the first time (or at least get as close to getting it right as possible.) The idea of taking the exam multiple times is not optimal.

EDIT: OK, I guess maybe this is a common thing enough to do that they have provisions for it: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/scoreselect

I don't know. Maybe I should take the test once to test the waters? The original plan was to take it next October.
Knowing that you can take the GRE multiple times should take a lot of the test taking pressures off you and kind of treat as a game I think. If you do well in the first time, walk away! LOL!:)
 

JK123

New User
I have prepared for the exam in last year, however due to Covid, I did not able to attend the exam. In that case I have followed 5LB. Book of GRE practice that I got from eduhelphub.com, and interesting thing is that the book has covered all the topic in a very good way.
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
No they are not stupid. The ones for engg and computer science were stupid because they did not match the diversity in the curriculum across colleges and have since been eliminated, but the science and math ones are very important. They serve as a check against the non-uniformity of colleges: from what is taught in a private liberal arts school (not much) to what is taught at MIT. They make sure that flakes do not enter grad school.

Of course the general arguments against any such test I am not refuting. There are many who believe that there should be no SAT or GRE and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
Im just saying that i would rather hire a genius who didnt learn much math at his community college than an idiot who spent his entire life studying in hs to get into MIT and then spent his entire life studying math at MIT to get a good math GRE score. The genius with an actual math curiosity is going to do better for your company than an idiot who can only regurgitate the material you could just find in a textbook or wiki page.

most of your raw conceptual ability is genetic.
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
There have been many studies on this, and the only thing that correlates with SAT score is household income. That may be related to IQ, but the only statistically provable correlation is with income, regardless of people's opinions.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
This is actually completely false and you should literally take a very long look at yourself if you think you are doing good for the world by lying like this.

if you and i both get to choose one statistic about a person to determine most accurately what that persons SEO (socioeconomic outcome/how much money you make) will be in life, and you choose “wealth of the persons parents” and i choose the persons iq) i will be able to better predict the persons SEO than you will. In other words, Iq matters more than how much money your parents have.

Paris hilton is not going to do well in med school and make a bunch of money for herself as a doctor.
So for you to think someone like paris hilton with a 90 iq is going to be able to make money as easily in america as a kid with poor parents who has a 160iq, then you look like an absolute jack4ass.

if you want to go further into this i would ask you to explain why the 3 best engineering countries in the world also are the 3 countries with the highest national avg iq. Japan, South korea and germany.

sureshs i hear there are lots of rich people in dubai, you should go invest in their kids futures because according to you the child of a multibillionaire oil tycoon and trophy wife will be even more capable of producing value than elon musk or jeff bezos.

Im sorry sureshs if you think just because your parents are wealthy that you will be making lots of money one day. Unfortunately it doesnt work that way.

the truth doesnt care about your delicate feelings sureshs.
 

Djokovicfan

Semi-Pro
and schools should look only at high school or college grades, otherwise it means that school and college are useless.
have you heard of grade inflation?
America is bursting at the seams full of kids with 4,3 high school averages who wouldnt be able to figure out how to unscrew a lightbulb. SATs keep schools honest.
If schools like princeton yale harvard accepted ppl based only on high school gpa, you would have a random selection of american students who not only cant do research but cant even spell the word research.
 

yossarian

Professional
Paris hilton is not going to do well in med school and make a bunch of money for herself as a doctor.
So for you to think someone like paris hilton with a 90 iq is going to be able to make money as easily in america as a kid with poor parents who has a 160iq, then you look like an absolute jack4ass.
You think this is supporting your argument but it isn’t

Paris Hilton is making FAR more money than your typical person with an IQ of 160
 

Azure

G.O.A.T.
You think this is supporting your argument but it isn’t

Paris Hilton is making FAR more money than your typical person with an IQ of 160
Making money in life is a complex mix of general intelligence, inherited wealth, circumstances and luck I believe.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Making money in life is a complex mix of general intelligence, inherited wealth, circumstances and luck I believe.
But inherited wealth is being given money, not making money. I think for "average" people, it's also all about higher education and picking a career endeavor where there's demand. I work in academia and there's nothing more puzzling than students choosing to be a philosophy major and even getting an M.A. or doctorate in philosophy and realizing there's absolutely no demand for it. Most of my grad students are not in grad school to learn anything, they're in class to postpone adulthood (at least in America).

Building wealth is also about prudent investing and starting young. Even a person working at McDonalds should be sheltering a portion of their income and building a nest egg for retirement.... which comes a lot sooner than people realize.
 

Azure

G.O.A.T.
But inherited wealth is being given money, not making money. I think for "average" people, it's also all about higher education and picking a career endeavor where there's demand. I work in academia and there's nothing more puzzling than students choosing to be a philosophy major and even getting an M.A. or doctorate in philosophy and realizing there's absolutely no demand for it. Most of my grad students are not in grad school to learn anything, they're in class to postpone adulthood (at least in America).

Building wealth is also about prudent investing and starting young. Even a person working at McDonalds should be sheltering a portion of their income and building a nest egg for retirement.... which comes a lot sooner than people realize.
Absolutely agree - I should have worded it more carefully. I strongly believe in saving for the proverbial rainy day and also in learning tools that are relevant to our age and day.
 
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