Mathematics GRE Workshop

GRE Mathematics Subject Test
MSRI-UP 2013
Is the GRE Important?
• Yes, the GRE general test (similar to SAT, but
harder) is required by essentially all grad
programs. Prepare for it!
• Yes, the GRE Mathematics Subject Test is
also very important.
– Many programs and most “top 25”
mathematical sciences graduate programs
require it, and thus, use it as part of their
acceptance and financial aid decisions
– Take it seriously and prepare for it!
GRE Mathematics Subject Test Basics
• Paper-based test given at various test centers
• Register online, costs $150
• Three test dates per year
next three: 28 Sept 2013, 19 Oct 2013, 05 April 2014
• Registration deadline ≈ 5 wks before test
(late deadline 1 wk later for $25 more)
• Scores online/phone ≈ 1 mo after test;
mailed to grad schools ≈ 5 wks after test
• Only 3-4 sharpened No. 2 or HB pencils and a
good eraser allowed (i.e., no calculator)
Content Overview
• The test consists of approximately 66 multiple-choice
questions drawn from courses commonly offered at the
undergraduate level. Test time is 170 minutes (i.e., 2:35
per question).
• Approximately 50% of questions involve calculus and its
applications — subject matter assumed common to the
backgrounds of almost all mathematics majors.
• About 25% of questions are in elementary algebra,
linear algebra, abstract algebra and number theory.
• The remaining questions deal with other areas of
mathematics currently studied by undergraduates in
many institutions.
Calculus, 50%
Differential and integral calculus of one and of
several variables — includes 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
• 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
Preparation Tips
Become a calculus tutor
Say “Yes” if asked to tutor linear algebra
Help friends with their math courses
Download official practice book today
• Start preparing at least 2 months before test
• Find a “study buddy” for the test and establish at
least 2 weekly 60-minute meeting times
• Establish a problems/week goal
Preparation Tips (cont’d)
• Do a minimum of two practice tests in test-like
conditions, i.e., by yourself in 170 minutes.
– There are three other old exams on Western
Michigan University’s Math Club website
• Princeton Review has a prep book (mixed
reviews b/c not enough problems) for $13.73
on amazon (ISBN: 0375429727).
• There is another prep book (mixed reviews) for
$12.53 on Amazon (ISBN: 0738608386). Book
has 6 practice “made-up” exams.
Test-Taking Tips
• Go to practice book
• Other tips from those in the room that are
good at taking standardized tests?
Let’s do some problems!
Email me ([email protected])
or Dr. Rubio to get a copy of
this presentation

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