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Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants
written by Lindsay M. Owens, Benjamin M. Zwickl, Scott V. Franklin, and Casey W. Miller
The use of the Physics GRE in graduate admissions has gained considerable attention in recent years. While studies have shown the problematic nature of the exam quantitatively, it is time that student experiences were also included in the discussion. In this qualitative study, we interviewed 69 current graduate physics and astronomy students about their process of deciding where to apply to graduate school. Physics GRE requirements played a substantial role in this decision, with 48 students mentioning the test as part of their process to narrow programs down to a personalized short-list. Participants discussed potential barriers (e.g., financial and travel) that affected some students, but not others, which created an unequal playing field for grad school applicants. Secondly, while the participants noticed a shift towards more departments having "optional'' GRE language, female student participants still felt the need to take and submit their Physics GRE scores, while male student participants truly saw "optional'' as optional. These results suggest that graduate programs requiring the Physics GRE are doing more than asking prospective graduate students to simply take a physics test, and that the use of 'optional' requirement language may be inadvertently disadvantaging the very students that they are trying to recruit.
Physics Education Research Conference 2020
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: July 22-23, 2020
Pages 382-387
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Careers
- Recruitment
= Diversity
- School Improvement
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Instruments
- Upper Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2020…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2020.pr.Owens
Keyword:
PERC 2020
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 27, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 1, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 1, 2020
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Record Link
AIP Format
L. Owens, B. Zwickl, S. Franklin, and C. Miller, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361).
AJP/PRST-PER
L. Owens, B. Zwickl, S. Franklin, and C. Miller, Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361>.
APA Format
Owens, L., Zwickl, B., Franklin, S., & Miller, C. (2020, July 22-23). Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361
Chicago Format
Owens, L, B. Zwickl, S. Franklin, and C. Miller. "Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, July 22-23, 2020. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361 (accessed 1 March 2021).
MLA Format
Owens, Lindsay M., Benjamin Zwickl, Scott Franklin, and Casey Miller. "Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants." Physics Education Research Conference 2020. Virtual Conference: 2020. 382-387 of PER Conference. 1 Mar. 2021 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Lindsay M. Owens and Benjamin Zwickl and Scott Franklin and Casey Miller", Title = {Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2020}, Pages = {382-387}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 22-23}, Year = {2020} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lindsay M. Owens
%A Benjamin Zwickl
%A Scott Franklin
%A Casey Miller
%T Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants
%S PER Conference
%D July 22-23 2020
%P 382-387
%C Virtual Conference
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%O July 22-23
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Owens, Lindsay M.
%A Zwickl, Benjamin
%A Franklin, Scott
%A Miller, Casey
%D July 22-23 2020
%T Physics GRE Requirements Create Uneven Playing Field for Graduate Applicants
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%C Virtual Conference
%P 382-387
%S PER Conference
%8 July 22-23
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15513&DocID=5361


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