Post # 1
EDITED: Sorry, I know this should go on the lounge!! Can we move threads? Moderator, please help!
I’m taking my GRE in two weeks. I’ve been studying here and there but for some reason have NOT been as dedicated as I should be!! Well, I think the reason for that is the program I am hoping to get into blatantly states that they do not look at your math GRE scores, just looking for an average score on the Verbal. I know the head of the program and a lot of your admission depends on the letters of recommendation, prior grades and personal statement. Anyways – I need to get my booty going. Anybody who’s taken it, what’s the most important thing to know, in your opinion? The math questions on the practice exams scare the shi* out of me!!
Post # 3
It’s been so long since I’ve taken it, I really don’t have any advice-I just wanted to tell you that you have my support! Math is definitely NOT my thing-I think that is part of what made me a good middle school math teacher bc I totally got the math phobia thing. I just remember that testing wiped me out-get lots of rest so you are not fatigued the day of, drink plenty of water, but not enough that you will have to potty during testing. Stay calm, read all parts of every question….and try not to worry.
I took it as a senior during my undergrad bc a wise professor (my advisor) told me that even if I thought I’d never need it, to go ahead and take it while my brain was still in “college mode”. So I did-thank goodness bc I don’t think I could’ve handlded it later.
Good luck! 🙂
Post # 4
Thank you, liztwinz!! Can you not get up to pee if need be?! I have the smallest bladder in the world so that is GREAT advice!!
Post # 5
I just took the GRE in February. The biggest help for me was a set of 500 flash cards of common GRE words and their definitions, I got mine at B&N and they were wonderful! For the math section, I went over the practice tests on the CD that I got when I registered ( I think you can get it online too) and the math review document. I didn’t study more than two weeks ahead of time, and it went just fine! Be sure to get lots of sleep, and don’t let it faze you when you get in there. If you haven’t written an essay recently within a time limit, I’d practice that too.
Post # 6
you can pee I think, but it takes away from your test time and they check that you don’t bring anything in with you to the test room.
When I took it I practiced with a Barron’s prep book. The best thing that I learned from that book is that if you run out of time on the written section take your intro paragraph and copy it exactly for your conclusion paragraph. You can change the order of the sentences around a little bit if you want. But this is what I did in my written section and I scored 6.5 out of 7 I think.
For the verbal just memorize a ton of words. I didn’t do so well on that part. It also helps if you use some of that vocabulary in the written essay section.
Post # 7
The Princeton review book helped me a lot!
Post # 8
go to ets.org (I think?) and download the full version of the computer test. There are two of them. Its a really good way to figure out how to take the test. Also grab the Kaplan book. It suggests learning the words in groups instead of learning exact definitions and other stuff.
Post # 9
Great advice, ladies… Thank you!! I need to make a trip back to Borders and pick up some of these books!!
Post # 10
ahh, i’m right there with you! I took the GRE for the first time back in August, and will be taking it again in the next week just to see if I can boost my scores.
..I’m sleepy, so I didn’t thoroughly read through every post…sorry if this repeats anything mentioned above!
I would definitely get a test prep book, I think I used Kaplan and was really pleased with it. For vocabulary, flash cards helped me a lot and going through the most commonly used words on the GRE was really important..I actually remember seeing a good amount of them on my actual exam. Also, pay attention to all of the ‘tricks’ and shortcuts that the test prep books give you, because I think that they actually help. This way, even if you have no idea what the word means, there is still a good chance you will get it right just by understanding (and therefore avoiding) how the test makers are trying to trick you. 🙂 Always good to know!
I’d say it’s roughly the same approach with the math section. That was definitely not my forte, but having a general grasp on the math concepts helped. From the questions I had, it would definitely be good to memorize certain formulas and measurements related to geometry (the test prep books should come equipped with all of these.) Though, knowing the tricks and shortcuts in this section was REALLY helpful. As my little book put it, you actually rarely need to compute any answers..just know the tricks! There’s such a short amount of time to do the quantitative section in, so this makes a lot of sense; you need to learn them because if you truly had to sit and compute every single question, there wouldn’t be enough time.
Buuuut, that’s just my 2 cents. I hate taking tests, so hopefully this bit-o-information helps you some. Good luck!!
Post # 11
thanks theBlueGretchen. Thats a good tip about math -if I can weed out wrong answers by just looking at what it’s LIKELY to be, I’ll probably do better than if I sit there and panic and sweat trying to figure out the actual correct answer!
Post # 12
I don’t remember if you can get up to potty or not. When I took my comprehensive exams for my Masters-there was no getting up PERIOD. Not at all-no standing, etc. and if you had to leave the testing site to go to the bathroom, that was the end of your test-finished or not. You have to remember that I graduated with my bachelors degree in, um…spring of 1994. I’ve taken alot of tests since then for certificate renewal for graduate classes, teacher certification, etc. so after awhile they all tend to run together. Except for comps that is-talk about some stress there!
I have to laugh when I read about you “younger” girls getting materials on CD. When I was an undergrad, I used a TYPEWRITER (yes, a typewriter!) to type my papers on-including my thesis! If you found a mistake later, yes, you had to go back and retype the entire thing! The computers that we did have were ancient-black screen with green characters and very, very, very slow. We used the small square disks. In teacher ed, no one was using email-it was just starting and the big old Apples we used had three of the big disks that you had to change out with a stackable disk drive with the large disks that were floppy with a hole in the middle. There were no flash drives, no net meetings, no virtual conferences, everything was seat time in class because there was no internet. NO INTERNET! UGH! I think about that now and it is amazing that technology has come so far, so fast.
Post # 13
i took the gre earlier this month…i took a class with kaplan over the summer, just bc with working fulltime i hadn’t been motivated to study on my own, and it was really, really helpful! i think they sell a stand-alone package of their online materials–quizzes and workshops that teach you their tricks–and i’d definitely recommend that! it was really helpful to learn their shortcuts and their insights on the test.
for verbal specifically, so much is in vocab, so studying flashcards was really helpful.
for math, besides knowing the shortcuts, what really tripped me up when i was studying was silly mistakes–i could memorize all the formulas, but they didn’t help if i kept making addition errors or reducing fractions wrong! since the test/score adjusts to your correct/incorrect responses, making minor errors can screw your score. also, i had trouble just getting through the questions. for me, i really needed to practice the basic i hadn’t worked on since high school, and re-learning some basic number properties–like the rules of odd/even numbers, negatives/positives, and rules about zero and fractions. i ended up with a score i’m really happy with, and for the last few days of studying i really focused on the stuff i thought was “easy” but kept tripping me up.
also, you can get up to pee during the test! you have to sign in and out of the testing room, and if you leave during the section the time keeps ticking, but there’s a 10 min break btwn the writing and the other sections.
Post # 14
@amariam25: I love that suggestion about the intro/conclusion! I wish I’d have known that!
Especially since the verbal is the more important part of the test for your admission, I would concentrate on flash cards to learn those “most-used” vocab words (I got a Barron book and it included them). I think I learned a few hundred before the test and like 3 were on it!! And those were three I would not have known otherwise, haha actually I wasn’t aware of most of these words 😛
I am in engineering so the math was more important for me, the first time I took it I wasn’t satisfied with my score so I studied a TON and retook it and actually did worse!! I think it was because it screwed up all my instincts and timing (I think I had like 6 questions left over at the end–very bad!) So you should take a couple practice tests to get down the timing and the general feel of the questions, but don’t screw with your natural rhythm too much! But definitely get the underlying concepts down, that will help a lot on the math!
Hahaha and I feel you with the peeing thing! One of my biggest fears is being trapped in the test and unable to get out, lol. I think I did get up once, but it was during a break (you get a few between sections) and I RAN so that I wouldn’t miss out on time. Just don’t drink coffee that morning, the adrenaline will keep you nice and alert anyway!
Edit: I just remembered that they changed the format a little after I took it (~4 years ago?) so if anything I said doesn’t make sense in the context of the new test, ignore it! 🙂
Post # 15
i took it a long time ago so i probably wont be much help. i just remember that although i studied, i still didn’t know anything on the test and i felt like i was guessing the whole time, but it all turned out ok and i still got a good enough score for grad school. good luck!
Post # 16
- Wedding: April 2010 - Marie Gabrielle, Dallas
I took it and thought the math had a ton of geometry on it. You can get up to pee, but everything is timed, so that makes it harder. Also, don’t wear a cap! I didn’t want to fix my hair that morning, and just threw on a baseball cap, well you can’t wear it in there, so I had bed head thru the test. 🙂 I took the practice tests online and that helped me figure out where my strengths and weaknesses were, and then I focused on the areas I needed help in. Good luck!!