teahan
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Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:10 am

Anyone here have any advice for the GREs ? Or any suggestion on what book to pick up to prepare them (seems to be 10s out there).

Thanks for any replies.

Jer. /
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
sw733
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:16 am

I took the GRE last October - studied completely using one of those $20 GRE prep books, mine was Kaplan I think. One thing I can say is DO NOT TAKE A GRE PREP CLASS!! They have a HUGE waste of money - I did better than everyone I know who took the class, and I am not very good at taking standardized tests. So, get one of those books, work through it, pay attention to everything, and you'll do fine. They give some great little tips, especially about the written/essay section (I got a perfect 6.0 on that, and I know it was because of tips in the book), and it costs a lot less. What I did was just locked myself in the basement of the main library at the University of Kansas for weeks and weeks ahead of the test. Good luck!
 
teahan
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:32 am

SW733, thanks for that.
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:18 am

Will you be taking the general one? I know there is a psychology specific one, that seems to be a bit easier (if you plan on going to do some work in psych and if you have a psych degree).
Go big or go home
 
teahan
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:25 am

AA61Hvy.... the general one.

I'm hesitating between the Kaplan / Barron / Princeton GRE prep books. Amazon reviews are all over the place with the respective authors having a field day reviewing each other.
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
57AZ
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:48 pm

Definately avoid the GRE test prep. If you know someone in your department who teaches graduate classes, they can usually give you information that is much more useful than the test prep books. If you have friends who are in the grad program you're looking to get into, ask them. I don't even remember the GRE for the University of Tennessee, so it wasn't that bad. Just did the detective work (no pun intended-my MS was in Criminal Justice) within the department, studied up on my own and got in.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
desertjets
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:09 pm

Don't be so quick to discount the test prep courses, they aren't cheap by any means but if you need to structure to study and prepare for the test then by all means take it. We had Kaplan do a full GRE course this summer for some of my students. We were amazed by the sheer amount of material that they get and have access to.

That said your first step should be to take a full practice test.... download the GRE powerprep software from the GRE website. It uses two full, OFFICIAL, retired GRE tests. Take one of them to give yourself a baseline, spend the time to review your answers to get a feel for which questions and question types you need to work on.

As for the books they are all about the same really. They give you the same test taking tips and advice. Go down to the bookstore and flip through them all and see which one you like best. Additionally I wouldn't spend much time at all doing paper practice tests. Since the test is almost exclusively computer based there is no sense practicing for a test format you won't actually take.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
deltadc9
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:53 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
Additionally I wouldn't spend much time at all doing paper practice tests. Since the test is almost exclusively computer based there is no sense practicing for a test format you won't actually take.

In my experience, getting a good book with practice tests is the best preparation, the computer versions are very similar in structure. If you have a problem with content, you need to plan on working on your weak spots for at least a month to get a high score.

Knowing the content is one thing, being ready to take the test is another. Being in the mindset to take the test correctly under pressure, answering all you know for sure the first pass, working on the ones you are not sure of the second pass, and guessing at the rest after eliminating the answers you can rule out on the third is something that you cannot ignore.

It is so basic, but people can forget the very basics of test taking on these big tests. The percentage of people with unanswered questions should be zero, but is is much higher that most would think. This is why these timed practice tests, paper or not are so vital.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
desertjets
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:17 am

Let me restate my point. I think you misread it, or I misstated it.

Do not take a paper test hoping to replicate the conditions of the test or to use it as an accurate gauge of your ability in the real test taking situation.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 7):
The percentage of people with unanswered questions should be zero, but is is much higher that most would think. This is why these timed practice tests, paper or not are so vital.

The computer adapative test (CAT) is very different from the paper test. You must answer one question to get to the next and you cannot go back. A paper practice does not replicate that.

But I agree that going through as many practice questions as possible is always a good idea. That is the only way you will get the feel for the content as you put it.

But I also find in working with my students that many are thrown by the CAT. The GRE, or GMAT for that matter, is likely the first test that they have taken that is computer based and adaptive. I usually take a fair amount of time explaining that as it requires a somewhat different approach. Such as taking more time on the initial questions vs. later questions.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
deltadc9
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 8):
You must answer one question to get to the next and you cannot go back. A paper practice does not replicate that.

Very true, the test actually picks up on your weaknesses. The GMAT did that to me.

That is why I talked about working on your weaknesses.

With the old tests, you could work on your strengths and use those to offset your weak areas. Now it will drill you once if finds a weakness and that weakness is magnified.

At least thats how I felt walking away. I guess the main point I was trying to make was to learn how to work the questions you dont know the answer to, as opposed to trying to have all the answers.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
sw733
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
download the GRE powerprep software from the GRE website

Definitely agreed, I forgot about this. It's a great little tool to at least just get a feel about what the test is like.
 
teahan
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RE: Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), Preparation?

Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:56 pm

Thanks for your replies, appreciated! Ordered the Barron and might be ordering another which covers the Maths side more comprehensively later on.

I'm based in Ireland so can't really take a prep. course anyway.

Jer.
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004

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