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gre self study

Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
edited November 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm not sure what I want to go to grad school in, or whether I will want to go an MS program or an MBA program, but I hear that now even b-schools are starting to take the GRE, and I figure that since I just graduated in may, now would be a good time to prep for the GRE since it lasts a few years, correct?

(would anyone recommend also taking the gmat if i'm not sure, or just leave it at the GRE)

and so now here is where I ask what book to get and how to study on my own? (when i did the sat back in the day, i went to a class)

to note: i figure the big thing i need to do is memorize / learn vocab, because I was a math major, but of course practicing math and doing it fast etc will be important

poo
Shazkar Shadowstorm on

Posts

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    just start boning up on your vocab and some of the typical verbal type assoication questions. though they will be helped by actually knowing what the strange word means.

    the books are good since they have the type of vocab you see.

    as far as math goes, i am pretty sure the hardest stuff is trig and very very basic algebra. make sure you know the equation that easily gets you the sum of a group of numbers

    mts on
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  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    They are changing the test next year, so you will probably want to take the test as soon as possible. You really want to get in before they change it, you'll have a much better chance of doing well since there are already so many resources out there to study for the current GRE.

    Demerdar on
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  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Demerdar wrote: »
    They are changing the test next year, so you will probably want to take the test as soon as possible. You really want to get in before they change it, you'll have a much better chance of doing well since there are already so many resources out there to study for the current GRE.

    When next year? I guess I will google this

    Crap, why didn't I know this

    august 1

    ok, plenty of time

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    poo
  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    They may also be changing this - but keep in mind that there is the general GRE and then there are subject based GREs. Depending on what you want to do, you may need to take multiple tests. For myself, I studied a bit for the subject based one and not at all for the general one. It depends on what kind of score you need for what you want to do.

    witch_ie on
  • GrizzledGrizzled Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    FYI your GRE results are good for 5 years from when you take the test.

    As to books, I used one of the Kaplan ones, but I would guess they are pretty much all the same. Check your local library, maybe they have a couple of different ones and you can compare them.

    If you're a math major then you should do fine with the math; the only possible problem would be that it's all stuff you probably haven't touched in a couple of years. Nothing beyond algebra and some extremely simple trig.

    At present there is also a part where you write a short essay. I don't have much advice on that one since I randomly got the topic that my graduate research was going to be on and blew it away, but basically you should be able to evaluate an argument or presentation of facts and write a persuasive essay or a comparison of two theories, something like that.

    Grizzled on
  • AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I used the Kaplan book for my subject one (psychology) which was incredibly helpful. For the general, I did very little studying.

    They have some sort of 80 page PDF of math review on the website that is useful is letting you know what you're expected to know. Skim it over, but if you know high school level math you should be fine.

    I didn't study for the vocab section at all. It's pretty much a crapshoot on what kinds of questions you will get and whether you will know the word. I ended up getting 3 essay comprehension sections (each with a couple of questions) so I did well enough.

    The analytical part was my favourite, and I found it relaxing. It's not unlike internet posting. You have to write two essays. With one you get a sentence and have to argue for or against it. The other you get a short paragraph with an argument that you have to evaluate. Just make clear points and back them up with examples. You get to make up the points and the examples, so just don't say anything you can't back up. They have approximately 10 billion examples of what you could be given on the website so just pick a couple and see how much you can write in 30 minutes on it. Like, so you know that you can write, for example, 3 points with 2 examples each in 30 minutes. Maybe you only have time for 2 points, then you'll know not to overreach when doing the actual test.

    Asiina on
  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I recommend NOT using the Princeton Review books, I tried to tutor my English major friend from their GRE book, and found a bunch of mistakes in the math section. I've also found errors in some of their other books as well, for some reason their proofreading is worse than the other brands.

    I used the Kaplan book, which came with a CD-ROM, and access to additional tests online. Practicing with the computer is awesome, it gets you used to the type of questions you're going to see and how to answer them quickly. I got a 790 on math, and a 680 on verbal, and for the verbal part it was all just knowing the types of questions, since my vocabulary is terrible.

    I did however bomb the writing section, but I didn't bother retaking it, and it didn't seem to make a difference to my admissions.

    Pure Din on
  • ToldoToldo But actually, WeegianRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Memorizing vocabulary is one thing, but you should combine it with studying word components, basically prefixes and suffixes. If you take the computer-based test, it adapts as you go, becoming easier or harder depending on your answers. Also, really do figure out what you want to go into. Some programs only look at your verbal or your quantitative score, for example, which will allow you to more or less ignore half of the test.

    Toldo on
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I used the Barron's GRE prep book and I did suitably well. Didn't study altogether too hard, but I did more than well enough.

    One thing to watch out for when you take it is that during the essay part, where you have to analyze the argument. Be absolutely certain to remember that correlation does not mean causation. When I took the test several months ago, and when my sister took it 5 years before that, it was a major flaw in the presented argument. I would expect to see it coming. I think it's called a post hoc fallacy, but I forget.

    Terrendos on
  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    thanks for the tips. i'll look into the kaplan and barron books.

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    poo
  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I think they're always changing the GRE. When I took mine 5 years ago it was "they just altered this portion and added a writing section, next year they were going to change the test but are probably going to wait a year now." And then there's a mix of delays and changes.

    My method involved a Kaplan book and self-study. I have a friend who did a prep class, which met 4 times, and it helped him a great deal as well since it actually got him to study (and he could ask someone to get "over the hump" on some general concepts).

    I think the best approach to both focus on studying and to make sure you're not studying for a test that's going to change is to schedule your test. Make it for 2-3 months out from now, and then go buy the most recent Kaplan book and start studying. Go through the whole thing. Then go through it again. Having the date will help you study and you can spend the last couple weeks before the test "digesting" what you've learned and memorizing the troublesome spots. For example, I still know about 3-4-5 triangles and 2-2-√5 triangles even though they've never come up since.

    EggyToast on
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