Anyone here taken the G.R.E?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by slugslinger2004, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm applying for graduate school now, and I've been looking over the test preparation materials. It doesn't seem that bad (really it looks to be pretty easy so far) but I wanted to get some different opinions on the exam, and how much I should study for it. I have quite a few exams and projects this semester, and I'd like to schedule my time properly.

    Thanks to all who can help!
     
  2. RoboticPlanet

    RoboticPlanet Exclusively Exclusive

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    I took it about 3 years ago, and didn't exactly go in prepared. I just studied on my own, which worked out, but it could have gone better.

    For the quantitative (math) section, I found it sufficient to just review the online ETS practice material. It's high-school level math, and I'm around math in general enough that it was all very familiar.

    The verbal section is historically the hardest. There's not any trick to it other than expand your vocabulary and do as many of the practice questions as you can. There are countless books geared toward vocabulary on the GRE, based on words that have shown up on past exams. I used one by The Princeton Review and did encounter many words that I had studied.

    You can't prepare much for the argument essay in the Analytical section. You're given an essay to respond to and have to analyze the validity of the argument. The essay I read had a clear logical fallacy that didn't add up. Pretty straight forward, though I don't know if they're all like that.

    Unlike the above, you can prepare for the other Analytical section. ETS makes available on their website all the possible topics, one of which you'll respond to. Ideally you could go through all of them in advance and outline potential responses. I sure didn't do that though. :rolleyes: 

    Ultimately, you need to do the practice exams. Getting used to the time constraint will help you determine where you're slowest and possibly weakest. If you're really ambitious and have the time, you could take one of those prep courses. I've only heard positive things about them.

    Hope that helps. :) 
     
  3. Darkravager

    Darkravager Zombie Hunter

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    I took it a couple of years ago before I entered grad school and I don't remember it being that bad. I didn't study for it at all and I did ok. The verbal part was definately the hardest. Some of the questions were really hard. If you study some and put forth some effort preparing, you will likely be ok, though I'm not certain what the standards are for your school.
     
  4. Cascadia

    Cascadia Ion Storm

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    I took the G.R.E's in 2002. I did not perform very well because of my fear of failure but I ended up in graduate school through another route. My year was the first time that it was done on a computer, which I hated. When you get to a question that is giving you trouble, you have to figure it out or it will give you a different question that would either be tougher or easier than the one that you were stuck on.

    The best thing to do is to practice, practice and more practice.

    The Math section when I took the test did not allow one to use a calculator, however, most of the math is basic Algebra and Geometry. So, I recommend studying up on the rules in these two subjects if you cannot remember them.

    Verbal section, which is the hardest. Here I would recommend getting ETS test preparation materials and learn the words. When I took the test, there were several boxes of flash cards with the most common words with their definitions.

    When I took it, I had the traditional Analytical section, which was taken away. But I also took the writing section, which may the same as when I took it. You really cannot study for this section.

    The prep courses...if you have time and money to do them, I did the Princeton Review one, which was about 6 hours a week. They gave a practice exam on the weekends then had it graded by the following meeting time.
     
  5. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

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    Took the GMAT and LSAT. Scored very well on both, decided on business.

    The LSAT was the single hardest thing I have ever done. HARD. And I prepped for months to take it. The GMAT wasn't nearly as bad, but still, it helps to get an online program to help you with test prep. Best of wishes to you slug!
     
  6. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thanks all!

    Looks like I'll have to study up on the verbal section. I won't bother studying the math portion, since I'm already studying for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Why, oh why are these tests so expensive :( 
     
  7. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    I took one about a year ago. Did very well on the Verbal, slightly above-average on the Math. Really, the time limit is more against you than anything else. Make sure that you can not only do well, but do what you need to do FAST. They really don't give enough time for the math sections, IMO. Do practice sessions where you time yourself to see how well you work "under pressure".
     
  8. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

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    I haven't taken it yet because i heard of "So Much Drama in the Ph.D"

    j/k. (love Nerdcore jokes.)

    i will take it eventually, though and knowing what you told me, it makes me understand that as much as i hate math, i gotta do more than just get a B and forget it.
    thanks for that big heads up.
     
  9. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Took it in 2004, got a 1480 / 5.5 with essentially no prep. I was on a deadline and figured I'd give it a try, and if I needed to, I'd study up and take it again.

    Honestly, though, I think it's like all tests--a basic knowledge of the subject material is important, but your test taking ability is more important. If your SAT was a hundred points or so higher than what you need to get on the GRE, buy yourself a practice book and spend a few weeks reviewing and you'll probably be fine.

    If not, consider investing in a Kaplan review course. Lil' SC took one before the MCAT and ended up with a 39, with is something like 97% percentile. Yeah, they can be pricy ($2K+), but if that's an investment in your future that pays off, it's worth it, right?
     
  10. NIDARAM12

    NIDARAM12 Robot art guy

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    Took it last year. Got an 1100 and 5.0 on writing (good enough to go almost anywhere good I applied to, like Pitt and CMU). I only took a couple practice tests but I did good on my SATs too. I was terrified of the math, and I couldn't memorize all the formulas, but thankfully being an artist I can measure and draw things to scale so I just did all the geometry and area by hand :) 

    Depending on what program you're going into, I'd really look at the writing section practice prompts. There will be two kinds and they both require you to think critically and creatively.
     
  11. kbroz

    kbroz Well-Known Member

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    I took the GRE. I just showed up and took it. It seemed like a complete waste of time and energy considering how well I did in college... but... no one asked me my opinions on education, unfortunately.

    Make sure you meet with everyone at the grad school you want to go to. Some of the ones I visited were full of, for lack of a better word, jack*sses.
     
  12. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    I took one practice test, did fine, and that was all the test prep I did. If you take a test prep and don't do fine...start studying. It was easy for me to take a practice exam for free, though. I just 'borrowed' one of those test prep books from the bookstore I was working in at the time, photocopied the relevant pages and answer key, then returned it to the shelf.
     
  13. Tenebrouser

    Tenebrouser Craft...or is it crap?

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    I took the GRE a few years ago (I'll finally be finishing my Master's within a year).

    I did zero prep and just went in and took the test. It wasn't too bad, but I would have liked a little bit more time to do the math portion of it. It wasn't as though the questions were difficult, I just would have liked to have taken my time and gotten everything right with piece of mind. I have no idea how I did on the thing, but I had no problem getting into my grad program with the score I got, so I must have done okay. I remember not having any problems with the other sections.
     
  14. Hotspot17

    Hotspot17 Search and Rescue: Vet

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    Took the GREs like 7 years ago so my advice might not be useful. Math is pretty much straight forward. Just go over some basic problems and you're be fine. I have more trouble in verbal. Like everybody else said, just expand your word bank and you're be fine. I was also one of those individuals that took it twice. Didn't make a difference. Just study for it and take it once. It's not worth taking it multiple times cause your grade will only improve slightly. And I wouldn't worry too much on your grade. As long as you show your competent, you're be able to get into majority of the schools.
     
  15. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I hated the GRE, but standardized tests just aren't my thing. Nothing worse than typing an essay on one of those horrible little keypads...ugh.
     
  16. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just an update for anyone that cares, I took the G.R.E. today. I got an 1180 which is decent I guess since I didn't prepare like I planned to. I'll get my score on the essay in a couple of weeks.

    Now I'm off to study for my mechanical vibrations, aircraft structures, maintenance and thermal engineering exams. I cannot wait until this semester is over!
     
  17. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Congratulations, boss!

    Hope it gets you where you wanna be...hopefully a real college, unlike Tennessee hey-oh!

    Naw, I'm just playing. I wanna retire in Knoxville, seriously. And I can learn to cheer for any team that beats UGA.
     
  18. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Haha! I actually wanted to go to Ga Tech for undergrad but out of state tuition is a bitch :(  I wasn't even a fan of TN until a girl I was dating drug me to the Florida game my freshman year.

    I've been applying for jobs and graduate schools simultaneously so if I manage to score a job in Atlanta I'll just work for a while and then go back. But as of right now it looks like Rocky Top will be my home for another year at least.
     

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