Apr 19, 2009

Studying for the GRE Test

I took the GRE in 2005 and scored a measly 1040. While I'm not the best test taker, my skills weren't that bad when I took the SAT years ago and got a 1240. My writing score on the GRE was also really awful considering that writing is what I do for a living. Then again, I've never been good at academic writing, so I wasn't too surprised.

That's why I've decided to retake the test and study MAO for it. At the very least, see how much I can improve my score by studying. I'm not too hopeful about the verbal or writing sections, but I'm pretty sure I can up my quantitative score if I study. I just forgot damn near everything about math... I haven't even taken a real math course since 11th grade (I don't count the Excel math class I took in college, what a joke!)

In the meantime, I really ought to start researching all the school's I'm going to apply to, and more importantly, how on earth I will be able to afford them. I think that grad school would be ideal for me now, I'm much more mature than I was in undergrad, I'm ready to focus on learning about the topic I'm interested in, and also understand how it could benefit my professional life once I get through the program.

So... this summer I will be studying in my free time. I don't want to spend a lot of money on those prep classes, that sounds like it would be such a waste. Maybe I'm wrong about that. I'm not sure what my ideal score would be, but given my 1240 on the SAT I'd like to at least get that on the GRE (though I know it is a different test.) And the writing section... I got a 4/6, I really should get a 5/6. But... 1240 isn't really a good score for the GRE. It would be great if I could do really well... 1450 or something. I've never really studied for one of these tests before (I didn't study for the SAT at all), I'm curious what I could do if I try.



4 comments:

Quarterlife Critter said...

I took the GRE a few years ago, and tutored it before. I think a lot of it is just getting comfortable with the computer format of the test and being able to spot the types of math questions and the vocab words that show up repeatedly on it. Email me if you want to chat about it.

Quarterlife Critter said...

Also, I definitely know what you meant by having not seen math for while before the GRE...when I took it, I was working in the arts.

Anonymous said...

If you are serious about not knowing your math and what not, you should take a prep course. Not only will it force you to practice and study, but it will help you refresh everything.

dollarsforsense said...

I just took the GRE. Get a cheap practice book and do all the questions. (Princeton Review was helpful for me, $21.) Then, wait a few weeks and do all of them again. 1240 is not a bad score on the GRE, actually. Just remember that most people's Math score will be way higher than the Verbal. Unlike the SAT, where 500 is about average for both sections, the Math average is about a 610 and the Verbal average is about 470.

If you're worried about the Verbal, learn a ton of new vocabulary words (500+). Don't waste your time learning roots. The Math isn't really math-y, it's more logical plus math definitions. The Writing doesn't have to sound academic. Actually, they're not really judging the quality of your writing conventions; they're judging your ability to dissect the argument very very thoroughly and make your own argument convincingly and stay on topic. I'm not even really sure that most schools care about your Writing Score. Good luck!

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