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AcademicGround >> Preparing for the GRE?


11/27/06 11:21 AM
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Gortiz
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Edited: 27-Nov-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 5754
 
There is a slight chance (roughly 99.9%) that I will have to take the GRE again. What do you guys recommend I do to raise my score? Last time, I just used the Princeton Review book. I do need to raise my score by 150 pts or so.
11/28/06 12:41 PM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 28-Nov-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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Study the math. Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.Study the math.

And take MANY practice tests ;-)

The odds of you picking up some points by mastering a few dozen math concepts are much, much higher than the odds of you picking up points by memorizing words for the verbal section. The OED says there are what, 455,000 words in English? Think how much time it would take to learn a good chunk of that, then think of how much time it would take to learn some basic trig and algebra. Not saying don't review for the qual section, obviously, but if you have a week to go, drilling the math is the best bang for your buck.

Also, the importance of practice tests can't be overemphasized, esp. if you can get a new book with lots of the "pilot" questions from past tests that inevitably wind up on the real thing.

Caveat - that helped me jump 110 points on my second attempt, and I did fairly well on my first try ;-) but that was in 1995, so take that for what it's worth.

11/30/06 1:26 PM
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Gortiz
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Edited: 30-Nov-06
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Thanks, Ted! I might have about a month. Do you or anyone else recommend any of those review courses by Princton Review, etc.?
11/30/06 1:55 PM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 30-Nov-06
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The differences between courses IMHO is minimal once you factor out the positive effects you get from taking practice tests, reducing your anxiety, getting familiar with the test format, getting used to the time constraints, and re-learning the old math stuff you forgot over the last 10 years ;-)

Kinda like a guy I tested a few months ago - had a master's degree in electrical engineering and was a calculus whiz, but when I asked him to divide a fraction by another fraction, he paused and then chuckled, "Fuck if I know, I'm 40 years old and haven't done that kind of shit since 4th grade!" :-)

12/4/06 5:53 PM
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ironmongoose
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Edited: 04-Dec-06
Member Since: 04/17/2002
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Vocab and the logic puzzles also benefit a lot from repeated practice.
12/4/06 9:59 PM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 04-Dec-06
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Ted - that's surprising. you use dividing fractions by another fraction all the time in Calculus.
12/4/06 11:00 PM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 04-Dec-06 11:10 PM
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He got the problem, it's just that it apparently surprised him. It may have been how the problem was written on the page - he smoked the hardest problem (which isn't really difficult to a math person, it's just a simple function problem).

It also probably didn't help that he drank 15-18 beers a day for over 20 years ;-)

*edit* Now that I think about it, I wish I had seen your comment prior to writing his report - I don't think it would have changed my diagnosis or conclusions (persisting substance-induced dementia, along with a nasty case of PTSD, which of course was the reason for the substance abuse), but if that's something he should have known easily and he didn't, then his deterioration was probably even worse than I had initially speculated.....

12/5/06 2:00 PM
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ironmongoose
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Edited: 05-Dec-06
Member Since: 04/17/2002
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Shoulda read all of TB's post before I answered. Yeah, there are a lot of words in English, but I do think there is a certain "corpus" of abstract, non-technical, non-specific, high-frequency, moderately-high-difficulty words that everyone's kind of seen but you maybe don't have a solid grip of their meaning, and those are the ones that tend to show up. Find the right resource and you can get them solid. And you'll recognize a lot of them on the test.
12/11/06 3:56 PM
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Gortiz
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Edited: 11-Dec-06
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Here's something strange I found out: While many Univ's will average your scores if you take the GRE more than once, the program I'm applying to will take the highest scores of your math or verbal for each time you take the GRE! So if I just needed to raise my verbal, I could just study for that, never mind I'll probably end up scoring a 200 or so on the math. Of course it will cost me another $125 to take the GRE, but this could SERIOUSLY increase my chances of admission.
12/12/06 6:32 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 12-Dec-06
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"but if that's something he should have known easily and he didn't, then his deterioration was probably even worse than I had initially speculated....." Dude, I help kids with their algebra all the time at work, and sometimes it throws me for a loop. You run into it all the time, but in different context, and you can generally do multiple steps at once where a very simple question may just want one. Seriously, after enough calculus, if I'm not integrating something I'm useless :P Or it may be the massive alcohol abuse...
1/22/07 9:36 AM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 22-Jan-07
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Dude, I help kids with their algebra all the time at work, and sometimes it throws me for a loop. You run into it all the time, but in different context, and you can generally do multiple steps at once where a very simple question may just want one. Seriously, after enough calculus, if I'm not integrating something I'm useless :P

Or it may be the massive alcohol abuse...

Speaking for *yourself* there, Jonwell :-P

1/29/07 10:52 PM
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ArmbarCity
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Edited: 29-Jan-07
Member Since: 01/20/2007
Posts: 100
I didn't have hardly any geometry on my test, and I took it in 05. I can't encourage you strongly enough to bring your own earplugs, which I learned I could do AFTER I got there. The constant clicking of the keys nearly drove me insane. In addition, you typically only improve about 50 points if you re-take the GRE a second time. So unless you just didn't study and knew you were going to bomb, why waste the money to take it again?

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