The GRE

Discussion in 'Community' started by PlaceofDis, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #1
    has anyone here taken the GRE (Graduate Record Examination i belive)?
    how was it? hard? challenging?

    i have to take it tomorrow, i'm a little nervous, but i think i will handle it fine, seeing as two out of the three sections im rather proficent at

    there is a analytical writng section - check
    a verbal/reading type section - check
    and a quantitative/math section - scary

    im an English Major hoping to be in grad school this time next year
     
  2. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    The "Garden" state
    #2
    just relax. it's been a while since myself or my friends took those tests (about 2 years) but rest assured you'll do great.
    One tip: I scored a 6.0 on the GRE writing and the GMAT writing following one simple rule: DISAGREE WITH THE STATEMENTS AND ARTICLES!!! It is MUCH easier and faster to write a solid critique than a solid agreement, and your writing skills show through much, much better.
    And don't sweat the math too much. Just take your time and relax.

    -Carly
     
  3. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #3
    I took the GRE over 5 years ago. I'm not sure what it's like now but when I took it you couldn't have a calculator and guessing wrong on an answer deducted points from your overall score. The general test wasn't bad.

    I did take the Engineering specific one. That was brutal, especially without a calculator.

    Don't worry too much though. The key to almost every test is getting relaxed and comfortable as quickly as possible once you start. It's hard to finish while you are panicking.
     
  4. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    thanks guys, hearing from other people really helps relax me a bit, the writing im not worried about, i write so many papers in a week its not even funny, and reading critically is one of my strongest points, even back on the ACT that was my best area, the math freaks me, but i hope to do that section last so i will probably be calm by then, i also took the Basic Skills test a while ago and did just fine on that, im guessing that is will probably be similar to that

    i cant sleep but i guess i should give it another try
     
  5. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    I took it about two and a half years ago and didn't study a lick for it. Now to be fair, my score could have been a lot higher, but it was no big deal. My program (political science) took more into account my undergrad gpa and what exact classes I had taken. Having said that, my score was high enough to have gotten in everywhere I applied. If you are even slightly more conscientious than I am, then you should have no problem. I wish you the best of luck. Don't worry about it. ;)
     
  6. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    took it, with a migraine too, wasnt too bad

    might retake it now that i know what im looking at but that depends on what my scores end up looking like

    thanks for your responces guys
     
  7. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #7
    It's not bad. I was REALLY rusty when I took it, but I spent a week with some books that really helped me. Vocab especially.

    But, it's not too tough at all. Don't be worried.
     
  8. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #8
    You didn't take the computerized test? I thought you get the results same-day.
     
  9. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    i did take the computer test, and only got 'unoffical'' scores, they werent bad, and i have to wait for the writing scores
     
  10. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #10
    Oh, I see. Yeah, I heard the GRE isn't absolutely terrible...I think I have to take it at some point to apply for certain fellowships.
     
  11. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #11
    my main problem with the GRE is that there isnt a large amount of quesions, so if you mess up on a few your whole score gets dragged down, but yeah it isnt all that be to be honest, although i will probably take it again just to see if i do better knowing what to expect as well as the format
     
  12. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #12
    How did you study for it?
     
  13. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #13
    to be honest, there really is no way to study for it, because the questions vary so much from test to test, but i did review some algebra and geometry that i was rusty with and i really didnt do much else except take the practice tests, which really didnt help me at all
     
  14. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #14
    Hm, you can study for anything, especially standardized tests, IMHO. I would figure a trusty Princeton Review, Kaplan, or Barron's book could do a world of good. Such as these certainly helped for the SAT, and the GRE seems like not much more than fancy-schmancy SAT. I think practice tests are a good idea, and I'm surprised you didn't find them helpful.
     
  15. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #15
    well different people have different ways of studying

    i tend to have abnormal study habits as it is, and the practice tests only helped me get a very vauge sense of the test, but i am not a person who studys much as it tends to make my scores worse, especially for mulitple choice tests and the like, studying causes me to over analyze ect. but thats just me, i know plenty of people who do great when they study and when they do all the practice stuff it just doesnt work for me
     
  16. Studawg7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cville, VA
    #16
    GRE

    Don't sweat it. It really isn't scary or intimidating. I took it last year (now in grad school for Mech Engr). Schools look at the score but they really look at your performance as an undergrad. As an english major, most likely the schools you look at won't be too interested in the math score.

    As for ways to prep, take the computer practice test to get use to the format. Read some of the writing samples for the analytical writing part. Brush up on some vocab and some math if you are worried about that. Oh and get some rest the night before (ie dont go out drinking the night before ;) )

    good luck!! im sure you ll do well!
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
    My recollection of the GRE - from (gasp!) 18 years ago - is that the general one is cake and the subject ones - at least engineering - were much harder. I missed one question on the general one, and I took it the day after my first girlfriend dumped me (she dumped me on October 10, 1986, not that it stuck with me or anything... ;)). I missed quite a few more on the engineering one, which I took a bit later.

    What I then found out was that the percentiles were much more generous on the more difficult GRE tests - even though I missed more, I still was 99th percentile. So you can relax a bit even if you don't know all the answers.

    Of course, Reagan was in office then, so it was a while ago. Most of the general questions seemed to involve questions about various cave pictures, and the engineering exam was more difficult, as it dealt with fire and the newly discovered "wheel".
     
  18. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #18
    standardized tests do follow certain patterns and the guides have it down pat

    but getting nervous before a standardized test can definitely make you get a bad score

    if you want to get into graduate school, there are always several factors, but if you want to get into a top 25 school, then definitely take your time on any standardized test practice, get several letters of recommendations and send them the best, and work and re-work personal statements/essays...top schools make their rolls very thin on purpose to keep a great reputation and many schools have legacy spots already assigned for a top med, law, or business school and while that may not be fair, a school looks to keep a certain amount of wealthy donors or family of donors and that probably explains the george w bushes of the world walking around with yale and harvard diplomas ;)
     

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