# Why Go to Grad School?

June 30, 2014 by

U.S. workers with a graduate degree earn, on average, 35-50% more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Money is not the only reason to pursue a graduate degree, though. When weighing whether to attend grad school, what factors hold the most weight for you? Here are some factors to consider.

##### Time for a Career Change?

Many people make the decision to return to grad school after working in “the real world.” Some feel that their career options are limited. Others find that their interests and abilities have developed over the years and no longer have anything to do with their undergraduate education. A graduate degree can be the key to making a career change or advancing your career.

##### Make the Move into Management

After working in the trenches for a while and developing a strong sense of how your organization is run, you may be interested in moving up to

# Should You Take the GRE for MBA Admission?

June 23, 2014 by

Entry qualifications for business school admission are changing. Are you up to date?

Currently, more than 70% of business schools now accept the GRE as well as the GMAT. Just a few years ago, in our 2009 survey of business school admissions officers, only 24% said they accepted the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT.

Even Chicago Booth, arguably the most tenacious defender of the GMAT, now accepts the GRE.

The main reasons for the shift are threefold, says Brian Carlidge, an executive director here at Kaplan.

1. Business schools are looking for a more diverse population of students.
2. The GRE is cheaper ($195 vs.$250 for the GMAT)
3. The GRE is often deemed to be easier.

“We advise prospective students to do practice tests in both GMAT and GRE and then to take the test in which they are more confident,” he says.

Need more reasons to consider … Read full post

June 16, 2014 by

You are an aspiring graduate student! You have an academic passion, and you want to explore it, immerse yourself in it, and get to know it on a deeper level. However, you feel overwhelmed and confused because there are so many graduate schools behind so many doors.

Behind door #1 is an open-ended program that you could tailor to suit your particular interests; behind door #26 is a competitive and specialized program that only accepts 5-10 candidates per year. Door #14 reveals a school in a beautiful location with a large graduate population. How do you narrow down your choices? What should you be looking for? What do you really want?  What schools are even likely to accept you?

Plan on an initial list of about 15-20 schools which you will then narrow down to 6-10. Here are some tips for beginning the grad school research process:

#### Location, Location, … Read full post

June 9, 2014 by

In order to assess your chances of getting into grad school, and particular graduate programs, you must know where you stand with regard to the various factors that those programs consider when making admissions decisions. A good way to do this is to create a fact sheet with your GRE scores (or projected scores), overall GPA, and GPA in your major (and minor, if applicable). Relevant outside activities, work experience, internships, publications, etc. will also contribute to the overall strength of your application.

#### Look at Objective Factors

The next step is to find a current source of information about graduate programs. There are several guides and online databases published every year that provide rankings of schools, as well as data about acceptance rates and average GPA and GRE scores. In addition, some rank schools according to their reputations among students, professors, or prominent people in the field.

# Difficult GRE Math Becomes Easy: It’s a Trick of the Eye!

June 2, 2014 by

Trompe l’oeil is a term from the art world that refers to perspectival illusionism—literally, “to fool the eye.” On the GRE, you may notice questions that use this technique, starting with a highly solvable problem that tries to distract you into ignoring information that makes the solution accessible.

Here’s a great example of this sort of test question that first appears as difficult GRE math:

• A. 8
• B. 16
• C. 18
• D. 20
• E. 30

Although the entire question is written in the same font, many test-takers will see it more like this:

##### If x + 2y = 30, then [SCREAMINGLY HORRIBLE, MUST FIND COMMON DENOMINATOR, ARGH!!!] =

and won’t even notice that there are answer choices.

The clever test-taker will force herself to focus on exactly the parts of the test question that are most easy to ignore, first seeing … Read full post

# 3 Reasons to Take a GRE Practice Test

May 26, 2014 by

Why sign up for one of the many upcoming Free Online GRE Practice Tests that Kaplan offers? There are many reasons, but here are some of the most important.

1. You Need Endurance Training for the GRE

It’s tough to sit still for hours and focus your mental energy on math and verbal tasks. Begin your stamina training by trying a GRE Practice Test to see how it feels to be planted in a chair for a stretch of time with nothing but your vocab and math formulas to defend you.

2. You Will Discover Your Strengths and Opportunities

When you sit down to take the test, you may learn that you’re great at Algebra, but need to focus a lot more on learning Geometry rules. Knowing this will help you to focus your study time more efficiently and effectively.

3. You Will Get to See a Kaplan Read full post

# GRE Essays: Be Concise

May 19, 2014 by

In this post I shared with you some powerful advice from my ninth grade English teacher. Unfortunately, not everything that English teachers teach us is useful on the GRE.

One particularly unhelpful thing I learned from Ms. LaMuth was something she called “The Funnel Approach.” Perhaps an English teacher of yours taught you something similar. The Funnel Approach works like this: in the first paragraph of your essay, you don’t just come right out with your point. First you talk about the universe. Then you talk about the galaxy, then you bring up our solar system, and then, finally, you introduce the point of your essay — planet Earth.

Let’s say I’m writing an essay to argue that Monopoly is a terrible board game. The Funnel Approach would produce a clunker of an opening paragraph like this one:

In today’s modern world, people who crave entertainment have many things Read full post

# How To Stay Motivated While Studying for the GRE

May 12, 2014 by

It’s almost inevitable that, at a certain point, you’ll get discouraged or lose motivation while studying for the GRE for any number of reasons:  Maybe you’ve seen the vocab word “aggrandize” pop up five times in your practice and you still can’t remember what it means. Maybe your scores have leveled out on your practice MSTs despite the work that you’ve been putting in. Maybe you’re just struggling to balance your prep with school, work, and life in general. If this sounds familiar, or if you’re in a GRE rut for any other reason, don’t despair! There are several things that you can do to get yourself back on track.

1) Take a break!

Take a breather from all things GRE-related, to clear your head. Give yourself at least 48 hours completely free of GRE practice problems, vocabulary flashcards, and essay prompts, and do something that you enjoy – … Read full post

# Seek Support as You Prep for the GRE

May 5, 2014 by

Remember high school when you were preparing for the SAT and/or the ACT? Almost everyone you knew was getting ready for a standardized admissions test—and when you took it, it was on a specific date when hundreds of thousands of other people your age all over the country were taking exactly the same test.  It may have been agonizing or annoying, but at least it was a shared experience. Everyone who knew you was supportive of your endeavors; no one questioned why you’d want to go to college.

Now you are getting ready to take the GRE. You may not know anyone else who is preparing for this test right now.  Even people who took this test before you probably took a much different test. Instead of having a shared test day, the responsibility for choosing a GRE Test Date is entirely your responsibility. At the test center, you … Read full post

# When Is the Right Time to Take the GRE?

April 28, 2014 by

If you are preparing to take the GRE, then one thing you might be wrestling with is when to take the test. Students often wonder if there is either an optimal year of school or time of year to take the test. While there is no one answer that will perfectly fit each person’s specific situation, keep the following in mind as you make your decision.

#### When Do You Plan on Attending Graduate School?

Some people suggest that the optimal time to take the GRE is during your first year of college. The argument goes something like this: since the GRE is so similar to the SAT, and because you’ve recently taken the SAT, it’s better to just take the GRE while those basic math and vocabulary skills are still sharp in your mind. While there is some validity to this argument, it fails to consider a pretty … Read full post

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