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Learn GRE Vocabulary with HBO’s Game of Thrones

November 21, 2014 by

Fun with GRE vocabulary

While the GRE isn’t just a vocabulary test, it can certainly be difficult (Augean, daunting, toilsome) to do well on the GRE verbal section without having a broad (abundant, expansive, profuse) vocabulary base on which to draw.

One GRE prep method we at Kaplan have hailed time and time (and time) again for vocab-building is learning word groups. This involves grouping similar words together and associating those words within the context of something or someone similarly evocative (reminiscent, emblematic).

For example, you may easily remember words like choleric, irate, and incensed when you associate them with your mom’s reddened face the first time you were caught sneaking into your bedroom window past curfew as a teenager.

Here’s one way to go about generating some inspiration for your GRE vocabulary prep: pick a favorite movie or television show and get to synonymizing. That’s what I … Read full post

GRE Stress Management: Survive Practice Test #2

November 19, 2014 by

Previously, I described the danger of reacting negatively to your first practice GRE. The most sensitive GRE practice test of all, though, is not the first test, but the second. Part of your GRE stress management plan should be understanding what to expect on practice test #2.

GRE Practice Test 2

If you’re like most GRE students, you expect your second practice test score to be a huge leap from your first. You think “I’ve been working really hard, so clearly, my score on Test 2 should jump by at least 10 points in both sections!” In fact, what usually happens on Test 2 is that your score stays the same, or even drops. This fact, coupled with unrealistic expectations, leads to lots of disappointment and frustration. As a teacher, I’m heartbroken to see how many of you lose spirit after Test 2, when I know that you can … Read full post

What If You Get Sick on Your GRE Test Day?

November 17, 2014 by

Can I reschedule my GRE test date?

Just because you’re taking the GRE (and, with it, fitting GRE test prep into your schedule) doesn’t mean that the unexpected can’t come up, and the test maker, ETS (Educational Testing Service), knows this.

So even after you’ve already scheduled your GRE test date, you still have the option to change it, for a fee, as long as you do so no later than 4 days (10 days if you’re in Mainland China) before your scheduled date.

What if I get sick on GRE Test Day?

What about when it’s too late to reschedule the GRE? For instance, what if you get sick on GRE Test Day itself? One of my GRE AdvantagePlus students faced this issue recently and emailed me this question: 

I never get sick, but this morning I woke up with a stomach bug. I have my GRE test … Read full post

Business School Acceptance: Can I Get an MBA with the GRE?

November 14, 2014 by

In the past couple of years, we have heard some surprising news about business school acceptance and how to get it, but none more surprising to many of our students than the fact that almost 1,000 business schools accept GRE scores.

GRE vs. GMAT: Deciding Between the Tests

Ultimately, the admissions process is all about putting forth the best, most accurate picture of you as a potential MBA candidate. You want to showcase your strengths. While I could have achieved a perfectly acceptable score on either exam, I knew that the format of the GRE, with its particular emphasis on vocabulary-based questions, would probably be my better test.

Once I thought that through, the choice was obvious—why show anything other than your best on your b-school application?

 Sure, there were some risks involved—I knew I’d be in the minority in the applicant pool, plus NYU had … Read full post

Can You Answer This GRE Practice Problem in 30 Seconds?

November 12, 2014 by

Earlier this week, we posted a GRE practice problem on Facebook and asked you all to give it a try. Here it is again:

Quantity A The length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle with the legs of lengths 20 and 15

Quantity B  The length of the diagonal of a rectangle with a length of 24 and a width of 7

A – Quantity A is greater.

B – Quantity B is greater.

C – The two quantities are equal.

D – The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Many of you answered correctly (nice work!), and some of you told us that you used the Pythagorean Theorem to solve. Now, what if I told you that you should be able to answer a question like this on the GRE in 30 seconds or less (and without the Pythagorean Theorem!), allowing you to bank valuable time … Read full post

GRE Vocabulary with Sherlock Holmes

November 11, 2014 by

A while back, I wrote excitedly about the filming of Season 3 of BBC’s Sherlock. Now here we are, Season 3 behind us and waiting again to see our favorite hero and villain return to the small screen. It’s difficult, isn’t it?

So again, I’ve retreated to the comfort of the canon, those original Sherlock stories from Arthur Conan Doyle, to get me through these dark days without new Sherlock episodes. These stories are delightful and eminently readable – surprising, considering that they were written and published from the late 1800′s to the early 1900′s.

Most recently, I read THE ADVENTURE OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS MILVERTON, specifically to see how closely it resembled the final episode of Sherlock’s Season 3. (Nonspoiler: not very closely, actually!) You can read it for free online, and I recommend that you do – not only because it’s a fun story, and because you … Read full post

Grad School Profile: Columbia University

November 7, 2014 by

Located in exciting Manhattan, this Ivy League university offers an exciting and social atmosphere for all of its students. Continuously high rankings for multiple graduate programs have made Columbia University’s grad school one of the top rated in the nation and the world.

The Breakdown: Facts and Figures

  • 13,942 enrolled in graduate and professional schools
  • Columbia University is well known for its journalism and English programs
  • Tuition is around $40,000 for graduate students
  • Recent graduates averaged around $50,000 per year salaries
  • 93% of students can expect to be employed within one year of graduation
  • Many graduates go into journalism, working with companies like the Wall Street Journal
  • Prospective students need around a 3.5 GPA and about a 160 on each section of the GRE

Campus Culture

The campus at Columbia University is diverse, both in its student body makeup and its surrounding environment. Unlike many other schools in the big … Read full post

7 Most Lucrative Graduate Degrees Series: Engineering

November 4, 2014 by

A pessimist looks at a glass of water and sees it half empty. An optimist looks at the same glass and sees it half full. An engineer takes a look and notices that the glass is twice as large as it needs to be.

Engineers see the world through a tinkerer’s eyes, and now is a really lucrative time for tinkerers—especially those with master’s degrees in engineering.’s 10 best-paying master’s degrees include four separate engineering disciplines—and for good reason. Employers are always looking to hire problem-solvers, and engineers know how to approach a problem.

Path to admission

There are multiple paths to a master’s degree in engineering, and each path will unlock doors to a wide variety of careers. The Master of Engineering, or MEng, is typically a professional degree that is designed to be applied to engineering design and professional employment immediately following graduation. The MEng is … Read full post

Balancing Graduate School and Parenthood

November 3, 2014 by

Balancing graduate school and life can be challenging. When you add children to the equation, “challenging” can describe the good days.  Does that mean it can’t (or shouldn’t) be done?  Of course not!

Getting more information is key.  Even if you don’t have or plan to have any kids while you’re in graduate school, you will definitely learn and work with many people who do. After all, most MBA candidates are farther along in their lives and career paths than your average graduate school student.

There are those that argue against having children while still in graduate school, but as some say, there may never be a “right” time to start a family.  Surprisingly, becoming a parent while in business school does have its bonuses.  A full-time graduate school schedule is often more flexible than a traditional work schedule.

GradHacker pulled together a to-do list of what exactly you need … Read full post

Trick or Treat: GRE Prep for Halloween!

October 31, 2014 by

Too busy with GRE prep to think of a great Halloween costume? You could dress up as a tired, overworked GRE student who has been re-learning all of your important GRE Geometry formulas and going through dozens of GRE vocab flash cards every night. Oops, you’ve got toilet paper stuck to your shoe.

Since you showed up looking so frightful, we’re obliged to return the favor by treating you to some GRE prep tricks. Did you know that the test is designed to assess your critical thinking skills? Here’s a secret: whenever you see a problem that looks impossibly long, tedious, or difficult to calculate, you can probably bet all of your candy that a strategic shortcut is actually build in by the GRE test-makers, just waiting for you to find it!

Treat #1: The Twix of GRE Quantitative Comparisons

Quantitative comparisons can be one of the scariest parts of … Read full post

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