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How Ready Are You for Graduate School?

September 1, 2015 by

Let’s talk grad school.

If you’re like a lot of folks, this won’t be the first time you’ve heard that phrase and wondered if you’re ready—or how ready you really are—for higher education.

Maybe you’ve only considered grad school in passing up to this point, but have yet to seriously think about what you need to do to get there. Perhaps you haven’t found the time, or it feels overwhelming—especially if you’re still deciding your major or future career.

Maybe you’ve gone a step further by doing some research, talking to your family about the notion, or chatting with particular friends who are resolute about getting their advanced degrees in the fields that motivate and excite them.

Maybe you are one of those friends, and you were born for this readiness talk. You’ve built up the right academic or work background, and you’re solidifying your plan as we speak.

No … Read full post

Difficult GRE Math Made Easy

August 27, 2015 by

In the art world, the term trompe l’oeil refers to perspectival illusionism—literally, “to fool the eye.” On the GRE math section, you may notice test questions that use a similar technique in which a readily solvable problem will try to distract you from the very information that makes its solution accessible.

The optical illusion of GRE math

Here’s an example of this tricky sort of test question that appears to involve some rather difficult GRE math:

If x + 2y = 30, then  

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

Many test-takers will take one look at this problem and see it more like this:


Because the latter portion of the problem is so intimidating, many test takers will neglect to notice the answer choices given.

See the test question differently

The … Read full post

Pop Quiz for Quick GRE Prep

August 25, 2015 by

Pop quiz time! Wait … did we just hear one collective groan echoing across the internet? Perhaps you just had a bad flashback to your time in English or anthropology class and your palms are already getting sweaty.

Before you skip to the next post on the Kaplan Blog, read on just a little further for some valuable GRE prep insight. Trust us, not only will you survive this pop quiz—but you’ll also come out stronger and, importantly, better prepared to hit a higher score on Test Day.

Challenge yourself to the GRE prep pop quiz

  1. What is the quickest way to see if you’re ready to ace the GRE?
  2. Take Kaplan’s free pop quiz for the GRE, available here.

Of course, here at Kaplan, our job is more than just telling you the right answer to any test question. We also make it our priority to review … Read full post

6 Must-Read Books for Graduate Students

August 20, 2015 by

By Timothy Hayes on August 15, 2015

This article is brought to you by Uloop and Kaplan.  Search Uloop for student housing, college roommates, sublets, part-time jobs, internships, tutors, and campus news.

I am always shocked and slightly in awe of people who can read during the school year. The amount of work piled onto students is frequently overwhelming and as such, there is little time for such an involved process as reading.

However, among the droves of college students there are an elite few who can and do crack the spine of books during the school year. For those students in graduate school, the workload may be even heavier and for that reason some cleave even more strongly to their books, looking for escapes from the misery of thesis writing.

Being a book lover myself, I wish to share with you some ideas for books to read this coming … Read full post

Graduate Programs for Non-Profit Sector Careers

August 18, 2015 by

Working for a non-profit is a noble aspiration for any prospective graduate student. With so many different academic programs and master’s degree options, however, it can be difficult to know which path will help you achieve your career goals in the non-profit sector.

Worry not, we’re here to help. Many different types of specialized graduate degrees can equip you with the skills needed to pursue non-profit work, from a JD to a master’s degree in such fields as finance, social work, public administration, education, and public health. Additionally, within each of these types of programs, there are often academic offerings and degree concentrations designed specifically for those with an interest in the public and non-profit sectors.

So, if social conscience is at the heart of your dream job, check out these tips for finding a graduate program that’s right for you.

Why earn a non-profit sector graduate degree?

Earning … Read full post

Why Earn a Master of Public Administration?

August 11, 2015 by

Earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA) can help you gain new skills and pursue your professional goals, but the benefits of a master’s degree don’t stop there. Learn about possible MPA careers and find out what this interesting and flexible degree can do for you.

What is a Master of Public Administration?

An MPA is a professional degree for people who want a public service career in management. Earning a master’s degree in this field will equip you with the skills and techniques to:

  • Implement policies, projects, and programs that resolve societal problems
  • Address organizational, human resource, and budgetary challenges
  • Focus on managerial and analytical skills

What is the MPA course load like?

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the MPA degree, most programs have a core curriculum for specific concentrations that span different academic emphases. Some programs offer the flexibility to build your own program with sponsorship, … Read full post

Summer Study Tips 5: Stay Motivated

August 7, 2015 by

Welcome to our five-part Summer Study Tips series, where we’ll help you find the best ways to fit test prep into the extra time the season brings. Use part of the time we save you to vote in our Test Prep Confessions Contest—more below!

Studying for the GRE takes drive and dedication, and those qualities can be tougher to come by when you’re surrounded by summer diversions. Ultimately, though, test prep is only a temporary necessity, and the GRE success that awaits you at the end of it is worth a few sacrificed trips to the beach.

So pat yourself on the back for staying focused on long-term goals, adopt a few simple strategies to keep your motivation strong, and charge ahead!

Give yourself a break

Hours of uninterrupted study can be not only tiresome, but also counterproductive. Taking frequent breaks will clear your mind so you can come … Read full post

Climbing the Factor Tree to Pick Prime Numbers

August 6, 2015 by

As any Kaplan GRE Expert will tell you, the Quantitative section is a test of concepts, not calculations. It’s also a psychological test, designed to intimidate the rookie test-taker with big, scary-looking numbers.

Fortunately, there’s always a method to the GRE’s math madness and, consequently, a way of making those intimidating numbers easier to understand. That’s where the factor tree comes in—one of the most powerful weapons to add to your GRE math arsenal.

Factor tree basics

You may remember (fondly or not) making a factor tree in grammar school. Factor trees allow you to break a large number down into smaller, more manageable parts.

First, we should review the basics of how to find prime factors. We begin by using a garden variety factor tree whose fruit is composed of the essence of any positive, non-prime integer.

Suppose we want to find the prime factors of 60:

We can … Read full post

Summer Study Tips 4: Set Yourself Up For Success

August 4, 2015 by

Welcome to our five-part Summer Study Tips series, where we’ll help you find the best ways to fit test prep into the extra time the season brings. Use part of the time we save you to vote in our Test Prep Confessions Contest—more below!

We know that you want to score as high as you possibly can on the GRE. You’re here, aren’t you? Knowing how to study effectively and maximize your downtime while still prioritizing your personal life can be key in helping you reach your goal.

It’s also good to rack up a few concrete and applicable tricks to ensure you’ll be at your absolute best on GRE Test Day.

Become social-media savvy

When you’re hunkered down to study for the GRE, it’s tempting to take an endless series of unplanned “breaks” by reading texts or checking social networks. Insidious little online distractions like this can suck … Read full post

Recruiting Cuban Graduate Students and Other GRE News

July 30, 2015 by

Which colleges produce the most graduate school students? What will the GRE mean for Cuba? Does cheating pay? Get the answers to these questions and more in our roundup of graduate school admissions news. Feel free to sound off in the comments—the floor is yours.

Cuba’s future graduate students

The thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba is opening up new opportunities in areas of all kinds—from cultural exchange and travel to education. In fact, U.S. graduate schools are now hoping to recruit Cuban students into their programs. The GRE, which has never before been offered on the communist island, will be offered to aspiring Cuban graduate students by the Education Testing Service as early as October. One assistant admissions dean predicts English-proficient Cubans will do well on the exam, given that Cuba boasts one of the world’s top-ranked educational systems, especially in the areas of science and … Read full post


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