Categories:   About the Test  |  Admissions  |  Financial Aid  |  Practice Tests & Events

The Music Lover’s Guide to Graduate School

March 4, 2015 by

Your headphones are permanently fixed to your ears; your party playlists are legendary, and you often feel like Pitchfork must be ripping off your blog rants. You love music more than anything … and you’re going to graduate school. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pursue your advanced degree while also living near a vibrant music scene or—even better—merge your academic dreams with your personal passion for music?

For the next two years or more, most of your free time will be devoted to research, writing, or both, but being committed to your schoolwork doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love. Check out these graduate schools that not only provide great master’s and PhD programs that will advance your career, but will grant you access to the country’s best music scenes.

Emory University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program in Atlanta, Georgia

Dos and Don’ts for Your GRE Essays…

February 26, 2015 by

My ninth grade English teacher impressed upon me that the phrase “I think” should never appear in good writing. “The reader knows you’re thinking it,” she said, “because you’re the one writing it.” At the time, I was skeptical. What if I just want to express my opinion? Wouldn’t it be misleading not to specify this, to present it as fact?

Yet now I sit, over ten years later, emphatically pounding my keyboard to bring you Ms. LaMuth’s same message: when writing your GRE essays, never say, “I think.” Never say, “In my opinion.” Never say, “I believe.” All of these phrases hurt your essay and do nothing to help it.

If you’re not convinced, I’ll convince you now with a quick exercise. Below I’ve written several statements, half of which are objective fact and half of which are my personal opinion. Try to guess which is which:

I … Read full post

Choosing the Best Graduate School for Your Future

February 24, 2015 by

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

It’s a question that everyone fears, but eventually must face—usually in high-stress situations like job interviews, grad school essays, and maybe even bad dates.

If you prepare for this question, however, you can actually mitigate some of the anxiety it tends to produce. Facing your fear or simply addressing the question honestly with yourself—where do you see yourself in five years—can help you narrow down your list of grad school programs and apply to the best graduate school for you.

There is no shortage of graduate schools in the United States (and we’ve profiled some of them) nor questions to consider when choosing a grad school program. Here are some key factors to think about when making a decision about where you want to be in five years—especially when it comes to choosing the best graduate school for you…. Read full post

What is your

Practice Writing Your GRE Essay

February 19, 2015 by

Recently, I took on the challenge of writing some sample GRE essays like those found on the analytical writing section to serve as models for our courses. I didn’t think this would be a particularly difficult assignment. After all, barely a week goes by in which I don’t teach students how to write at least one of the two types of essays found on the GRE in my classes, and I’ve graded hundreds of essays in my years teaching at Kaplan. So it should have been a piece of cake for me, right?

The Argument Essay

Not so fast, I learned. First, I spent an inordinate amount of time procrastinating and putting off getting started. Could I find 30 straight minutes when I could be sure I wouldn’t be interrupted? What word processing software could I use to best simulate that at the testing center? What should I use as … Read full post

Networking for Graduate School

February 17, 2015 by

Thinking about graduate school? Wondering what to study, where to go, when to prep, how to pay?

If you’re still an undergrad in college, you might not be quite ready to take your GRE exams or submit your applications, but it’s never too early to start prepping. One of the best things you can do to right now strengthen your chances for admission to top-ranked graduate programs in your field is use your career networking skills.

Career networking is not only for people who intend to jump right into a job after earning a BA or a BS; it is also for people who want to further their studies through a master’s or doctorate program. As Ryan Raver, a PhD graduate in Cellular and Molecular Pathology at UW-Madison and the author of The Dire Need to Network While in Graduate School, explains, “The real goal [of networking] … Read full post

Kaplan Loves Test Prep

February 12, 2015 by

This Valentine’s Day, we’re all about the love at Kaplan Test Prep. Between our dedicated colleagues, amazing teachers, and inspiring students, there’s plenty to make our pericardium go pitter-patter!

Some time ago, I chatted with one of our local Boston faculty members who worked as an assistant district attorney and asked him what he likes about teaching our GRE and LSAT students. He said that as a district attorney, he sees people who have made poor choices and are going through tough times in their lives. In his Kaplan classes, however, he gets to work with people who are on a mission to improve their lives and seek out success in the future.

That’s our mission too: to build success stories one student at a time. While our Kaplan students do most of the heavy lifting, we enjoy escorting them on their paths to graduate school, business … Read full post

GRE High Score Strategy: Answer Every Question

February 10, 2015 by

Do you remember your first day of college? Not the day you moved in, but the first day of classes?

I do. I was sitting in Biology 141 at 9:00 a.m. My professor walked in and told us that if we hadn’t started reading our biology textbook yet, we were already behind. She went on to say that all of us were currently failing the course. We were all starting with the same score—a big, fat zero—and it was up to us to earn the score that we wanted.

I later learned that she got a secret kick out of this “welcome” speech, but I came to respect her greatly. Honestly.

Well, taking the GRE is like taking that course with that professor. All test takers start with the exact same score as they settle into their chairs and click the start button. The GRE score you leave with is … Read full post

Going Back to School When You Need a Career Change

February 5, 2015 by

Signs you may need a career change

Mondays are fine; it’s your job you don’t like. It’s one thing to get a case of the Sunday night blues, but if the best night of television can’t get you out of your funk, you may need a change. Changing careers, however, is rarely easy. The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory rates it as one of the most stressful life events you can go through. At the same time, the impact of not changing careers when you’re truly unhappy in your work could be even greater.

When you’re 18 years old and heading off to college, very few people will question your choice to pursue higher education, but when you’re older, the decision suddenly takes on added implications. No matter what your age, however, going back to school can be a transformative experience—and not just for your career…. Read full post

Your career might be in

GRE Test Day Stress Management

February 3, 2015 by

It’s GRE Test Day. You’ve been studying and preparing for weeks—possibly even months. You know the formulas, your vocabulary has never been larger, and you can recite the quantitative comparison answer choices in your sleep. In other words, you’re completely ready to rock the GRE.

So why are you nervous?

Test anxiety is a common hindrance to GRE Test Day success. There have been some excellent posts here on the GRE blog outlining ways to work on reducing test anxiety before Test Day.

But what about during the test? How do you control anxiety, regain focus, and keep moving forward on Test Day? Here are a few tips that will help you manage the stress that pops up during the most pivotal time—the actual exam.

Manage GRE Test Day Stress

1) Stop worrying and skip the question

In the old GRE format, skipping questions was impossible. The … Read full post

Why Take the GRE?

January 29, 2015 by

What’s so important about GRE scores?

At some point in studying for the Graduate Record Exam—more affectionately known by its common name, the GRE—you’ve probably found yourself wondering about the point of it all.

“Why am I taking the GRE anyway?” you might have said. “Why should I have to know rules about special right triangles or the meanings of words like ‘galvanize,’ or the formula for combined work? I want to go to graduate school for [psychology/economics/English/physics/anthropology/biology/art history/etc.] instead!” If this describes you, you have probably also lamented to anyone and everyone who will listen that the GRE test is not only arbitrary or meaningless, but also unfair.

You are definitely not alone; these are common complaints that we instructors get in our Kaplan GRE classes all the time.

Clearly, no standardized test is perfect, including the GRE. However, there are several key reasons why the … Read full post

" "