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The Dos and Don’ts of Dating in Grad School

January 23, 2015 by

Around this time of year (read: Valentine’s Day), it’s hard not to notice—try as you might—that everything’s suddenly turning heart-shaped. As a grad student neck-deep in research, writing, or wrangling your TA section, it’s tempting to shut yourself off from this annual love-fest as you consume equal parts books and coffee. Eventually, though, you may want to socialize outside the faculty mixers, and you may even want to date.

So, how do you juggle an enormous workload, a demanding adviser, and probably a job, with a social life that includes a significant other? If you’re ready to take a dip into the dating pool, consider these grad school dating dos and don’ts.

DO make the time, but set realistic expectations. Being a master’s or PhD candidate means that your work never stays at the office. Your research and reading come with you, and they’re always on your mind. Before you … Read full post

Exercise for a Higher GRE Score

January 16, 2015 by

Prepping for the GRE takes a lot out of you – the months of re-learning geometry, studying reading comp wrong answer pathologies, and adding words such as “ignominious” to your vocabulary are enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel from time to time. We understand this feeling, but we also know what amazing things are waiting for you on the other side of this test and the admissions process, so I am happy to present the first in a series of entries about the little things that you can do to stay motivated and keep your head in the game.

Don’t Forget Exercise

Exercise is one of the first things that gets dropped from many students’ routines after they add hours of GRE prep to their weekly schedule. This is both completely understandable, and a mistake.  Even if you aren’t in the habit of getting some … Read full post

The Grad School Path to Your Dream Job as Archivist

January 15, 2015 by

If you’re like me, you love that little archive button in gmail. Nothing clears out and organizes a cluttered inbox like a good, old-fashioned archiving rampage.  Also, if you’re like me, you may have decided to major in the liberal arts for your undergraduate degree and are now giving some thought to your future grad school and career plans. What if you could combine your love of, say, history with your love of storing and organizing more than just emails?

Welcome to the world of archiving! This is a job to consider for all of you book lovers out there. Here’s a snapshot of the career and grad school path of an archivist.

Where do archivists work?

Archivists may work for colleges or universities, museums, historical societies, governments, corporations, or film studios. Essentially, archivists are needed at any institution that requires expert treatment and preservation of important records and pieces … Read full post

What Are Your GRE Prep New Year’s Resolutions?

January 13, 2015 by

It’s the time of year for resolutions; you’ve probably made a few of them yourself: to get a better job, earn more money, learn something new, develop a new skill, etc. There’s one surefire way to tackle all four of these resolutions at once: by applying to graduate school! After all, getting a degree from a top graduate program in your field can have countless benefits in the years to come—personal, professional, and financial benefits.

In order to gain admission to most graduate programs, you’ll need to take the GRE. We recommend that you take the GRE as early as possible, preferably by the summer or fall before you submit your applications. You can take it once every 21 days, up to five times within any rolling continuous 12-month period. Ideally, of course, you’ll want to take the GRE only once, so proper preparation is key!

So … Read full post

GRE Math Practice: Combination and Permutation Basics

January 12, 2015 by

Let’s do some GRE math practice! Combination and permutation problems often leave students wondering where on earth to begin. Knowing the equation for each operation is helpful, but not enough—you also must be able to determine which formula is necessary to answer the question at hand.

The rule of thumb is that combination is unordered and permutation is ordered, but what does that mean? I like illustrating the difference using a soda vending machine.

  • Imagine you are standing in front of a vending machine that holds 10 different beverages and I ask, “How many groups of 3 sodas can you choose from the machine?” Would you need to do combination or permutation in order to formulate an answer? How do you know?
  • Alternatively, imagine I altered the question slightly and asked, “How many different ways can you select 3 sodas from the machine?” Is this the same question? Or is
  • Read full post

GRE Math Practice: Number Properties

January 9, 2015 by

Let’s do some high-level GRE math practice. Come on, it’s good for you. I’m going to write a number.  What I want you to do is think about the number, and think about how much that number represents.  Ready?  Okay, here it is:


Pretty big, right?  And now, I want you to answer this question, without using a calculator: if x is an integer, what is largest value of x that so that the value 3x is a factor of 34,012,224?

I know, it’s tough.  That’s because 34,012,224 is HUGE and, for most of us, a bit beyond our capacity to work with mathematically.  GRE test-makers know that conceptualizing large numbers is difficult, and so instead of writing out a long chain of numerals, they prefer instead to represent large values by using manageable numbers taken to higher powers.  If that sounds confusing, let me demonstrate with the … Read full post

GRE Success Story: Third Time’s a Charm

January 8, 2015 by

Is retaking the GRE on your list for 2015? This story is a must-read for a confidence boost.

Arguably, my favorite GRE success story is “Heather” (not her actual name). Like a sizable portion of students who come to us, Heather had already taken the GRE after preparing on her own, and her scores were not high enough. She was a senior in college, with a hefty course load and a time-consuming job in her field that required a lot of travel.

Heather’s Story

Right from the start of her Kaplan GRE course, Heather and I were in frequent email contact, figuring out how she should structure her study time so she could take her test a couple weeks after the end of a twice a week class. She was a diligent, goal-oriented student.

Her GRE Test Day came, and she fell short of the scores she needed … Read full post

Master the GRE: Know What to Expect

January 6, 2015 by

If you are on the path to graduate school and expect to take the GRE in the immediate future, it’s crucial that you be up-to-date on what, exactly, you’ll face on GRE Test Day. It’s like an endurance sport that requires sustained energy and focus, and just like an endurance sport, you’ll need to train beforehand. Just like a cross-country skier needs ski poles and special boots, you’ll need a special set of skills to master the GRE.

At a high level, the GRE contains two essays, at least two quantitative and two verbal sections, and one experimental or research section. Testing lasts a total of four hours from beginning to end. Let’s explore each section in more detail.

The Quantitative Section

Each quantitative section has approximately 20 questions to complete in 35 minutes, giving you between 1.5 – 2 minutes per question.

  • Quantitative Comparisons

Quantitative Comparison (QC) questions … Read full post

3 Reasons to Sign Up For a Free GRE Practice Test

January 5, 2015 by

It’s a new year, and you’re busy sticking to your resolutions. Is one of them to take the GRE and apply to grad school? We can help.

There’s a very concrete step you can take right now to get on the path to GRE success and grad school admission. Take a Free Online GRE Practice Test. Why sign up for one of the many free practice tests that we offer? There are plenty of reasons, but here are some of the most important.

1. You need endurance training for the GRE

It’s very difficult 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…. Read full post

2. You will

How to Make a Career Change to 10 Top Jobs

January 2, 2015 by

This is brought to you by & Kaplan. and offer valuable resources to empower students of all ages to succeed in their educational and career journey.

By Jonathan Shatz

During my five-year stint in Kaplan University’s admission’s office, I had the privilege of watching many career-changing professionals successfully reimagine their lives. Looking back, I realize that the key to their career change successes often involved an educational one-two punch that involved earning a degree or credit-bearing certificate as well as professional-training credentials for today’s top jobs.

The benefit of earning for-credit certificates is that they can be applied toward an advanced degree later on should you ever decide to pursue a master’s or a doctoral degree in support of your career. Kaplan University’s current 50/50/50 grant offer makes a wide range of both for-credit certificates and advanced degree programs more affordable than ever before, all of which … Read full post

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