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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

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

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

Summer Study Tips 3: Adapt Your Learning Style to the Season

July 28, 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 all have specific ways of taking in information—or learning styles. If you study most effectively by reading and taking notes, you’re likely a visual learner. Those who prefer lectures and audiobooks have a more auditory approach. Gaining knowledge in tactile, interactive ways—feeling, touching, doing—points to a hands-on style.

First, figure out how you learn best, then learn how to make it work to your advantage this summer while prepping for the GRE.

If you’re a visual learner

Write notes down on flash cards that can be readily taken to a beach, park or poolside setting. Take bright markers, and highlight different concepts in different … Read full post

Summer Study Tips 2: Set Smart Habits

July 23, 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 participate in our Test Prep Confessions Contest—more below!

Organization and time management: They’re skills you can’t learn too soon or use too much. So if you’re fitting GRE study into your summer plans, put time on your side by establishing routines and finding creative ways to make your study habits summer-friendly.

Organization 101

Get into a good study routine that works with your schedule—and your personality. You might set aside two hours each evening or plan a longer stretch on Saturday mornings. Whatever works for you, the important thing is that you stick with it.

After you’ve settled into your custom-made schedule, focus on your space. Keep all your study tools—laptop, textbooks, e-reader, … Read full post

Summer Study Tips 1: Make Hay While the Sun Shines—Literally

July 16, 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.

Ah, summer! These warm-weather months and endless days are an ideal time to savor the beach, pleasure reading, outdoor dining, and other finer things in life, but if you’re gearing up to go to grad school, you know that they can be used toward a greater purpose.

That’s why summer is also a great time—possibly the best time—to get a jumpstart on your GRE test prep for grad school admission. The groundwork you do now will amount to less stress, greater productivity, and a mastery of test topics by the time you hit your GRE test date.

Start by mapping out a study plan. Take to your trusty calendar and carve out time for the things you both want to enjoy and accomplish … Read full post

Easy Ways to Increase Your GRE Vocabulary

July 9, 2015 by

The GRE Verbal Reasoning section tests your vocabulary a few different ways. To master Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion questions, start building your vocabulary now.

Start by checking out our free GRE Vocabulary Flashcards app for Android or iPhone. If you’re a Kaplan student, you can use your account to access the full 500-card version*; otherwise, get the limited 50-card version for free.

The flashcards include vocabulary words, definitions, synonyms, sample sentences, and pronunciations. You can also create customized card sets and see statistics on your performance as you build up to Test Day.

Try these study tips in conjunction with your flashcards and other vocab-building prep tools so you can improve your vocabulary—and, with it, your GRE score.

  • Make it relevant to you. Create a backstory for the vocab words that are frequently tested on the GRE Verbal section, or associate them with something meaningful to you. This
  • Read full post

What Are Your Chances of Getting into Grad School?

July 7, 2015 by

Applying to graduate school? To best assess your chances of getting in, you’ll need to know where you stand with respect to your prospective schools’ admissions criteria. Each program will be looking at all the parts of your application and weighing them against those of other competitive applicants.

So, how do you get a handle on seeing your candidacy from the perspective of the admissions committee members?

Stare your odds in the face—objectively

Get a sense of whether you have a shot at matriculation by creating 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.

The next step is to find the most current admissions information about your target graduate schools and their admissions facts and figures. There are … Read full post

What’s on the GRE Part 3: Analytical Writing and Unscored

June 30, 2015 by

The GRE contains 2 essays in an Analytical Writing section, at least 2 Quantitative and 2 Verbal sections, and 1 Experimental or Research section. Testing lasts a total of 4 hours from beginning to end.

Here we’ll explore both the Analytical Writing section and Experimental or Research section in detail.

Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing section tests both your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. You will be scored on your ability to articulate and support ideas as well as analyze and construct arguments.

It consists of two separately timed tasks:

  • A 30 minute Issue Essay
  • The Issue task presents an opinion on an issue followed by specific instructions on how to respond. You must evaluate the issue and develop an argument with support for your side of the issue.
  • A 30 minute Argument Essay
  • The Argument task requires you to analyze and critique an argument. You must evaluate the
  • Read full post

What’s on the GRE Part 1: Quantitative Section

June 16, 2015 by

The GRE contains 2 essays in an Analytical Writing section, at least 2 Quantitative and 2 Verbal sections, and 1 unscored Experimental or Research section. Testing lasts a total of 4 hours from beginning to end.

Here we’ll explore the Quantitative section in detail.

The Quantitative Section

Each quantitative section, broken down into Quantitative Comparison (QC) and Problem Solving (PS) question types, has approximately 20 questions to complete in 35 minutes, giving you between 1.5 and 2 minutes per question.

Quantitative Comparisons

  • QC questions ask you to compare 2 quantities—Quantity A and Quantity B—and to identify the relationship between them. You’ll likely see about 7–8 of these in each quant section.

  • To master QC questions, get familiar with shortcut methods that allow you to compare rather than calculate—it tends to be faster.

Problem Solving

  • The most common PS questions are standard multiple choice questions with 5 choices and one correct

  • Read full post

 

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