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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 In?

July 7, 2015 by

You’re applying to graduate school and in order to assess your chances of getting in, you’ll need to know where you stand with respect to the admissions criteria. Each program to which you apply will be looking at various factors of your application and weighing them against other competitive applicants.

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

Look objectively at the odds of getting in

A good way to get a sense of whether you have a shot at matriculation is to begin 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 … 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

Applying to Graduate School: Narrowing Your List

April 9, 2015 by

You’re applying to graduate school because you have a particular academic passion: It’s a subject you want to explore it, immerse yourself in, and get to know on a deeper level. However, you may also feel overwhelmed and confused in deciding on which graduate program is right for you—there are so many out there from which to choose.

Behind door number one, you discover an open-ended program that can be tailored to suit your research interests. Behind door number two is a highly competitive and specialized program that only accepts five to ten graduate candidates per year. Door number three reveals a university in a beautiful location with a large graduate student population. So, how do you narrow down these choices? What should you be looking for in applying to graduate school? What do you really want out of the next few years of higher education? What graduate programs are … Read full post

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

Dance with GRE Reading Comprehension Practice – The Explanation

December 26, 2014 by

GRE Reading Comprehension Inference questions are often higher level difficulty questions because they ask you to analyze what you’ve read in a passage in order to find unstated conclusions. This requires strategic reading, paraphrasing, and critical thinking skills.

The question we gave you to try on the blog earlier this week is an inference question, so you are looking for a statement that is implied and supported by the passage, but not explicitly stated.

The GRE Reading Comprehension Practice Question

The earliest histories of the Russian ballet were written in the 18th century by European tourists to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Many of these travelers were drawn from their native Paris, Berlin, or London to see the highly touted Russian ballet companies with their own eyes. These ballet enthusiasts marveled at the strength and elegance of the performers of the great ballet companies of Russia. By the 1840s, Russian prima … Read full post


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