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GRE Studying – Developing Good Habits for Test Day Success

March 18, 2014 by

One of the interesting things I’ve discovered as a GRE instructor is that many students have little or no plan when it comes to GRE studying. While most students will set occasional timing goals for themselves – things like “I’ll try to study for an hour later tonight” or “if I have time, I’ll take a practice test this weekend” – what they fail to realize is that those aren’t plans; those are whims. And waiting for a whim is no way to study for the GRE.

Good preparation involves a good plan

A good plan is more than just a study schedule. While a study schedule is certainly helpful, it leaves out a pretty big component of GRE studying: what to do once you sit down to study.

So to think about that, let’s start with this question: what is the point of studying for the GRE? Well, that’s … Read full post

Should You Cancel Your GRE Score?

March 7, 2014 by

Options aren’t always a good thing. When I buy shampoo, I spend agonizing minutes looking among the dozens of bottles for some kind of normal, regular shampoo. But no. Nothing like that is ever there. All I see are endless rows of arcane admixtures infused with vegetables, tropical fruits, aloes, bear spit, and who knows what else. In principle, it’s great that I could wash my hair with coconuts if I wanted to. But the presence of all these options makes it impossible for me to get what I want, which is Boring Shampoo: The Plain Old Kind. How does this relate to your GRE score? Read on and find out.

When you take the GRE, you’ll have the option to cancel your score. This might seem like a great option, but like the GRE calculator, it’s more of a trap than a benefit. The catch is that … Read full post

Putting Your Best GRE Scores Forward: ScoreSelect

March 4, 2014 by

Do you know about ScoreSelect option that the ETS (the GRE test makers) introduced in 2012? (Many students are unaware of this helpful little gem!) It allows you to decide which GRE scores to send to your schools – so if you’ve taken the test more than once, you can choose to send only your highest and best scores.

On GRE Test Day, you can either:

  • Choose not to send your scores right away, or
  • Select either option below for each of your four FREE score reports:
  • Most Recent option — Send your scores from your current test administration.
  • All option — Send your scores from all General Test administrations in the last five years.

After GRE Test Day, you can send additional score reports for a fee ($25 per recipient.) Available options include:

  • Most Recent option — Send your scores from your most recent test administration.
  • All 
  • Read full post

GRE Skills for the Real World

January 31, 2014 by

“How does anything on the GRE relate to relate to real life?  None of this applies to what I want to do in grad school!”

I hear some variant on these words from at least one of you in every GRE class that I teach, and I know that for every one who asks, there are many more who are silently feeling the same way.  Putting aside the negative effects that such a mindset will surely have on your motivation and GRE study habits, the idea that the skills tested on the GRE are not relevant to what you’ll do in grad school is simply not true.  To prove my point, take a look at the following question:

In printing an article of 48,000 words, a printer decides to use two sizes of type. Using the larger type, a printed page contains 1,800 words.  Using smaller type, a page … Read full post

Efficient, Effective GRE Studying

January 27, 2014 by

We often post GRE practice problems for you to try on your own, and then follow up with answer explanations. In my experience as a Kaplan teacher, I’ve found that many students read through the explanations quickly and move on, missing out on the wealth of learning that can be had from thorough engagement with answer explanations. It’s my mission to help you make your GRE studying efficient and effective.

Here’s how to get the most out of every GRE practice problem that you try by using the answer explanation effectively.

  • Work through the problem using the answer explanation as your guide. Take as long as you need to understand the explanation fully. Ask questions – if it’s here on the blog, ask us in the comments. If you’re taking a Kaplan course, ask your teacher. If there are specific rules or strategies that you aren’t yet familiar with, make
  • Read full post

Beating the GRE with Practice

January 24, 2014 by

Interested in beating the GRE? Take a break from your whatever you are doing right now, and watch this video:

Baby Polar Bear Cub Takes First Adorable Steps

You’re welcome.

But why is this on a GRE blog? It’s not just because it’s cute, or even because so many places are freezing cold right now, and you might be wrapped up like you’re living in the Arctic.

It’s because, when I saw this, I was reminded that, as they say, “Every expert was once a beginner.”

So, incipient GRE preppers, though you may feel small and wobbly now, much like our neophyte friend the baby polar bear cub, you will (with practice) grow to be big and strong like the mighty polar bear:

Even if some of your study days feel like this:

Or this:

Keep at it, and keep a sense of humor about it. And keep cute polar … Read full post

Practice Your GRE Problem Solving Skills: The Solution

January 23, 2014 by

Tuesday’s practice problem was a tough one, there’s no way around it. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go. You may surprise yourself.

Now, let’s review.

GRE Problem Solving Practice

There are exactly three colors of socks in Lamont’s drawer: red, blue, and green. The current ratio of red to blue to green socks is 2:3:7. If Lamont were to purchase n new red socks, the new ratio of red to blue to green socks would be 8:9:21. If Lamont were to instead purchase n + 2 blue socks, the new ratio of red to blue to green socks would be 2:4:7. What is the value of n?

  • A) 4
  • B) 5
  • C) 6
  • D) 7
  • E) 8

The Explanation

We’ll attack this question by creating equations to express each of the relationships stipulated in the question stem. We can then use those equations to determine the … Read full post

How to Use Your GRE Practice Test Results

January 20, 2014 by

Congratulations on dedicating yourself to your GRE training!  Since you’re reading this blog entry, you’ve probably completed a really important step — taking your GRE diagnostic practice test and setting your baseline score. This is the most challenging GRE practice test that you will ever take, because it’s the last one that you will take without preparation (or, if you are a student enrolled in a Kaplan course, it’s the last one you will take without the Kaplan methods and strategies.) It will only get better from here, as you learn about and practice new skills and techniques to help you handle the kinds of questions that the GRE asks.

The diagnostic test is just what the name suggests. If you’re a psychology or nursing student, you’re very familiar with what it means to diagnose. This test is a diagnosis that will allow you to figure out the areas … Read full post

GRE 2013 – A Retrospective, Kaplan-Style

December 30, 2013 by

As 2013 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at some momentous events from this year. There was certainly no lack of “wow” moments from which we can all learn a lesson or two, whether we’re applying to grad school or quietly planning world domination:

Dream big.

In February, American scientists used a 3D printer to create a lab-grown ear from collagen and animal ear cell cultures. Similar ears could be potentially be grown to use as transplants in the future. Let’s repeat that: Science figured out how to print an ear. If that doesn’t inspire you to set lofty goals for your GRE and grad school path, then I don’t know what will.

 

 

 

 

Find your inspiration.

The royal baby was born this July, and while only time will tell whether he’s as attractive as his parents, he definitely gave people something to talk … Read full post

GRE MST Scoring: Adaptivity and Percentiles

December 19, 2013 by

Are you confounded by how the GRE is scored? If so, you are not alone. Recently, a student preparing for the GRE asked, “Is the percentile based on how well you do compared to everyone else who took the test on the same day you did? Or, is it just based on how many questions you get right in each section?”  

Scoring on the GRE is really complicated.  Neither way she described is the way the percentiles are derived. Remember, this is a multi-stage test (thus: MST). In the first set of 20 questions that count toward your score, the questions are at a mix of various difficulty levels in addition to a mix of different topics and types of questions. The mix of difficulty levels of the second set of questions (in the same area, Math or Verbal) depends on how many of the questions you got correct … Read full post

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