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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

4 Tips for a High GRE Score

December 19, 2014 by

You don’t just want to increase your GRE score, you want to get a high GRE score. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve seen what sets GRE high scorers apart from the pack. Take note.

4 Tips for Achieving a High GRE Score

  1. GRE high scorers are really good at choosing their battles wisely.  They understand that they WILL be getting certain questions wrong on GRE Test Day, and that being perfectionists can hurt them (getting a problem right after 5 minutes of work is nearly impossible – which is why strategic guessing is sometimes necessary.)
  2. GRE high scorers recognize patterns that others don’t, so they are able to correct the mistakes they made previously on similar problems.  Meanwhile, others continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over again because they fail to see the similarities between the problem they’re working on and
  3. Read full post

5 Ways to Avoid the “Naughty List” on GRE Test Day

December 17, 2014 by

‘Tis the season of making lists and checking them twice, and if you’re getting ready to take the GRE, you’re no stranger to lists right now—lists of GRE vocabulary, lists of prime numbers and Pythagorean triples, and to-do list that might seem to pile up at times.

There’s one list that you want to avoid during your GRE test prep and on GRE Test Day, however, and that’s the “GRE Naughty List.” Here are 5 ways to help you avoid getting a lump of coal in your stocking instead of a golden ticket to the grad school of your dreams.

1. Remember the unscored section.

The GRE test makers aren’t trying to be grinches when they put an unidentified, unscored “extra” quantitative or verbal section on the GRE. You could even say it’s nice that they give you the heads-up to expect this unscored section as … Read full post

5 Tips for Tapping into Graduate School Scholarships

December 15, 2014 by

Whether you’re going for your master’s or PhD, applying to graduate school might just be the next big step to fulfilling your lifelong career and educational goals. Exciting as this process can be, it may also present its challenges, especially when it comes to tuition and funding for grad school. With the average college debt for recent graduates nearing $30,000, it’s important to look toward options like financial aid and graduate school scholarships.

Tuition varies greatly among schools and programs, but no matter what the cost, graduate school is still an investment in your future. PhD and master’s candidates enjoy lower unemployment rates and higher salaries down the line than those with only bachelor’s degrees. Still, that beacon of future earnings doesn’t do much to take care of those hefty tuition bills right now. So what to do?

Luckily, grad school applicants have many options available to help Read full post

7 Most Lucrative Master’s Degrees Series: Economics

December 12, 2014 by

Jokes about economists revolve around the common theme of uncertainty in economic theory. Enjoy these old digs:

  • An economist is social science’s bumbling weatherman.
  • It’s said that economics is the only field in which two people can share a Nobel Prize for saying opposing things. 

And while you might not ponder economic theory in line at the grocery store, economic policies have a lot to do with what you’ll pay for your bananas. Economists research, analyze, and forecast a variety of issues and have become essential in government roles and private industry. In fact, a master’s degree in economics is one of the most lucrative master’s degrees. puts a graduate degree in economics in the top 10 best-paying graduate degrees, with a median pay higher than engineering and computer science.

Path to Admission

A graduate education in economics is like, well, the economy: variable and idiosyncratic.

Applying to … Read full post

Average GRE Scores for Top Grad School Programs

November 24, 2014 by

One of the most frequently asked questions I get in class is, “What do I need to score on the GRE to get into grad school?” There are typically two answers to this question that students prepping for the GRE are accustomed to hearing.

Answer #1: “It depends.”

OK. Depends on what?

As we have talked about before, a “good” GRE score is one that gets you accepted into the graduate program of your choice. What is good, then, depends on the program and the field.

You can get a good feel for this by looking at the average GRE scores from some top schools in a variety of popular and competitive fields. For our current purposes, we’ll focus on grad degrees in education programs, engineering programs, psychology programs, and even MBA programs, since business schools are increasingly accepting GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores.

Remember … Read full post

GRE Stress Management: Survive Practice Test #2

November 19, 2014 by

Previously, I described the danger of reacting negatively to your first practice GRE. The most sensitive GRE practice test of all, though, is not the first test, but the second. Part of your GRE stress management plan should be understanding what to expect on practice test #2.

GRE Practice Test 2

If you’re like most GRE students, you expect your second practice test score to be a huge leap from your first. You think “I’ve been working really hard, so clearly, my score on Test 2 should jump by at least 10 points in both sections!” In fact, what usually happens on Test 2 is that your score stays the same, or even drops. This fact, coupled with unrealistic expectations, leads to lots of disappointment and frustration. As a teacher, I’m heartbroken to see how many of you lose spirit after Test 2, when I know that you can … Read full post

7 Most Lucrative Graduate Degrees Series: Physics

October 24, 2014 by

Since, as a profession, “being Neil Degrasse Tyson” is already taken, future physicists have to consider alternate career paths these days. Fortunately, a career in physics is anything but a “Bohr!” In fact, physics is one of the most lucrative graduate degrees out there, so pursuing a master’s degree in physics is something even Heisenberg could be certain about!

If going into academia or working in a lab isn’t for you, earning a master’s degree in physics can prepare you for a career in many fields, from environmental control to patent law. At its core, physics is equal parts science and liberal arts, so a background in physics develops your strengths in problem solving, crunching big data sets, and navigating big ideas.

Path to Admission

Your path to a graduate degree in physics will typically begin with earning your bachelor’s in physics, but it doesn’t have to. Almost a … Read full post

5 Tips for Getting into the Best Graduate Schools

October 10, 2014 by

Previously, we talked about how it’s never too early to start putting together your graduate school application. You might have pinned that post, thinking, “Wow, this is really going to come in handy when I am a junior or senior in college!” But even as a freshman or sophomore in undergrad, you can already start taking steps toward becoming a competitive applicant and getting into the best graduate schools.

Here are five ways to start building up the credentials that will ultimately help you gain admission to a top-ranked program in your field.

1. Do your research

First, research graduate schools themselves. What types of programs interest you? Which grad schools are strong in your field? Where do you want to live? Depending on what you want to study, your graduate education will typically last between two and five years of your life, so make sure you aim … Read full post

5 Tips for Taking the GRE Again to Raise Your Score

September 16, 2014 by

If you’re not completely satisfied with your GRE score—verbal or quantitative—you might consider taking the GRE again after some additional practice.

While GRE practice is usually recommended, people often wonder if retaking the GRE after receiving a less-than-stellar score is really the best idea. While every applicant is unique and every grad school program has its own particular guidelines and preferences, there are a number of general factors to consider before deciding to test again and shoot for a higher GRE score.

5 Things to consider before retaking the GRE

1.    Taking the GRE multiple times will not harm your chances of admission. Last year, the ETS (Educational Testing Service—the makers of the GRE) introduced a new feature for test-takers applying to grad school called ScoreSelect.

The introduction of this option allows you to decide which test scores you’d like to send to schools. In other words, if you … Read full post


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