Do you wonder what grad school admissions officers really care about when they consider your grad school applications? What is it that they’re looking for as they review your transcripts and GRE scores, pore over your essays, and read the letters of recommendation? Which factor do admissions committees really think is the most important part of your application?
We surveyed top graduate schools, and you can join our panel of graduate school admissions officers and experts as they discuss—and debate—our findings.
Get the answers to these questions:
- What’s the most important admissions factor?
- What’s the biggest application killer?
- How big of a problem is plagiarism, and what do schools do to manage it?
The 2nd Annual Graduate School Admissions Officer Survey Debrief will be held via our free, live online event on Tuesday, November 12, from 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET. Register now to reserve your seat and … Read full post
As we head toward the end of the year, many of you have begun working on your graduate school applications. There are several guiding principles that you must follow in order to present yourself well to admissions committees, regardless of the type of program you’re pursuing. Instead of just listing these principles myself, though, I decided to let the dogs of the Internet break things down for you.
Principle #1: Do Your Research
In your application, you need to describe exactly what makes a particular school appealing to you – is it the curriculum? The professors and research opportunities? The alumni network? You won’t be able to present a compelling case for your candidacy unless you dig in and do lots of research – start on a school’s website, and then find opportunities to speak with current students, alumni, and faculty. (The admissions office can put you in touch … Read full post
Did you try out the practice problem we posted previously? If not, take a moment now to give it a try before reading this explanation…
Okay, welcome back! Here’s how to work it out:
While you don’t know how many cars or minivans were originally in the parking lot, you do know that the number of cars was a multiple of 4 and that the number of minivans was a multiple of 9. Let x equal the mystery multiple. After two cars leave and three minivans enter, the new ratio is 1 to 3. So, you can set up an equation to solve for x:
(4x – 2)/(9x + 3) = 1/3
3(4x – 2) = 9x + 3
12x – 6 = 9x + 3
3x = 9
x = 3
Thus, the original number of cars in the lot was 4x, … Read full post
I moved to southern California recently, which has a lot of perks – I’m enjoying palm trees, surfing, and the ability to get a tan in October, to list just a few. The only big drawback to living in this region is the traffic. Public transit isn’t very far-reaching, so everyone has a car and battles it out for space on the highway.
So in that spirit, I found a GRE practice problem for you to try that’s not about palm trees, but about cars. It may be on a less glamorous topic, but it combines several of the GRE’s favorite math concepts: ratios, percents, and word problems.
We’ll post the explanation in a couple of days – work through this practice problem, be on the lookout for any trap answers, and let us know in the comments what you think the correct answer is!
Confession time: I sat down to write this blog entry with nothing but good intentions. But it was the end of a long day and I was pretty fried, so you know what I ended up doing before I started writing? Looking at funny cat pictures online for a full half-hour. And if I hadn’t then gotten distracted by my own cat getting her 2 AM second wind and running laps around the apartment, then I would probably still be surfing the web right now.
… unless cat claws do get you going. (They are certainly effective.) Point is, you’re not going to study if you don’t have the right motivation. So what’s driving you to take the GRE and go to grad school? Keep whatever … Read full post
One of my first tutoring students at Kaplan told me “you can yell at me or call me names if I don’t do my homework.” She wanted me to CASTIGATE her for any digressions in her study schedule. Now, I didn’t do anything that extreme, but we did work out a system where she had to call or email me every day once she finished her homework, and the anxiety of the daily check-in was punishment enough for her.
Chances are, you don’t need a teacher to CASTIGATE you, but hopefully this little story will help you remember the meaning of the word.
For more context, check out these uses of the word castigate in classic literature. (Extra Reading Comp credit if you click “Go To Page” next to any of the sentences and read more of the text!)
Why sign up for one of the many upcoming Free Online GRE Practice Tests that Kaplan offers? There are a number of reasons, but here are some of the most important.
1. You Need GRE Stamina Training
It’s tough 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.
2. You Will Discover Your Strengths and Opportunities
Once you see your score, you may learn that you’re great at Algebra, but need to focus a lot more on learning Geometry rules. Knowing this will help you to focus your study time more efficiently and effectively.
3. You Will Get to See a Kaplan Expert Approach GRE … Read full post
Do you have a friend who chatters like this? I call them assault talkers, but you can also call them GARRULOUS, and you’re adding to your GRE vocab.
For more context, check out these uses of the word garrulous in classic literature. (Extra Reading Comp credit if you click “Go To Page” next to any of the sentences and read more of the text!)
Check out these GRE Vocab Flash Cards to find more words worth knowing for the GRE, and take a look at our previous blog entries on vocab to see comics, videos, and other fun learning tools. As always, you’re welcome to join one of our free GRE practice tests to determine your strengths and opportunities on the test and work toward your best possible score on GRE Test Day.
Do you have any tricks that you use to remember your GRE vocab? Share them … Read full post
Great work on the problem we posted yesterday! Hopefully you’re understanding the power of strategic elimination after working through some of the vocab in this set of answer choices. In the practice problem we provided, the clue to the state of Peter’s mind is his “twisting and complex” writings. You’re looking for two words that mean something like “complicated”.
(B), convoluted, and (F), tortuous, both mean “complicated” or “twisted” and are the correct answers.
(A), taciturn, means “quiet”, but while the sentence describes Peter as “a man of few words”, the detour roadsign “but” signals that his writings were quite different. You’re looking for choices that describe his state of mind, not his habits of speech.
(C), tremulous and (E), timorous, are synonyms, but they mean “fearful” or “hesitant”, and you can reject them both since the sentence does not describe Peter as fearful.
(D), … Read full post
Confession time: I know very little about football, despite the fact that I was a cheerleader in high school. The game looks like a chaotic mess to me, but people who know more than I do have patiently explained that a great deal of strategy goes into each play. (They often explain slowly and using very small words, since I apparently look as though I don’t believe them at all.)
To many of our students, the GRE can seem the same way at first – a set of tasks that can be accomplished by applying a very specific set of skills, but that are sometimes hard to approach effectively. Take sentence equivalence problems, for example: You don’t need to memorize the dictionary in order to find the correct answers. Instead, on each problem that you see, focus on:
- Predicting the correct answer, and then
- Eliminating answers that you know don’t