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Top Master’s Degrees for Men and Women

September 4, 2014 by

A Kaplan colleague sent me a recent article on the top master’s degrees that graduate-level students go for, broken down by gender. I initially expected these results, which were first published in a report by the National Center of Education Statistics, to reflect very different choices, but what immediately jumped out at me were the similarities in what men and women pursue in their efforts to unlock the good life—the following two data points in particular:

  • The MBA is the most popular degree for both women and men. However, the percentage of each group that pursues this degree is very different: 22.3% of men get an MBA, while only 11.4% of women do.
  • Various degrees in education appear multiple times in the “Top 5” lists of most popular degrees for both men and women. Once again, though, there is a big difference between the specific degrees and programs that
  • Read full post

What is a Good GRE Score?

September 3, 2014 by

A good GRE score is one that gets you accepted into the graduate program of your choice.

That’s the simplest answer to the question, but it begs the next one: “How can I get a good GRE score and get accepted into the graduate program of my choice?”

What you need to know about the GRE score

GRE scoring occurs on a 130–170 scale in each section. This relatively limited range of possible scores means that small improvements in performance can increase your score quite a bit. It also means that those little increases on your GRE test score can make big differences in your percentile ranking. Sometimes even a one-point increase in your score can boost your percentile ranking by 5 points (check out the test maker’s chart of percentile rankings).

Your score does not stand alone. Whether or not you are admitted to a graduate program (or … Read full post

Should You Take the GRE for MBA Admission?

June 23, 2014 by

Entry qualifications for business school admission are changing. Are you up to date?

Currently, more than 70% of business schools now accept the GRE as well as the GMAT. Just a few years ago, in our 2009 survey of business school admissions officers, only 24% said they accepted the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT.

Even Chicago Booth, arguably the most tenacious defender of the GMAT, now accepts the GRE.

The main reasons for the shift are threefold, says Brian Carlidge, an executive director here at Kaplan.

  1. Business schools are looking for a more diverse population of students.
  2. The GRE is cheaper ($195 vs. $250 for the GMAT)
  3. The GRE is often deemed to be easier.

“We advise prospective students to do practice tests in both GMAT and GRE and then to take the test in which they are more confident,” he says.

Need more reasons to consider … Read full post

The First GRE Prep Course eBook for Kindle

April 10, 2014 by

Great news for Kaplan students: we’ve collaborated with Amazon to bring the first GRE prep course ebook directly to students enrolled in Kaplan courses using the Kindle reading apps and Kindle Fire tablets. This makes our GRE course the first Kindle-compatible Kaplan course available for aspiring graduate school students. Kaplan GRE students will have the ability to study across multiple devices—Kindle Fire and Android tablets, iPads, PCs and Macs—and take advantage of features such as note taking, highlighting, tracking progress, word look up, searching and syncing.

“Until recently, the adoption of tablets and eBooks for studying has lagged the adoption of eBooks for leisure reading, because studying involves engagement with the book through highlighting, note-taking and other tactile actions,” said Lee Weiss, Executive Director of Emerging Products, Kaplan Test Prep. “But as these functions became more user-friendly in eBook form and device ownership continues to grow, we’re now seeing a … Read full post

Learn GRE Vocabulary: Movie Night Inspiration

February 20, 2014 by

In the 1989 movie Say Anything, John Cusack plays an eccentric teenager who is pursuing a brilliant and beautiful classmate named Diane Court.  In one scene, Cusack’s character, Lloyd Dobler, waits for Diane to emerge from her bedroom before heading out on a date.  Pacing the hallway, he notices a dictionary resting on a table.  Curious, he begins flipping through the book and is surprised to see that nearly every page is full of marks, notations, and tiny scribbles.  A look of confusion and then awe falls over his face, and it’s not hard to imagine what he’s thinking – um, did she really go through this entire thing?

Daunting, isn’t it?  I mean, that is certainly one way to learn GRE vocabulary: just hop in a time machine, go back to when you were 16, grab the nearest dictionary, and open it up to the first page.  … 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

10 Great Things About Studying For the GRE

December 31, 2013 by

One of the best things about the end of the year is all the great countdown lists. Check out our highlights as we prepare to say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014.

10 Great Things About Studying for the GRE:

#10: Vocab flash cards!

#9 : You’ve been wanting to revisit high school math because it was SO much fun the first time.

#8: You have the fanciest vocabulary of all your friends…

#7: Pi, the Pythagorean Theorem…those Geometry details that you actually remember.

#6: Your inbox is never lonely – you get the Kaplan GRE Free Question of the Day

#5: Nerdy GRE memes like this and this.

#4: You always wondered what laconic meant. Now that you know, you’re keeping quiet about it. (See what we did there?)

#3: The muscles you’re building from carrying around your GRE prep books.

2: It’s a … Read full post

Quiz Yourself on GRE Reading Comprehension: Free Practice Questions – The Explanations

December 20, 2013 by

Previously, we gave you some practice questions to try using a GRE Reading Comprehension passage that we had analyzed and mapped out. Now that you’ve had a chance to try the questions on your own, take a look at the full explanations. How did you do? Tell us in the comments!

The passage primarily

  • A – focuses on the techniques that Shirley Jackson used in her fiction
  • B – argues that Shirley Jackson used her fiction for social criticism
  • C – discusses Shirley Jackson’s relationship to Flannery O’Connor
  • D – lists the types of characters Shirley Jackson used in her short stories
  • E – argues that Shirley Jackson condescends to her readers

Correct choice: (A)

Explanation: The question asks you what the passage primarily does, so look for what it does most—i.e. what takes up the most space. The passage initially discusses Jackson’s varied body of work, but don’t … Read full post

Quiz Yourself on GRE Reading Comprehension: Free Practice Questions

December 18, 2013 by

Previously, we analyzed this GRE Reading Comprehension passage and pulled out the main ideas in order to get a high-level understanding of what the author is doing in the passage. Now that we have a map of our passage, we can answer questions and earn GRE points. Let’s review the passage and map first:

Although Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known for her macabre short stories and novels, she was, in fact, a master of several genres and a prolific and varied writer, composing essays, autobiographies, and magazine articles as well as fiction. While Jackson had a vast literary repertoire, however, she tended to use the same types of fictional elements in her stories.

For example, like Flannery O’Connor, another writer renowned for her dissection of genteel society, Jackson often paired hyper-realistic settings with surreal polts to expose the dark underside of Middle America. Many of her stories took place … Read full post

GRE Reading Comprehension: Passage Analysis Tips

December 12, 2013 by

What are your feelings on GRE Reading Comprehension? Good, bad, or indifferent, this is an important question type to master for success on the GRE verbal section. If you haven’t yet tried our GRE practice passage, take a look at it now and take a few minutes to answer the questions that we posted along with it. They are the questions you should work through each time you break down a reading comp passage.

Now, let’s talk analysis.

  • The TOPIC of this passage, or the broad main idea, is Shirley Jackson’s fiction. GRE passages don’t contain a lot of filler, so you usually see the gist of the topic emerge in the first paragraph, if not in the first sentence.
  • The SCOPE of the passage is a more detailed focus within the topic. In this passage, the scope is Jackson’s fictional techniques and how they illustrate her message. The
  • Read full post


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