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Vince Kotchian GRE Prep

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About Vince Kotchian GRE Prep

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    vincekotchian.com

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    San Diego, CA
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  1. try posting this in reddit's GRE forum - 100x more active than thegradcafe
  2. Magoosh's verbal, like that of any third-party company, is irrelevant due to lack of realism. But your question is a good one. The PDF and Powerprep are essentially the same deal, but the Powerprep is more realistic since it's presented in the same format as the real exam. The PDF tests you took are all over the place with difficulty, whereas a real GRE or Powerprep section is clustered around a certain difficulty (easy, medium, or hard). Plus, scores can vary by a few points due to missing an extra question or two. To get the very most realistic diagnostic, use Powerprep Plus tests 1 and 2 (the ones that are $40 each). But I'd use these judiciously, since there are only 4 total Powerprep tests.
  3. Use ETS-written material. And supplement with GMAT RC and CR (critical reasoning). Read widely and study vocab, too. Don’t use any other companies’ material. Why not? Other companies can’t duplicate the nuances, complexities, and fairness of authentic ETS GRE verbal questions, because their mandate is to sell as many books / courses as possible. They’re focused on quantity, not quality. And this is coming from a guy who has written verbal questions for Barron’s several years ago. I will admit there is no way I (or imo ANY other third-party verbal material author) have the time, resources, or incentive to accurately duplicate the feel of ETS questions. I know you didn’t ask why, but there you have it.
  4. Hi Katherine! That’s an easy one: just send the higher score.
  5. I’ve met a lot of people in your situation, and it’s quite normal that something like Magoosh would only get you so far. You want to cross train by doing lots of official GMAT “problem solving” math questions, which are very similar to GRE. That and doing all available official GRE questions (in books and Powerprep exams) and analyzing your mistakes will be what you need. If there is a particular concept giving you trouble, the MGRE 5-lb book will provide repetition (but not realism).
  6. Things to look for: 1. Experience 2. Friendly, down-to-earth style. Communication skill is way more important than their math GRE score... 3. Uses official materials 4. Is independent (doesn’t work for a big company like The Princeton Review or Manhattan Prep). 5. Charges a lot (sounds crazy, but good, experienced tutors are almost never cheap). You get what you pay for. I would offer that the very most important thing a math tutor can tell you is how to study outside of the tutoring sessions.
  7. There won’t be a whole lot of difference - the GRE hasn’t changed since 2011, so it’s not terribly important which edition of MGRE to get. The advantage to getting the most recent version might be that they’ve tweaked certain problems, eliminated some typos / errors if there were any.
  8. I’m biased, perhaps, since I am one, but if what you say is true, find a professional, experienced, GRE tutor. You’ll get to where you’re going with a lot less frustration. Consider this: if the forum-recommended resources were enough to get a super-high score, then everyone would be getting super-high scores. But they’re not. It’s really hard for most people to get a really high score, so in addition to using recommended resources and working hard, insight from someone in the field can really help. Good tutors are almost always expensive - so before you spend a lot of money, read reviews, get references, do research. But the right person will go a long way towards that Harvard degree. P.S. - how the heck will Harvard even know how many times you took the GRE? You can choose which date to send, and that report doesn’t show how many times you took the test...
  9. Amen. I hope someone at Manhattan Prep reads your post. I recommend the Manhattan 5-lb book for REPETITION of concepts (which many need), but not realism. For realism, students need to do - and analyze - ETS questions. GMAT problem solving math questions are also good practice, since they’re written with the same reasoning component as ETS GRE questions.
  10. You mean the Powerprep 2 software? Whatever's on the ETS website is the most current.
  11. There aren't any good books for advanced strategy. If I had to pick some, I'd say the 8-book series from Manhattan Prep. Books and videos tend to give step-by-step instructions, but for advanced strategy, conversation with an expert helps much more. Keep in mind that I'm a tutor, so I'm biased
  12. Cracking the GRE isn't a very good way to prepare for the real GRE for lots and lots of reasons, one of which is that the questions aren't very much like real GRE questions. It's important to practice with real questions which are primarily found in the ETS books. Your performance on those, and on the ETS Powerprep tests, will be much more indicative of how you would do on the real GRE. I just wrote a blog describing the entire process of studying for GRE math. Might be helpful to you.
  13. Having seen plenty of people who were very strong in mathematics miss enough questions to prevent them from the scores you want, I have some advice. 1. Use the ETS math review to show you what concepts might be on the test, and the Manhattan 5-lb. book to practice them. 2. Make sure you can do all the ETS questions in the ETS books. 3. Identify the optimal way to do each ETS question and see if you come up with any takeaways that might be helpful for future questions of that type. Write these takeaways down. 4. Cross-train with pre-2016 official SAT practice tests (which were written by ETS). Official GMAT computer tests and guides will also be helpful. 5. Take enough timed tests to get used to the pressure. Learn from your mistakes. Write down tips for next time. Make sure your practice tests include the Powerprep ones. It may interest you to know you can get questions wrong and still get the scores you want. This might seem obvious, but far too many people do not let themselves skip or sacrifice questions at your score level. The last time I took the GRE, I got a 167. That was one wrong on the 1st math section and two wrong on the second.
  14. The typical answer to this question would involve recommending test prep materials: Manhattan Prep, Magoosh, etc. Though important, those materials are limited in their ability to build conceptual foundation - the kind you'd get in a math class. I find that many of my students can benefit from learning concepts from Khan Academy - watching videos that teach concepts from the ground up in a down-to-earth way, then practicing with that site's exercises, then moving on to Manhattan Prep 5 lb. practice book, then ETS math questions. This will better equip many people to deal with the reasoning they'll have to do on the real GRE. To reason with a concept, it must be at the mastery level (as opposed to the familiarity level). Of course, I hope you won't need to bolster EVERY concept with Khan Academy - perhaps just those you're having trouble with or those you were never formally taught. The ETS site has a handy guide to which Khan videos go with which ETS Math Review concepts. The most essential GRE prep books are those published by ETS (the company that makes the GRE).
  15. I don't see how a below-average GRE score could help (150 is 47th percentile). At best it wouldn't hurt, in my opinion.
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