Jump to content
justacigar

GRE Study Methods

Recommended Posts

For those of you who have done well on the GRE, what study materials did you use? Especially those of you who have retaken the test and done better. My old scores are expiring this year (nooooo!) and I would definitely love to improve in all areas. 

I am trying to channel my nervous energy about likely rejections into something useful, like preparing to do this all. over. again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hey :) 

So as a Psych major, I haven't done math ever since High School. I really liked Magoosh (you can do a free trial, or google for a discount code, there's so many out there); it was especially helpful with the math as it basically re-teaches you all the math you need! Magoosh also has a number of free resources you can google. For example: http://magoosh.resources.s3.amazonaws.com/Magoosh-GRE-Vocab-eBook.pdf

I also highly recommend you download the Magoosh GRE flash card app for your phone (free!)--I find this was more helpful than the Magoosh GRE Vocabulary Builder which was multiple choice. 

Buy: any edition of the official ETS GRE Guide. Made by the test makers, and any edition will do as they don't really change the question much.

 

I found that the Kaplan books were kinda meh from my experience. Their tests also seemed too easy compared to the real GRE.

 

Best of luck! :) 

Edited by Mickey26
Spelling, my bad haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My scores expired 4 years ago, so I am in the same boat. Previously I studied using Kaplan and got a 160 V, however, I did terrible on the Q (149). Since I have to retake anyway, I would love tips to improve my Q.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you also happen to be in need of a side job - Kaplan is always hiring ACT/SAT tutors and if you work for them you get access to all of their materials (books, lectures, online resources) for all of the tests they offer (even the ones you don't teach) for free. Super situational but that's what I did. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mostly used Magoosh. I would recommend taking as many practice tests as possible. 

My scores are:

V: 156 - 73rd percentile

Q: 155 - 58th percentile

AW: 4.5 - 82nd percentile

I'm not sure how good you consider those. I could reach 160 on both but my scores are the average for the program I am applying to and I don't want to pay another $205 😋

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I basically brute forced all of Magoosh's math problems a week before the exam, haha. I didn't study at all for verbal or writing. My scores were 168V / 163Q / 5.5AW. My starting scores were in the mid-150's so I was very happy. The GRE questions felt much easier than Magoosh's, so I had a boost of confidence during the exam which definitely helped with my performance.

Edited by dancedementia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ETS website always has two free full length practice tests and other free materials such as a comprehensive bank of writing section prompts (https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare) which I used to supplement Princeton Review materials. I practiced outlining answers to those prompts for like 10 minutes a day for about a week, and felt solidly prepared to remember some of the examples I used. My score in Writing improved by 2 points!

Princeton Review can be really costly (I was lucky to have it provided through a summer program), so more specifically I'd recommend its online component. It's useful, allows you to hone specific skills, and has more practice tests/sample questions than I thought possible.

A free and low-key vocal review resource is the VictorPrep podcast http://victorprep.com. It's fairly short (11-20min) and reviews about 4-6 words per episode with a review of 40+ words every few episodes. It's nice to listen to in the shower, on a commute, or simply while doing another "mindless" activity. I can't recommend it enough.

As a side note, Take practice tests in an environment as close to the real one as possible. That means clearing the table, turning off your phone, and once you schedule a test date, taking them at the time you will then. Doing practice tests at 8AM with no distractions was Trash INC.,  but I sure as hell was used to it by the time I was in the actual room.

-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, dakotaS said:

I mostly used Magoosh. I would recommend taking as many practice tests as possible. 

My scores are:

V: 156 - 73rd percentile

Q: 155 - 58th percentile

AW: 4.5 - 82nd percentile

I'm not sure how good you consider those. I could reach 160 on both but my scores are the average for the program I am applying to and I don't want to pay another $205 😋

Wow these are almost identical to my scores! I considered mine to be somewhat competitive and really wish they weren't expiring :( my worst fear is that I'll retake and do worse than the first time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mickey26 Thanks for the tips! I used Kaplan the first time around and did not find the material to be very helpful. I just ordered the ETS prep book so hopefully that one will be better. I'm just terrible at studying and can usually pull okay scores out of my ass but really need to do well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, dancedementia said:

I basically brute forced all of Magoosh's math problems a week before the exam, haha. I didn't study at all for verbal or writing. My scores were 168V / 163Q / 5.5AW. My starting scores were in the mid-150's so I was very happy. The GRE questions felt much easier than Magoosh's, so I had a boost of confidence during the exam which definitely helped with my performance.

I'm worried mostly for the Q. I am stellar at stats but the math they have on the GRE is BRUTAL. Like, I don't remember how to do math from 8th grade lol. Those scores are beautiful :')

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, justacigar said:

I'm worried mostly for the Q. I am stellar at stats but the math they have on the GRE is BRUTAL. Like, I don't remember how to do math from 8th grade lol. Those scores are beautiful :')

Same haha. Geometry and probability killed me. I like Magoosh you can customize your study (e.g. choose from different areas, difficulties, question types), and each question has both a written out explanation and a video explanation (for those who are more audio/visual learners vs. verbal/written).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, dancedementia said:

Same haha. Geometry and probability killed me. I like Magoosh you can customize your study (e.g. choose from different areas, difficulties, question types), and each question has both a written out explanation and a video explanation (for those who are more audio/visual learners vs. verbal/written).

Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm going to look into those for sure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, justacigar said:

@Mickey26 Thanks for the tips! I used Kaplan the first time around and did not find the material to be very helpful. I just ordered the ETS prep book so hopefully that one will be better. I'm just terrible at studying and can usually pull okay scores out of my ass but really need to do well!

:) I think the best tip anyone has ever given me is to always ensure you have time to take it twice! I didn't plan on taking it twice, but I am SO glad I did! I credit Magoosh for the improved scores!

First time:

V: 156 - 73rd percentile

Q: 151 - 42nd percentile

AW: 4.5 - 82nd percentile

Second time:

V: 161 - 88th percentile

Q: 158 - 58th percentile

AW: 5.0- 92nd percentile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Official ETS practice tests and AWA prompt bank > Magoosh + free practice tests from reputable vendors > Manhattan's 5 lb. practice problems

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a note, if you use Manhattan Prep's 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems, then don't pay their Verbal Reasoning section much mind.  Their Quantitative Reasoning questions are, however, excellent.

If you need to take the GRE Psychology Test, then an introductory psychology textbook is sufficient.  I used the one published for free by OpenStax and did very well on the test.  The practice test that ETS provided was, in my case, a fairly accurate estimate of how I did on the real test.  On the other hand, the Kaplan book for it was lacking, to say the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2019 at 2:08 PM, psykick said:

The ETS website always has two free full length practice tests and other free materials such as a comprehensive bank of writing section prompts (https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare)

^^^ I second this. I took both the free full length practice tests, supplemented them with a free 1000 word+ deck of vocab that I found online to prep for the verbal, and ended up with a 168V / 159Q / 6.0AW on my first try of the test. I actually did better on the actual GRE than I did on either of the two practice tests. And reading ETS's free material on the AW section carefully and repeatedly helped me a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.