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Test One week away... any advice?


Coloradogirl

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Sounds like you've got the study angle under control. If you haven't already taken one of ETS' PowerPrep tests, I'd do that to make sure you're comfortable with the interface and "mark for review" system. Otherwise, I can offer one piece of non-study advice: make sure you get enough sleep the night before the test - it's LONG, and I found myself getting sleepy by the end. Good luck!

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Powerprep test(s) to make sure you're estimating your timing well... And don't "cheat" by skipping the writing portion on the Powerprep - it takes an extra hour but will better simulate your actual test conditions...

Edited by iowaguy
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Yup, doing a complete Powerprep test is a great way to familiarize yourself with the test. It helps your brain work through and retrieve what you've been studying and also helps to ease some test-day jitters.

Best of luck!

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Practice as much as possible. I am talking 12-14 hours a day or more. Full tests are better, If you don't feel like doing them then practice with 20 or more questions of any single type in one go. Your scores on the practice tests would be a very good estimate of the actual exam scores. And needless to say, if you want to get as close to perfect as possible on any one section (quantitative, verbal, AW, depends on your program), you should practice more for those section(s). In the case of verbal, I can say with confidence (and experience) that the depth of your vocabulary will be the single most important factor in deciding the overall score.

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Practice as much as possible. I am talking 12-14 hours a day or more. Full tests are better, If you don't feel like doing them then practice with 20 or more questions of any single type in one go. Your scores on the practice tests would be a very good estimate of the actual exam scores. And needless to say, if you want to get as close to perfect as possible on any one section (quantitative, verbal, AW, depends on your program), you should practice more for those section(s). In the case of verbal, I can say with confidence (and experience) that the depth of your vocabulary will be the single most important factor in deciding the overall score.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.

12 to 14 hours a day? Maybe 12 to 14 hours for the entire week, but a day?! How is that even possible? Not to mention the burnout one would have before she even got to the testing center.

Also vocabulary is truly not as important anymore. It was an important part of the last iteration of the test due to the antonym and analogy questions, but the new GRE is more about context and reading comprehension, not sheer recall of vocab words.

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I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.

12 to 14 hours a day? Maybe 12 to 14 hours for the entire week, but a day?! How is that even possible? Not to mention the burnout one would have before she even got to the testing center.

Also vocabulary is truly not as important anymore. It was an important part of the last iteration of the test due to the antonym and analogy questions, but the new GRE is more about context and reading comprehension, not sheer recall of vocab words.

Practicing 12-14 hours a day is very much possible (if you don't have a job or similar occupation), albeit very difficult. I did it for three days straight (scheduled the GRE on a Monday, had the whole weekend plus took Friday off from work). If OP is already getting > 165 scores (both sections) on most practice tests, then she probably doesn't need to work so hard. I certainly saw an improvement in my preparation. I was getting around 150-155 (verbal) a week before the exam. My official score was 164. Any possible burnout can be cured by taking a day's rest in between. Also in my case, learning new words and revising them was part of the practice (about 6-7 hours a day). As you can see, it helped me greatly. To be fair, even around 6 hours of solid, concentrated practice should do you good, but there is always room for practice as long as you don't run out of prep. material (unlikely to happen). If you don't feel you'll get a great AW score (>5), and you really think you need one, have a look at the sample responses to prompts provided by ETS, Kaplan and so forth. Try your hand at some of the topics already disclosed by ETS. See if you are able to write top quality essays within the given time limit.

As for you claim about vocabulary, here is what the Princeton Review has to say:

"As much as the ETS would like to claim that the new GRE doesn't rely as much on the vocabulary as the old one did, the simple fact remains that many of the questions, answer choices, and reading passages contain some difficult vocabulary. You can't improve your score substantially without increasing your vocabulary."

(Cracking the New GRE, 2012 Edition, page 140, first few lines)

Its easy to see why. Of some 20 questions on a single section, only 5-6 are from reading comprehension, all other types of questions will test your vocab. in some way. Almost every practice test I encountered was structured in the same way, as was the actual exam.

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