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GRE score review and pointers


waylonrobert

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I took the GRE today and my unofficial verbal is 153 and my unofficial quantitative is 137. How is my verbal score? I knew quantitative would be weak because my math skils are weak - 7th-9th grade was especially bad for my math learning as I underwent medical procedures that saw me miss weeks of class at a time. Not to mention the fact that math has always challenged me; I generally do better with percents and business math, but struggle with geometry and algebra. Despite that I did what I could to study, but ultimately I feel that I need more than just a review - some of these concepts I either missed or did not fully understand when they were originally taught to me.

 

I'm applying for an MSIT program, and the program director indicated that I need to keep my verbal at or better than the unofficial number I reported to him, and my quantitative needs to go up to 146 or higher to meet the program's minimum requirements (they use GMAT [500 or higher minimum] primarily but allow GRE).

 

At this point would I be better off just taking the GMAT, or should I try to find ways to improve my math and retake the GRE (risking that it may not improve and my verbal may suffer)? What should I do to bolster my math acumen?

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Since your verbal skills are already strong, I think you should stick with the GRE. Otherwise, you'll have to learn a bunch of verbal content for the GMAT.

Math-wise, the GRE and GMAT test the pretty much the same concepts, except the GMAT has a certain question type (Data Sufficiency) that is unique to that test.

 

As far as how one goes about improving in math, I believe that you should compartmentalize your learning and take the time to master each topic (e.g., percents, ratios, exponents, statistics, etc.).

 

This means that, for each topic, you should:

1) Learn the underlying concepts (rules, attributes, notation, etc.)

2) Learn GRE-specific strategies related to that topic

3) Practice dozens of questions all related to that one topic.

4) Don't stop working on that topic until you have mastered it

Then, and only then, move on to the next topic.

 

Cheers,

Brent

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Since your verbal skills are already strong, I think you should stick with the GRE. Otherwise, you'll have to learn a bunch of verbal content for the GMAT.

Math-wise, the GRE and GMAT test the pretty much the same concepts, except the GMAT has a certain question type (Data Sufficiency) that is unique to that test.

 

As far as how one goes about improving in math, I believe that you should compartmentalize your learning and take the time to master each topic (e.g., percents, ratios, exponents, statistics, etc.).

 

This means that, for each topic, you should:

1) Learn the underlying concepts (rules, attributes, notation, etc.)

2) Learn GRE-specific strategies related to that topic

3) Practice dozens of questions all related to that one topic.

4) Don't stop working on that topic until you have mastered it

Then, and only then, move on to the next topic.

 

Cheers,

Brent

 

Interesting comments. I was wondering how exactly to approach math study, given the fact I haven't studied it in about 7-8 years. In an effort to cover a lot of math content for the GRE I've been taking 3 or 4 topics, going through the concepts (as they come in each Manhatten book) and then doing the corresponding 3 or 4 problem sections in the 5lb book, before moving on to the next book. I think this way isn't the most productive in the end, as even if I get through things a bit quicker I do find the concepts getting fairly blurry pretty soon after I move on.

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