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Need advice. Please read.

Scarf in the wind

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Hello all,


Before beginning, I would like to tell everyone I had written a constructed response that was all for naught when I accidently close the tab on my browser. With that out of the way, I shall begin.


I am creating this post and writing these paragraphs to request advice on how to study for the GRE. Before beginning, I want to provide some background. I have taken the GRE exam twice before. On my first attempt I cancelled my score due to an illness, and on my second attempt I received a score of 1040 cumulative (580 for quantitative reasoning, and 460 in verbal) with an AWA score of 4. I am retaking the exam because a prospective Master's program requires its applicants to have a GRE percentile rank of 50% or higher, and I had not achieved that rank in the Math or AWA sections).

(New paragraph to obviate the understandable "block of texts" replies I would receive) I am asking for advice for the Math section. I have been studying since March and, despite achieving a score close to 600 on the pre-revision GRE ( a score that baffled me considering the difficulty I have had with academic math for many years) I have found that I am burning through material but learning little this go around. I have burned through the Princeton Review's Cracking and Math Workout books. I am in the process of burning through ETS' Official Guide in the moment. Speaking of which, I did the practice math questions in the aforementioned ETS book, specifically Set 2: Discrete Questions: Medium, and answered all but 5 incorrectly. Some I got wrong due to confusion as to how I would construct the basic formulas I am familiar with, some involved a lack of knowledge of how to approach the problem, and another involved my constant forgetfulness of how to approach geometry problems.

I am currently in possession of Manhattan's 5lb book and I will be digging into that soon. However, I do not want to rush through the problems and realize I hadn't learned anything from it or I had answered many of the questions incorrectly. I am not registered for any Prep courses (I was registered once [Princeton Review], but didn't get much out of it aside from the access to practice tests). I will be taking the exam in late June or mid July. I want to give myself ample amount of time but I also don't want to burn through my material well before test day.

As for the verbal section, I feel I will be stronger here than I was in my prior attempt. I am understanding how to approach Reading Comprehension (Princeton Review's PORC? and PRICE methods are very helpful, especially when supplemented with 2-1-1-F), and Text Completions and Sentence Equivalence are, in my opinion, easier than Analogies and Antonyms. Though Text Completions and Sentence Equivalence still require their own strategy and I am refining myself, I feel I will peform better here. The AWA essays are a sore spot for me as I have been out of school for quite some time and find it difficult to write analytically, and have someone critique my work. This is compounded by my reluctance to register for prepretory courses that would have given me access to graders. But, alas, that is my choice.

Then again, speaking of prepartory courses, how is the prepartory material for Magoosh premium? Is it a good resource? I have heard good things about it here on these forums, and it is much cheaper at around $100 than a Princeton Review or Kaplan course that would cost upwards of $1000. Do you guys here swear by it? Is it an effective learning tool? Again I've burned through material that was meant to help me, and I am looking for things (for lack of a better word) that will be beneficial...and cheap.

Well, that is all I have to write. Thank you for reading, and doubly so if you reply.


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