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Just have to say.... the GRE scares me.


NavyMom
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I haven't taken a math class in 10 years.  Although I am retaking statistics and microeconomics (I am going for my MPA), prior to starting the program.

 

I bought the 2014 Kaplan GRE prep book, so I am really hoping that it helps.  

 

If anyone else wants to be scared/nervous with me...  I'm here.

 

PS - I have to have it done by at least November 1st.  I prefer to have it done before then, but I need time to study...

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Manhattan books are pretty good. The Quantitative part of the GRE is nothing to be scared of. The Verbal part is a bit more awkward.

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I recommend the Princeton Review book. I agree though that the quantitative section is surmountable with some practice to get the timing down and a quick review of basic mathematical formulas. The verbal is a slightly harder code to crack. In the case of the GRE though, practice tests help immensely!

 

Good luck!

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There are some good vocabulary practice apps, too. I've found them helpful! As far as the math, I'm as nervous as you are... I really don't remember silly useless formulas for my field.

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I recommend the Princeton Review book. I agree though that the quantitative section is surmountable with some practice to get the timing down and a quick review of basic mathematical formulas. The verbal is a slightly harder code to crack. In the case of the GRE though, practice tests help immensely!

 

Good luck!

 

The Princeton Review is good for the techniques but i would strongly recommend NOT to go through its practice tests and sample questions. They are much easier than the real thing.

Edited by AdilBari990
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And Magoosh is a good preparation resource for GRE, especially for those who want to start from the basics. Their video lectures are quite good, and they have plenty of practice material to hone your skills. The timer on each question is a great feature. Worth a shot.

Edited by AdilBari990
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I would recommend taking a prep class.  I am taking a Kaplan prep class right now and it has been enormously helpful.  I know the classes are expensive but they provide you with structure and resources, namely a huge amount of online quizzes and practice tests.  

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I wish there were free or inexpensive prep classes... it's bad enough that I have to scrimp pennies to pay for the actual test... :(

 

I did find a few apps for my phone that have been helpful at vocabulary building.  The hard part is remembering them...

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I wish there were free or inexpensive prep classes... it's bad enough that I have to scrimp pennies to pay for the actual test... :(

 

I did find a few apps for my phone that have been helpful at vocabulary building.  The hard part is remembering them...

i use http://www.mnemonicdictionary.com/ for remembering words, and it has helped me a lot till now. Hope it will help :)

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I haven't taken a math class in 10 years.  Although I am retaking statistics and microeconomics (I am going for my MPA), prior to starting the program.

 

I bought the 2014 Kaplan GRE prep book, so I am really hoping that it helps.  

 

If anyone else wants to be scared/nervous with me...  I'm here.

 

PS - I have to have it done by at least November 1st.  I prefer to have it done before then, but I need time to study...

 

Given your time frame, I would get my hands on as many practice tests/questions as feasible.  Identify your weaknesses, hammer them out, rinse and repeat until confident.  One of the worst feelings on a math test is seeing a question type that you've had limited exposure to.

 

I used Princeton Review for mine, and did fairly well; I didn't notice a significant shift in the difficulty of the questions between the PR book and the GRE itself.  That said, I've seen quite a few others comment that they did, so take that with a grain of salt.

 

Your mileage may vary; best of luck.

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Thanks to all for your wonderful advice.  I am still finishing up my SoP, which I want to do to get it out of the way and then I will be focusing solely on the GRE.  I have just received a LoR from a professor and it nearly brought me to tears it was so amazing.  I am excited about building up my application, but I know this test can make or break me.  So 100% of my focus will be going into that very soon. 

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Thanks to all for your wonderful advice.  I am still finishing up my SoP, which I want to do to get it out of the way and then I will be focusing solely on the GRE.  I have just received a LoR from a professor and it nearly brought me to tears it was so amazing.  I am excited about building up my application, but I know this test can make or break me.  So 100% of my focus will be going into that very soon. 

Wouldn't it be better to write your SoP after you take the GRE?  Are you absolutely committed to one program?  I know that you want to get the GRE out of the way but if you do really well on the test, it could open doors for you at a number of schools that you had not previously considered.

 

I have been told that the Manhattan books are pretty good.  

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Wouldn't it be better to write your SoP after you take the GRE?  Are you absolutely committed to one program?  I know that you want to get the GRE out of the way but if you do really well on the test, it could open doors for you at a number of schools that you had not previously considered.

 

I have been told that the Manhattan books are pretty good.  

Hi Mrgreen102,

 

Actually for me, I need the SoP, because 2 of the professors who are writing my LoR have insisted I provide them with my SoP so they can write a focused letter. 

I only have an interest in 2, possibly 3 schools.   One of them would be an in-person school and the others online.  I do not intend to move (nor can I), as I am already working a full time job for a government entity, plus I am providing the only income for myself and husband.  (He has been unable to get work for the lat 4 years, and he is going to school as well).  Plus there are a few other factors, such as my stepdaughter living nearby, and my own disabled mother.  

This limits the schools for me.

 

I am pretty confident that I will get into at least one of the schools, as I am not facing 500 competitive applicants.  I have a high GPA, and I have everything else I need... just want to get the SoP completed (which I am nearly done, just need a conclusion), and then spend the next 2 months completely focused on studying for the GRE.  I want to get this done by October 1st, because by then, all 5 of my classes will be going and I cannot focus on the GRE and 5 classes.

 

That's my story and I am sticking to it.  ;)  :P

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Sounds like you have everything figured out. Do what works for you, good luck!

Thanks Sarab...

 

I "think" I am done with my SoP... I have a few tweeks and finished!   I have been working with my university's online writing lab to review it for suggestions, plus I have used friends, family, coworkers, and one of my professors for my "review committee". 

 

I hope it works!

 

NOW - on to studying for the GRE... not looking forward to it.

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Tlcowgill,

 

If you haven't taken the test yet, will your university choice allow you to take the MAT (Miller Analogies Test)?  My wife has her MPA (University of Utah) and the MAT is what she took to get in to the program.  Super-easy test, I think she studied like 5 hours for it with free online resources and got a perfect score.

 

 

 
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For overall preparation I used the princeton gre books.  For vocab I took all the words recommended by princeton, and a few other sources, and typed them into a website that created flashcards for you and would randomize them.  I might still have the account somewhere if anyone was interested (be warned it will have typos though).

 

 

For math, it depends on where you are currently at, if you need review the khan academy website is solid.  Otherwise just princeton.

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 I have just received a LoR from a professor and it nearly brought me to tears it was so amazing.

 

You do know that admissions committees tend to give less weight to LoRs if they know the applicant has read them--that's why the LoS forms in the application for your preferred school have a waiver for you to sign and date.

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NOW - on to studying for the GRE... not looking forward to it.

 

I felt the same way initially. The turning point for me was changing my attitude towards the GRE... by seeing it more as another way to demonstrate my competence, I began to actually anticipate taking the exam. And, I had to work really hard to get good scores (by the time I applied I was ten years out of college)... I bought books, spent hours studying vocab (which actually helped a lot) and hours working math problems and figuring out what I was doing wrong. And by that I mean how I was thinking about the problem versus how the GRE wants me to think about the problem. Studying for the GRE actually became an exercise in training my brain to see math problems in a different way (not necessarily a mathematical or "right" way, just a different way). Once I began to think about the crazy GRE math problems in this way, studying for it *almost* became fun.

 

After completing one year of grad school I can say that, at least in my field, I've had to change my way of thinking drastically, so perhaps the GRE isn't so bad after all...

 

Anyway, good luck! :)

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You do know that admissions committees tend to give less weight to LoRs if they know the applicant has read them--that's why the LoS forms in the application for your preferred school have a waiver for you to sign and date.

 

Yes... I DO know this.  That is why my professor sent me an original sealed copy in an envelope for my application..  He just decided to email me an unofficial copy for me to read. 

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Tlcowgill,

 

If you haven't taken the test yet, will your university choice allow you to take the MAT (Miller Analogies Test)?  My wife has her MPA (University of Utah) and the MAT is what she took to get in to the program.  Super-easy test, I think she studied like 5 hours for it with free online resources and got a perfect score.

 

 

 

Unfortunately no.  For my program I am required to take the GRE. 

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I felt the same way initially. The turning point for me was changing my attitude towards the GRE... by seeing it more as another way to demonstrate my competence, I began to actually anticipate taking the exam. And, I had to work really hard to get good scores (by the time I applied I was ten years out of college)... I bought books, spent hours studying vocab (which actually helped a lot) and hours working math problems and figuring out what I was doing wrong. And by that I mean how I was thinking about the problem versus how the GRE wants me to think about the problem. Studying for the GRE actually became an exercise in training my brain to see math problems in a different way (not necessarily a mathematical or "right" way, just a different way). Once I began to think about the crazy GRE math problems in this way, studying for it *almost* became fun.

 

After completing one year of grad school I can say that, at least in my field, I've had to change my way of thinking drastically, so perhaps the GRE isn't so bad after all...

 

Anyway, good luck! :)

 

Thanks!!!  It does help to hear it from that perspective.   I am very lucky in that my husband is dedicated to helping me study this.  He sat with me for 3 hours tonight just reviewing algebra and geometry (my weak points).  I have found that there are MANY things that I have forgotten in the years since I last took math.  So, this will definitely take a lot of practice and hard work.  But I am sure it will be worth it.  I just can't wait to start seeing results....

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You do know that admissions committees tend to give less weight to LoRs if they know the applicant has read them--that's why the LoS forms in the application for your preferred school have a waiver for you to sign and date.

 Sometimes professors will email you a copy of the letter, no need for the university to find out!

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