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Re-taking the GRE, any advice??


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I am applying to Clinical Psychology programs in Canada and the States. In Canada I'll be applying to Master's programs and in the States I'll be applying to PhD and PysD programs. I did my GRE end of August and got the following scores:


156 Verbal

150 Qt

5.0 AWA


I realize my scores aren't remarkable (aside from the AWA) which is why I decided to re-take the exam. It was a hard decision because I really didn't want to put myself through the effort of writing the GRE again (and paying another 200$). But Clinical psych programs are super competitive so I didn't have much of a choice. So the point of this post is to ask if ANYONE has advice on how to do well in two specific areas of the GRE:


1. How to improve my Qt score? Do you know of any good resources/books/websites? I am just bad in math in general, my brain has a hard time grasping the logic. It's not so much computation that I am having difficulty with, but understanding what the problem is asking and developing an efficient way of finding the answer (especially for the multiple choice section). 


2. Any tips to ace the Reading comprehension questions (especially the ones about summarizing and inferring). This is my biggest challenge for the verbal section.


I have one month to study for my second GRE so any advice would be really appreciated!!


Thanksss :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I sat the GRE yesterday and am in almost the same boat as you: 156 Verbal, 153 Quant, awaiting Writing scores and planning to apply to a number of Child/Developmental Clinical Psych courses, as well as Social Work (Which doesn't require the GRE). I studied a lot over the last 3 weeks. As much as I hate the thought of sitting the GRE again, these scores make me nervous and I wonder if I will kick myself for not re-sitting for this round of applications. Any advice? 

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In my experience, to do well on the GRE, you need to understand what answer the test makers want. I had to shift my mindset from 'what answer makes most sense' to 'what answer do they want in this blank.' I think this is especially true for verbal. I memorized 250 words and did most of magoosh's practice problems and my verbal score increased from 153 on practice tests to 162 on the real test. I think that for quant, you just have to understand the concepts which I think it probably the harder of two to do well in if you are not naturally good at math. As a math person, it is easier to teach myself the verbal than the other way around. Still though, my math went from 163 in the practice tests to 168 on the real test so you can definitely increase it with practice.


Basically, my advice is to do lots of practice problems. If you dont already have magoosh then I recommend getting it. The $100 is worth for the the practice problems alone.

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I second bsharpe269's advice. I didn't end up studying much for quant as the programs I'm applying to don't emphasize it, but I got a 165 on the verbal and I recommend taking as many practice tests as you can, including the ones on the ETS website. It helps you figure out how the test works, how the questions are structured, and how ETS is trying to trick you. You're basically teaching yourself how to take the test, not the actual content of the test -- at least for verbal. If you think you can manage, I also recommend brushing up on some vocabulary. There are apps that help you memorize the most popular 1000 GRE words, which is helpful in all parts of the verbal including reading comprehension. Also, Manhattan prep has a great book dedicated entirely to reading comp, which includes lists of basic and advanced vocabulary. It's short, to the point, and really helped me. 


For math, ETS has study guides posted right on the website. You should check those out to see exactly what concepts they want you to know.


Good luck!

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