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How can I get a competitive GRE score?


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I need suggestions in regards of how to get a competitive GRE score. I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Music Education or Education but I have been out from school for around 8 years; working though.  My math is mainly forgotten so I need to get into a very good prep program in order to review math and to learn the best strategies to beat the test.

Please, can anyone recommend a book and a prep program that can truly help? Thnx.

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I used the purple Kaplan book and while I think it had good review material, I feel like their practice questions are more like ETS' for the verbal than quantitative sections. The benefits of the book is that it has lots of study material, but if your study emphasis is the quantitative section, I would suggest something other than Kaplan.


At some point, download the PowerPrepII software. This is published by ETS and will be the most realistic practice exam you could ever take.


Good luck!

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  • 2 months later...



Make a study plan, stick to it. Apart from that, be active on online forums like gradcafe, pagalguy etc as on the link below. Keep taking expert advice on these forums.






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I also recommend the Magoosh program. I've been using it daily. They have great tutorials for breaking down into each section of the math, lots of practice questions and exams. They also suggest study plans (including regular reading different articles, etc.). On top of that, utilizing some of the math worksheet books (like Barrons). I found studying from books a bit difficult.


The tutorials help me really determine my problem areas. Also, every practice problem gives an additional video on how to work out the problem and which tutorial to review. They're currently on sale for a reasonable price ($100). But they jump up to $300 when NOT on sale. Which is a little steep for most budgets.


 Here's the site:



There's also a free MATH LAB page.  Breaks the categories down into specific modules again. I suggest this one second, as a free resource, only because the tutoring videos helped me more:


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Just pick up a GRE book and go through the math section (or go through ETS' math review online... it's free and full of good content). The math itself is quite basic, so it shouldn't take very long to review.

The strategies in the GRE books for verbal and writing don't seem to be worth the paper they're printed on. Going on and on about eliminating choices you know are wrong, not wasting time on the harder questions before getting the easier ones done, etc. If you've read books or written papers for 10+ years like most of us have (except possibly some ESL people), you're either going to know the necessary vocab or you won't. You should really have the ability to figure out what word fits (if you know what all the words mean) or how to write a basic essay.

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