Jan 7, 2010
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I was going to post this under the original GRE thread, however, I thought this warranted a new thread. Being that I’m not going to school this year (again) due to my low GRE score I was wondering what people have done to prepare for the GRE? I have taken the Kaplan and Princeton Review prep courses as well as hired a private PR tutor. If I apply again I intend on focusing on my anxiety surrounding this horrific test as it completely dictates my career. While my issue is not the content I’m just wondering if there is anything else out there that people with 1200+ have utilized. I have been told this is the only weakness on my application three years in a row (pre and post interview), so any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you!:)
 
Feb 18, 2010
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I was going to post this under the original GRE thread, however, I thought this warranted a new thread. Being that I’m not going to school this year (again) due to my low GRE score I was wondering what people have done to prepare for the GRE? I have taken the Kaplan and Princeton Review prep courses as well as hired a private PR tutor. If I apply again I intend on focusing on my anxiety surrounding this horrific test as it completely dictates my career. While my issue is not the content I’m just wondering if there is anything else out there that people with 1200+ have utilized. I have been told this is the only weakness on my application three years in a row (pre and post interview), so any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you!:)

I don't know that this will be much help since it seems like you have done quite a bit to prepare. I personally only used a barron's book and a kaplan book for a study guide. I mainly utilized the cds and took probably a million practice test. I also made sure to take the test provided on the cd by ETS that I think they usually send. I think that I had taken it so many times in practice that it helped make me less nervous during the actual test. I did take it twice because my 1st score was too low and was able to improve my score by 100. I also utilized flashcards. I don't know what kind of work you do, but with my job I sometimes had 10 to 30 min where I was waiting on a client and I would just pull out the flash cards and go over the material.
 

KillerDiller

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This is an extreme and pricey suggestion, but given that you have tried lots of other things it may be something you would consider. Why not go and take the exam with ETS at least once with the intention of canceling your scores at the end? This way you get exposure to the testing environment without having to have your scores reported. So, worst case scenario is you gain experience in the actual testing environment. The best case scenario is that knowing you plan to cancel lowers your test anxiety enough that you perform well and can actually use the scores you receive.

One issue with this is that you will have to have a good sense of whether or not you performed well on the test based on your own intuition. They don't actually give you the opportunity to see your scores before you have to decide whether to cancel them.
 
Mar 18, 2010
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I took the Princeton Review course... I am pretty strong in the verbal section but my math scores left something to be desired. My teacher was probably the greatest influence on better outcomes. She told us to see the test as a game. We are trying to outwit the exam. I began meditating around this time as well which was a big help- Depending on your location you may be able to find a meditation center near you for intro classes. I found that when I was able to calm myself down- I did much better on the practice exams. Also I spent time discussing my anxiety with testing with my analyst. So I guess my advice would be to look more at how your perceiving the exam and what you are doing with your anxiety at times when you are not studying or taking the exam. Hope this helps. :)
 
Jan 7, 2010
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This is an extreme and pricey suggestion, but given that you have tried lots of other things it may be something you would consider. Why not go and take the exam with ETS at least once with the intention of canceling your scores at the end? This way you get exposure to the testing environment without having to have your scores reported. So, worst case scenario is you gain experience in the actual testing environment. The best case scenario is that knowing you plan to cancel lowers your test anxiety enough that you perform well and can actually use the scores you receive.

One issue with this is that you will have to have a good sense of whether or not you performed well on the test based on your own intuition. They don't actually give you the opportunity to see your scores before you have to decide whether to cancel them.
Right, I wish I could take it and see my score without reporting it. I have taken it 4 times and didn't have a sense of how I did (enter anxiety). I intend on taking it a couple of times this year if I apply again.
 
Jan 7, 2010
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I took the Princeton Review course... I am pretty strong in the verbal section but my math scores left something to be desired. My teacher was probably the greatest influence on better outcomes. She told us to see the test as a game. We are trying to outwit the exam. I began meditating around this time as well which was a big help- Depending on your location you may be able to find a meditation center near you for intro classes. I found that when I was able to calm myself down- I did much better on the practice exams. Also I spent time discussing my anxiety with testing with my analyst. So I guess my advice would be to look more at how your perceiving the exam and what you are doing with your anxiety at times when you are not studying or taking the exam. Hope this helps. :)
Thanks! Yes, I was told as well that the GRE is a game and I must beat it. It's like some sort of matrix with a hidden equation. My anxiety is the biggest factor here. Every time a question pops up I think to myself, "God I have to get this right or my career is over!" Ha Ha but not so Ha Ha.
 
Feb 7, 2010
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What do you score on your practice exams when your anxiety is not so high? If you are still scoring at the 1000 range then you need to change your study habits. If you are scoring above that then you know it is just your anxiety.

Find the room that you will be testing in and each week take a full practice exam there when the room is empty. Go study in that room every few days as well. Do it at 8 am when you'd be taking the test.
 

Psydoct

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I took 2 tests and the diff between the first and the second was that I used the PowerPrep software many times to practice during the month apart. I highly suggest PowerPrep from ETS, you can download it from their website or have them send you a CD which takes time tho. For me, time management was an issue and this helped me a lot in gaining a sense of time and how much time to allocate depending on the level of the question. Good luck with it, I am sure you will do great!! :luck:
 
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lifesanillusion

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If I apply again I intend on focusing on my anxiety surrounding this horrific test as it completely dictates my career. While my issue is not the content I’m just wondering if there is anything else out there that people with 1200+ have utilized. I have been told this is the only weakness on my application three years in a row (pre and post interview), so any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you!:)
Hi Psyched2525! I was concerned about taking the GREs as my HS math courses are a LONG distant memory. I found that becoming comfortable with the test taking process was HUGE for me. I studied the background knowledge areas for many months (including completing more basic math study workbooks) at my own pace (not in a course). But what really helped me was a monthlong stint of practicing taking the test, using practice tests available the the workbooks and ETS. A couple of times a week, I would sit down at a computer in an office setting (even if taking a paper version), at the same time of day I intended to take the real test, and under timed conditions (kitchen timer). My first few scores were not great, but over the month I became much more comfortable with the process. I also felt like I got to the point that I was relaxing and noticing the 'tricks' in the test, which earned me higher scores. By test day I felt like this was something I had done over and over. I felt pumped instead of anxious. I did very well (1510), MUCH better (around 300 points higher) than I had done the first time I took the GREs (when I got my MA). Best wishes! You can do it!!
 

Metta

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I have taken it 4 times and didn't have a sense of how I did (enter anxiety).
That, for me, is one of the (many) annoying aspects of the computer-based GRE. Knowing that the software is adjusting the difficulty of the questions depending on how well I've done on the previous ones, it's very difficult for me to avoid second-guessing my performance as I'm taking the test. ("Uh-oh, after that hard question I've gotten three easy questions in a row -- I must have screwed up! Now I've been shunted off into the easy questions/low scores realm, and I'll never get a decent score!" <*panic*anxiety*lose focus*>)

What I've discovered is that the testing software is *NOT* that easy to predict. When I took a few of the ETS practice tests, I thought I was doing well, but got scores 50-70 points lower than I'd guessed I would. When I took the actual test, I was certain I'd bombed on the math portion because the last 15 questions or so were clearly much easier than the first ones. Again I was wrong, though; my math score was great.

If that experience sounds familiar, it may be something to work on -- don't second-guess your performance based on what you think the testing software is doing. (And I know that's not easy... :D) I've taken both the paper-based and the computer-based GRE, and I can't stand the computer-based version; if I had to take the GRE again for some reason, I'd seriously consider trying to figure out a way to be able to take the paper-based version. The computer-based version introduces several difficulties that have nothing to do with the exam itself; when the testing medium changes things that much, I think that's the sign of a serious problem with the test.
 
Feb 1, 2010
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If anxiety is problematic for anyone, I highly recommend taking a Beta Blocker. My doctor gave me a script and my score went from 1100 to 1270 in 3 weeks without studying. Boosting my meditation practice was also a huge component. I also changed testing loations from my previous attempts.
 
Feb 18, 2010
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You mentioned that you believe that your scores are impacted by your anxiety, and that your anxiety is centered around how you conceive the test; have you considered perhaps seeing a psychologist to help you with your anxiety and suggest practical tools as to how to reframe your thoughts surrounding your future career?

I don't know what your health insurance looks like, but if it is at all possible, it is perhaps something that you can do for yourself.

I wish you peace :)
 
Jan 7, 2010
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Thank you all for your suggestions. :) I agree that the majority of my preparation will include confronting my anxiety and fear of this test as it has precluded me from being accepted in the last three years. It is certainly bizarre, if I do say so myself, considering I don't have general test anxiety and have done very well academically. Again, thank you for all your suggestions.

Please don't hesitate to PM me or to continue posting if other great ideas come to mind.

Thanks!
 
Feb 16, 2010
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KillerDiller, I took the GRE in December at a station in Tallahassee, FL, and it Definitely gave me the option to View my Score prior to cancelling my Score. However, I designated my schools for score reporting after I accepted my score.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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For the GREs I tried the Kaplan course then bombed the test because I feel they primarily teach you how to guess. The second time around I decided to hire a math tutor who happened to be a high school math teacher, so rather than learning how to guess I learned how to actually do the problems. Granted it took a little more time than guessing, I felt a lot more confident and raised my score a lot. For the verbal I spent hours doing workbooks and flashcards and reading tough books, I also exposed myself to Greek because it helps with a lot of the root words, since I already have a background in romance languages. My verbal score still wasn't AMAZING, but I think the part that helped it the most was the iPhone GRE verbal apps. I hope this helps
 

McClinas

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That, for me, is one of the (many) annoying aspects of the computer-based GRE. Knowing that the software is adjusting the difficulty of the questions depending on how well I've done on the previous ones, it's very difficult for me to avoid second-guessing my performance as I'm taking the test. ("Uh-oh, after that hard question I've gotten three easy questions in a row -- I must have screwed up! Now I've been shunted off into the easy questions/low scores realm, and I'll never get a decent score!" <*panic*anxiety*lose focus*>)
To echo previous posters, I agree that test anxiety can be a major impediment to doing well on the GRE. I feel compelled to respond to this thread because I like SO many people, have struggled with test anxiety. It has gotten so bad that I just accept that I won't be sleeping before a big test, interview, etc. Yes, I know, it can feel overwhelming at times, but I recognize that ultimately, that's the real source of the problem: It's not the anxiety itself, it's how we mishandle that anxiety so that we actually inflate our anxiety and make it worse.

If you repeatedly underperform on the GRE, as it appears the original poster has, this just exacerbates the problem as well. In Malcom Gladwell's new book he outlines this phenomenon of "choking" on standardized tests. He writes that "after repeatedly failing on these standardized tests, [...] the usual prescription for failure- to work harder and take the test more seriously" actually makes the problem worse. You are just adding to the anxiety and pressure! Like a mouse running on those wheels. Instead of working harder, it might be prudent to rethink our preparation strategies and work smarter. Perhaps we shouldn't be studying more, or purchasing another GRE prep book, or memorizing more formulas. Perhaps what needs to be addressed is how we approach the test and our anxiety associated with it.

When we are extremely anxious, we tend to be overly cautious and apt to second-guess ourselves (see Metta's comment above). Malcom Gladwell writes that carefulness and second-guessing are "not the way to succeed on a standardized test. The more you do that, the more you will get away from the intuitions that help you, the quick processing." If you are trying not to screw up on the test, you're putting more pressure on yourself, and thus inflicting more anxiety. How you approach the test is so critical: try framing the GRE experience as an opportunity to demonstrate your outstanding abilities!

I think the posts have been spot on; one of the most effective ways to prepare for the GRE, when test anxiety is an issue, it to immerse yourself in it! A little systematic desensitization in action. This means that you need to take a health dose of "practice" tests. I put "practice" in quotes because you shouldn't really approach them as if they were practice. You need to simulate the testing environment: So don't take the diagnostic GRE test while you are laying on the couch in your pajamas and easing Cheetos. :laugh: Be serious about them, but at the same time, when test day rolls around, let it go: laugh a little, see some friends, get your mind off the GRE, and just go in to the testing site and take it. Sounds simple right? :cool: Develop some perspective on the matter: yes, the GRE is important, but it's just a test. However you perform, everything will be OK. The world won't come to an abrupt halt.

Another thing that I have found is that if you fight your test anxiety, and view it as something that you need to get rid of, then it grows stronger. When anxiety rears its head, accept it. Allow it to be, and recognize that it doesn't have to control you and how you perform on the test.
 

McClinas

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Let me leave you with one final quote from Gladwell's book. He states, "we have to learn that sometimes a poor performance reflects not the innate ability of the performer but the complexion of the [situation]; and that sometimes a poor test score is the sign not of a poor student but of a good one." Best of luck :luck:
 

lifesanillusion

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I think the posts have been spot on; one of the most effective ways to prepare for the GRE, when test anxiety is an issue, it to immerse yourself in it! A little systematic desensitization in action. This means that you need to take a health dose of "practice" tests. I put "practice" in quotes because you shouldn't really approach them as if they were practice. You need to simulate the testing environment: So don't take the diagnostic GRE test while you are laying on the couch in your pajamas and easing Cheetos. :laugh:
Yes, McClinas, this was exactly what I did. Bascially, I found that I 'wore out' my anxiety through habituation so that by test day I felt like taking the GRE at 9 AM was just what I normally did...no big deal. Also, I saved the ETS practice tests to the very end; they predicted my score almost exactly. Best wishes!
 
Feb 14, 2010
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I happened to not have so much trouble on the GRE, but I had it quite bad on the SAT. I took a course and it improved my score but it all depends on what you need help with. It was funny how similar strategies for the SAT helped for the GRE. Something that I learned was that the day before the test, you should go out with friends, have fun and put your study guides and powerprep cds under strict quarantine lockup. Have a day to just relax and unwind. It helped me! An extra day of studying will not help your score.
Another idea, Kaplan or other companies may give out free practice tests. Yes, they will be paper and pencil instead of computerized, but it is a simulation. I have found not to fret about your score off of these "company- given tests" as I always do much worse than the real thing. (100+ points better on the real thing). It might not be true but I found that their tests are harder. RELAX, learn some breathing exercises and do simulations!
 
Jan 7, 2010
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To echo previous posters, I agree that test anxiety can be a major impediment to doing well on the GRE. I feel compelled to respond to this thread because I like SO many people, have struggled with test anxiety. It has gotten so bad that I just accept that I won't be sleeping before a big test, interview, etc. Yes, I know, it can feel overwhelming at times, but I recognize that ultimately, that's the real source of the problem: It's not the anxiety itself, it's how we mishandle that anxiety so that we actually inflate our anxiety and make it worse.

If you repeatedly underperform on the GRE, as it appears the original poster has, this just exacerbates the problem as well. In Malcom Gladwell's new book he outlines this phenomenon of "choking" on standardized tests. He writes that "after repeatedly failing on these standardized tests, [...] the usual prescription for failure- to work harder and take the test more seriously" actually makes the problem worse. You are just adding to the anxiety and pressure! Like a mouse running on those wheels. Instead of working harder, it might be prudent to rethink our preparation strategies and work smarter. Perhaps we shouldn't be studying more, or purchasing another GRE prep book, or memorizing more formulas. Perhaps what needs to be addressed is how we approach the test and our anxiety associated with it.

When we are extremely anxious, we tend to be overly cautious and apt to second-guess ourselves (see Metta's comment above). Malcom Gladwell writes that carefulness and second-guessing are "not the way to succeed on a standardized test. The more you do that, the more you will get away from the intuitions that help you, the quick processing." If you are trying not to screw up on the test, you're putting more pressure on yourself, and thus inflicting more anxiety. How you approach the test is so critical: try framing the GRE experience as an opportunity to demonstrate your outstanding abilities!

I think the posts have been spot on; one of the most effective ways to prepare for the GRE, when test anxiety is an issue, it to immerse yourself in it! A little systematic desensitization in action. This means that you need to take a health dose of "practice" tests. I put "practice" in quotes because you shouldn't really approach them as if they were practice. You need to simulate the testing environment: So don't take the diagnostic GRE test while you are laying on the couch in your pajamas and easing Cheetos. :laugh: Be serious about them, but at the same time, when test day rolls around, let it go: laugh a little, see some friends, get your mind off the GRE, and just go in to the testing site and take it. Sounds simple right? :cool: Develop some perspective on the matter: yes, the GRE is important, but it's just a test. However you perform, everything will be OK. The world won't come to an abrupt halt.

Another thing that I have found is that if you fight your test anxiety, and view it as something that you need to get rid of, then it grows stronger. When anxiety rears its head, accept it. Allow it to be, and recognize that it doesn't have to control you and how you perform on the test.
Thank you for your thoughtful post! My husband has that book and I agree with much of his theory, however, what proves problematic is putting theory into practice. For me, what has also created increased anxiety is the negative feedback I have received when I "expose" my score. One DCT at a program I interested in asked me if I was developmentally delayed while another professor told me it looks "suspicious" considering my accomplishments and academic standing. While I am fortunate that I don't have anxiety surrounding general test taking or interviewing I can sympathize with those who do. Cognitive restructuring here I come!!!
 

KillerDiller

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KillerDiller, I took the GRE in December at a station in Tallahassee, FL, and it Definitely gave me the option to View my Score prior to cancelling my Score. However, I designated my schools for score reporting after I accepted my score.
Maybe it varies by testing site? When I took the GRE in Mass I suffered a migraine in the middle of the quant section and lost all ability to concentrate. I would have loved to have seen my verbal score before canceling, as I think I did really well on that part.

This was also a few years ago, so it's possible that things have changed.
 

Featheredwyngs

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Maybe it varies by testing site? When I took the GRE in Mass I suffered a migraine in the middle of the quant section and lost all ability to concentrate. I would have loved to have seen my verbal score before canceling, as I think I did really well on that part.

This was also a few years ago, so it's possible that things have changed.
I highly doubt it. It may have been a fluke/glitch for him - but it's pretty well established that you can't cancel your scores once you've chosen to view them (and that hasn't changed). I was actually thinking, and I can't remember from my test (just this past year), that there may have been two choices "view my score" or "cancel my score" given together at the end of the test for example. It wouldn't mean, however, you could cancel your score after selecting the view my score option (i.e., the cancel my score option would be gone); you could, however, choose not to report your scores after you view them (to the four free schools you get to report to).

That being said, it's not like glitches don't happen with these types of tests. My first GRE test scores and second test scores were housed in different files with ETS (due to a specific record keeping issue), so I ended up having the option of reporting both of my scores (i.e., by merging the files) or only one (i.e., by keeping them separate).

To the OP: I think practice is the best suggestion here. Also have you looked at applying to different programs that might have lower cut off scores but would still prepare you as you want?
 
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PhDToBe

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For vocabulary, a fun way of studying that is also for a good cause is freerice.com. For every question you answer right, they apparently donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program. Also, there's a book by the Princeton Review called GRE Word Smarts, or something similar (it's the size of a normal novel and is mostly white and teal), that has good vocab words. Also, learn Latin prefixes and suffixes, such as bene, mal, etc...
 
Jan 22, 2010
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One DCT at a program I interested in asked me if I was developmentally delayed while another professor told me it looks "suspicious" considering my accomplishments and academic standing.
Well, I know that I would not want to go to a program that has a DCT who is that insensitive and ridiculous. . . . And, I am not exactly sure what the professor meant by "it looks 'suspicious'".

I am angry for you. Rather than attempting to help you moderate your fears, these academics (who should know better) probably made your GRE anxiety worse.
 
Feb 10, 2010
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Psyched2525, I've also taken the GRE a couple of times and have preformed poorly. I would like to apply to graduate school in November and know that I must take it to be considered for graduate school. Any tips on how to become motivated to study? Are there any study groups you recommend? I know the GRE, like any standardized test, is a game to be played. I just don't know how to play strategically in order to win.

Also, does anyone know if work experience is a prominent factor given that the applicant has been out of school for a few years generally speaking? Will a committee assign more value to GPA and GRE scores, or work experience related to the field of your choice, the personal statement, letters of recommendation, and research experience.

Thanks for your help.
 
Jan 7, 2010
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Psyched2525, I've also taken the GRE a couple of times and have preformed poorly. I would like to apply to graduate school in November and know that I must take it to be considered for graduate school. Any tips on how to become motivated to study? Are there any study groups you recommend? I know the GRE, like any standardized test, is a game to be played. I just don't know how to play strategically in order to win.

Also, does anyone know if work experience is a prominent factor given that the applicant has been out of school for a few years generally speaking? Will a committee assign more value to GPA and GRE scores, or work experience related to the field of your choice, the personal statement, letters of recommendation, and research experience.

Thanks for your help.
No, you are not alone :). After taking the GRE several times I have come to the conclusion that those who do poorly are divided into three subgroups-those who have extreme anxiety surrounding the GRE, those who are unfamiliar with the actual content of the GRE and those who have time management issues. I'm not sure if it will help, but perhaps the first step is to figure out which group you're in. I'm in the same boat so I wish you luck!:luck:
 

PsychPhDStudent

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Quick sum of thoughts (echoing some of what's been said already): Get help for the anxiety if that's the big problem. How'd you do on your SATs? I taught for a test prep company (SAT/ACT) to give myself more GRE practice.
 
Feb 1, 2010
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Quick sum of thoughts (echoing some of what's been said already): Get help for the anxiety if that's the big problem. How'd you do on your SATs? I taught for a test prep company (SAT/ACT) to give myself more GRE practice.
I did the same thing. I've been working for a testing company teaching The SAT and ACT for the past year. It was great having as many practice tests as I wanted. It cracks me up that I'm not the only one who did this!
 
Feb 22, 2010
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If you are good with mental imagery you might try some visualization exercises before you take your practice tests. Imagine yourself going into the testing center, sitting down in front of the computer, taking the test, doing well, being calm and confidant, etc. This can help you tap into some of the test anxiety and work your way through it.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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I did the same thing. I've been working for a testing company teaching The SAT and ACT for the past year. It was great having as many practice tests as I wanted. It cracks me up that I'm not the only one who did this!
I was thinking about teaching for a little extra cash (but I already took the GRE). Just wondering what are the benefits to doing so? Do they give you free practice tests?
 

PsychPhDStudent

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I was thinking about teaching for a little extra cash (but I already took the GRE). Just wondering what are the benefits to doing so? Do they give you free practice tests?
HAHAHA - I LOVE that someone else did this! Access to all the course materials/tests helps. Also the quant for SAT and GRE is similar so you get tons of practice by teaching.
 
Feb 24, 2010
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For verbal scores I recommend...

http://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Vocab-Effective-Vocabulary-ebook/dp/B002J9HIYQ/ref=sr_1_48?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1269275621&sr=8-48

In my opinion, the books claims are true. I felt like I learned more words in a shorter amount of time then straight up memorizing.

For quant scores, you can only get better by memorizing concepts and practice, practice, practice. Kaplan has a math book of the 100 most common quantitative concepts. I suggest that.

I prepared by using TPR's GRE books, Kaplan's math book, and the vocab book listed above. I personally find TPR's books more helpful in terms of learning testing strategy and practicing them. TPR's online stuff will even build a study plan for you. I followed it exactly and I made a 1250 on my first (and only) GRE.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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HAHAHA - I LOVE that someone else did this! Access to all the course materials/tests helps. Also the quant for SAT and GRE is similar so you get tons of practice by teaching.
I didn't do it yet... A representative from a test prep center came to my school and asked if I had any more tests to take. When I said I finished they asked my score (SAT) and then asked if I would teach for them. I was wondering what are the benefits if I don't have to take the GRE again (besides the cash). Oh, about how much do they make anyways an hour? Thanks!
 

PsychPhDStudent

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I didn't do it yet... A representative from a test prep center came to my school and asked if I had any more tests to take. When I said I finished they asked my score (SAT) and then asked if I would teach for them. I was wondering what are the benefits if I don't have to take the GRE again (besides the cash). Oh, about how much do they make anyways an hour? Thanks!
Was excited that DrMindful did it. ;) I felt like a sell-out, but the money (about 20/hour to start) is okay and you don't have to find your own clients. You can charge more for tutoring individually, but you don't get the resources that way. I don't think there are many benefits beyond cash and GRE practice, so if you don't have to retake, I don't know why'd you do this.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Pre-Psychology
Was excited that DrMindful did it. ;) I felt like a sell-out, but the money (about 20/hour to start) is okay and you don't have to find your own clients. You can charge more for tutoring individually, but you don't get the resources that way. I don't think there are many benefits beyond cash and GRE practice, so if you don't have to retake, I don't know why'd you do this.
I'd do it for the cash... I enjoy helping others learn (but could never be a full time teacher). Its a job where I dont need to find clients and it makes decent... good to save up. Did you do private tutoring with these students or classroom? I heard they teach you their tips, solutions, ideas ect first. How long are these groups for? I would only have the summer open... I guess I could always call them and find out more information....
 

psich

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Mar 27, 2009
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P.S. - for psych GRE, I would highly recommend reading The Story of Psychology by Morton Hunt. It will send your score through the roof if its not up there already.
Regarding the psychology GRE, do you think that just using test prep books like Barron's or Kaplan would suffice?
 

PsychPhDStudent

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Regarding the psychology GRE, do you think that just using test prep books like Barron's or Kaplan would suffice?
I scored in the top 2% and only used a test-prep style book plus extra reading in biopsych (since I never took that class). It depends on how varied your psych coursework has been.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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Hi everyone,

I am in the process of studying for the psych GRE on April 10th and am starting to get a little nervous. For those who have already taken it, how well did you find that your scores on previous ETS practice tests matched your actual subject GRE score?

Thanks!
 
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Oct 14, 2009
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Psychology Student
Hi Psyched2525,

I posted a detailed reply to you regarding this issue on another thread. I have been a math teacher and SAT, GMAT, GRE tutor for approximate a decade as well as a psychology student. I think that I can give you some tips that will help you quickly and easily improve your performance on this test as well as reduce your anxiety in general. I am not a stranger to anxiety and have seen some students really suffer from this, but I've also learned various ways to overcome crippling anxiety. I would first focus on dealing with anxiety; then I would focus on learning techniques to prepare for this particular test. Feel free to PM me.

Best wishes!
L
 
Jan 21, 2010
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I was going to post this under the original GRE thread, however, I thought this warranted a new thread. Being that I'm not going to school this year (again) due to my low GRE score I was wondering what people have done to prepare for the GRE? I have taken the Kaplan and Princeton Review prep courses as well as hired a private PR tutor. If I apply again I intend on focusing on my anxiety surrounding this horrific test as it completely dictates my career. While my issue is not the content I'm just wondering if there is anything else out there that people with 1200+ have utilized. I have been told this is the only weakness on my application three years in a row (pre and post interview), so any advice would be much appreciated.
Thank you!:)
I hired a private tutor to help me improve my GRE score. I'd HIGHLY recommend a private tutor because he/she can help you specifically on the areas you need help and you won't waste your time reviewing other aspects of the exam that you know very well. The instruction is tailored to exactly what YOU need and not generalized. The tutor I used is based in Chicago (I live in NYC) but he has an online "classroom" that worked great so he can work with anyone anywhere. I improved my score dramatically and got into one of THE top PsyD programs this year. I highly recommend this tutor!!! Feel free to PM me if you want his info!! (Oh - and I hired him because not only did he come highly recommended, but he has also gotten a 1600 on his GREs!!!!)
 

nancynyc

7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2009
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A related question-- when people say you need a minimum of 1200 for them to even look at your application, does this mean a minimum 1200 cumulative or a minimum of 600 in each section? I haven't officially taken the GRE yet, but based on practice tests, I'm a lot better in quant than in verbal, and I'm not sure I'll go over 600 in verbal... will this prevent me from getting my application looked at?
 

elphaba

10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2008
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A related question-- when people say you need a minimum of 1200 for them to even look at your application, does this mean a minimum 1200 cumulative or a minimum of 600 in each section? I haven't officially taken the GRE yet, but based on practice tests, I'm a lot better in quant than in verbal, and I'm not sure I'll go over 600 in verbal... will this prevent me from getting my application looked at?

Generally you want to aim for at least a 600 on each section, but I think most places are looking for a cumulative score of 1200 when they say that's their cut-off (unless you're talking like an 800Q and 400V, which would likely be problematic many places even though you hit 1200; most schools want to see at least a relative balance between the two sections).

That said, I got 3 interviews and 1 acceptance (at my top choice) with an 1100. Choose your schools wisely and carefully and make sure the rest of your application is as strong as possible. Obviously do your absolute best on the GRE, but also know that, 1) it IS possible to make it past the first-round with a sub-par score if other elements of your app are stellar, and 2) not all schools are as strict with their cut-offs as they make it seem. (i.e., if you ended up with a score less than 1200, you don't necessarily need to remove X University from your list. Better to try and get a rejection than just assume that you have no chance because of your score!)

Best of luck.
 

PsychPhDStudent

7+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2009
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A related question-- when people say you need a minimum of 1200 for them to even look at your application, does this mean a minimum 1200 cumulative or a minimum of 600 in each section? I haven't officially taken the GRE yet, but based on practice tests, I'm a lot better in quant than in verbal, and I'm not sure I'll go over 600 in verbal... will this prevent me from getting my application looked at?
Really depends on the program. Some programs have individual cutoffs for each subtest whereas others just want to see you hit their combined minimum. Usually the average GRE scores for each section (verbal, quant) are listed separately in the disclosure info on programs' websites. I'd say to aim for at least the mean in each for your top choices.
 
Jul 12, 2009
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This is an extreme and pricey suggestion, but given that you have tried lots of other things it may be something you would consider. Why not go and take the exam with ETS at least once with the intention of canceling your scores at the end? This way you get exposure to the testing environment without having to have your scores reported. So, worst case scenario is you gain experience in the actual testing environment. The best case scenario is that knowing you plan to cancel lowers your test anxiety enough that you perform well and can actually use the scores you receive.

One issue with this is that you will have to have a good sense of whether or not you performed well on the test based on your own intuition. They don't actually give you the opportunity to see your scores before you have to decide whether to cancel them.
you know, this is a good idea. last summer, I took two GREs in the span of one month, and I did much better the second time, not only because I was more familiar with the test and the environment, but also similar/the same questions appeared! so I was like "I REMEMBER THIS!" yup, it's a good idea =)
 
P

Psy01

All this nonsense people are forced to do bc of this test. Unfortunately, ETS has such a stranglehold on American education it won't change soon, if ever.


Anyway, regarding anxiety, one big thing is that you need to STOP trying to get your anxiety down. The emotion reg literature is quite clear of the ironic effects of this. When you deliberate try to get your anxiety down, it tends to increase.
 
Jun 14, 2010
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as someone who tutors others effectively in the GRE is to grab textbooks and worked out examples from good websites which cover the material in more detail and that you focus most on your weakest areas. Then after you overlearned and mastered those sections review your strongest areas in the same manner. Then putting the GRE preparation books alongside the textbooks for context and in order to translate the new learning and review into the GRE venue and facilitate LTP's.

In regards to anxiety you may try all or any combination of the following:

1.) Meditate prior to and after studying

2.) Go for a brisk walk or jog everyday depending upon your fitness level

3.) Remind yourself you can do it and that although the GRE is important is not a reflection of who you are and ultiamtely you will succeed; sooner as opposed to later.

4.) Related to number 3 say out loud everyday personal affirmations.

5.) Get enough rest and eat healthy foods. Some decaf calming tea may of help if your body tolerates chamomile well.

6.) Do not study too long in one sitting; 30-45 mins in one sitting is probably the optimal time; no longer than an hour, but you must overlearn the material in time in order to perform better on the actual test.

7.) Try Oxford's GRE preparation manual too.

8.) Do not allow your stressors to become greater than your internal sense of self efficacy and ability to move forward.

Focusing on anxiety create neural connections actually strengthening the anxiety response, however, focusing on bringing it down is still over focusing on it. Do things that take your minds off of the anxiety instead, or atleast reduces it. When you do study just focus on the task at hand and remember that a little anxiety is normal and healthy.

Finally due to retrograde and anterograde memory interference always remember to review topics even if you feel very confident you have mastered them.

You can and will succeed!

Kind Regards,

PsychGraduate.