GRE preparation thread

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by myelin, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. myelin

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    I figured a thread that reinforces studying for the GRE would be a nice addition. If anything, reading this thread will hopefully get people motivated to study as well as provide strategies that others are using to attack the test. Let's ace this test, get passed it, and get in to the PhD/PsyD program that we deserve to be in.

    Here is my plan.

    GRE test date: August 21, 2008; 12:30pm

    Target score: 1300

    Materials used: Princeton Review Cracking the GRE 2008 Edition; The Ultimate Math Refresher for the GRE, GMAT, and SAT.

    Courses: Power Prep course (2006) and I am registered for a weekend GRE course June 20-22.

    Study plan: 3 hours daily up until the night before the test. I'm making flash cards for vocabulary words from the Princeton Review "Hit Parade" list. As well, I'm using the Ultimate Math Refresher book to review math principles before I get into the Princeton Review section on math.

    Needs work: Motivation to study. It's difficult being a MA student and trying to fit studying in to my schedule. I've been through this process before (taken the GRE 2x's already) so it's hard to start it all over again.
     
  2. Marissa4usa

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    Good idea. Me next:


    Test Date: Middle of July ( I dont have a definite date yet but I would like to be done the week before I go on vacation)

    Target Score: 1200 (because English isn't my native language I hope schools will give me some leeway-I'm aiming for a 500 on the verbal which combined with the 720 I got on the previous exams will add up to ~1200)

    Materials: Barrons and Princeton as well as the Princeton book that focuses on the verbal part

    Study plan: ~15 to 20 per week - mostly just going to over the 1500 words I have been studying for a year and practicing reading comprehension. The week before the test I will practice AWA's and take some practice tests to get back into the routine.

    It will be my third time for me to take this frigging test and I truly hope that it will be the last time in my life.
     
  3. cara susanna

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    I'm doing tutoring through Princeton Review out of sheer desperation. Previously I have studied the Kaplan Math workbook, the Barrons workbook, the Ultimate Math Refresher, the ETS math PDF, and a software program called GRE Bible. Also did practice tests on Power Prep and Kaplan. Now I'm using Princeton Review Word Smart, the ETS GRE prep book, and their online material.

    Target score: at least 1200 overall, above 50% on each

    Test date: Sometime in July or August

    Strategy: I don't even know anymore. My tutor has me studying 15 words a day though, and working through the ETS prep book.

    I'm experiencing learned helplessness, can you tell?
     
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  4. scienceisbeauty

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    It's starting to become more real. I am so so scared and feel sick. I feel like it's too late...it's already nearly the end of June.

    Date writing: Aug 30th @ 9:00 am - writing it with Ilovecows (we met from on here)

    Strategy: Can't afford a prep course, but am right now working through (or will be working through) the Kaplan math book, the Princeton Cracking the GRE 2008, the Barrons GRE guide, and then the ETS GRE book in that order.

    I am planning to do an online GRE once every 1.5 weeks. I have 1 from Barrons book, 4 left from my Princeton book. Then I guess I will have 2 from the PowerPrep software?

    I took one already and did ****ty on the math: 480 (EWWW) and on verbal got 630 (badly on the analogies, perfect on RC and SC)

    Shooting for: 1400. Is it possible? I need to really rev up my math biiiiiiig time.
     
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  5. scienceisbeauty

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    You said you're using the Ultimate Math Refresher book...is it useful? valuable? should I buy it?
     
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  6. Sarahanne

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    Hey, in order to keep myself motivated and prevent myself from easy distractions, I would leave and study in a book store w/coffee shop like barnes and noble. I left my cellphone and my laptop at home (even though it is a CAT) I studied out of books because its easy to start surfing the web when I should have been looking at GRE stuff or send text messages to my friends, pretty much anything but the GREs because I hated them so much. Anyhow, this helped me get focused and keep focused since I had nothing else to preoccupy/distract me with. And coffee is a great stimulator....
     
    #6 Sarahanne, Jun 18, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  7. cara susanna

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    Scienceisbeauty: Poor thing, I know what it's like to struggle with the quant. We'll work at it together, right?

    It's okay, but I actually recommend the Kaplan workbook. It got me from a 300 to a 500. Barrons is good, too, because it teaches you tricks.
     
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  8. angee

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    something ı forgot, www.visualthesaurus.com
    if you have time its a very good strategy on working it. it gives the meaning with similar words etc..so you learn words in context ..
    ı think ı cant manage a good score till august time, so ı wont be able to catch 2008 applications..:eek: so ı will not try to have the exam at least in 10 months..ı dont want to see my awwwful verbal score :scared:
     
  9. angee

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    one more thing
    ı guess everyone is psychology student here and so ı assume you are familiar with emdr..
    (eye movement and bla bla :)
    so used the emdr musics for your consantration, working will be more effective under bilateral stimulation :D we are psychologists so we must use sophisticated psyc. rules hı? :luck:
     
  10. cara susanna

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    Thanks, but I'm actually good at verbal.. minus analogies. It's just that every exam I get, analogies are always at the beginning and, therefore, tank my score. Urgh. So, once I figure those out I'm set.

    Quant's another story, sadly.
     
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    #10 cara susanna, Jun 18, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  11. scienceisbeauty

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    Would be lovelier it it were free.
     
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  12. myelin

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    scienceisbeauty : GET OFF SDN AND GO STUDY NOW!! :D

    I'm right behind you...setting the timer for 3 hours...now.
     
  13. scienceisbeauty

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    Yup, ok it's 11 pm, I'm going to study until 3 am .
    Getting offf.......NOW
     
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  14. angee

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    so funny :) here its morning, and you are at the midst of night :) good night sweet dreams :)
     
  15. mplsgirl

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    So I took my first actual practice test tonight. I have been studying for a month or so regularly, and this has been my first crack at a CAT practice test because I only had a Mac laptop! I am borrowing another laptop now that has Windows on it so I can take the practice tests. What a pain- you'd think they could create a Mac-compatible version of these tests!

    I ended up scoring an 1150 on the practice test (from ETS's website, the Powerprep)- a 570 verbal and a 580 math. My math was low, but I am not even halfway through the math review yet, and I know that most of the questions I got wrong were involving the sections I haven't reviewed yet! I take the test in about month, so hopefully I can raise my scores at least 150 points by then. Any opinions, is this feasible? I have many more vocabulary words I am going to make flashcards for and learn, and the rest of the math review.
    What do you guys think?
     
  16. myelin

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    Not bad. I took a practice one this evening as well and scored about 300 points less than you. Hopefully after studying I can get the score up. Damn test.:mad:
     
  17. cara susanna

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    If it helps, the latest practice test I took gave me 450 quant and 550 verbal. UGH. And that was after I had resumed studying! At least I got 540 quant and 570 verbal on the real thing.
     
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  18. angee

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    well ı am about to give up..
    tried powerprep and get 340 or so on verbal. ı memorised nearly 3000 of barrons and any of them showed up..its ridiculous to waste time for this, as a nonnative speaker..ı am wasting time..
    hope it will be works for all of you..
     
  19. psychdude5469

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    Before I even cracked my review book (Barrons) I took a practice test and scored in the 900s. At the end of many months of studying my mean practice test score was ~1200. I ended up with a 1340 on the real test (770Q, 570V), at least 100 points above my highest practice test score. In my opinion the real test was easier than the practice tests. Has anyone else experienced this?
     
  20. scienceisbeauty

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    Psychdude - Is Barrons the only book you used or did you practice on other books too? When you got your 900 (eep) was it from the Barrons' practice book?
    How did you study - did you just keep looking up the words/doing math problems? If you want, answer this in the tips/tricks for GRE thread :p
     
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  21. scienceisbeauty

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    No no no YOU MUST NOT GIVE UP. You are not allowed. Not permitted.
     
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  22. myelin

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    Update: I took a GRE course over the weekend (17 hours) and improved my V+Q score by 170 points from pre to posttest. My largest increase was on the quantative section where I struggle the most. Interestingly, I did this after only 1.5 days of instruction (i.e. learning formulas for area, basic algebra, geometry). I can't wait to take it again after studying. Did I just say that?
     
  23. myelin

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    Nice score psychdude. I'm hoping that the practice problems are more difficult than the actual test problems, especially for quant. Some of the "hard" problems in the Princeton Review book are indeed quite difficult.

    Would you mind sharing the strategy you used for studying?
     
  24. cara susanna

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    Wow! Was that through Kaplan? I was going to take their course, but then I got the flu. :( Later I found out that they'd cancelled it, anyway.
     
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  25. myelin

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    The course was provided through the college of graduate studies at the university that I attend. It was offered at a fraction of the cost of a Kaplan/Princetion course. I've also taken an on-line Princeton review course as well as a weekend Powerscore (lots of $$$ invested into this baby). I thought the Princeton and Powerscore courses were oriented more toward making educated guesses and plugging in answers than about knowing formulas and properties. The Powescore course was taught by a person who scored in the 99th percentile on the GRE whereas the course I took this weekend was taught by math and english PhDs.

    Sorry you got the flu! Did you reschedule?
     
  26. angee

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    :)
    scienceisbeauty
    you are special,
    thanks for your motivation and companion,
    yeah sure, ı was angry, but ı know that if ı give up know, all my work will go to trash :eek: so ı am back :))
     
  27. scienceisbeauty

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    I am glad you think I'm special. You are too! The GRE word relationships can be tricky. Even for us native speakers...it's harder if non-native, so good on you for taking it on!
     
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  28. piroshki

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    Hey guys! Time for a quick check in, I think. The time of reckoning is drawing near. Where is everyone at? Who stuck to their study plan? Who wants to cancel and reschedule for a later date? :rolleyes: (What, me? Of course not!)

    I know at least two of us, myself included, are scheduled for next weekend. For me at least it feels like time to get the heebie jeebies out of my system and get myself pumped up! I'm still a tiny bit under my target score, so it's time to cram!

    Also, here's a quick horror story: During the spring I took the prerequisite GRE prep class, and plunked down the hundreds of dollars as investment. Last month, I go back to get out my notebook from the class to discover...I lost it. Considering I still have class notes from high school, I definitely didn't accidentally get rid of it, so I must have accidentally left it on the bus or something. Words don't describe the panic and horror. So, at 6 weeks out, I had to re-create everything from scratch and convince myself that rather than ruining my career, this is actually a study aid in disguise. Time will tell if this is just a panic-induced delusion, though. (Moral of the story: be glad this isn't you, and put a GPS on your notes! :laugh:)

    So. For those of you who are on the other side, any last minute tips? For those of you who still have some time, how are you doing?
     
  29. mplsgirl

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    I postponed my test 3 weeks, so I now am taking it on August 9th. I'm practice-testing at around a 1200, but am aiming for an actual score of 1300+ on the test. Hopefully the extra 3 wks of practicing vocab and math problems will take care of the 100 points.:idea:
     
  30. Jeanette

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    I had a great score in my GRE (800V, 750Q) and a great GPA, but how much will this really help to get in to a PhD program? the programs that I'm applying to are extremely selective and accept <5% of applicants (i.e. 300 applicants for 10 slots).
     
  31. cara susanna

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    You'll make the cut; that's about it, probably.
     
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  32. JockNerd

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    My score was similar and I got some nice comments, but that's about it. It's definitely not going to replace good research experience.

    However, when you do get into a program, high GRE scores can be a big boost to getting you on fellowship instead of RAship/TAship, which is usually a much sweeter deal.

    That's a kickass verbal. Those ridiculous paragraph items killed me on V (esp. the "who was this written for?" junk; couldn't for the life of me figure out how they were determining that).
     
  33. Jeanette

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    So, where did you get accepted in the end? How did you go about getting research experience?

    (I know I should really start a new thread.)
     
  34. Jeanette

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    Usually the correct answer for those is "general scientific journal," i.e. not too specific or advanced of an audience. Also if it's a factual article it's not going to be an OP Ed piece in the New York Times, and vice versa.
     
  35. mplsgirl

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    Wow, that's awesome Jeanette! About how long did you study for? I'm taking it in 3 weeks....any suggestions as to the best way to improve my Verbal score? I've been studying pretty hard for a couple of months, have memorized almost all of the words from the Princeton Review book....I plan on checking out the Barron's list as well.
     
  36. Jeanette

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    Barron's list is much longer than Princeton's or Kaplan, so check it out. Vocabulary is definitely what gives you the edge, but knowing how to read the RC passages carefully is also a big help. You need to do a lot of practice tests; just slow down and read carefully. The questions really are not that hard if you pay attention to what you're reading. Sometimes some of the answer choices they give you are saying the opposite of what the passage said but they want you to fall for those because you were just skimming and looking for familiar sounding words. So don't skim; read the whole passage and summarize to yourself what it's saying, and you won't fall for those tricks.

    I spent about 4 weeks prepping. Most of my prep was devoted to math since I was doing okay in verbal. I started out getting 500s in practice tests in math and ended up with 750 (much better than I hoped for).
     
  37. Mr Violin

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    Hey all. I've been easing my way into studying for the GRE (I have a year before I have to take it...hehehe) and was just curious if any of you are studying prefixes and/or suffixes and if so is it reflecting a decent increase in score on your practice tests? I'm sitting at barely over 1000 on my practice tests and want to start bumpin' up my score a bit. Blehhh time to relearn geometry and hit the vocab. My logic on studying prefixes and/or suffixes is that maybe you can work your way through a problem better and break things down a little bit like you can in math.

    FYI I do know about the lists that have past GRE words and have The Princeton Review GRE book along with another one. I'm not saying I won't also memorize words but yeah, let me know what about the prefix/suffix thing.


    Thanks and good luck to whoever is taking the actual test soon!
     
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  38. cara susanna

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    What practice tests are you taking? Princeton Review's are harder than the actual thing.

    If it's Power Prep, then disregard this question because their score is pretty accurate to the real thing.
     
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  39. Mr Violin

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    If you are askin' me, yeah the Princeton Review ones. That they are harder than the actual GRE is good and bad to know hehe. I am going to pretend that the Princeton Review tests are on par with the real deal or even easier so I over study and hopefully end up with a better score come game time!:soexcited:

    I may have taken the same online test twice through the Princeton Review thing:confused:, I am still trying to figure out how the heck to navigate through their website.
     
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  40. cara susanna

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    Yeah, don't worry, I did 100-200 points better on the real thing than on the Princeton Review's tests. My tutor, who works for the company, told me that their tests are harder because they'd rather they be harder than the actual test than too easy (thus erring on the side of caution).

    Edit: Here's a great example: I just got 600Q on a Power Prep practice test. On my last Princeton Review practice test, I had gotten a 490Q.
     
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    #40 cara susanna, Jul 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  41. myelin

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    I found the opposite. I scored 480V 410Q on Power Prep, but 530V 450Q on Test 1 on the Princeton Review on-line test. So I scored higher on the Princeton Review test.

    Regardless, I'm frustrated and humbled.

    The ominous test date approaches. 3 weeks, 1 day and counting.
     
  42. myelin

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    Any updates from those of you studying for the GRE?
     
  43. scienceisbeauty

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    Math is scaring me STILL but I'm getting better...
    I haven't taken that many practice tests ...I dunno..
     
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  44. Marissa4usa

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    This upcoming Saturday is the BIG day for me...8.30 a.m. For the past 2 months I have been studying vocab like crazy and mainly practice rc's. Let's hope for the best!
     
  45. scienceisbeauty

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    GOOD LUCK! Sending you allllllllllllll the best. I hope you do excellent.
    KEEP US UPDATED and be sure to go post something in the GRE tricks, tips thread that you think might be useful.

    Sending lots of good luck your way.......wooo Saturday.
     
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  46. myelin

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    I'm sure your efforts will pay off. Let us know what happens!
     
  47. myelin

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    That's good to hear that you're getting better. I am as well, but not at the level where I should be.

    May I ask what you are using to prepare? I'm using power prep and the princeton review book. I've been taking one practice test per day. The PR book includes on-line access with 4 tests and Power Prep has 2. I've been cycling through the 6 tests to try to eliminate practice effects.

    I think I've got the geometry down, but the venn diagram and combination/permutation problems still throw me off.
     
  48. scienceisbeauty

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    Kaplan but it's not the greatest...
    Barron's is good though..

    I've only done 1 practice test...I should, and ought do more. At least I mean I've only done 1 online practice test, and I did 2 paper based tests.


    Just remembering 2ndary defs for words is helping with the verbal though, and as for the math, I actually enjoy the permutation questions. It's the bloody other math types I get tripped up over.
     
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  49. cara susanna

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    I'm getting a lot better at the math, though I'm still having trouble with triangles (nature's cruelest shape, according to Something Awful).
     
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  50. scienceisbeauty

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    Pre-Psychology
    the triangles are my favourite part...they're all the same, and have such good rules to follow. I esp like them when the isoscles right angle ones. 1,1,root2
    1,1,root2
    You know thats how the isoscles do
    1,1,root2
    I think the isoscles' are cool
     
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