JekyllHyde

Animal Science Aggie
Apr 11, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hello, I'm new! And I'd like to start off my search for knowledge here via the search function as well as thread creation. I am currently a freshman going for my Bachelor's in Animal Science. I have looked up info about the parts in the GRE exam, test dates as well.

I'd like to know:

What year in undergrad should I take the GRE?
When should I start studying/practicing for the GRE?
How many times do you suggest one takes the GRE?
Are study groups advisable or is it better to go solo?
What books would you reccommend buying to study for the GRE?

Just thinking ahead, all answers appreciated.

Thanks!
 

lalzi22

The OSU CVM c/o 2014!!
Nov 10, 2009
623
11
0
Status
Veterinary Student
Welcome! This site is great for anything you need to know about trying to become a vet. You should note, however, to always do research on your own and VERIFY anything anyone tells you on this site. They try to be right (we are all nice here), but we are not encyclopedias, so take everything with a grain of salt.

Anyway, this is what I did:

What year in undergrad should I take the GRE? Between Feb and June (maybe July at the LATEST) of your junior year/summer before senior year. The VMCAS (vet school apps) are due the first or second day in October, so you want to leave enough time to get your score and then possibly take it again, so the earlier, the better.

When should I start studying/practicing for the GRE? This very much depends on you. Some people are great at math and then the math section wont be hard for you. Some people need a refresher, and some people suck at math (I'm in the last category). I studied 10 vocab words a day from this fabs Kaplan 500 hardest GRE flashcard set for 3 months prior to my test day, and made sure I knew them all come test day. The math I studied for about 3 weeks before, doing 30 min-1 hour of math a day (worst 3 weeks ever). But, it is very dependent on how you feel. A good gauge is to take a practice test, score yourself, and then STUDY. Give yourself at least 6 months to study. To be honest you probs wont need that much, but its better to be safe then sorry.

How many times do you suggest one takes the GRE? One. Why would you ever want to take it again if you can help it? UGH, But, no, it will not hurt you to take it a second time, but you have to do better the second time. Try to do well the first time though. 4 hour tests suuuuuck.

Are study groups advisable or is it better to go solo? Totally depends on your study habits and what works or you.

What books would you reccommend buying to study for the GRE? Like I said before, the box set of 500 hardest GRE words by Kaplan, and then I got a Princeton Review math book (had over 1000 math problems which I just DID), and then I took my little sisters SAT book since the math is basically the same.
 

JekyllHyde

Animal Science Aggie
Apr 11, 2010
2
0
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Thanks so much, lalzi! Truly helped with the introductory warning before specifically addressing all of my questions. My workload for freshman year is quite a bit, I am currently taking 20 credits this semester and did the same my first semester and I'm probably going to continue doing that throughout the rest of my years. I don't really see myself having any time to study and I thought maybe I should start now over the summer and the summers to come. But starting too early may cause a bit forgetfulness and more review time than learn time. Ty for the reccs on the cards!
 

racccjlm

Iowa 2014 grad; Ophtho resident
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2009
444
27
261
Status
Veterinarian
Hi and welcome to the forum! If you do a search for the GRE (search bar at top of page) you should find loads of information in previous threads. That being said, I have nothing better to do right now, so I'll give you a few quick answers ;)

1. Many people take the GRE starting their junior year so that they have time to take it more than once (with study time in between dates). I took it the summer before I applied to vet school, didn't do well because I got sick in the middle of it, and took it again a month later, getting a much better score. I would not recommend waiting until the summer before applying --- too much stress involved!! I also know a few people that took it their sophmore year, and even one that took it as a freshman. Vet schools require that you take the test within a certain amount of years when applying - though I can't remember it off the top of my head.

2. It depends on how prepared you feel. Take some practice tests and see where your score range places you. I would recommend studying for the vocab early if that is not one of your strong points.

3. Hopefully you only have to take it once :) It all depends on your score. Shoot for a score that is above 1000 - many schools have their class statistics posted on their websites - check those out. I know a FEW people that have gotten in with scores lower than that, but they had tons and tons of vet and animal experience.

4. Depends on how you study. If you have friends studying for it, pick one or two days a week and go to a coffee house and study - together or independntly. It makes it more bearable ;)

5. Kaplan verbal flash cards REALLY helped me. Kaplan in general has pretty good products. Also, Princeton Review. It's written in a way that makes you feel like you've accomplished something once you get through the lessons.

Good luck :luck:
 
Mar 23, 2010
11
0
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Keep in mind that this is what worked for me and everyone is different.
Also the GRE is getting ready to change so the one I took may not be the one you take.

I feel like I was completely prepared right out of high school. I took all AP classes and made great grades. I found it to be VERY similar to the SAT. (the old one) I don't think I learned anymore vocabulary or math in college that I didn't already know. If this is the case for you as well then I suggest taking it as soon as possible. (Keep in mind you can always take it again later) I feel this way because I took two math classes in college and by the time I was a junior I hadn't used math in at least a year and was out of practice.

I used a book and studied one on one with my study partner from college. She had flashcards. Approach this test like you did the SAT/AP/any other test and you will do fine.
 

BomberCanoe

UTK c/o 2014
Mar 8, 2010
68
0
0
Raleigh
Status
Veterinary Student
1. I took mine the summer right before senior year. Take it sooner if you think you may struggle, and will need to take it a next time (you'll know based on the reviewing you do). I'd recommend mid-late june, so that you have enough time to study well after your last finals. Earlier if you can fit it in, but make sure not to rush studying. Proper prep for the first may save you taking it a second time.

2. Start studying as soon as you get a chance (I started the week after my last final of that spring). I just find it easier to study for one thing at a time, so that you aren't crossing neurons accidentally (and end up thinking of leg muscles when you're trying to do algebra)

3.Definitely just once. Its like the SAT. Stressful, 3 or 4 hours long, just not something i'd recommend taking twice. Just go into it preping as if you only get one shot (but don't stress, cause you can always re take it).

4. I studied on my own. I'm ok in groups, but I find that i'm usually at some different level than the others. I'm not even saying I'm ahead, as I usually benefit at some point from someone else explaining things. I'm just better when I can go at my own pace, and not have to interrupt my thought processes or mod how fast I'm going.

5. I bought a 30 dollar or so Kaplan book. It had sections on writing, math, reading comp, the whole 9 yards, it even had a few 'top words' and tips on analogies, and a CD with really helpful practice tests (it actually predicted my scores very accurately. I also bought a Barron book with the top 800 words, and spent a whole month memorizing words I will never again use (or even recall, at this point). It was a complete waste! I saw maybe 4 words out of all 800, and I even used 6 in my essay to console myself for wasting time. If you're gonna try and study words, do word roots, not words themselves.


But keep in mind that your GRE will be different. I believe they are taking out analogies, and allowing calculator use. I can't say whether this will make it easier or harder. What I will say is DON'T take it now, as you might end up having to retake it (when I entered undergrad, they had just added the new SAT, so they were still accepting old versions. If they put in the new GRE now, 3/4 years from now, they probably won't be taking old versions, as everyone will have had ample time to take the new one.). Hope this helps, and good luck with your journey- it definitely pays to prepare now.
 

marycatherine

working on the pre-reqs
Nov 14, 2009
268
2
0
Virginia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Thanks so much, lalzi! Truly helped with the introductory warning before specifically addressing all of my questions. My workload for freshman year is quite a bit, I am currently taking 20 credits this semester and did the same my first semester and I'm probably going to continue doing that throughout the rest of my years. I don't really see myself having any time to study and I thought maybe I should start now over the summer and the summers to come. But starting too early may cause a bit forgetfulness and more review time than learn time. Ty for the reccs on the cards!

If you can make great grades while taking 20 credits, you're going to have a great application (academically) for vet school. However don't be afraid to cut back a little, I think I would have gone crazy with that many classes!