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Study tips for the GRE?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Hopeful07, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Hopeful07

    Hopeful07 SGU SVM c/o 2012 10+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Hi guys.

    I'm applying for Vet School this coming up fall, and taking my GRE's this summer. I am looking for some study tips for the GRE because I really have to get a high score on them.

    I have the Princeton-Review GRE study guide because I heard it was better than Kaplan's and the other ones. I study about 10-15 pages a day, and repeat the questions that I get wrong until I get them right and I have already been through the book once.

    Does anyone have any study tips that could help me out?

    Thanks! :)
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  3. silverelf

    silverelf Tufts Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    i had the kaplan book...but i don't think it really matters.

    the only thing that helped me with verbal was memorizing vocab. i had the kaplan book and a little GRE word book and i made about 500 flashcards and memorized them while watching 4 seasons of west wing 2 weeks before the test. i also learned how to do math without a calculator...which was more difficult for me then it seems (i hadn't done math by hand since like 3rd grade). i didn't particularly think the test was that difficult, the 2 weeks of cram-time before the exam was more than enough for me.
  4. AuburnPreVet

    AuburnPreVet AU CVM Class of 2011 5+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    I liked the Barrons book better than Princeton Review - for the math sections. The math and the comprehension sections can be mastered by studying... the vocab - not so much. For the vocab section I memorized the 200 ( I think it was 200? ) most commonly used GRE words... and did a bunch of sample problems. Really unless you're an avid reader, or memorize the dictionary, the vocab stuff can be a struggle... (IMHO).... but the math shouldn't be, assuming you spend enough time studying.

    Set short goals ("I will master this one sub-chapter tonight") - and pace yourself. You'll be fine.
  5. bakaduin

    bakaduin UF CVM Class of 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    I just took the GRE Thursday. I got the Kaplan review book to study and knowing my own limitations I didnt even study for the math but put all my time cramming into verbal. Increasing your vocabulary is key. I ended up with a 720 on the math and 540 on the verbal so I wasn't completley happy with my verbal score. My only advice for you after taking the exam is the verbal completely hinges on how much vocabulary you know so keep on studying it. I memorizes the 200 most common GRE words plus more but still didnt know hal the words on the exam.
  6. wildfocus

    wildfocus DVM/PhD student 5+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Rocky Mountain High
    take the computer-based practice tests as much as you can. for old schoolers like me, the format affected my comfort with the test, and i didn't do as well as i hoped. also, as others have said, memorize the words - i used princeton review's top gre words (or something like that). i am an avid reader, and was an english major, but the words they throw at you are not the usual - so you just have to memorize them! lastly, take it sooner rather than later so you can take again if you want. i took the last week of september (procrastinator extraordinaire that i am) and didn't have enough time to retake before applications were due. good luck (and try to have some fun this summer)
  7. Serendipity4

    Serendipity4 U of MN Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    The book I used (that I REALLY liked) was actually Kaplan. It was one of the books with the interactive CD. What I particularly liked was that the CD had a diagnostic test which could tell you where your weaker areas were, and then had a study plan put together based on what those weaknesses were. Also, there were vocab games on the CD. I had NO desire to sit down and memorize hundreds of words, but after playing the games my competetive nature kicked in and I'd sit down to memorize words just so I could do better on the games. Plus it's a fun way to reinforce what you've learned, and find out what words you're not remembering.

    As for the math, my Kaplan book (and something I would look for particularly) had a "100 things you need to know for the GRE math section" portion of the book. Most of it was stuff I kinda knew how to do, but "tricks" I'd forgotten or never learned (e.g. how do you find the least common multiple of 24 and 52? This problem can take forever, but if you know the "trick" it'll take you less than 30 seconds). There were multiple problems on my actual GRE that, as I was solving, I realized I wouldn't have been been able to solve (or it would have taken me FOREVER to solve) if I hadn't have known those hundred things.

    Finally, as others have said, take practice tests!!!! (Again, the interactive CD I used had, I think, 6 full length practice tests I could take). I had a friend who easily could have gotten 750 or higher on her verbal GRE section, but because she'd never done it timed before, her score went down. There's nothing quite like sitting at the computer and actually going through the motions to find out your strengths and weaknesses, and to make you feel more comfortable on test day. Plus it's a good way to track your progress.

    Oh, one last thing. When you're actually taking the test, make sure to go in with the confident attitude of "I'm going to own this test, I know what I'm doing. And if I see a problem I don't know how to do, it's okay -- I'll figure it out." I swear to you, it sounds corny, but taking tests with that attitude makes you second-guess yourself less and I can just about promise you you'll do better. And when you're driving on the way to take your test, I highly recommend putting in a CD you LOVE and ROCKING OUT to it on the way. I mean seriously, singing-along-loudly-dancing-in-the-car type rocking out. I did that and it helped calm my nerves and put me into a really good mindframe for taking the test. (Just make sure it's not songs that you won't be able to get out of your head ;)
  8. pressmom

    pressmom Third year! 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    I wish I had spent more time studying the verbal. I had lost a lot of my vocab in all the science classes. (You get a big technical vocab, but not so much liberal-artsy vocab.) Anyway, memorize the common words and at least read through the other ones. I think if I had done this, instead of relying on my general love of reading, I would've done better than a 590. (Embarrassing to me because I got a 750 on the SAT!)

    Anyway, as far as math, if you haven't had it recently, a lot of it is logic--at least to me. Use the shortcuts the book teaches you. The one that specifically helped me was assuming that most drawing are drawn CLOSE to scale. So if side x is longer than side y on the diagram, it probably is. This saved me A LOT of time. The point of the math is not to do it all long hand--you'll probably not finish--but to reason through the easier ones without doing a ton of "math." Does this make sense?

    Basically, I learned the rules and lessons of the book without worrying too much about the practice tests. (I think I did one.) And as far as the writing, even though they don't look at it very much, you don't want to get say a 2. (No offense to anyone that got a 2.) So what I did was print of a page of the list of topics on the GRE website and just talked through a few of them with my parents. (You could do it with friends, SO, whatever.)

    Hope this helps. Good luck! :luck:
  9. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011 10+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    I used the princeton review book and the online package that came with in, which was fine. Make sure you do the computer adaptive tests. I got completely different scores ( much better) on the paper ones then the computer ones because when you get the question wrong matters on the computer but not on paper. I had great scores on paper, not so great on the computer. Also since it is adaptive the most important questions are the first 15 or so. Take your time with them and make sure you get them right even if it means guessing on the last couple because you don't have time. The first chunk of questions counts for much more than the last few.

    I also did better on the SAT then the GRE (580V, 740M) --I think it has something to do with the fact that the GRE tests high school math and random vocab words!!

    Good luck
  10. thomphea

    thomphea 2+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    I scheduled my GRE's for June. Approx a month after I graduate. I was told that this should be plenty of study time for the GRE's. Does everyone agree? I really need to ROCK on the GRE' gpa is on the low side.
    I'm very nervous....I've heard it can be a rough test.
  11. JIKJen124

    JIKJen124 5+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    I took it 2 weeks after I finished my summer courses, studying as much as I could while taking the classes, but going hard core the last two weeks. Try word of the day - I found that really helpful. Taking it in June gives you plenty of time to re-take if it doesn't go as well as you plan, especially now that they have scrapped the new format.
  12. 2011vet

    2011vet 2+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    Gainesville, Fl
    I used Princeton Review GRE and Word Smart for the GRE. Those helped some, but what I found most helpful was google. I searched "Gre vocabulary", "gre math", and combinations of gre vocab, quizzes, and games. I found a lot of websites with fun quizzes and games; I would spend HOURS online working on them (mostly because I didn't want to study for school, lol).
  13. Hopeful07

    Hopeful07 SGU SVM c/o 2012 10+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Thank you everyone for the great responses! I did get the Princeton Review with the CD, and I haven't explored it that much, but I don't think it has interactive tests on it? In any case, I am going to get the kaplan one as well, seeing that it has interactive tests on it.

    Thanks a lot guys! Your tips are really helping me out.
  14. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    I found the vocab drills on helpful for just pounding through words - I'm not much of a flashcard person myself. A lot of the words in their list did end up on the GRE.
  15. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    For verbal you just need the 500 word flashcard book from Kaplan. For math you may need the actual book if you're not doing well. Expect to do about the same on the GREs as you did on the SATs if you do a moderate amount of studying. If you're not satisfied with that, put a lot of studying in - it's worth the month or so of hardcore studying for a great GRE score, as they are weighed very heavily for the amount of time and effort you put in.
  16. handh02

    handh02 Law of the Wild 2+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Hong Kong
    If you really want some practice with the verbal section of the GRE, go to It's a great vocab practice games, and for every word you get right, they will donate 20 grains of rice to starving children. A pretty cool pay off for studying vocab!:thumbup:
  17. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013 7+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Do you really think ones scores from SAT's would correlate to their GRE scores? I haven't taken the GRE's yet, but studying the material and doing practice tests it does seem very similar.

    My goal is to do a first attempt at the GRE's at the end of January, but I am just trying to gauge how much time I really need to be putting in for studying.
  18. banditalfi

    banditalfi Cornell 2012 2+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Ithaca, NY
    My GRE and SAT scores were nearly identical. I got 30 points lower in verbal on the GRE, though my percentile was higher. My math scores were the same. My writing scores were roughly equivalent (but they are on different scales).
  19. pupsforseeing

    pupsforseeing 2+ Year Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    i may be an anomaly, but my math score on the GRE was 100 points higher than it was on the SAT and my verbal was 80 points lower than it was on the GRE. apparently going to college made me much better at math and much worse at verbal, oops :)
  20. Cornish

    Cornish 5+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I'm not good in math but I can tell you what to do about verbal. Get the Baron's it has the top 3,000 or so words used on the GRE. A lot of them you'll already know, so the list is more like 2,000 or 1,500. Memorize them all and make flashcards. I rasied my verbal score by 200 points this way. It sucks, and it takes up a lot of time, but there was only 1 word on the entire test that I didn't know when I took the GRE. 500 flashcards isn't going to cut it if you are gunning for a 90% and up verbal score.

    The verbal is really something you can study for...all you need is vocab.
  21. Tiraka

    Tiraka Texas A&M 2012 10+ Year Member

    Jul 7, 2006
    I did something like that too, but I think the percentages are completely different (690V is 96th percentile?)

    I'd second the recommendation to do some online adaptive practice tests in addition to any other studying you choose to do. The computer adaptive test format can really change the way you take/strategize the test (threw me for a bit of a loop, as I stupidly took the GRE cold)

    Out of curiosity, what did y'all think about the extra section (non-scored) that tested new questions? My GRE started off with a math section that I believe was the extra, as I felt I was doing horribly the entire way through. It was followed by verbal, then a much easier math section. I thought that the extra time spent and not knowing which one really counted added an unnecessary level of stress to the test
  22. carrbear21

    carrbear21 U of Mn CVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    I took a Kaplan prep course over 1 month, twice a week for 3-4 hours. I had a few other books, took lots of practice exams, and had tons of flash cards. The BEST vocab thing I found was the Kaplan Flip-O-Matic flashcard/book. Many of the words were on the exam that I had. I also made sure to take practice exams AT the Kaplan center-- taking them at home was too distracting-- phone rings, cat is on the table, dog barks, etc. Good luck!
  23. SillyFilly

    SillyFilly Tennessee CVM 2012! 2+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    NC, USA
    I should have taken it my freshman year - right out of high school, totally prepared. Before real applicable info entered my brain!

    Know "agog" - it was on a lot of tests.

    The essays are a crapshoot, I think, but I got lucky!
  24. meadow36

    meadow36 UF CVM 2013 7+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    Gainesville, FL
    Ditto ... I had a REALLY hard time with the format. I was never very quick at math ... You have to learn when to "let go" of a problem even if you don't have the answer yet and move on due to time constraints. I have a problem with this; I want to keep working until I get an answer. There's also all sorts of "tricks" for getting the answers without actually computing out the whole thing ... something else I'm not very good at. If you have the time and the funding I strongly recommend a prep course and DEFINATELY take practice computer exams (not the ones on paper!) so that you will be familiar with how to pace yourself.

    I got an embarrassingly low score that I know for a fact does not represent my true ability, but rather my issues with the test itself and time constraints. It does however meet the minimum requirements for the schools I applied to so this is something you may want to check into as well.

    I did very well on the writing portion; but I was glad I reviewed this before I went into the test. The graders are looking for a very specific format to your essays.
  25. UVA Wahoo

    UVA Wahoo 2+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I haven't heard anyone say anything to this effect, but I spent some time getting back into doing math by hand... I mean it might sound silly, but when was the last time you did long division manually? We all know how to do it, but i think it helped me to really be fluent in doing easy math things quickly. I also practiced estimating and doing more complicated adding and subtracting in my head. I have never been a math person and I could not believe my score! I wanted to cry when I finished the section but ended up doing really well. :0) So have some confidence!
  26. catlover

    catlover 2+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Fort Collins, CO
    For the math, I checked out books like Algebra for Idiots, etc. from the library, because I was *really* stale on that stuff. I would suggest taking lots of the practice tests, too.
  27. Rebeki

    Rebeki Wisconsin SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    I had this same problem at first. I thought that if I just did a few practice exams I would be fine, but was having a lot of trouble with the time constraints because I wasn't using the "tricks". Reading the study book's suggestions/tricks was essential. GRE uses several question formats over and over again. Once you start using the study book's tricks you will get answers much faster.

    Also, I don't know if anyone else had this experience, but I found that the practice tests scored much lower than the actual GRE. I scored 250 points higher on the actual GRE than I did on my best practice exam. Maybe it was just me, but I would take your practice score with a grain of salt.
  28. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Davis, CA
    My practice tests were extremely predictive of my actual GRE scores. It was almost eerie how close. But that might just be me.
  29. pupsforseeing

    pupsforseeing 2+ Year Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    I found that doing practice tests was the best way to study for me. On just about all of my days off this summer, I went to Border's and found myself a comfy chair and would get a random GRE book and work through a practice test, score it, correct it, and then do another one. I also supplemented my studying with memorization of the top 1000 vocab words (I had a Kaplan list).

    My actual math score was pretty much identical to my practice scores (but math is my strong point and my scores were pretty consistent). Verbal, on the other hand, was all over the place (depending on how many of the words I happened to know!) and my actual score was probably about 40 points lower than my average.

    I am SO glad I will never have to experience GRE torture again :)
  30. quakk

    quakk 10+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2005
    yah... for what it's worth, i think it's generally useless for vet students to take the gre.

    that said, the verbal part is not my strength. i sat down with the practice books, whichever i could get my hands on, and practiced each of the sections. i think a lot of it is memorising vocabulary that most people never, ever use. but the practice paid off. i didn't score amazingly well, but i did improve my score over my previous two tries (once for grad school in 1993, once in 1998).

    that said, memorising vocabulary prob'ly isn't the best way to go about things. a friend once told me that learning the roots, prefixes and suffixes was far more useful. now, going into my 3rd year of vet school (of 5), i find that to be the case. i don't necessarily have to memorise all the words, but if i know the roots, prefixes and suffixes i can deduce the meaning.

    this is particularly true when studying anatomy, especially muscles.

  31. projekt

    projekt UGA c/o 2012 5+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Georgia, US
    The "Genius" edition of Magnetic Poetry has many GRE gotcha words in it. You can study at your refrigerator in the morning :)

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