I haven't thought much about taking the GRE at all but if I plan on applying for Grad School in October I guess I better start thinking about it a bit, right?  Any advice or any experiences with this that you could share?
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  • There is a book by the Princeton Review, called Crash Course to the GRE. It was really helpful for me because my test date snuck up on me. So it is a great introductory/overview of what to expect and how to approach the test. It is relatively short and easy to read. The book really helped me out with the math section and the analytical writing section.

    As far as the actual test went it was not as bad as I had anticipated. It is just really long. Don't burn out and over study because there is really only so much you can do to prepare for it. The vocabulary is pretty much just trying to guess and knowing how to guess. But the way the test is set up on the computer, it is a good thing if you don't know the definition of the words you are getting. If the words are easy or are words you see everyday then you're not doing so well.
  • I agree with Nikki, try not to over-study.  I think way too many of my classmates freaked out and psyched themselves out.
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  • bah! I HATED the GRE. I had heard that it would be super easy... well, I didn't actually think it was. I found out the day of that I couldn't use a calculator, and I hadn't really studied but I sort of went over algebraic formulas, etc using a calculator. That totally threw me off... and of course the words for the verbal section were words that normal people don't use... not even people who have an extended vocabulary. I was unpleasantly surprised. I ended up bombing both the math and vocab sections and totally rocked the written portion. I was so bummed out, especially since it was over $100 to take the test.
    I've seen GRE vocab flash cards, you may want to pick them up and make sure you can do basic high school math in your head relatively quickly. When you get a question right, the next question is going to be harder for both math and vocab. Give yourself plenty of time for the vocab flash cards... I think there were 5000 words in that little box.

  • I have a few friends that struggled with it, but they also had similar issues with the SAT, which is why I made that comparison.  Some people aren't good test-takers, or have issues with math, or don't do well on the weird kind of analogy questions that you NEVER see anywhere else but standardized tests.  If the OP, or anyone else taking the GRE, is worried about a slightly harder version of the SAT, then I recommend the flash cards or one of the test prep books - but still, try not to over-study!
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  • I am a GRE instructor for a major test prep company and i highly recommend the Barron's book for the essay section, and the Kaplan book for Vocab. Kaplan also had a cool iPhone app with vocab flashcards, and I swear that those got me my 98th percentile :)
  • I would highly suggest getting a book of some sort for the GRE.  I can't remember what I got, but it was from Barnes and Noble and it wasnt that bad price wise. 

    You can't use your calculator of the math section and the book helped me learn a few tricks to do that section quickly.  I am good at math and didn't finish that section, I wish I had studied the math section more.

    It also gave me a word bank of words you see on the GRE which was very nice.  For me the writing part didn't matter so I didn't care about it at all. 
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  • prncszprncsz member
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    It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I took a prep course and once it ended and two weeks before my test praticed daily and the last week took practice test by the time I sat down for the exam I had taken so many pratice tests that I knew the format and what to expect and it was a breeze. The prep course helped me to learn strategies for approaching the types of problems that are on the exam. Best of Luck. I think it was supposed to take 4 hours I was done in about 2 1/2.
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  • I should have followed my owen advice - I took my test even thought I pretty mcuh didn't study at all. I SUCKED at it. Got a 350 on verbal and 550 on quantitive. I am signing myself up for a Kaplan course now because I discovered that I cannot trust myself to study through self-motiavtion. Also, do NOT take ANY calls before you take the exam that day. I took one, and found out some awesome family/wedding drama ten minutes before I walked in for my test. That was the icing on the cake, considering I was already uncomfortable with taking it. I would suggest taking a course, I hear it's incredibly helpful (although expensive ..)
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  • As someone else said... it's on the computer and you need to answer the question before you can move on to the  next.  AND the more you get right, the harder the questions, and vice versa (Yay for adaptive tests)
    It's really a souped up version of SAT's.  Look over math formulas, it comes back pretty quick... (Like the distance formula, i knew what to do with it but haven't used in over 8 years, I'm an English major for crying out loud)  try to absorb some of the vocab... yes I'm saying get a book.
    I did about the same as I did my SAT, but lost points on verbal because I had to pee so badly I stopped paying attention to it.    
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  • Just as a little information, they may be changing the test for 2011 (at least they're saying they will) so if you want to take the test as is you should sign up for it in 2010. Good luck!
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