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Old 07-20-08, 04:13 PM   #1
Dr. Hellyes
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Anybody taken the GRE exam ? ...

I've taken the max allowed grad credits without being formally accepted into the grad program
at my local university. I've got to take the GRE next before I can be admitted into the English grad
program here. What am I facing? Is it a bad monster exam?
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Old 07-20-08, 04:14 PM   #2
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It's pretty easy. Don't sweat it.
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Old 07-20-08, 05:01 PM   #3
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From what I remember, the verbal and math sections were pretty similar in content to the SAT. I think there might be a separate writing section now too, but there wasn't one when I took it. All the sections are scored on a 200-800 scale, same as the SAT. The GRE is computer-based now, and the questions start out at medium difficulty. If you get the first few questions wrong, the computer will think they are too hard for you and will give you easier questions, which will result in an overall lower possible score. If you get them right, it will give you tougher questions and you will have the opportunity to score higher. You will get your score as soon as the exam is over - just be sure you write them down if you want to keep a record, because I don't think you get mailed a results sheet.
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Old 07-20-08, 05:20 PM   #4
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Waaay back when I took it, they were easier than SAT's. Dunno if that's the case now. Sorry, I'm an old geezer.
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Old 07-20-08, 05:36 PM   #5
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Depends what your situation is. If you're interested in doing as well as possible you need to work through a book and then make sure to take several practice exams via computer format.
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Old 07-20-08, 05:46 PM   #6
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I took them a few months ago and although similar to the SATs, they have their differences. For one, they don't allow a calculator, but don't get scared, you don't need it because the math problems are theory based, dealing with variables and such, and no big numbers that require division or the square root.

I got about the same score as I did on the SAT. Get a GRE study book and get familiar with the thought process involved with solving the problems.
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Old 07-20-08, 06:36 PM   #7
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When I took it, ages ago, the general section was a breeze, but the computer science section seemed tougher. Of course, looking for entrance to an English program means you won't have to deal with that.

It didn't help that the temperature in the exam room was about 48 degrees F. By the time I was finished, I felt terrible! Couldn't stop shivering.
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Old 07-20-08, 07:17 PM   #8
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SAT is a pretty good benchmark for how you'll do on the general sections. If you have problems with those types of exams, some practice exams might help you squeeze out a few extra points.
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Old 07-20-08, 07:32 PM   #9
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The English literature section can be pretty tough, but if you've taken a lot of graduate lit courses, you won't find it too bad. It assumes a very broad knowledge--everything from Anglo-Saxon up through post-modern, and, when I took it (15 years ago) there were a lot of questions dealing with literary theory. I skimmed my Norton anthologies, especially the section introductions, before taking the exam, and that helped a lot.
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Old 07-21-08, 12:37 PM   #10
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Nah...not that bad, then again, my wife took it when they added a section. I took it in 2000, she took it in 2003. If you did okay on the SAT and/or ACT, you'll be fine. Do some prep. Then kill the test. No prob.
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Old 07-21-08, 12:42 PM   #11
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(coming from an engineer)

When I took it, the quantitative and analytical sections were cake..

The english section on the other hand, was ridiculously hard. It was the first year they had the computer based test. As you got questions right, they got harder.. as you got them wrong, they go easier, to try to zero in on your knowledge. About the third or fourth question on the english section I get the question:

"What is the antonym of bloviate"

And there are 4 words listed that I had never seen before (nor did I know what "bloviate" meant). So I looked through the answers, and picked one at random.

Up pops the next question:

"Hand is to arm as foot is to"
a) grass
b) leg
c) water
d) pouch

talk about demoralizing!
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Old 07-21-08, 12:55 PM   #12
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Ah...gotta take these this year too. Darnit. Then again, I did well on the SAT, so this shouldn't be that much more difficult. Right?
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Old 07-21-08, 01:15 PM   #13
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No Big Deal.
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Old 07-21-08, 01:32 PM   #14
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About the GRE, does anyone know of any good prep books? I plan on taking the exam at the end of August/early September.
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Old 07-21-08, 01:35 PM   #15
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About the GRE, does anyone know of any good prep books? I plan on taking the exam at the end of August/early September.
Barron's was the de-facto book for word lists back in the day (2001) Kaplan and Princeton had much computerized tests that I used. The test has changed since so I am not sure if my suggestions hold water anymore.
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Old 07-21-08, 01:57 PM   #16
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About the GRE, does anyone know of any good prep books? I plan on taking the exam at the end of August/early September.
+1 on Princeton, I think it has software that mimics the actual test. I found that to be most helpful.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:02 PM   #17
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I don't think the software would work on a mac.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDevil View Post
(coming from an engineer)

When I took it, the quantitative and analytical sections were cake..

The english section on the other hand, was ridiculously hard. It was the first year they had the computer based test. As you got questions right, they got harder.. as you got them wrong, they go easier, to try to zero in on your knowledge. About the third or fourth question on the english section I get the question:

"What is the antonym of bloviate"

And there are 4 words listed that I had never seen before (nor did I know what "bloviate" meant). So I looked through the answers, and picked one at random.

Up pops the next question:

"Hand is to arm as foot is to"
a) grass
b) leg
c) water
d) pouch

talk about demoralizing!
Funny story!

- Mark
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Old 07-21-08, 02:13 PM   #19
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Funny story!

- Mark
If you think that was funny, you should have seen my score on that section!
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Old 07-21-08, 02:13 PM   #20
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It's worth buying their practice book and going through it. At least, it was for me in 1992.
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Old 07-21-08, 03:18 PM   #21
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1. Yeah, the key is to get used to the computer format.

2. The other thing that I'll stress is that you need to have some idea of how well you need to do on the GRE. For example, when I was applying to grad school I needed to make a 1400+ on the math/verbal. Most of the programs I was applying to would just throw away your application if you didn't at least have a 1400-1500. Also, if you have a score like 1500, it is much easier for a department to find external funding for you (fellowships instead of assistantships) which greatly increases your chances of admission. Once you know where the bar is, it is easy to shoot for it using books and practice tests.
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Old 07-21-08, 03:31 PM   #22
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GRE is all about how many words you can memorize. Writing part is not to difficult, and with a bit of practice the part where you answer questions based on some passage is ok. Math section is all about how well you can pay attention to small details. At least for me most of the mistakes were because of not really paying attention. In general in my opinion GREs are the biggest waste of time and just like SAT, ACT are designed to get as much money from students as possible.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:28 PM   #23
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GRE is all about how many words you can memorize. Writing part is not to difficult, and with a bit of practice the part where you answer questions based on some passage is ok. Math section is all about how well you can pay attention to small details. At least for me most of the mistakes were because of not really paying attention. In general in my opinion GREs are the biggest waste of time and just like SAT, ACT are designed to get as much money from students as possible.
Yeah, even though they've moved to the paperless computer format, the costs of the test has increased 250% since I first took it.

However, if you do very well it really pays off.
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Old 07-22-08, 01:36 PM   #24
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A little joke from my wife's grad school days was that the first thing you should do after someone buys a GRE study book is to hit 'em with it.

Grad students who aren't disgruntled will never finish. They want to keep you till just before the point of violence.
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Old 07-22-08, 01:41 PM   #25
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I'm supposed to be studying for it so I can start my grad school applications, but I'm just banking on my vocab and killer CV.

It's not that nice of an exam from what I hear.
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