Preparing for GRE

Whether you are retaking the test or appearing for the first time, here are some quick tips on preparing for GRE.

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(Photo: The Indiana Hoosiers warm up for a practice.)

There is actually one correct answer to the question, “how should I prepare for GRE?” and that answer is: Practice! Practice! Practice! You probably have never seen a football player reading books about how to play football. You always see that football players are working out and practicing their game and forming strategies.

Begin your preparation with a practice test. Taking a practice test will help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Maximize your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Continue reading

Retaking GRE

Many students every year face the dilemma whether they should retake the GRE or not. There is no standardized answer to this question. But one must consider different factors to decide if retaking is in their interest or not.

First of all, one must understand the admission process. Independent of what school or what program you are applying, your application is evaluated considering many of your qualifications. GRE is only one of them. Not necessarily, the most important by any means. A typical admission committee consists of Continue reading

leónes y tiGREs y osos [dios mio!] or how I survived the GRE

GREs are serious business!
*Photo taken by me

What’s up blogheads I’m back! With some important information about grad school life. The topic this time is grades, gre, and funds [oh my!]. Christmas* is right around the corner and I have an early Christmas present for you. That right it’s the FTOD. Todays free tip is take advantage of test prep offered at your institution. Visit your campus’s Career Services. Often times they have partnerships with testing vendors.

My first year of grad school one of my colleagues informed me that they received free test prep from Kaplan just by going to a session hosted by Career Services. While I don’t believe in test prep as an industry. They do work. The main reason is they help test takers create a strategy to take the test. If you can’t afford test prep. Visit your local library, most will have previous versions of both the GRE and GMAT. You can also go to Barnes and Noble or another bookstore and by a test prep book. Remember practice makes perfect! So practice, practice.

GRE score and grades can largely determine what funding you qualify for. SO do well on your GRE and college grades that will go along way in increasing the number of opportunities that are available to you. Good luck.

PS – I love the Lion King… en Español! Check out the trailer por El Rey León!


End of the year grind

African American and Africa Diaspora Studies PhD student types paper during finals weekJournalism PhD student Katrina studying in IU's main libraryStudying is one of the best things you can do to get into graduate school. It doesn’t depend on anyone else, you can do it in class, after work, before hanging out, right before and after sleeping. Studying is on you, and if you don’t do it before grad school, you may still get in, but it will be difficult to keep up with your colleagues, your cohort, and your professor’s expectations. I didn’t read much before graduate school, and it negatively affected my GRE score, which in turn decreased my chances for funding. Had I read in undergrad, the verbal portion of the GRE wouldn’t have seemed so foreign to me. Had it not been for my strong math background, I wouldn’t have broken 1000 (old GRE scale, back when 1200 was the high).

So what can you do now, read. Take the GRE again to get the higher verbal score, and submit that with your application. Read, and mention the books and articles you’ve read in your application and personal statement. Read, that’s half the PhD process.

Identify how you read best, do you retain more when you are listening to music, alone in your room, swiping through pages on your nook, kindle, or ipad, listening to books on tape/cd/mp3, or reading in a group; find out what works best for you and get started.  Reading required texts for your program can become boring, so take the time now before starting your program to read books and study subjects outside of your field.  Read some fiction, poetry, and a novel or two.  It is always a plus to be well-rounded, and regardless of how much money you have, with access to public libraries and the open web, anyone can be well-read.  Every book includes a new word, a different approach to an idea, or even a new concept that you can learn and draw upon when writing your personal statement or taking the GRE. Do not discredit or underestimate the power and significance of simply reading. Many current graduate students will tell you that you only need to skim articles in graduate school, but that advice comes with the assumption that you already did plenty of reading before entering the program.  Study now, read now, it will make graduate school much more accessible and manageable for you in the long run.  It is the end of year, grind it out in the library and read.