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Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 11:10am On Jul 22, 2005
The Graduate Record Examination is by far the most difficult exam I have ever written.  As you might have guessed, I failed the verbal section woefully!! This was after I crammed Barron's wordlist in my head!!

The math section was quite easy but I didn't do too good there either because I got demoralized from the beginning.

I would really appreciate advice from someone who aced this exam to give me tips on doing the same.

I'm thinking of a master's degree in Petroleum Engineering and I am thinking of one of the top 50 schools in the US.

Thank you all.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Seun(m): 11:39am On Jul 22, 2005
Can you tell us about:

- How you prepared for the test the first time and what you scored?
- How you've been preparing for the next exam and for how long?
- Other information that will help our US-bases members to be able to advice you on GRE preparation?

Thanks.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 11:51am On Jul 22, 2005
Good question Seun...
Before my last test, I had about 2 months to prepare. I used Barron's GRE and Power Prep basically.
I concentrated more on the verbal section and it was quite boring. I also read "The Economist" because it had a lot of "funny" words.

Inspite of this I was still averaging 450 in my verbal section! In the real test I had 380.
To get into the school of my choice, specifically University of Texas Austin. I need a minimum GRE verbal score of 550 to stand a chance.

Right now, I've been studying for 3 months to retake the test soon

1 Like

Re: Preparing for GRE by sage(m): 4:31pm On Jul 22, 2005
Guy sorry ur verbal score is kind of low. But the GRE is in line with the SAT kind of exam. Maybe if u get the prep book and try it again u will do much better
Re: Preparing for GRE by Flint(m): 5:49pm On Jul 22, 2005
I don't know if the format has reverted, but what I took (December 2002) included the usual verbal and quantitative but it was an analytic writing section instead of the conventional analytic.

As per the verbal, you can't prepare for it in 1 month. You must have been preparing for it all your life. Barrons is a very good GRE book (I used it and I aced my verbal, analytic and quantitative). The trick is for you to know the context in which words are used. E.g. you may not know the meaning of perdition, but you may have seen the movie "road to perdition". However, another very good book is "GRE for dummies". Yeah the title's degrading but it helps u really get to know words, and gives hints on elimination of options.

Also it would be good if you know about the etymology of words. E.g. collosal coming from collosus etc. If you go through Barrons and pay more attention to etymology, I'm sure you'ld retain more words. Finally subscribe to word of the day at http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/ Gives you a word per day and uses that word in various contexts.

Do a lot of preparations and try to also get the Kaplan practice CD. It is very good.

As per your plans, I think Austinn and TAMU are the leading schools now. Houston used to give scholarships for all their pet eng students,. I got admission to Houston for Pet Eng, but they didn't dole out scholarships that year.

All the best and pm me for more info. Pity though that I have given out all my GRE material, but I can really identify with what you went thru. The verbal for GRE no easy at all!!!
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 3:58pm On Jul 23, 2005
Thanks Flint. Found that helpful. Atleast i know I'm on the right path.
Texas A and M University and Univerisity of Texas Austin happen to be top on the list of schools I plan applying to.
Meanwhile you did not tell me the breakdown of your scores...just curious

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Re: Preparing for GRE by Flint(m): 6:19pm On Jul 23, 2005
I had 720 in quantitative, 650 in verbal and 5.5/6 in the analytic writing section.

Another thing you should realize is that GRE is "adaptive". The first set of questions are easy and as you progressively get them right, they get more and more difficult, but you get more highly rated. However, if you get a question wrong, you get an easier question, BUT your rating drops. If for example you get the first qn right, you may be rated 500/800.. If you get the next qn, your rating may rise to say 600. The third qn becomes substantially more difficult, but the leap is smaller and if you also get that right, your rating may increase to say 640. If you fail the next question, your rating may now drop to 620.  The figures are not accurate but I guess you get the picture.

By the time you are halfway into the exam, your score has more or less been determined and even if you fail the remaining questions but you get most of the earlier questions, you can still end up with a considerably high score (A colleague of mine made 800/800 in the quantitative though he did not finish).
In fact I read somewhere that it is more important to get the first 4 questions right and fail the rest than to get the first 4 questions wrong and get all the rest correctly.

Stick with Barrons and try to make flash cards. Guys thought I had gone gaga when I made smart cards for groups of words (grouped alphabetically) with their own pouches.I would advise that you give yourself enough time however to get familiar with the words before your next GRE trial (say three months or more if you can afford it), but if you need to make admission soon, you could pull off 1 month with a grueling schedule.

All the best man.

Flint
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 11:36am On Jul 25, 2005
Great scores Flint! I'm sure I can pull it through this time cos I'm motivated.
Thanks again Flint
Re: Preparing for GRE by twinkledew(f): 12:54pm On Aug 11, 2005
what is the GRE all about? pls can someone tell me.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Flint(m): 6:32pm On Sep 16, 2005
Its just an exam you have to take to gain admission into most American Grad Schools and grad schools in a couple of other countries.
Re: Preparing for GRE by dafman(m): 3:41pm On Jun 28, 2006
Great advice Flint.
I just took the GRE and i found out that what you've been averaging in your practice tests before the exam is more or less what you'll get especially in the verbal portion. I took the five practice tests in a GRE book i used and i scored 650, 660, 630, 650, 630 in the verbal. I also took the Peterson's online gre practice test i scored 650 in the verbal portion. In the actual test i scored 620 in the verbal.

I don't believe preparing for 3 months or any number of months to retake the test would increase scores dramatically in the verbal portion.

@sopescott, i'm applying to those schools too for the same course . . . . how far have you gone?
Re: Preparing for GRE by samm(m): 5:29pm On Jun 28, 2006
Kaplan is By far the best study guide for any examination. Let me warn you that their test questions are very difficult and that almost guarantees you your best possible score. Also, go to Amazon.com and read reviews of GRE study guides. You will learn alot from other peoples reviews and study strategies.
Re: Preparing for GRE by babadee(m): 6:11pm On Jun 28, 2006
Heres a million dollar advice!
party hard, sleep harder and the GRE will be a piece of cake.
ha h ah aha ha ha
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 8:07pm On Jun 28, 2006
Great scores Flint,

i had a 790 on the QA despite not finishing the last 6 questions (i just guessed!), 640 on the verbal (I missed the first ques! that automatically ruined my chances of a higher score) and a 6/6 in the essay section. Please get Barons, it was the best bet, i never made flashcards so i spent all my time reading the barons word list!
I prepared for 4 months (playing away half the time!)
Re: Preparing for GRE by zebudaya(m): 11:03pm On Jun 28, 2006
you guys should also look at other schools that are not in Texas sometimes the big schools make it harder for you to get in if you do not have Texas Residency. [b]For the guys studying petroleum engineering [/b]do you intend to go back home? and if so how much would a masters engineering in P.E fetch in naija , i'm just curious i might jump ship.
Re: Preparing for GRE by dipotepede(m): 8:33am On Jun 29, 2006
I am presently studying for GMAT and I have finished with Kaplan but presently studying the official guide. the official guide appeared to be more useful. I was just wondering if there was an official guide for GRE; I believe it will be more useful.

Please, I have been trying to post a new topic but I cant seem to get around doing it. Please, help.
[tr][/tr]
Re: Preparing for GRE by tolagbaju(m): 1:18pm On Jun 29, 2006
GRE is exam is no doubt of the most tasking exam u can ever prepare for. It took me 3 solid months to prepare with an average of 10hrs reading per day.I had to memorize the meaning of up to 4000 vocabularies. Besides u av to prepare thoroughly 4 the analytical writing as well.The quantitative should not pose much probs 4 anybody coming from Science/Engineering background. Nevertheless the Quauntitative should not be taken for granted. I went to write the exam fully prepared and hoping to blast it only to score 770 quant, 540 verbal and 4.0 writing. I was disappointed with my verbal score cos i never want to settle for less than 600. I prepared with Baron GRE, Kaplan GRE, Peterson GRE, 4500 Wordlist downloaded online and GRE Powerprep. GRE is one of the toughest exams i've ever written.
Re: Preparing for GRE by dafman(m): 3:04pm On Jun 30, 2006
zebudaya:

you guys should also look at other schools that are not in Texas sometimes the big schools make it harder for you to get in if you do not have Texas Residency. [b]For the guys studying petroleum engineering [/b]do you intend to go back home? and if so how much would a masters engineering in P.E fetch in naija , i'm just curious i might jump ship.
.

There are great opportunities in naija for those with a masters degree in petroleum engineering especially from institutions abroad, most of the oil companies in Nigeria value them a lot, you can expect to live like an expatriate here in Nigeria.

The thing is Texas has links with the oil industry, most of the schools there offering petroleum engineering are highly rated by industry professionals so getting a degree from texas would do a lot of good.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Drn: 2:25pm On Sep 08, 2006
I am preparing for GRE however I got some last minute ditching by TOUCHE ,If the exam is really that rough perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.
Re: Preparing for GRE by dayokanu(m): 8:27pm On Sep 08, 2006
I wrote mine in Feb 06 and I got 740 in math and 600 in english though I graduated from Chemical engineering in Ife I wonder if I would be able to get a grad sch in the US
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 11:01pm On Sep 08, 2006
dayokanu:

I wrote mine in Feb 06 and I got 740 in math and 600 in english though I got a 2-2 from Chemical engineering in Ife I wonder if I would be able to get a grad sch in the US

You got great scores! I had a 790 in math and 640 in english, only 90 points better and i'm in a great phd program here in the US. Your scores qualify you, it depends on how competitive your program is.
Re: Preparing for GRE by dafman(m): 11:23am On Sep 09, 2006
davidylan:

You got great scores! I had a 790 in math and 640 in english, only 90 points better and i'm in a great phd program here in the US. Your scores qualify you, it depends on how competitive your program is.

You're in a PH.D programme? wow that's cool. You want to be a lecturer?. I would have liked to put in for ph.d too but i have a feeling that outside the academic field there are fewer chances for those with a ph.d.

What course are you studying?
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 1:15pm On Sep 09, 2006
dafman:

You're in a PH.D programme? wow that's cool. You want to be a lecturer?. I would have liked to put in for ph.d too but i have a feeling that outside the academic field there are fewer chances for those with a ph.d.

What course are you studying?

Lecturer kini? I wont be wasting my time chasing grants like all the faculty here do. There are actually a great many opportunities for a research scientist wishing to pursue a career outside the academics and they pay way better too!
I study pulmonary toxicology.
Re: Preparing for GRE by dafman(m): 1:39pm On Sep 09, 2006
Pulmonary toxicology na wa o!, there are courses in this world. I don't want to even ask what field that is in.

Since you're in America I'm sure there would be use for it.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 2:07pm On Sep 09, 2006
grin

Toxicology is very closely related to pharmacology. Pulmonary has to do with your respiratory system.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Drn: 5:39pm On Sep 10, 2006
Na wa O! all these GRE gurus I'm beginning to feel very daunted. So Kaplan and Barron are the way foward eh?
Re: Preparing for GRE by Flint(m): 6:36pm On Sep 12, 2006
Hmm, Dylan,

You are a very bad guy oh. Those were very good scores. Meanwhile, about Pet eng texas, TAMU is one of the most highly rated schools in the world for Pet Eng, so I guess it won't be a piece of case, but University of Houston is more liberal in my opinion. I applied to both schools, and while TAMU rejected me parially on the basis of my non-pet eng background, I got an admission from Houston.

It's always safer to apply to a variety of schools sha (the good, the bad and the ugly). At least if you don't get the goods and the bad, the ugly will jell grin
Re: Preparing for GRE by capuchi: 1:24am On Sep 13, 2006
Lovely thread, but all seem to be talking about gre and the only person that made enquires on g.ma.t wasn't given any attention, well i hope i am given.
I want to take the gmat exams this year and eventually want to do my M.ba in the U.S.A. I dont have such money like $7k to $10k for tution fees, accomodation, et.c, Now this is what i need; heard that some schools give schorlarship if you get very high scores in your gmat test, but i want to know which ones do and also the score required to enjoy such schorlarship and also if these schorlarship have been given to fellow Nigerians that anyone knows, Your Reply will be greatly appreciated

Nb: I have searched the internet and all efforts have proved abortive
Re: Preparing for GRE by Drn: 12:10pm On Sep 13, 2006
Capuchi,
sorry about your GMAT wahala.Perhaps you could start a new topic on GMAT.
MEANWHILE, ANYBODY KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND KAPLAN CD'S (FOR GRE).
Re: Preparing for GRE by Panache(m): 3:42pm On Sep 13, 2006
I have a compilation of words and meanings that an Indian friend gave to me some years back. I will see if I can lay my hands on it. It will surely help a lot.
Re: Preparing for GRE by Nobody: 4:13pm On Sep 13, 2006
@ Cappuchi,

An MBA in the USA without the money? dont waste your time, you're not likely to get a scholarship no matter how high your scores are because the competition is extremely high especially from US citizens!

1 Like

Re: Preparing for GRE by Drn: 5:20pm On Sep 13, 2006
What about an MPH without money?

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