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Old 05-07-2010, 02:00 PM
 
544 posts, read 1,205,861 times
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Hi: I'm returning to graduate school to finish a doctoral program (educational technology) which I had started before my parents became ill. I quit to take care of my mother and she passed away, so now I think I feel well enough to go back. Problem is, my GRE scores are older than five years and the department wants me to retake the GRE.

I did fine the other times I took it, but I didn't really study. I want to do exceptionally well this time, in part because one person in the department complained about my math score, that it was too low, which pi$$ed me off.

I've done a little bit of research about the best books to purchase and arrived at the following list (see below). What do you think of this list? I have a year to study.
  1. "Cracking the GRE, 2010 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)" Princeton Review; Paperback; $14.96
  2. "Essential GRE Vocabulary (flashcards) (Graduate School Test Preparation)" Princeton Review; Cards; $12.91
  3. "Essential Words for the GRE (Barron's Essential Words for the GRE)" Philip Geer; Paperback; $10.19
  4. "Barron's GRE Flash Cards" Sharon Weiner Green M.A.; Cards; $12.91
  5. "GRE Math Workbook (Barron's: the Leader in Test Preparation)" Blair Madore; Paperback; $10.19
  6. "Barron's GRE with CD-ROM" Sharon Weiner Green; Paperback; $23.09
  7. "GRE: Practicing to Take the General Test 10th Edition (Practicing to Take the Gre General Test)" Educational Testing Service; Paperback; $11.25
  8. "The Ultimate Math Refresher for the GRE, GMAT, and SAT" Lighthouse Review; Paperback; $13.60
  9. "Kaplan GRE Exam Vocabulary in a Box" Kaplan; Cards; $12.89
  10. "GRE Math Prep Course (Nova's GRE Prep Course)" Jeff Kolby; Perfect Paperback; $23.07
I'm also going to be using the free software on the ETS page. I've never done any of this standardized testing on a computer, though I should do fine: I type 110 wpm. Looks like a big computer game to me, not to dismiss the importance of it..

Thanks!

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Old 05-07-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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Well typing speed is pretty irrelevant. It's a multiple choice test so you'll be using the mouse to select your answers. At most you'll be typing your name at the start of the test.

Spending all of your budget on books is sorta putting your eggs in one basket. After the first book, the rest will be mostly repetition. I think it might be more beneficial to use different types of prep tools--classes, flash cards, study groups, and also books.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:26 PM
 
544 posts, read 1,205,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Well typing speed is pretty irrelevant. It's a multiple choice test so you'll be using the mouse to select your answers. At most you'll be typing your name at the start of the test.

Spending all of your budget on books is sorta putting your eggs in one basket. After the first book, the rest will be mostly repetition. I think it might be more beneficial to use different types of prep tools--classes, flash cards, study groups, and also books.
The books are $140 so it's not much of an expenditure. There are two sets of flash cards in the list.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 1,900,296 times
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If I were you, I'd focus my efforts on studying for math. If and when you get to a comfortable place with your math knowledge, move on to rounding out your verbal skills. Working regularly through one Kaplan math review book took me about eight weeks. Even with a year to study, it will be a challenge for you to truly invest the time to go through all of those books and flashcard kits.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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>> Even with a year to study, it will be a challenge for you to truly invest the time to go through all of those books and flashcard kits.

I appreciate your response but wonder: how can you evaluate someone intellectually without knowing them in the least?
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:20 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,413,278 times
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I didn't get the impression that Mrs. 14th & You was evaluating you intellectually; it was, I think, a very valid point, and about time, not intelligence. Most of us have a lot going on in life, and don't have the time to go through so many books, particularly as they're all covering the same topic. Maybe you do have the time; if so, I would suggest that there are probably more productive ways to use it, something field-specific, perhaps. The GRE is only one part of the whole package, and I can't envision any scenario in which it would be worth putting in that much energy into one test. Admittedly I can't evaluate your intelligence, either, but since you've made it this far I assume that you're intelligent enough that you'll be able to max out your score well before you've made it through all the books and study aids. Why put in more effort than is necessary? Use that extra time to write an article, attend a conference, read in the field, work on your admissions essays, or just relax before getting back into the rigors of grad school.

I wouldn't bother spending all the money on so many books, but if you have the money and don't mind spending it, might as well buy the entire list. Sometimes it's nice to be able to bounce around from option to option, and since they all have the end goal -- prepare you for the GRE -- you'll get the benefit of many different approaches, or at least get a little variety to shake things up.

My GRE scores are old, too, so I will be retaking it soon. I've heard that for many people it's easier to quickly up the math scores with studying than it is to change the verbal; I don't know if that holds true for everyone, but I'm certain that in my case, anyway, it will be the case. GRE math isn't particularly difficult, but it's the sort of thing many of us don't use in daily life after, say, high school.

As far as the computer issue, I did take the GRE on the computer. My typing speed is pretty fast, too, but that's not particularly relevant. If you grew up in the era of paper-based tests you probably learned very specific test skills -- keep moving forward, mark what you don't understand and come back if you have time, that sort of thing. The computer versions don't work like that, so while the technology itself is no problem, the test techniques are a bit different. I didn't study enough before I took the GRE last time around, and when I take it again I will give myself some more time to get more familiar with pacing and "best practices" techniques for a very different mode of test than what I cut my teeth on in my earlier years.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:07 AM
 
544 posts, read 1,205,861 times
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Yes, I agree; I think her response was based on the assumption that I have a job and work for 40+ hours a week. But that's not the case; I'm an entrepreneur and free lancer and have spent many years, practicing eight hours a day, so I could easily study 40+ hours a week. I own my own business and have as much free time that I wish, in other words.

But thank you for your input. As soon as I feel comfortable with all the books and software, I'll schedule a test. I want to ace it because it really annoyed me that that professor said that my math scores were not high enough to get into a PhD program, just the EdD. My verbal scores are near perfect but my math scores reflect that I hadn't had any math since high school (1968) and then, only algebra and geometry.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Lake Charles, LA
2,020 posts, read 2,178,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. 14th & You View Post
If I were you, I'd focus my efforts on studying for math. If and when you get to a comfortable place with your math knowledge, move on to rounding out your verbal skills. Working regularly through one Kaplan math review book took me about eight weeks. Even with a year to study, it will be a challenge for you to truly invest the time to go through all of those books and flashcard kits.

That's what I did, and it helped make up for my low verbal score. That vocabulary is insane!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:01 PM
 
2,879 posts, read 6,508,254 times
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I used Cliff's GRE prep and scored a 730 Numeric, and I hadn't had a math class in 10 years, 650 logic, and verbal was a slaughter.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Lake Charles, LA
2,020 posts, read 2,178,351 times
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I used barons and princeton review, I got a 960 on the GRE as a whole. I had a decent math score, could have been better, but it helped counteract for my low verbal score.
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