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Taking the GRE

For those of you planning on furthering your education after you receive your undergraduate degree, you know how extensive the applications are. They require many components: resume, transcript, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and some sort of test (and money – those application fees are no joke). Medical schools require the MCAT, law schools require the LSAT, and business schools require the GMAT. There are more specialized tests that I am sure I missing. However, the test that covers admission to most graduate schools is the GRE.

I recently took the GRE over winter break, and I’m here to give you all the inside scoop on it!

GRE Practice Book
I studied using the Kaplan GRE study book, pictured on the side. I like Kaplan – they give you lots of tips and have an online program with accessibility to tons of practice tests. Spend a lot of time reading over the tips on the essay section of the GRE. I would say that was the part of the book that helped me the most. Practice the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections as much as you can because you want to become as familiar with the test as much as possible before you officially take it. Also, look over some of the math terms/equations that you may be fuzzy on. Some of the math that was tested on the GRE I hadn’t done since sixth grade and I wish I had looked over those terms more. 

The best thing about the GRE is that is an individually-timed test. If you remember back to the SAT or ACT, you took it in a big room with lots of other students, and you all started and ended the test at the same time. Because the GRE is computer-based, timing is up to you. If you finish early on a section, you can just continue on to the next one. You don’t have to wait for everyone. I was told to allot 5 ½ hours of my day to the GRE, but finished the test in 3 ½ hours because it did not take me the whole time.

Overall, the GRE was not that bad. Was it the best 3 ½ hours and $220 I have ever spent in my life? Heck no. But, it got me into graduate school and for that reason I am mighty thankful for it. Don’t stress about the test, come prepared, and I can assure you that you will do great.