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Will 1~2 month be enough to prepare for the GRE?

IntotheBlueIntotheBlue Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
edited March 2007 in Graduate School
Hi, I am wondering if 1-2 month would be long enough to prepare for the GRE.

At first, I wasn't really thinking of taking it since I am applying to Masters program in counseling psychology and all Canadian Universities don't require GRE for the masters.

Even some universities such as TC@Columbia doesn't require the GRE.

Although GRE is required for other US schools, I wasn't really worried about taking it asap because those schools were not my top choices.

However, I heard the GRE is being revised in this fall, and the last date to take the current GRE is July 30th.

According to the information on the internet, it seems like the new GRE is going to be much harder and everyone including those ppl at Kaplans recommend taking the current GRE before the fall.

As a result, I am thinking of taking the current GRE in this summer, but I am not sure if I have enough time to prepare for it.

My final exam ends on April 30th, and I haven't started anything on GRE so far.

I don't really want to start studying the GRE now because I need to do well this term-there is one course I didn't do too well on the midterm.

For this reason, I would like to start studying GRE from May 2nd.

If I don't do anything but studying GRE from that point, would it be ok to take the GRE once in very end of May?

I would register one in May, one in mid June and one in early July just in case I would do poorly on the first try.

Anyway, if all I do is studying for GRE from May 2nd, would it prepare me to take GRE in the late May, mid June and early July?

*I would only need to take the GENERAL GRE, not the subject one.

*I haven't started anything on GRE, but I wouldn't want to start now because I really need to do well this term.
Also, GRE is not very urgent thing right now since I am not applying to Ph.D program and my top choice schools don't require GRE for the masters.

*However, if possible, I would like to take GRE before it changes to the much harder version since I may need GRE score in the future.

*I wouldn't be able to take GRE no later than early July this summer because I need to go home-and GRE TEST is not offered in my home country. I am in Canada now

*If I don't take GRE this summer, I might take one summer course and work/volunteer for the whole summer.

Thank you
Post edited by IntotheBlue on

Replies to: Will 1~2 month be enough to prepare for the GRE?

  • merper68merper68 Registered User Posts: 430 Member
    I don't know how bad you are at math, but all I did to study for the GRE was memorize the 500 most commonly used word list in the KAPLAN book the week before my test, which helped me on quite a few verbal questions. You might want a few days on top of that to brush up on the basic geometry and algebra if you haven't touched math in college.

    The GRE isn't anything like the MCAT or LSAT, nor is it weighted as heavily. 1 month is easily overkill.
  • huskem55huskem55 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 4,284 Senior Member
    take some practice tests and see how you score.
  • IntotheBlueIntotheBlue Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    merper68: How long did it take you to memorize the 500 most commonly used word list?
    Cal 1 in my freshman year was the last math course I had taken.
  • merper68merper68 Registered User Posts: 430 Member
    I would say about 2-3 hours. It was actually more like 200-250 words, because I knew 50% from humanities courses. There's no calc on the math portion, but there are some silly geometrical things that you may not remember from the SATs, like finding the length of a chord. You may want to look those up.

    I think the biggest issue with math is time - as the questions adjust difficulty(and thus cap your score) based on whether you answered the previous one correctly, you'll feel the need to check your early answers multiple times. I know people who ran out of time and missed 5-10 questions in the math section because of this. Doing a practice test can really help you avoid this. ETS offers a free version on their site. They also mail you a CD once you register, but it takes a month. I registered a week before my test and got the CD 3 weeks after I finished. -_-
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Super Moderator Posts: 12,374 Super Moderator
    I felt like I got really serious about studying, and I didn't spend more than a month (and maybe an hour a day?) studying.

    I basically bought several prep books from different companies and went through each of them page by page, taking a full-length test at the end of each week. That was plenty for me, though your mileage may vary.
  • kjanebarnumkjanebarnum Registered User Posts: 394 Member
    Heh, I signed up for a Kaplan GRE course...I hope I'm not overdoing it from what you guys have said you did to study!
  • MoonmaidMoonmaid Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    Here's my GRE story. It might ease your mind somewhat.

    I was REALLY stressed about taking the GRE, because it had been 20 years since I graduated college! I had forgotten everything I'd ever learned about mathematics. As I had been making an earning as a writer and researcher for several years, I was confident about the non-math section.

    I read the Princeton Review book and took a few practice tests but really still stunk on the math. My husband came to my rescue, explaining everything I would probably encounter in terms of general math concepts, by drawing on a napkin at breakfast the morning of my test. I memorized these concepts by making a song out of them, which I sung all the way to the test center. As soon as I got into the test room, I wrote down the song on scrap paper.

    Outcome: I passed with flying colors and did fine on the quanitative section!

    Moral: you don't have to be a genius to pass the GRE. Just know how to take standardized tests.
  • pinku2002pinku2002 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    I think everyone covered some key points , from my personal experience I would recommend *3* things:

    1. Definitely go through the common word list (Kaplan , Barrons whatever) it really helps, especially for last minute prep.
    2. If you think you are weak at Math make sure you practice your speed as well because time can play a factor for a lot of people.
    3. Powerprep from ETS is really useful both for writing and definitely gives you a good idea of the difficulty of the test , often I find books are either too hard (like barrons) or too easy (like princeton review)

    Personally I decided to give GRE on a Wednesday , registered for it on Friday , and gave it on the Monday!! (Talk about planning for grad school!).

    During the GRE itself I kinda gave up on the Math section cause according to me it was wayyy too hard , and I pretty much sucked at Verbal (which I knew before!)

    Right before clicking to see my results , I was planning to pick the next date
    for my GRE!

    End result , I ended up getting a perfect on Math , a 540 on Verbal (Which I totally expected)

    One month is more than enough to study , you will do fine as long as you keep at it!

    All the best!
  • VolscioVolscio Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    I bought the Barron's book and took the practice test to see how much I needed to study. I'm weaker in math so I spent more time on reviewing that section, although I'm pretty sure if I didn't read the tips for the analytic writing portion, I could easily have bombed it. The graders look for specific things when reading your essays.

    Personally I think paying for those prep classes is a waste of time by the time you're considering grad work, but again, I recommend trying the practice exams with some light review to see what level you're at.
  • 14_of_spades14_of_spades Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    the word list etc. info above is all fine.

    IMPORTANT: i strongly recommend u do a simulated computer-adaptive full-length GRE test (either powerprep, or the kaplan software included in the book).

    don't make ur first CAT experience the actual exam. u can do well if it is, but u will have much peace-of-mind if u've already done a simulation.
  • IntotheBlueIntotheBlue Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Thanks, I will get one of those books and give it a try. However, I am bit concerned because I didn't even take SAT before.
This discussion has been closed.