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How can terrible standardized test taker do well on GRE?

away2schoolaway2school Posts: 204Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2012 in GRE Prep
I am a very good student but when it comes to taking SAT type tests I do very poorly, particularly in reading comprehension and vocabulary.

I know the GRE has been revised and I am planning on taking it this summer. Any ideas of ways I can give myself the best chance for success?

I am so nervous because I need GRE for grad school admission and I have done really well in college and don't want to ruin my chances!
Post edited by away2school on

Replies to: How can terrible standardized test taker do well on GRE?

  • iloveafricailoveafrica Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    My only tip is to practice, practice, practice because you CAN train yourself for this test. Be honest about your weaknesses, and work on those the most. In your case, if vocab and reading are the issue, buy yourself a prep book and or find tests online. I used The Princeton Review: GRE | GRE Test Preparation. For vocab, I literally wrote down every word I came across in the practice tests that I didn't know and just memorized as many as I could and it actually worked for me.

    Sorry if this was terribly obvious! Good luck!
  • racnnaracnna Posts: 919Registered User Member
    i agree with africa..

    The new GRE words are not hard so dont waste time memorizing a huge vocab list. Find a high frequency list of 500-1000 words. This will help with the sentence completions. Do as many text completion problems as you can and for the words you dont know, look them up in the dictionary. Its much more effective that just memorizing lists of vocab.

    Reading comprehension is not so easy to prepare for. The passages are short, but the answer choices are very tricky IMO. My advice to you is to practice as many reading comprehension tests as you can.

    For Math do as many problems as you can. It is quite easy. You will find that it is easier than questions in barrons, princeton review, nova's gre math bible,etc. Focus on the ETS prep material-its the best prep for the test. Go to the ETA website and download all their test prep material-They have a review for Math, the ETS official guide and Powerprep software. I just took the test a few days ago and some of the questions were very similar to questions in the ETS official guide. But also get Nova's GRE Math Bible and Barrons.

    Writing section- ETS has a list of all the topics you will see on the test. Go to their official site. There are several topics so obviously you cant practice all of them. But do a couple and make sure each of the topics you pick are very different from each other. For instance pick one that asks you to write about technology,another about politics, education,etc.

    Good luck!
  • spectasticspectastic Posts: 847- Member
    where do you find these "new GRE words?"
  • expatengrexpatengr Posts: 63Registered User Junior Member
    My daughter did poorly on her first try on the GRE (~940). I paid about $500 for her to take an extensive online prep course. I believe it was MLIC where they guarantee a 310 mimimum or you can take again for free. To get the guarantee, you must do the work they require. It is about 17-20hrs per week for about 12 weeks. Therefore, a lot of committment is required. Some people gave bad reviews to these programs and my daughter had a little difficulty getting the teacher to address specific problem areas. However, she re-took the GRE and made 150 Quant/ 161 Verbal/ 4.0 AW. So combined score of 311 (equates to 1250 on old score). So in our case, it was definitely worth the cost.
  • fumafoo101fumafoo101 Posts: 291Registered User Junior Member
    Any suggestions on when to start studying for the GRE if you are not a good test taker? I know I am getting ahead of myself but I did ok on my ACT without much studying, and horrible on the SAT. I am only a 2nd semester Freshman, but I love my major and have intentions of applying to physical therapy programs.

    My school recommends taking it the summer before my senior year there, and recommends to start studying around junior year. I was thinking of picking up an book from our Half Price books just to look through probably next fall or winter.
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