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  1. #1
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Default Taking the GRE (Graduate record exam)

    I just finished registering for this famous test, & was wondering if anyone else here has taken it. Or are about to take it?!? My date is October 20th. The test is the GRE, famous test for getting into graduate school. Do you have to take it everwhere? I don't know. share your thoughts & feelings on the GRE & getting into graduate school, or not getting into graduate school .
    RCUAI
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    "Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it."

  2. #2
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Spend more time practicing the problems than reading the theory. If you practice enough tests, you'll be thrown a few freebies on the real exam (read: exact copies of a practice question) because every test is generated, adapted and pulled from a GRE database storehouse based off your performance. Seeing one that you KNOW you got right is so psychologically comforting when you're taking a test that holds significant weight. Plus, it'll get your brain seeing the world in the way that will help you score better for the GRE. Smart people sometimes don't do so well if they don't practice because it's not just intelligence but also at times it's a thinking lens.

    If you're a humanities person some schools will explicitly say they don't care about your math score. Check to see where you're applying. If you're a sciences person they'll want both verbal reasoning and math to be good.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  3. #3
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    I took it a couple of years ago. It was kinda dull, particularly the essay section. I wrote a long, rambly stream-of-consciousness rant with bits of poetry thrown in and got a terrible score so don't do that unless you want a poor score on that section. The GRE is not the appropriate place to demonstrate your individuality. State your thesis right away and keep mentioning it in every subsequent paragraph along with suitably convincing "evidence" to show how right you are.

    Verbal was predictably skewed towards obscure words that no one uses so buff up on your vocabulary unless you already have an extensive one. There are lots of questions that I took grave exception to because the "right" answer was quite frequently backed only by the most tenuous logic. Get used to picking the least objectionable choice among a variety of really bad choices, even if it makes you foam at the mouth with frustration.

    Math was pretty easy. If you passed high school and aren't a complete fool, you'll do okay. I'm going to assume you satisfy both criteria.

    Keep calm, make sure you keep moving at a steady pace and expect the questions to get harder the better you do. Earlier questions are also worth more points because of the way the test is scored so make sure you get those right. Oh and take courage from the fact that the more difficult the questions, the better you're doing, it's just the computer's way of trying really hard to trip you up but YOU WILL SURVIVE.

  4. #4
    Doesn't Read Your Posts Haight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Smart people sometimes don't do so well if they don't practice because it's not just intelligence but also at times it's a thinking lens.
    Well that explains a lot.

    I wish you would have told me this when my ego was feeling bruised.
    "The only time I'm wrong is when I'm questioning myself."
    Haight

  5. #5
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza_tema View Post
    The GRE is not the appropriate place to demonstrate your individuality.
    Yeah, I was trying to show my best writing skills. Later, I heard about the grading scale for the writing section and realized I should've written a formulaic 5 paragraph essay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    Well that explains a lot.

    I wish you would have told me this when my ego was feeling bruised.
    Poor Haight.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #6
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza_tema View Post
    I took it a couple of years ago. It was kinda dull, particularly the essay section. I wrote a long, rambly stream-of-consciousness rant with bits of poetry thrown in and got a terrible score so don't do that unless you want a poor score on that section. The GRE is not the appropriate place to demonstrate your individuality. State your thesis right away and keep mentioning it in every subsequent paragraph along with suitably convincing "evidence" to show how right you are.
    lol yeah I wasn't expecting it to be exciting... nor was i hoping for a chance to express myself-- I come to those standardized testing things with a cattle mindset, like i'm in a cattle herd or a concentration camp... so I'll be sure to walk into the room in a real flamboyant way to get my individuality out.

    I have lots of experience writing different kinds of things so it's easy to go into that 'precise mathematician' method... my thinking is usually so scattered that as long as I focus on getting the grammar right, it's like the insight is called forth mechanically & the paper almost writes itself. how long does the essay have to be?

    Keep calm, make sure you keep moving at a steady pace and expect the questions to get harder the better you do. Earlier questions are also worth more points because of the way the test is scored so make sure you get those right. Oh and take courage from the fact that the more difficult the questions, the better you're doing, it's just the computer's way of trying really hard to trip you up but YOU WILL SURVIVE.
    You mean the computer generates the questions in real-time as you go thru the test? that's crazy. I hate computers like that.
    RCUAI
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    "Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Yeah, I was trying to show my best writing skills. Later, I heard about the grading scale for the writing section and realized I should've written a formulaic 5 paragraph essay.
    Pretty much. I'm a decent writer and I thought I wrote a fairly elegant piece of prose, but given the fact that the grader is going to spend 20 seconds reading what you wrote, your priority should be to help him tick off every single box on his checklist of things to look for as easily as possible because he's certainly not going to go digging around for it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    If you're a humanities person some schools will explicitly say they don't care about your math score. Check to see where you're applying. If you're a sciences person they'll want both verbal reasoning and math to be good.
    I'm doing it for computer science, which to me often seems midway between math & grammar... each abstract, math & grammar both being structures of abstraction, structures generating other structures... that's how I think of it. What kind of math is on it? Or does it vary depending on this & that? I haven't done any practice tests yet.
    RCUAI
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    "Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyDigestion View Post
    lol yeah I wasn't expecting it to be exciting... nor was i hoping for a chance to express myself-- I come to those standardized testing things with a cattle mindset, like i'm in a cattle herd or a concentration camp... so I'll be sure to walk into the room in a real flamboyant way to get my individuality out.

    I have lots of experience writing different kinds of things so it's easy to go into that 'precise mathematician' method... my thinking is usually so scattered that as long as I focus on getting the grammar right, it's like the insight is called forth mechanically & the paper almost writes itself. how long does the essay have to be?



    You mean the computer generates the questions in real-time as you go thru the test? that's crazy. I hate computers like that.
    Aim for five paragraphs.

    Introduction: Rephrase the question, pick your opinion and state it very strongly
    Paragraph 2: Example that backs your opinion, repeat your opinion
    Paragraph 3: Example that backs your opinion, repeat your opinion
    Paragraph 4: Example that apparently contradicts your opinion, cleverly demonstrate that this, in fact, isn't the case.
    Paragraph 5: Repeat your opinion, and say "I am right, look at all the convincing evidence I showed you!"

    And the computer doesn't generate the questions real time. It has a vast pool of questions, each sorted according to difficulty. When you get a question right, it picks the next one from a slightly higher level of difficulty. If you get one wrong, it picks something easier.

    The math is pretty much exactly like SAT math if you took it: fairly straightforward high school level algebra and geometry with a small dash of very basic statistics.

  10. #10
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza_tema View Post
    Paragraph 4: Example that apparently contradicts your opinion, cleverly demonstrate that this, in fact, isn't the case.
    Speaking of the devil, isn't that one of the strongest arguments you can even make, "in fact", the phrase? It's like knocking someone down on the concrete & stepping on their jaw, while keeping eye-contact-- "in fact..." Cause they can't do anything. They read those words, & they're just helpless.

    Would you advise putting some "in fact" sentence at the close of each paragraph? Or would that injure the grader too much?

    And the computer doesn't generate the questions real time. It has a vast pool of questions, each sorted according to difficulty. When you get a question right, it picks the next one from a slightly higher level of difficulty. If you get one wrong, it picks something easier.
    Oh. That's actually smart. very helpful of the computers, as well, i misjudged them.
    RCUAI
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    "Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it."

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