My World: A Personal Blog About Everything

Monday, June 9, 2008

GRE is done!

I did the GRE on Saturday, and I have to say it's very nice coming to work, opening up my homepage and not seeing all the links to GRE study material that used to be there a few days ago.   I know I went to San Francisco yesterday (Sunday) and wrote about it first but I was in the car and it was more convenient haha.   I'm hoping those of you who haven't writen yet will find this blog entry useful. The test itself was a bit harder than I thought it would be... I had never actually done a full practice test from start to end, so I was caught a little off guard.   First there is 45 minutes to comment on an "issue", then 30 minutes to point out flaws in an mini-editorial, then I had a 45 minute math session, followed by a 30 minute "verbal"(analogies/antonyms/reading comp./sentance completion), and finally another 45 minute math session.   There were no breaks, and then some extra administrative stuff at the beginning and end.   All in all I signed into my testing computer at 11:30 and signed out at 3:30, that's 4 hours! So I know the other eng-sci's are probably very curious how I did... if they actually read my blog haha.   So issue and argument essay's are hard to comment on, I mean they are what they are, if you wrote a lot of essays in high school and completed some kind of writing course in University then you'll be fine.   Math... well math is harder than it seems, but still not too hard for people who've done lots of math courses.   You have 45 minutes to answer 28 questions, but the questions get harder and harder if you answer the previous questions right.   Also, there's no calculators allowed so you have to be on top of all the little trips, etc... for approximating things.   For engineers I would recommend just doing the practice tests provided by ETS PowerPrep and don't study any more.   Verbal... this is the tough one for most people, and it is indeed tough.   I studied a lot for this section (about 30min to 1 hour a day for 3 months) and everything turned out well.   I guess how to study depends on the individual but some overall tips are study the lists of the top 500 GRE words (just google them), practice reading fast, and read the Kaplan guide to the verbal section.   Memorizing words can help get you to a certain point but you really have to learn some test taking strategies to take it up a notch. One strategy that helps is for antonyms if you know the given word sound positive or negative than you can cross out all the options with the same conotation. So my scores:   Math: 800/800 (about 97-100% percentile.. I guess 3% of people get perfect?) Verbal: 620/800 ( about 86-91% percentile... verbal's a lot harder, a 700 is like the 97th percentile) I'm really happy with my scores because they are better than any of my practice scores. Thanks to those who encouraged me before the test, it does help :) If anyone has any questions about the GRE let me know. Cya, Michael  

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