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Preparing to take the GRE

Preparing to take the GRE. (and getting into graduate school) Jeff Stocco, Career Center , September 2008. Career Center – how can they help?. Advice on essay/candidate statement Information on programs Help sorting out your options Grad school – now or later? How do you get help?

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Preparing to take the GRE

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  1. Preparing to take the GRE (and getting into graduate school) Jeff Stocco, Career Center, September 2008

  2. Career Center – how can they help? • Advice on essay/candidate statement • Information on programs • Help sorting out your options • Grad school – now or later? How do you get help? • Quick Questions (M-F 2-3:30) • Appointments

  3. What’s all this talk about revising the GRE? • Major overhaul planned for last several years • Revision has been officially cancelled • Small changes to item types on verbal and quantitative

  4. General Test is required for most graduate programs Subject Test may be required for some programs (exams are offered in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, English, mathematics, physics, psychology) General Test or Subject Test?

  5. Registration options for General Test • Telephone 1-800-473-2255 • Online www.ets.org/gre/grereg (with a credit card) • Call the Test Center directly • Edina 952-831-1499 • U of MN 612-624-5520 • Rochester 507-292-9713 • St. Cloud State 320-308-5456 • Woodbury 651-731-9195

  6. Registration for Subject Test • Web • Online www.ets.org/gre/grereg (with a credit card) • Mail • Complete the paper-based registration form in the Bulletin • 2008-09 Subject Test dates • October 18, 2008 • November 8, 2008 (registration by 10/3) • April 4, 2009

  7. General Test:How do you prepare? • Take it “cold” • Take a prep course (like Kaplan or Princeton Review) • Develop your own method • PowerPrep Software (www.gre.org/pracmats.html) or borrow from the Career Center) • Test prep books

  8. How do you improve your score? • Learn techniques (Princeton Review) • Practice on a computer for familiarity • Learn vocabulary and word roots • Review and master math facts • Practice, practice, practice!

  9. A “computer test” – different from the ACT or SAT? • You can’t skip items or types of questions and then return • There are fewer sections (4, not 7) • You won’t know whether an item is “difficult” or “easy” • Shorter in length (about 3 hrs, not 4+) • You can’t write in the book (since there is no book!) • Test sites are fewer (but test dates are many) • Immediate scoring • Analytical Writing section

  10. Paper and pencil (old) version Each item is worth approximately 10 points on a scale from 200 - 800 CAT version Items count differently based on where they are in the exam How does the CAT (computer adaptive test) work?

  11. CAT test – your score is not based strictly on the number of right answers

  12. CAT tips • Be extra careful with questions at the start • Answer every question • You must answer a question in order to continue • Guess on questions at the end • Don’t obsess over time-consuming questions • Use the scratch paper provided to you • No points for speed, only accuracy • Practice on computer versions of the GRE • PowerPrep software has two complete tests

  13. Geography of the GRE General Test – 4 sections • AW: 75 minute, Analytical Writing (always the first section) • Present Your Perspective on an Issue - 45 min. • Analyze an Argument – 30 minutes • Verbal: 30-minute, 30 question verbal ability • Quant: 45-minute, 28 question quantitative ability • V or Q: Experimental section (verbal or quant.)

  14. Applying to Grad School: What’s required? • Application form • Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement • Transcripts • Test scores (GRE, MAT, GMAT) • TOEFL? • Letters of Recommendation • Waiving your right to view your recs? • Portfolio (if applicable)

  15. Timeline for Applying • Spring semester of junior year • Talk with your advisor about your plans • Focus on type of program and start gathering information • Summer before senior year • Draft personal statement • Browse guides and web sites for programs • Peterson’s Guides to Grad Study (6 volumes, in the Career Center) • http://www.petersons.com/GradChannel/ • http://www.gradschools.com • August – September • Meet with faculty • Ask for letters of recommendation • Register for required standardized tests • October • Take standardized tests • Request application materials from your desired schools • Chart timelines for desired schools • Order transcripts

  16. Timeline for Applying • November • Complete application forms (download, online, printed apps) • Give your letter writers all the info they will need • December / January • Submit applications • February • Contact (and possibly visit) programs • March / April • Receive acceptances/rejections and offers of financial assistance – make a decision!

  17. Financing Graduate School • Assistantships • Teaching • Research • Project or Program • Fellowships • Scholarships • Loans

  18. Questions?Session 2: GRE Verbal 10/6Session 3: GRE Quantitative 10/13

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