Gearing for GREatness

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Okay, so some of you guys may be asking, “Why the heck did you take the GRE, rather than going straight for the MCAT?”  In my previous blog post https://thelykac.com/2019/02/06/how-should-i-fill-in-my-gap-year/,  I mentioned that I’ll be taking a post bach prior to entering medical school, which is one of the reasons that I decided to take this entrance exam rather than the MCAT. Also I don’t feel prepared to take the MCAT because I haven’t completed some classes that will be apart of the MCAT. Nonetheless, here are some testing strategies that I learned when taking the GRE:

1.) Simulate Test Day

Okay, so the GRE is about 4 hours long.  This test is divided into 2 writing sections– an analytical writing component and an argument writing component(which is usually in the first section). It then dives into either the quantitative section or the verbal section, which is about 30-35 minutes long. With that being said, the break will not be given until the 2nd part of the exam. So, try to train your stamina,  especially if you may not have been tested on exam for this long. In order to combat that, I would say to start studying within the same length as the exam or try using the Pomodora App to time yourself on when to take breaks.

In addition, because the exam is in a quiet environment, possibly begin to study in a similar environment.

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For more info, check out:  https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/content/

2.)  Study Methods

When I first took my GRE, I swear one of my friends described this test to be similar to the SAT, but on steroids.The GRE is basically about knowing the structure of the test questions (what is being asked) in addition to solving it.

a. When studying for the verbal section

It’s suuuuuper important to study for the vocab, as the test mostly consist of words that are very grandiloquent (haha see what I did there?) So when tackling the vocab words, don’t study the definition, study the synonyms as it’s easier to latch onto one word, rather than a complete sentence. For example, the term austere. By definition, it means: severe or strict in manner, attitude, or appearance. Rather than memorizing this whole definition, maybe latch onto the phrase, “strict.” Also, try to dedicate learning no more than 30 words/week. The more words you know on the exam, the better.

b. When studying for the quantitative section

Considering that this is a math portion, I would have to say to understand the equations that you are given– not only memorize them. But really think about what these equations mean. For example, the arc section formula, which is ([θ]/360]2πr). This formula simply means that a degree of a circle( 360) is twice the radius and the angle.

c. When Studying for the writing section

I feel like this portion is pretty straight forward. When it comes to the writing section (and any of the other section), always address the prompt in the beginning of your essay.

D. Resources:

There’s a bunch of different resources for the GRE, such as ETS prep books, Princeton Review, and Kaplan. I used the Kaplan test prep review, which basically is similar to the test questions, and it gives you a breakdown on how to solve some problems.

3.) Plan 

Some people usually try to study for the test about three months in advanced or so. As for me, I studied about three and a half months in advanced.  My schedule was:

Mon&Wed: Quant

Tues&Thurs: Verbal and Quant

Fri&Sun: Verbal

Saturday: Rest Day

Everyday: Vocab

So that’s basically about it. If you guys have any questions that I didn’t address on here, just shoot me a message, and I’ll be glad to answer it for you 🙂