Can someone who's taken the GRE for grad school share what this test is like?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Peachyness, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I'm thinking about going back to school for a new degree. Teaching is not an option anymore. I will never get a full-time teaching job, at least not for many, many years. Where I live, it has always been tough, even when things were going fine in education. The competition is just very high. Even knowing people still hasn't helped. I had a principal get me an interview, basically told me to go even though I didn't bother to apply. Went, did my best, and still didn't get the job, they went with someone they knew better. Fine. I wasn't surprised.

    ANYWAYS, back to my original point. I want to enroll in a masters program, not education. I will need to take the GRE but I know that they changed it up quite a bit a few years ago. I heard it was more "bloated" and difficult. Is it?

    Also, one of the grad programs I'm looking at is asking for a minimum score of Verbal: 425, Quantitative: 650, and AW: 4.0. Since I do not know anything about the GRE, yet (studying), do these scores sound difficult to achieve?

    Thanks. I'm going through a career crisis right now. I'm fed up with my para job and I am the type of person that needs a plan of action.
     
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  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2013

    I'm preparing for the GRE too!

    Those scores you list are in the old exam format. There's a new scoring method (not sure when it was introduced) which is on a scale from 130 - 170.

    A 425 in the old verbal is roughly a 148 in the new verbal (36th percentile).

    A 650 in the old quantitative is roughly a 151 in the new quantitative (48th percentile).

    A writing score of 4 seems to be just above average.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I didn't study and found it to be very easy and intuitive. I earned very good scores on all sections.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Thanks guys! Mike, I'm surprised the masters program website doesn't reflect the new score change. Tsk.

    Caesar, based on what I read, they are tricky, but very doable. And in fact, people say it's more difficult, but according to one website, it's actually not. I was reading a thread on reddit about the GRE, the math section and they were SCARING me with what is on the test. Come to find out, halfway through the thread, that it was a thread on the GRE math subject test.

    Wow, I know very little about the GRE. :rolleyes:

    Well, I never had to take the SATs, but I did take the multiple subject CSETS and the science single subject CSETs. I was able to pass them all on my first try. I don't know how the CSETs compare to the GRE, though. I just know those were difficult but very doable tests.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oh, and good luck, Mike. What resources are you using to study for the test? Also, I noticed they have computer-based and paper-based tests. Which one are you taking?
     
  7. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Thanks, you too :)

    I'm using the Barron's New GRE guide. I really haven't touched it yet, though. I still need to register for the test, which I'd like to take some time in April.

    I'm doing the paper-based test. It just seems like less of a hassle, and it's what I'm used to.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I was thinking the paper would be "nicer" to take. Meaning, less strain on my eyes. I'll look into that Barron's book.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The GRE that university admissions require is the general GRE: it's a skills test that's a whole lot like SAT - or, since you haven't taken SAT, think of CBEST but with a lot of short individually timed components and a much more advanced cognitive load. The skills that got you through those CSETs will stand you in good stead; if you're like most candidates who have strengths in science or math, you might do well to buff up your collegiate-level vocabulary.

    Spend some time in a bookstore or library - preferably somewhere you can have one or more lattes - before buying a prep book. First, find a book of GRE General released tests (or, failing that, SAT general released tests. Leaf through it to get a feel for what can be asked and how it can be asked, and for the math skills and vocabulary you'll need to measure up. Then grab one of each of the available prep books and spend some time with each: look for ways in which each book feeds your identified needs and ways in which it irritates you. The right book for you is the one that feeds best and galls least. If none of the books works for you, you could try my favorite SAT-prep book, Workman's Up Your Score: it has attitude, in ways that many test takers find useful.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    There are sooooo many people our age (I think we're about the same age) who are in your same situation (California teachers who are fully credentialed and can't find work). Most of them are working as part-time reading clinicians (without health benefits, of course). I'd say 90% of them are more than competent and deserving of a full-time position! It saddens me that they can't be brought on board full-time and permanent!
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Thanks TG. I will head out to the bookstore this weekend.

    So, I have been working on a practice GRE test during commercials (I'm staying home sick today, was watching Project Runway) and so far, I am breezing through the math portion. The vocab, meh, I got bored and moved to the math. Yes, I will definitely need to spend a LOT of time on vocab and reading comprehension.
     
  12. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    If you have the option, take the paper version. I was in a hurry to get it over with so I took the computer version. The test wasn't awful, but I couldn't have a watch, there was not a visible clock on the computer, and I couldn't go back. It totally messed with my test taking skills! Going back to look at questions I don't know the answer to right away and pacing myself through the test are how I approach most tests and not having these options were hard!

    But I took the test 4 years ago so if there is new stuff, it may be different!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I did not like the computer formatting.

    That said, I took it just as a practice before even beginning go study...wanted to get a feel for what I needed. I had no problem getting getting into my program. I don't think it's a hard test. I say this admitting to skipping the math questions, though...
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    After talking to you guys, I'm a lot less nervous now about taking the GRE.

    But I'm still nervous about applying to grad school.

    You know how sometimes you wish you could go back in life a change a few things? (unless you are one of the lucky ones who are very happy with the choices you made, then good for you!:)) But, I regret having gone into liberal studies. Oh, it's not that I hated teaching. I really did enjoy it. But I feel that going back to grad school is like a second chance for me. And this is getting me excited about life again. I am now much more mature enough to know a bit more about life and what I want out of it.
     
  15. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    I took the new GRE on the computer. There is a timer for each section on the screen, and I believe you could go back through the test (whichever section you were on) after you put down an answer. You could bookmark questions and revisit them, and I felt like I had ample time for everything except writing (which was the first two sections).

    My advice is to spend some time in the book store as another poster mentioned. The GRE felt a lot like the (old) SAT. I studied over summer, focusing a lot on the vocabulary but going through some math problems just to brush up on the basics. I found some math problems to be tricky (I am so used to skimming problems for key information, and that doesn't work as well for the test :p ), but nothing challenging. I do regret not practicing some writing before the test; the timer actually made me super anxious during this part (I ended up with a 4, but my grad programs of interest don't look at writing). I think I bought a Barrons math and vocabulary book, and then some extra vocab books to study. Overall: Wasn't too bad, the and I think taking it in the computer was helpful, especially for the writing (I type faster than I write), and not much of a hindrance.
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I took it on the computer back in 2009, I believe. The scoring's all different now from what I've heard. I vaguely remember it. I know it's like the CSET, but 2-3 times as hard. Thank God I only ever had to take it once!

    Peachy, what field/area of study do you want to get into?
     
  17. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2013

    I took it or what ever its predecessor was, years ago and was accepted right away I found it easy you should not have any problems.
     

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