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Preparing to take the GRE (and getting into graduate school) Jeff Stocco, Career Center, September 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing to take the GRE (and getting into graduate school) Jeff Stocco, Career Center, September 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing to take the GRE (and getting into graduate school) Jeff Stocco, Career Center, September 2004

2 How can the Career Center help? Advice on essay/candidate statement Information on programs Ratings of graduate programs Help sorting out your options Quick Questions (M-F 2-3:30) Appointments

3 General Test or Subject Test? 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)

4 Registration options for General Test Prometric Candidate Services 1-800-473-2255 Call the Test Center directly (pp 12-13) –Twin Cities sites: Edina 952-820-5010 Woodbury 651-702-6791 U of MN 612-624-5520

5 Registration for Subject Test Web –Online through ETS at using a credit Mail –Complete the paper-based registration form in the Bulletin (test dates and deadlines on the back cover)

6 How do you prepare? Take it “cold” Take a prep course (like Kaplan or Princeton Review) Develop your own method –PowerPrep Software ( or borrow from the Career Center) –Test prep books

7 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!

8 How have the “rules” changed? 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 2 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

9 How does the CAT (computer adaptive test) work? 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

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

11 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

12 Geography of the GRE General Test – 4 sections 75 minute, 2 question Analytical Writing –Present Your Perspective on an Issue - 45 min. –Analyze an Argument – 30 minutes 30-minute, 30 question verbal ability 45-minute, 28 question quantitative ability Experimental section (verbal or quant.)

13 Questions about the GRE?

14 Applying to Grad School: What’s required? Application form Personal/candidate statement Transcripts Test scores (GRE, MAT, GMAT) 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 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 recommenders 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 9/20 Session 3: GRE Quantitative 9/27

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