We devote a lot of entries in this blog to the graduate school admission process, and how to navigate it successfully. Today, we’d like to focus on those lucky folks who have gotten their acceptance letters, but who have one final hurdle to face before beginning school: The process of relocating.
U.S. News’s Education section recently published an article containing a series of tips to help make the transition to a new city smoother. The key takeaways for anyone moving this spring or summer area:
-Plan as far ahead as possible (like, as soon as a final decision about which school to attend has been made). The first decision to make is whether one wants to live on or off campus, and many schools’ on campus housing is on
We love hosting events for all of you intrepid GRE preppers: We regularly run full-length practice GRE tests, classes on how to strategically approach the test, seminars on your graduate school personal statements, and much more. I’m happy to announce that next week, one of my favorite events is happening on Tuesday, May 14th, at 7:30 pm ET: the GRE Bootcamp.
As the name implies, the Bootcamp is not for the faint of heart: It will feature a series of some of the toughest problems that you can see on the GRE. While you need to be ready to tackle questions on all topics and of all difficulty levels for Test Day, this event will give you insight into how
Professional athletes review game tape to improve their performance. Students review professors’ notes on papers to get advice on how to better present arguments and ideas. Business people constantly review new strategies, to determine how well they’re working.
What’s the common theme? No matter what you do, a major component of success is getting consistent feedback and using it to adjust your approach as you proceed. This rule applies to your GRE studies as well.
For every hour that you spend learning new material and doing new practice questions, you should spend at least another hour reviewing material and questions that you’ve already done. Here’s how you can best use that time:
- Create “Why I missed it” charts:
As you review each question that you got incorrect, identify what went wrong. Was it not knowing the right
For many years, I didn’t know what to do when students asked me, “How much should I study?” I would cough and hem and always start some answer with, “Well, it depends …” Because it did depend! The population of GRE test takers is so diverse, and the range of ability they bring to the test so disparate, that a GRE test taker chosen at random might need anywhere between 0 and 200 hours of preparation to achieve her goal, and I say that without exaggeration.
But students would keep asking that question, class after class after class, and I realized that I needed to upgrade my answer. My hedging answers were technically true but not very helpful.
So here’s a practical, helpful answer to that question.
First of all, you should never study seven days a week. You need a day of rest
New research suggests that meditation can play a key role in making sure that you reach your fullest potential on the GRE. A common discussion among teachers is how to help students overcome Test Day anxiety – while this phenomenon may sound hokey, the pressure that comes with the feeling of, “this is the score that actually counts” can significantly impact results.
In a study whose results were published last month in Psychological Science, undergraduate students were placed into one of two groups, each of which attended a class for several weeks: The control group attended a nutrition class, while the other 50% of participants attended a meditation course 4 times per week. Both groups took a sample GRE section before and after their courses, and the students who had
This week we have something special for our readers.
Whether you’ve seen us in class, in a free event, on this blog, or elsewhere, Kaplan always presents a unified front, as though we agree on everything. In fact, the smart, opinionated people who work for Kaplan disagree about lots of things, and today we’re offering a glimpse of our intellectual disputes.
Kaplan’s GRE bloggers Boris and Teresa take to their chairs to debate a common topic: does a GRE calculator make the test easier, or harder? Hear their arguments, pro and con, in the video below!
As always, let us know what you think in the comments below!
Knowing how to break a number apart into its factors is a useful skill that will serve you well on the GRE. However, sometimes you’re better served by not actually taking the time to determine what a number’s specific factors are. When is this a more useful approach? Take this Quantitative Comparison, for example:
We’re being asked to compare the number of non-prime, positive integers greater than 1 that are factors of Q, to 24. Do we care about what the actual factors are? Not at all. We could pick values for a, b, and c, and see how many factors of Q we can get. However, there’s a quick trick that will save us time and
One of the free events we run regularly is a personal statement workshop. I’ve gotten to host a few, and one of my favorite questions to ask during the event is, “What’s the most important question that your personal statement needs to answer?”
Most of the replies I see in the chat are, “Why do I want to go to grad school?”
Indeed, the notion that the grad school personal statement is a “Why I Want to Go to Grad School” essay has become a staple of common “wisdom” which, like the idea that you should leave your recommenders alone, is false and detrimental to your application. Should you explain, at some point in your personal statement, why you want to go to grad school? Of course. Grad schools don’t want to admit someone who applies
As teachers, my colleagues and I spend a lot of time discussing the importance of study plans with our students – specifically, how do you continue working once you’ve completed the class sessions and the accompanying assignments? The best study plan for you will vary depending on the specific topics on which you need to improve, but we do have a basic template that you can use to plan out your studies into two-week cycles:
- Start every two week cycle with a full-length MST, to gauge your progress
- Spend the first three days after the test reviewing the answers and explanations to every problem, and doing the recommended assignments in the Smart Report. So doing the test, review, and recommended assignments can account for four days’ worth of work in
I occasionally present Kaplan’s Grad School Admissions Do’s and Don’ts event, and there’s one piece of advice in it — one of the “Do’s” — that attendees consistently meet with disbelief and suspicion. It’s a point I consider fundamental about recommendation (“rec”) letters, and since the word seems not to be getting out, I thought I’d share it with you here.
What you need to do is this: help your recommenders help you. In other words … talk to them! Set up a meeting with each of them. Talk about what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve grown. Give them information. In short, help them figure out what they should put in the dang letter.
When I applied to grad school, I didn’t do any of this. I got my recommenders, thanked them profusely, gave them all the envelopes and