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Panic over the GRE 
20th-Sep-2010 03:03 pm
lotr beacon, amondin
I am scheduled to take the GRE exactly one week from today because I'm going to be applying to Ph.D. programs in history. I have spent all summer studying vocabulary and reviewing with the Kaplan workbooks.

I just took an online GRE practice test on the Kaplan website and I only scored a 500 on Verbal and 220 on Quantitative. I'm horrified at my Verbal score because I have been studying vocabulary so hard. It appears my weakest points were reading comprehension and sentence completion. I knew I would blow the math section, but I was shocked at how poorly I did without the book. I just don't know what they're asking of me. I have no clue how to answer any of the problems.

At this point I don't know what else I can possibly do. I am in a panic. I have a 3.78 GPA, I'm writing my MA thesis on a great topic, I've presented at four conferences including an international one at Cambridge University, and I've been extremely involved in the graduate program at school. I know I'm a good scholar and a good historian, but it seems like this horrible test is going to prevent me from ever moving forward. I feel like my only options at this point are to give up on the idea of applying to any Ph.D. programs at all, OR I should only pick schools outside of the US that do not require a GRE score at all.

I'd be grateful for any advice. Thanks.
21st-Sep-2010 07:35 pm (UTC) - Preparing for the GRE
Hi beckalex,

We're sorry to hear that you're panicked about the GRE. Definitely try to refocus and hone in on your areas of opportunity. Do timed practice and review the explanations for the question types you are having trouble with. Make sure you understand the concepts underlying the questions.

Some of the other comments have mentioned using the free PowerPrep software available from gre.org. This is a great idea and will provide you with 2 free practice exams.

Also, remember that you can always take the test again, or postpone your test if you feel you're not ready. You are allowed to test once per 30 days/calendar month.

If you wanted to take a course with Kaplan GRE, we have terrific prep options starting at $449. Please let me know if you'd like to discuss the GRE or need more information.

Kaplan GRE
24th-Sep-2010 04:19 pm (UTC) - Re: Preparing for the GRE
And ALL the test prep companies offer diagnostic tests, like the one you took, which have you scoring lower than you would on the real test, in order to scare you into taking their courses. I think Kaplan has hit a new low in replying to your thread, though.

That said, scoring in the 200s is a bad sign. You definitely need to improve it. I think the GRE website has a PDF of all the math stuff you can be tested on - start there. Get a book - I found Kaplan's useful, but because of their reply to this thread I won't recommend them - then take the powerprep test. It will be far more accurate than any of the commercial ones.
24th-Sep-2010 09:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Preparing for the GRE
Hi Bicks. Thank you for your comments. We felt it was important to offer a response with critical tips in order to address a Kaplan student’s concerns.

Beckalex: There are several ways to combat the panic and study issues described, so we hope that the advice we’ve provided serves to alleviate some of the stress and panic. Here is a blog post that may help you: http://bit.ly/9LvcCy

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. You can post a question to our Facebook wall “Kaplan GRE” or tweet to @KaplanGREPrep and we’ll supply an answer as promptly as possible.

Best of luck to you,
Kaplan GRE Team
25th-Sep-2010 03:25 am (UTC) - Re: Preparing for the GRE
LOL, seriously?!
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