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GRE Student Post: Stay Positive and Confident!

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Taking the GRE with a full time job is tough! Below, we’re hearing from Katherine, who proves it’s possible to work a full-time job and score well on the GRE with only one month of prep! 🙂 

I’m a recent college graduate and I received a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I’m currently working a full-time job as a veterinary assistant in the San Francisco Bay Area while applying to vet schools.

My biggest struggle was finding the time to study while working a full schedule. I work 10-hour days so I found that I was brain dead by the end of a shift and could only study on my days off. I only gave myself a month of prep time for the GRE so I decided to omit studying for the verbal section of the GRE and devote my time fully to the math section. I had not touched geometry or algebra since the first half of my high school career and remembering basic math equations was tedious. I watched every single video and once I completed everything I powered through as many math problems as I could fit in before test day.

My biggest advice is to stay positive. I didn’t let the pressure of studying in only a month get to me or freak out when I realized I was still watching new videos two days before test day. If you remain confident in yourself you will end up doing a lot better than you expect! Also, trust your instincts when selecting answers on the test, go with your gut feeling. Don’t fear pressing the button to submit your scores at the end of the test. By the end of the test I had thought that I had bombed the whole thing and was considering canceling my scores. Fortunately, I decided to just go for it and receive my scores. You can’t let your emotions get you down during the test, but you must believe in yourself. The test is so long and you will want to give up by the end, but just remember to push through it!


By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

7 Responses to GRE Student Post: Stay Positive and Confident!

  1. Chetan Munegowda August 24, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Thanks for the motivational post!!

    What was her score?


  2. shafi August 22, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Hi Katherine,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful post.By the way, what was your score.

  3. Micah August 22, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    I’m experiencing this now. I’ve been accepted to a prestegious grad school program pending I score a 153 on the Verbal Section. I’ve taken the test 4 times and scored a 151,152,150,151. I’m bogged down at work and have limited time to study. I’m a consumate awful test taker and don’t know what I need to do to get the extra point. Any tips on what worked for you? (or Katherine)

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel August 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Hey Micah,

      You’re SO close to your target score! It’s definitely tough to make time for study with a full time job, so it really comes down to prioritizing your review. I’d suggest trying to pinpoint your weaknesses on the verbal section — do you not know enough vocabulary? do you run out of time? do you get confused by twisted sentence structures? do you have hard time with any one section in particular? This will help you spend time on the areas you need to improve the most. And since you’re not looking for a huge score improvement, it’s OK to really focus your studies on one specific area. If you need more help, feel free to send us your questions through the black ‘Help’ tab on the left of the screen when you’re logged into Magoosh. 🙂

      Best of luck!

    • Krishna August 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      I know what you mean…I work full time as well and it’s a challenge and tiring doing a study session for a few hours each day after work..

  4. Krishna August 22, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Thanks Katherine for the post and thanks Magoosh for being such a great help in my prep!!

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel August 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Krishna!

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