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Student Post: Three Tips for Success on the GRE

Hey everyone, say hello to Kristal this week! She’s got three foolproof tips to help you make the most of your GRE prep. 🙂

About me: I am currently working as a social worker in Boston. I am originally from China and have been in the US for five years. I majored in social work in both my undergrad and my grad (I wasn’t required to send a GRE score at Master level). I am applying for Ph.D programs in Social Work for fall 2015. My interests are reading and jogging. 

Biggest Challenge: As a non-native speaker, I found that the most difficult part on GRE was verbal, particularly the long readings. Prior to studying with Magoosh, I used two different vocabulary books to prepare myself – after that I realized that Magoosh actually offers helpful study tools for vocabulary, and they are free! I found Magoosh extremely helpful among other study aid material because of the video instruction that follows each question. Chris was very clear on how to analyze each question and what its intention is. I learned from him that it is always easier to start by eliminating the obviously wrong choices, and compare the rest of the choices by fitting each answer into the question. He was also very good at pointing out the tricks in each question.

While studying with Magoosh, I also subscribed to the Economist to keep reading long scholarly articles. I was pretty confident with math because I scored 167 on the ETS practice test. When I was practicing with Magoosh, I felt the questions were more difficult compared to the Powerprep practie test. I also heard people saying that the actual test was not as difficult, so I was primarily focused on the “medium” and “hard” questions instead of the “very hard” questions. The actual exam questions turned out to be more difficult than I had expected; some of the questions appeared to be the “very hard” ones in Magoosh. I ended up scoring only a 161.

Helpful tips for other students: If I could redo my studies, I would definitely go through the practice questions more thoroughly and would not overlook the “very hard” questions. My tips for GRE takers are:

    1. Get to know your strengths and weakness before you start practice. This could save you lots of time and improve the efficiency of your studying.
    2. Keep up physical activity during your prep! The exam will take you up to four hours to finish. Being able to stay focused and not get exhausted in the middle of the test is the key.
    3. Make the most of your time. While preparing for GRE, I often used some GRE words and people barely understood the meaning of them. It could make people annoyed but, by doing that, I made sure that I remembered what I learned.

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.

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