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Student Post: Taking the GRE as an Animal Science Major

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Today, we’re hearing from Steve. Thanks for sharing your GRE experience, Steve! 🙂 

About me: Hi everyone! My name is Steve Hanes, and I’m currently an Animal Science major at Cornell University, planning to graduate in 2015. I’m from northern New Jersey, just about a half hour out of New York City. I plan to apply to veterinary school this summer (fingers crossed!), and I love working with animals of all shapes and sizes. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family back home, and I absolutely love to travel!

My biggest challenge: The most challenging aspect of the GRE for me was the Verbal Reasoning. As an Animal Science major, I’m no stranger to understanding difficult words – I can tell you what a temporomandibular joint is, or why phosphoenolpyruvate is important in the metabolism of cells. However, I’m not faced with words like “hedonism” or “esoteric” frequently enough for them to be an integral part of my vocabulary. As a result, I spent a significant amount of time building my vocabulary and learning new words through Magoosh’s iPhone app. Not only was the acquisition of a new vocabulary beneficial to the GRE, but it also makes me feel more confident in intelligent conversations now.

Mu advice: The biggest piece of advice I would offer is to do as many practice problems as you can before the test. A majority of the question types – especially for the Verbal Reasoning – are not similar to types of questions I had ever been familiar with answering before. Just familiarizing myself with the format of the questions was insurmountably helpful and advantageous come test day.

PS. That’s a picture of me with one of the service dogs I help train for Guiding Eyes for the Blind – her name is Blanche!)

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