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Student Post: Two Different Perspectives on the GRE

Today, we have a new kind of student post: 2 different students’ perspectives in one post! This week, we’re hearing from Caitlin and Elisa. Let us know what you think in the comments below. 🙂

About me: 

Caitlin: I’m originally from Vermont, but went to college on the west coast and majored in a self-designed curriculum called Food Literacy. I’m hoping to continue these studies in the University of Vermont’s Food Systems program. It is an interdisciplinary field, so presumably, I’m supposed to do well on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.

Elisa: Hi! My name is Elisa. I grew up and still live in the DC area. I recently graduated from Georgetown University where I majored in International Economics. I now work at a think tank where I am a research assistant for economic policy. I intend on attending an Economics graduate program in the near future. I love doing yoga and eating Thai food.

Most challenging topic: 

Caitlin: Math was always going to be the hardest for me. I used to be quite good at it–but that was over a decade ago. I used the Magoosh practice questions to get a sense of what the test would be like, studied out of a book, and then did an full-length practice test on Magoosh. Afterward, I reviewed the questions I’d gotten wrong. Mostly, I just needed to re-familiarize myself with equations and concepts that I used to know. That took time. I would have been better off if I had started earlier!

Elisa: The math questions that I found the most difficult were the combination problems as well as the quantitative-comparison questions with geometric diagrams where the GRE tests what you can assume. I found that watching the videos when available as well as doing all of the practice questions were the most helpful ways to prepare for test day. The Magoosh blog posts on these topics (e.g., “Geometry Diagram Assumptions”) were also super helpful.

Tips for other students:

Caitlin: Don’t go too crazy. I have a full-time job, so the most I ever studied in an evening was 2 hours, and often it was less. This strategy worked for me because it meant I never got so burnt out that I quit studying. I was refreshed on the day of the exam.

Elisa: Timed practice makes (as close as you can get to) perfect. I found that taking practice timed sections most prepared me for the stress that comes with taking the real test. Magoosh also provides hundreds of practice problems, so familiarizing yourself with all the types of problems will make it so that you are not surprised by anything on test day.

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