Free, Fun and got me a good score.Dec 13, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
I took the GRE's about a week ago and scored over 2000. I did not invest in any study aids at all. In my mind, they charged me enough just for the "privilege" of taking the test, so I wasn't going to let them rob me of any more of my hard earned money. I started by browsing the sites online that offered some sample questions for free, just to see what kind of questions I was looking at.
My highest score was in the Qualitative section, or the one with the logic problems. I credit my almost perfect score in this section with my love of a freeware game I discovered my freshman year of college called Sherlock. (Little did I know that this procrastination tool would turn out to be useful after all.) This game consists of the same types of logic problems found on the test, but it manages to make them fun (maybe it has something to do with the bright colors). That way, I was learning the kinds of reasoning one needs to know in order to do these kinds of problems, but I didn't need to force myself to be motivated. To obtain this freeware game, you can download it from: http://www.kaser.com/sherwin.html, or if you have problems there, feel free to e-mail me, and I can forward you a copy.
My next highest score was on the Verbal section. I think the thing that best prepared me for this section was the fact that I like to read combined with the fact that I took four years of French. Reading on a regular basis is proven to increase your vocabulary, and taking a foreign language, such as French, helps you understand the roots that our English words are often derived from. Now, for those of you who are trying to prepare last minute, I'm afraid this probably won't help you much, but this is what worked for me.
My lowest score happened to be the Quantitative, or the math section. I owe this to the fact that since high school, I haven't really taken a math class. I did go over some of those basic algebra things like the quadratic equation, and I was glad I did. To help prepare for this section, I did find a free, online study guide to the math section of the SAT's. I thought that if I could do those math questions, that I could do the ones on the GRE's as well.
If I had to take the GRE's over again, there are some things that I would do a little differently to prepare. First, when I took the SAT's and other tests of that nature, I got into the habit of crossing out answers I knew were wrong the minute I knew for sure they were wrong, and that helped give me a better idea of what I was doing. Since the GRE's are now given on computer, this was not something I could do, and it threw me for a little bit of a loop. In the future, perhaps the makers of the GRE's will add a function where you can right click on an answer or something like that to make it go away, but until then, some of us will just have to figure out a way to adjust that part of our test-taking techniques.
To better prepare for the math, I probably should have gotten together with one of my friends who is currently in the habit of doing a lot of math and reviewed some of that stuff with them, instead of just skipping studying the stuff I really didn't remember at all.
With that said, I was very happy with my scores, and I didn't spend a penny on studying. I think that study guides probably can be very helpful, but I find them boring and therefore it is impossible for me to sit down and use one. If this happens to be a problem you have, then I hope my sharing how I prepared is of some assistance.
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