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General GRE?

  1. Jul 28, 2010 #1
    I posted before about possibly retaking the physics GRE, but now I have a question about the general GRE.

    First of all, I took the general GRE years ago, and scored well as I recall, but ETS drops scores after 5 years, so I have to retake the booger :mad: I mean, there are sooooo many other things I could be spending my time on (specifically, a research project I'm in the middle of); instead, I'm facing a pile of Kaplan, Barron, Princeton Review, etc. books with practically zero motivation to actually do anything in any of them.

    That said, I did take the Princeton Review's online GRE CAT test today:

    Verbal 780/800
    Quant 640/800

    Yes, you read that right. I somehow scored higher on verbal than on the math section (largely because I ran out of time on the test). Yes, I'm a physics student.

    Any tips for improving my quantitative score?

    I keep telling myself I have to get an 800. 800 is pretty much expected for us physics folk, right?

    Thanks, y'all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2010 #2
    If you ran out of time on the math, the most likely reason is because you are not following the stupid strategies that you need to follow for these tests. Like, on certain problems where you're asked a question involving variables, it will save you time to just "plug in 1000" for x or something like that, even though the very thought makes me want to puke, you just have to swallow any sense of elegance to save the time. Similar thing with the data questions; those can be a real time consumer if you try to calculate exactly the answer. You kind of need to rush and estimate.

    Is it your first practice test? The GRE math should be easy, but if you need to take a few practice tests to get used to their pattern, that's normal.

    Besides this, it's possible there is some area you are not comfortable with, so you should try to figure out exactly what that is...it's true that 800 or close to it is expected. I don't know whether schools have a strict cut off, but it seems like a bad place to push your luck.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  4. Jul 28, 2010 #3
    I took the GRE a month ago, and was happy with my scores (720 verbal, 760 math). What helped me study for math was reading the math strategies section of my GRE prep book (I think I used the ARCO brand) and reviewing the math concepts that I never have to use as an engineering student (specifically, permutations, combinatorics, and geometric series).

    Learn the recommended test-taking strategies, dumb as they might seem, because the GRE is not a regular test, and even if you're a good test-taker in real life you might do poorly on the GRE.

    Do practice problems to work on your speed.

    Remember that some of the math questions will be easy to solve, but have some kind of logical "trick" to them. My prep book went over some of these trick questions, I believe.
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