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Courses GRE review course-is it worth it or not?

  1. Feb 25, 2012 #1
    I'm nearing the end of my degree with only 3 required courses to take to finish my undergrad with a possible 1 extra class if I do my research with this one professor, who I really connect with.

    Anyway, this whole grad school process is completely new to me and is a process that I've never done before.

    So I don't know exactly when I'm going to be graduating but I know that I have to take the GRE. There is a review course at my school that I can take but I'm wondering if its worth it or not.

    The course is 4 Saturday's 9:00-12:00 which costs $349.00 USD

    Has anyone taken the GRE review course, what was your experience like?

    Was it worth your time and money?

    Did it help you or not help you on the actual GRE exam?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2012 #2
    It is absolutely not worth it.
  4. Feb 25, 2012 #3
    What makes it not worth it?
  5. Feb 25, 2012 #4
    The GRE is not important enough to warrant so much money. The GRE is a relatively unimportant for graduate school applications. Assuming you can get above 50% in english and 80% in math, you don't need to worry. There are review books and materials online that should be plenty if you study them.

    I assume you mean the general GRE though.
  6. Feb 25, 2012 #5
    Yes, the general GRE.

    I maybe planning to take the general GRE sometime in the summer, maybe the first 3 weeks vacation or the last 2-3 weeks vacation since I maybe taking a summer school class.
  7. Feb 25, 2012 #6
    As the others have said, it is certainly not worth it.

    I recommend downloading the review guides they have on the GRE website that contain examples of the types of questions they ask in addition to using the PowerPrep software available on the GRE website. I found studying for the verbal section to provide little help.

    However, you should re-familiarize yourself with some of the mathematics concepts (hence downloading the review guide) such as basic statistics and geometry that you may have forgotten.
  8. Feb 25, 2012 #7
    it is completely not worth spending $350 to prep for the GRE general, especially the new revised one.

    back before the change (august 2011), it was easy to greatly improve your verbal score with a prep course due to the structure of the exam. the old verbal test was basically testing your vocabulary, so it made sense to study loads of vocab and even take a course, because cramming 500+ GRE words could jump your score from a 600 to a 750 in a couple months. for some people, this was definitely worth $350 or more ... depending on the programs they were applying to. Some programs my friends applied to required minimums of 1300 combined, so if they were weak at quantitative stuff and only getting 600s, they needed to ensure really solid verbal scores to meet that minimum, and to them, that was worth the money.

    with the new test, your best bet would be to buy a cheap book for $15 that has 2-3 tests in it just so you can take them, familiarize yourself with the format, and work out some time management stuff. no science/math major should have any trouble placing above the 80% mark on the quantitative section ... without any prep.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  9. Feb 27, 2012 #8
    I've taught many test prep courses. I have found that the companies do a great job of convincing you that you need their help. Mostly it just helps students who don't know any better to realize the score that they can get on their own if they put in the time. Get a copy of a good book with lots of sample tests and make sure you can do them.
  10. Feb 27, 2012 #9
    Straight from the horse's mouth.
  11. Feb 27, 2012 #10
    It may be worth it for you if you 1) cannot get a decent score without preparation of some sort, and 2) lack the self-discipline to prepare on your own. Get a GRE prep book from the library and do a practice test. If you aren't happy with your score, try to study on your own. If you find it hard to self-study, perhaps a prep course will be helpful, if only to force you into a regular study pattern.
  12. Feb 27, 2012 #11
    I too taught GRE prep for a while for one of the major companies, and this is spot-on. The only real advantage of a course over a book from the same company is the structure -- if you're not self-disciplined enough to study on your own, then this can be beneficial. But figure out where you stand (and you're probably fine as-is), and then try self-studying if necessary, before spending the time and money.
  13. Feb 27, 2012 #12
    I guess I should have added what JDGates said. My assumption is that you are motivated and self-disciplined. There isn't really anything that the prep course can teach you beyond what you can teach yourself. There are no tricks to beating a standardized test beyond practice. One thing that I have noticed is that half of the students in the class still won't work problems outside of class. Just going to the class won't help much.
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