Trying to make mom and pop proud
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KAPLAN GRE EXAM 2008 PREMIER PROGRAM, good or not so good?
I just started to prepare GRE and I am going to give it three monthes. Tonight, I did so badly on the verb parts and I am really deeply depressed. I only know a quarter of the words, and I am very confused with the way the analogies go. Should I concentrate on the word list for a month and then start the practice?
So, which book should I use for the verb?(my ideal dream book would give me strategies, general rules and detailed explaination if it exsits)
Thanks a million.
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i think if you consider yourself of above average intelligence then you SHOULD NOT take the $1000+ kaplan premier program. my (rich) friend took that course (at the University of Illinois) and stopped going because he said the class was a bunch of dumb blondes that couldn't reduce a fraction to save their life and the quant. review and drill they did in the class was a complete waste of time, not because of the mathematical ability level of the students in the class, but because the material being reviewed can be mastered easily on your own time. on the other hand i didn't ask him about the quality of instruction on the verbal sections.
based on my buddy's opinion and my own experience in kaplan's ACT course i think the kaplan courses are for people with little motivation to study or really really need help (perhaps due to language barrier or partying instead of learning)
I think he means the book?
I agree though, if you made it through undergrad you have the capacity to self-prep for the GRE.
For verbal, the biggest thing you can do is improve your vocab. I started by memorizing Barron's High Frequency List. If you google it, you can get it for free.
I prefer flash cards. What makes GRE verbal tricky is that you have no context to place the word in. So even if it's a word you know it can take several seconds to deduce its meaning. Flash cards work great because they force you to recall the meaning of a word instantly without a frame of reference.
Here's the deal though; you want the words to stick in your long-term memory. Memorizing a bunch of words won't do you any good if you forget half of them the day of the test. For this reason, I recommend making your own flash cards. What I did was begin by memorizing 5 words per day. I took my cards with me everywhere, and quizzed myself when ever I had a few seconds.
I would create a card, and on the back write the word's definition and a sentence that put the word in context. The sentence is the key to making it stick in your LT memory. Do this by linking the word to one of your long-term memories. For example, I used to date a girl that was very whimsical. One day she would like me, the next day she wouldn't. So for on the flash card I created for the word "capricious", I wrote "whimsical" on the back along with a sentence that linked the word to a specific memory I had of my ex acting capricious. Corny, I know. But who cares. Anything you can do to get those words to stick! This is my only issue with using someone else's cards or just trying to learn the words from Barron's book. Trying to learn the word by using the sentence Barrons uses to put the word in context does little good. To link it to your LT memory you have to put the word in a context that is personal to you.
It's been a while since I had to do so much memorization, but like riding a bike it comes back fast. I'm up to memorizing 3 times that amount of words per day now, and they're sticking. Soon, I'll be cranking out twice that. You will too. The thing is to not panic and pace yourself. You're ability to retain will increase fast. Once you get going, it's actually kind of fun to see how many words you can memorize in a day. Sort of a mental challenge. Plus the skill will come in handy in grad school. Again, corny I know, but I figure if we have to take this test might as well make it fun if at all possible and get something useful out of it.
Now analogies. Basically, there's a very ubiquitous pattern (see GRE teaches you to use cool big words) to them. Again, increasing your vocab is the best thing you can do. If you don't know the meaning of the words in the analogy the chances of detecting the verbal relationship is slim.
Basically you want to put the two words into a sentence.
For example, (just one I'm making up)
Make up a sentence. You want it to be very specific.
"A book is composed of chapters"
Now, go to the answer choices and use that same sentence to determine which analogy holds a similar relationship. One key is the analogy in the question and answer types must be in the same order. Think of them like a math proportion.
Do you see why the above example would be wrong? "A psalm is composed of a hymnal"?
The correct analogy would be "hymnal: psalm". A hymnal is composed of psalms.
The GRE basically uses the same 6 or so relationship types over and over again; part-to-whole; degrees; cause-effect. In other words, don't freak out. They look more confusing than they are. If you increase your vocab and learn the patterns you'll do fine with practice. Barron's covers them the best. I'm sure Kaplan does too, if that's the book you like. The only beef I have with Kaplan's verbal guide is they teach you to put words in families and not worry about learning specific definitions. I don't agree with that. For the ant. section you need to know a very clear definition to score high. Barron's verbal strategy is right on the money, except they don't teach you how to memorize to your LT memory.
Also, read the economist every day. Economist.com The editorials are very similar to the GRE's Reading comp. But don't just read; actively read. In other words, as you read force yourself to organize what you just read in your mind.
Last edited by Oldman; 01-05-2008 at 06:07 AM.
Trying to make mom and pop proud
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These tips really help. I am going to make flash cards and memorize the words first. Thanks a lot, guys.
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