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YoungEconomist
09-05-2007, 10:51 PM
I have two questions regarding the GRE:

1) How much in advance to application deadlines should one take the GRE for the first time? In case you care, I am planning on applying to programs during fall 2008 and winter 2009 (in other words, I want to start my PhD program during fall 2009) and I am trying to figure out when I should first take the GRE since I have a little more than a year before applications are due.

2) What is the best resource(s) for studying for the Quantitative section of the GRE? Please be as specific as possible so there is no confusion (such as giving me the author name and exact title, or even a link to the amazon description of the manual if you don't mind). Furthermore, feel free to offer up any specific advice about how you studied for the QGRE as I am hoping (like everybody else here) to get a 800.

YoungEconomist
09-05-2007, 10:57 PM
Anybody used this book? What did you think?

Amazon.com: The Ultimate Math Refresher for the GRE, GMAT, and SAT: Books: Lighthouse Review Inc (http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Math-Refresher-GRE-GMAT/dp/0967759404/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product/104-7842466-8077510)

Thesus
09-05-2007, 11:28 PM
I used Powerprep + Barron's (without CD) + Kaplan Math + Kaplan Verbal. Powerprep is free with registration, and the three books cost me slightly less than $50 in Canada, counting taxes. I got 800Q/770V, so I guess they're sufficient? (Perhaps not necessary.)

I think the summer before your applications are due is as good as time as any to write it. So four-five months in advance. I wouldn't want to deal with the GRE and classes at the same time.

kkitkat
09-05-2007, 11:51 PM
Take your first test in the beginning of summer 2008. This way you'll have plenty of time to retake it if needed.

I liked Kaplan's (http://www.amazon.com/Kaplan-Exam-2008-Premier-Program/dp/1427795029/ref=sr_1_4/002-5938741-9865641?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189036071&sr=1-4) book and the Powerprep.

Good luck!

TruDog
09-05-2007, 11:53 PM
You can take the GRE whenever you feel the most ready. I took it during February of my junior year as I had more time to prepare then. Any of the test prep books work just fine for the quantitative portion of the test.

EconPL
09-06-2007, 02:34 PM
For math Kaplan's Math Workbook (or sth like that) is really good. Within few days I improved my score from 600's to 800.

YoungEconomist
09-06-2007, 04:38 PM
For math Kaplan's Math Workbook (or sth like that) is really good. Within few days I improved my score from 600's to 800.

Wow! That's pretty impressive. Furthermore, it's encouraging because I figured that a lot of people on the forum would never score in the 600's even before studying. Yesterday I answered some questions online and I only got like 70% of them right. I need to start practicing.

YoungEconomist
09-06-2007, 04:48 PM
I have two more question I would like to throw in (but please continue answering the first two as well):

3) Is there much benefit to taking the GRE after you've finished higher level math? Does it make the GRE any easier if you've seen Real Anaysis, Matrix Algebra, etc? The reason I ask is because I have to fit in all my math within the next year. I am taking Calc I in the fall, but after next summer I will have taken many more advanced math classes. I realize that there is no calculus on the exam, I was just wondering if having taken the advanced classes will make the GRE significanly easier?

4) How important is the Verbal section of the GRE for me? What is the minimum I should score so that I can be accepted into programs ranked between 20 - 50? Any idea what score an american would probably get if they didn't study for this portion of the exam at all (it would be nice if I could just worry about studying for the quantitative section)? Would you guys recommend that I study for the verbal section? In case this information helps answer the question, I was born and raised in the US and have lived here my entire life.

Palimpsest
09-06-2007, 05:24 PM
To answer #3:

I really don't think so. Taking advanced math is not going to make the GRE any easier. The only exception I can think of is if you've really been away from math on the whole for a while and your algebra and problem-solving skills are rusty. Just study the kinds of problems they have in the prep books and review the geometry that you probably forgot years ago.

studentecon
09-06-2007, 07:56 PM
#4 has appeared a million times in this forum...


How important is the Verbal section of the GRE for me?
For you and for everyone, not important. Put your own weight on verbal and maximize at the margin.

YoungEconomist
09-07-2007, 03:10 AM
#4 has appeared a million times in this forum...


For you and for everyone, not important. Put your own weight on verbal and maximize at the margin.

Just to be clear then, a score between 300 - 400 on the verbal section will NOT decrease my chances of admission at my target schools (20 - 50)?

studentecon
09-07-2007, 04:04 AM
I am sorry, but how did you infer such a thing? Maximizing at the margin is not the same as maximizing at the corner! I said that verbal is not important, I did not say that the marginal benefit of verbal is weakly negative (which is what you want to hear, I think). So to be clear: A score between 300-400 on the verbal section will certainly NOT INCREASE your chances.

YoungEconomist
09-07-2007, 06:27 AM
I am sorry, but how did you infer such a thing? Maximizing at the margin is not the same as maximizing at the corner! I said that verbal is not important, I did not say that the marginal benefit of verbal is weakly negative (which is what you want to hear, I think). So to be clear: A score between 300-400 on the verbal section will certainly NOT INCREASE your chances.

Well, it's fairly easy to get good quantative advice on here, as everyone says that 780 - 800 is what you should really be aiming for. All I am looking for is some similar advice so that I can study accordingly. I just want someone to say something like, "well as long as you get a 400 you'll probably be alright" or "you really need to get a 500 to have a decent shot at your target schools." That's all, just looking for some unambigous advice about the verbal section of the GRE.

veroniquaz
09-07-2007, 12:40 PM
I just want someone to say something like, "well as long as you get a 400 you'll probably be alright" or "you really need to get a 500 to have a decent shot at your target schools." .

well, no score will guarantee you anything, but not to look dumb, I would say over 400 for an international and over 500 for a native speaker. Honestly, I do not really understand how going over 500 can be a problem for a native speaker.

YoungEconomist
09-07-2007, 02:54 PM
well, no score will guarantee you anything, but not to look dumb, I would say over 400 for an international and over 500 for a native speaker. Honestly, I do not really understand how going over 500 can be a problem for a native speaker.

Thank you, this is what I wanted to here, some simple straightforward advice. Now, I am a native speaker so I will aim for at least 500. Any anecdotal evidence regarding how much time you guys studied for the verbal gre and the score you got?

buckykatt
09-07-2007, 05:27 PM
All I am looking for is some similar advice so that I can study accordingly. I just want someone to say something like, "well as long as you get a 400 you'll probably be alright" or "you really need to get a 500 to have a decent shot at your target schools." That's all, just looking for some unambigous advice about the verbal section of the GRE.

An average verbal score for someone at a top program would be around 550-575, while those at a lower-ranked program might be around 500-525. If you're somewhere near that range, you won't stand out in either direction. Since those numbers include international students, I'd guess that you'd want to score a little bit higher if English is your native language in order to look "average" next to similar students.

So, I'd worry if I were scoring under 500, and I'd try to get at least 600. Anything over that is a bonus. And, of course, we all agree that getting 800 in the quantitative section should be job #1.