What is the GRE and do I have to take it?

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What is the GRE and do I have to take it?
Jul 17,2015

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.” -Horace

    

    So, I have been planning for months to get ready to go to Paris. My list of to-dos has been lengthy and complicated at times. In order to get a Masters at a foreign university it takes different steps than to apply for a normal study abroad. Since I was applying at the American University in Paris -which is just one of the many American Universities around the world associated with it’s mother school in Washington DC- I had to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) like most other graduate schools in the United States. Most graduate schools outside of the USA do not require the GRE, but since AUP is accredited both by the US and France the GRE was necessary. There are mandatory steps I had to take in order to study at the American University of Paris for my Masters, as well as extra steps because it is in France as opposed to other countries outside of the US. So, first let me explain how the GRE works.

Strict Rules and Regulations…

    Unlike my usual self, I hardly studied for the GRE expecting it to be much like the SATs and ACTs that I tutor and have done so well on myself. However, I was wrong. It is about a 4 hour test that is pretty much nonstop from start to finish. You are not allowed to bring anything at all into the test room except your photo ID. No watch, no pencils, no scratch paper, no food or water, nothing. You have to pass a background check and get patted down before they will let you into the testing room. Yes, I’m saying I got fingerprinted and they ran my passport and drivers license #s along with taking a head shot in case anyone contested that it was not me taking my exam. 

The different sections…

    The GRE is a Education Testing Service exam but only available to take at Prometric testing locations so there are extra precautions against cheating. It is all on the computer and no one test is the same. You are allowed minimal scratch paper that is immediately taken upon completion of the exam. It has 6 sections of the GRE. The first is the Analytical Writing portion where you are timed in writing 2, 30 minute academic essays: one argumentative, the other subjective. I ended up getting a 4 out of 6 points total on my essays. 

    The 4 of the other 5 parts of the exam are Quantitative and Verbal. The Quantitative sections are 20 questions a piece each only 35 minutes long varying in mathematical difficulty depending on how well you do. The more questions you get right, the harder the questions become. It sounds frustrating and it is, but the more you get right and the harder the questions are gets calculated into the final score for these sections. Yes, the test scores itself as you go so it knows how hard to make the questions. I ended up getting a 154 out of 170 on this portion.

    Then there is the Verbal section which is a combination of reading comprehension, critical reading and vocabulary. The reading passages are actually quite interesting however the way the questions are worded and the information they expect you to extract from the readings are fairly impossible. The critical readings are no easier and the vocabulary gets progressively harder like the math does as you get more and more correct. I ended up getting a 155 out of 170.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

    The last section is the experimental section, just like on the SAT and can be Quantitative or Verbal. I honestly do not remember which mine was. So, that is the GRE and how it works. By the end of it you are worn out, your brain is fried and you just want out of the testing facility. If you are planning on applying to graduate school in the United States or any of it’s affiliated universities abroad you will have to go through this rigorous examination process… don’t say i didn’t warn you! :) 

  Photo care of www.kaptest.gre.com

    

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What is the GRE and do I have to take it?

 What is the GRE and do I have to take it?

What is the GRE and do I have to take it?

What is the GRE and do I have to take it?

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.” -Horace

    

    So, I have been planning for months to get ready to go to Paris. My list of to-dos has been lengthy and complicated at times. In order to get a Masters at a foreign university it takes different steps than to apply for a normal study abroad. Since I was applying at the American University in Paris -which is just one of the many American Universities around the world associated with it’s mother school in Washington DC- I had to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) like most other graduate schools in the United States. Most graduate schools outside of the USA do not require the GRE, but since AUP is accredited both by the US and France the GRE was necessary. There are mandatory steps I had to take in order to study at the American University of Paris for my Masters, as well as extra steps because it is in France as opposed to other countries outside of the US. So, first let me explain how the GRE works.

Strict Rules and Regulations…

    Unlike my usual self, I hardly studied for the GRE expecting it to be much like the SATs and ACTs that I tutor and have done so well on myself. However, I was wrong. It is about a 4 hour test that is pretty much nonstop from start to finish. You are not allowed to bring anything at all into the test room except your photo ID. No watch, no pencils, no scratch paper, no food or water, nothing. You have to pass a background check and get patted down before they will let you into the testing room. Yes, I’m saying I got fingerprinted and they ran my passport and drivers license #s along with taking a head shot in case anyone contested that it was not me taking my exam. 

The different sections…

    The GRE is a Education Testing Service exam but only available to take at Prometric testing locations so there are extra precautions against cheating. It is all on the computer and no one test is the same. You are allowed minimal scratch paper that is immediately taken upon completion of the exam. It has 6 sections of the GRE. The first is the Analytical Writing portion where you are timed in writing 2, 30 minute academic essays: one argumentative, the other subjective. I ended up getting a 4 out of 6 points total on my essays. 

    The 4 of the other 5 parts of the exam are Quantitative and Verbal. The Quantitative sections are 20 questions a piece each only 35 minutes long varying in mathematical difficulty depending on how well you do. The more questions you get right, the harder the questions become. It sounds frustrating and it is, but the more you get right and the harder the questions are gets calculated into the final score for these sections. Yes, the test scores itself as you go so it knows how hard to make the questions. I ended up getting a 154 out of 170 on this portion.

    Then there is the Verbal section which is a combination of reading comprehension, critical reading and vocabulary. The reading passages are actually quite interesting however the way the questions are worded and the information they expect you to extract from the readings are fairly impossible. The critical readings are no easier and the vocabulary gets progressively harder like the math does as you get more and more correct. I ended up getting a 155 out of 170.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

    The last section is the experimental section, just like on the SAT and can be Quantitative or Verbal. I honestly do not remember which mine was. So, that is the GRE and how it works. By the end of it you are worn out, your brain is fried and you just want out of the testing facility. If you are planning on applying to graduate school in the United States or any of it’s affiliated universities abroad you will have to go through this rigorous examination process… don’t say i didn’t warn you! :) 

  Photo care of www.kaptest.gre.com