If it looks like a trap, IT’S A TRAP.
Many of us—even some private GRE tutors —take the GRE specifically because we excel in an English-language based field, and we’re going on to graduate work in this field because we gained this mastery in our work with or on the English language at the undergraduate level. We remember the Verbal SAT, perhaps vividly, perhaps only hazily, but it’s likely we did extremely well on it. We expect the Verbal section of the GRE to be something of a breeze. Compared to writing research papers at the graduate level or writing creative work for publication, how difficult can a standardized test be?Read More
Some people who talk about the GMAT have been chugging this stuff. Don’t listen to them.
The GMAT, perhaps more than any other standardized test, creates a culture all its own around the test itself. Students hear about other students putting their lives on hold entirely to study, monk-like, for the test, barely eating or sleeping otherwise. There are more blog sites and google results trying to trick, game out, or parse, the scoring of the test than even for the LSAT. Meanwhile, unlike the MCAT or even the LSAT and GRE, the test material itself can feel like it has only a tenuous connection to business school or a business career, despite cursory references to corporations and the stock market in reading passages and word problems.
Because there’s so much enveloping chatter around the GMAT, I think that one of the most important things to do when embarking on a course of GMAT coaching is to dispel some myths, and try to separate useful fact from less-than-useful rumor.
Here to provide you with some moral support.
You thought you were done with standardized tests, didn’t you? All the bubbling in answers and test anxiety and number 2 pencils and process of eliminations was behind you, a thing of the past, never to rise again. But then, you learn, no. Standardized testing has risen out of your high school past like a cartoon villain, to strike once again. What I’m talking about, of course, is the GRE.
Taking the GRE (or any standardized test required for admission to a graduate program, be it the GMAT or LSAT or MCAT), can be a challenging endeavor for many reasons. As a GRE verbal tutor in New York, A main one, and one that almost all I’ve heard nearly all my GRE students I’ve worked with have voiced isvoice the jarring experience of suddenly having to think in terms of a standardized test before,, after being sure they had left that behind with their college acceptance letter senior year of high school.
Judging by the number of SAT students who assured me, at our last lesson, that they were going to burn their SAT books in a celebratory bonfire, the SAT (or ACT) is not an experience to which anyone wishes to return. Here you are, you’ve finished, or are about to finish, college, and you’re asked to return to one of the worst parts of high school. It just seems unfair. However, as the GRE is a necessary entrance requirement for nearly any graduate school, returning to the concerns of standardized testing, at least briefly, is going to be necessary. A dedicated course of study and work with a GRE tutor (especially if you’re in New York or Boston, where we have a dedicated team of tutors) can help with the material itself, which tends to be more tricky than actually difficult. Anxiety around the test itself, however, needs to be considered in a larger context.Read More