or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › GRE course
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

GRE course - Page 2

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnedk View Post

folks this is kind a thread fail, i want to take a course and i dont study well on my own, i need an environment online or at in class... any suggestions?

The Kaplan program is pretty good. Really, I think any "major" program is going to be okay if you're mainly looking for structure/monitored study.

I will say this, though - the ONLY criterion for teacher hiring by any of these outfits is scoring high on the GRE (usually top 5%), followed by *maybe* thirty hours or so of training (Kaplan has five training sessions plus "prepping" the teaching material over the course of about one month (a 3-4 hour session once weekly), for example). If at ALL possible, do your research and make sure to get an actually *good* teacher if you're going to be spending money.

If you have friends who've prepped with a course, ask them if it was worth it and who the teacher was, and try to go with that. If not, ask the sales person about whatever benchmark ratings the instructor has (I know Kaplan benchmarks instructors); bear in mind though that these outfits benchmark with post-class surveys, so they aren't *necessarily* reflective of teacher ability.

tl:dr: There is no regulation or oversight of test prep *at all*, so there is a heavy "caveat emptor" involved... sort of like hiring, say, a tarot reader:embar:

That said, using a course for pacing of intensive self-study isn't a bad idea - just bear in mind that practice/practice/practice is key!

(Disclaimer/Source: I used to teach test prep courses - easy money! I got a perfect score on the GRE: great for marketing. That said, I *did* make an effort to teach well! Not all test prep folks do.)

DH
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhaller View Post

(Disclaimer/Source: I used to teach test prep courses - easy money! I got a perfect score on the GRE: great for marketing. That said, I *did* make an effort to teach well! Not all test prep folks do.)
DH

You got a 1600? What year was that? Damn near nobody was getting 800 verbals back when I took it.

Kaplan was recruiting me to do test prep because I got a 730, which was top 1%. I wouldn't have had the slightest idea how to tutor that stuff.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

You got a 1600? What year was that? Damn near nobody was getting 800 verbals back when I took it.
Kaplan was recruiting me to do test prep because I got a 730, which was top 1%. I wouldn't have had the slightest idea how to tutor that stuff.

I took it in 1989... is that really 23 years ago?

No one has any idea how to tutor GRE/SAT/ACT or any "problem solving/aptitude" test really, because you're not really teaching material but teaching how to think about and approach problems.

The truth is that what improves scores is simply practice; the courses value lies entirely in (i) providing a structured environment for practice and (ii) acting as a forum for re-learning forgotten procedures ("how do I factor a quadratic equation again?" and so on).

DH
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhaller View Post


No one has any idea how to tutor GRE/SAT/ACT or any "problem solving/aptitude" test really, because you're not really teaching material but teaching how to think about and approach problems.
The truth is that what improves scores is simply practice; the courses value lies entirely in (i) providing a structured environment for practice and (ii) acting as a forum for re-learning forgotten procedures ("how do I factor a quadratic equation again?" and so on).
DH

Quoted for truth.
post #20 of 33
If I had to prepare for a standardized test - GRE, GMAT, or LSAT (MCAT would be a little different) here's what I'd do:

First, I'd do my research on materials. I'd ask on forums, of course, but I'd also check out review comments on Amazon. What I would want to know is how similar are the review materials' sample tests and problems to the real test? If I'm going to play tennis on a grass court, I want to practice on a grass court!

I'd also search hosting sites for collections of recent tests which folks had scanned in, grabbing as many as possible. You literally cannot have too much practice. Ideally, these will include answer keys (if not solution guides).

Next, having selected materials, I'd work through one of the sample tests before doing anything else. This would give me a baseline score to compare with my target, would show me what some of my weaknesses are, and would give me my first practice. I would review all wrong answers, and begin using the solutions to start my index card pile - vocabulary I didn't know, equations I'd forgotten, grammar rules I'd bungled, and so on.

I would begin a systematic effort of working through problems in whatever books I had (Kaplan, PR, Arco or whatever) and do perhaps a weekly, timed practice test. Whenever I missed anything, into the card piles it goes, so I have an ever increasing set of topics, words and equations to review.

I would review my index cards daily, for perhaps twenty minutes. As I learned things, I would discard them. I'd always be adding new things in. I would shuffle these cards every few days so I would actually learn the material, not the pattern of material as it appears in my index card deck! This is important, because the visual information processing origins of the human brain WILL betray you in this.

Rinse, repeat until about three days before test day, at which point I would STOP STUDYING. I'd relax, do normal things, see movies. I'd sleep enough. I'd eat my usual breakfast the day of the test. Take test, smile and win.

Basically.

DH
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhaller View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If I had to prepare for a standardized test - GRE, GMAT, or LSAT (MCAT would be a little different) here's what I'd do:
First, I'd do my research on materials. I'd ask on forums, of course, but I'd also check out review comments on Amazon. What I would want to know is how similar are the review materials' sample tests and problems to the real test? If I'm going to play tennis on a grass court, I want to practice on a grass court!
I'd also search hosting sites for collections of recent tests which folks had scanned in, grabbing as many as possible. You literally cannot have too much practice. Ideally, these will include answer keys (if not solution guides).
Next, having selected materials, I'd work through one of the sample tests before doing anything else. This would give me a baseline score to compare with my target, would show me what some of my weaknesses are, and would give me my first practice. I would review all wrong answers, and begin using the solutions to start my index card pile - vocabulary I didn't know, equations I'd forgotten, grammar rules I'd bungled, and so on.
I would begin a systematic effort of working through problems in whatever books I had (Kaplan, PR, Arco or whatever) and do perhaps a weekly, timed practice test. Whenever I missed anything, into the card piles it goes, so I have an ever increasing set of topics, words and equations to review.
I would review my index cards daily, for perhaps twenty minutes. As I learned things, I would discard them. I'd always be adding new things in. I would shuffle these cards every few days so I would actually learn the material, not the pattern of material as it appears in my index card deck! This is important, because the visual information processing origins of the human brain WILL betray you in this.
Rinse, repeat until about three days before test day, at which point I would STOP STUDYING. I'd relax, do normal things, see movies. I'd sleep enough. I'd eat my usual breakfast the day of the test. Take test, smile and win.
Basically.
DH

really sound advice, does the GRE contain no essay section?
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnedk View Post

really sound advice, does the GRE contain no essay section?

That's true, there are two brief essays, which are a little different in terms of practice - obviously it would be useful to get feedback, something one might get more of in a proctored course sort of setting.

I would *guess* that there are forums out there where people can post essays and other members comment on/critique them. I don't really have time to look for such but it seems likely (and if one doesn't exist someone should set one up!) The best way to improve writing skill BY FAR is to write and have peers critique it.

I imagine there are a fair number of sample essays out there too, which one might examine for style - what you really want for a standardized test essay anyway is a basic template which you can "fill in" when you write the actual essay.

DH
post #23 of 33
Manhattan GRE books are pretty damn good. If their course is like their books, I wouldn't hesitate to go there.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainkim View Post

Manhattan GRE books are pretty damn good. If their course is like their books, I wouldn't hesitate to go there.

I know Manhattan spares no expense in getting good instructors. For instance, they just go ahead and pay far more than any other outfit ($100/hour to teach plus a $4000 or so hiring bonus... not bad for a part-time job). They require all their teachers to have scored in the top 1% of the test they teach.

That said, it's not a guarantee of a good teacher - it's always best if you can ask around - but I do admire the approach of "lets throw money at the best people so they'll work for us".

DH
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhaller View Post

If I had to prepare for a standardized test - GRE, GMAT, or LSAT (MCAT would be a little different)

the rest of your post made some valid points for sure... but you can't treat these tests as equals and you've pretty much ranked them accurately with respect to difficulty in a way. The GRE is a joke.. a glorified SAT plus vocab quiz for all-of-the-above grad students. The GMAT is nothing special if you have your math skills down...the verbal is not very challenging. The LSAT is regarded as the most difficult simply because of it's "constructed" modal approach to the type of thinking that it tests in addition to the time constraints. The MCAT is difficult obviously, but it test actual facts... rote knowledge of real concepts whereas the LSAT exists in the test alone.

and Manhattan overall is very good, although I'd say Princeton is far better than Kraplan.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhaller View Post

I know Manhattan spares no expense in getting good instructors. For instance, they just go ahead and pay far more than any other outfit ($100/hour to teach plus a $4000 or so hiring bonus... not bad for a part-time job). They require all their teachers to have scored in the top 1% of the test they teach.
That said, it's not a guarantee of a good teacher - it's always best if you can ask around - but I do admire the approach of "lets throw money at the best people so they'll work for us".
DH
I took Manhattan's GMAT course and found it worth every penny. Their GMAT books focus on the knowledge piece of the exam (algebra rules, sentence modifiers, etc), the classes were half and half for knowledge and for how to tackle the exam, and then their online labs were almost all about tips and tricks for tackling the tricky questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Nickels View Post

. The GMAT is nothing special if you have your math skills down...the verbal is not very challenging. The LSAT is regarded as the most difficult simply because of it's "constructed" modal approach to the type of thinking that it tests in addition to the time constraints.
I think people really underestimate the computer adaptive part of the GMAT. If you're a strong test taker, you'll be given hard questions starting a few questions in, and if you get these right, you'll continue to get harder and harder questions throughout. Back when I was taking the SAT/ACT, it was great to breeze by the easy and mid level questions and taking the time to solve the hard ones. Can't do that on the GMAT.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post

I think people really underestimate the computer adaptive part of the GMAT. If you're a strong test taker, you'll be given hard questions starting a few questions in, and if you get these right, you'll continue to get harder and harder questions throughout. Back when I was taking the SAT/ACT, it was great to breeze by the easy and mid level questions and taking the time to solve the hard ones. Can't do that on the GMAT.

that's true for sure but your score is calibrated to the fact you are already getting more difficult questions... getting a question incorrect at that point may even contribute to your overall score as opposed to someone else who is getting easier questions correct... the score is based on 1) questions correct 2) difficulty of the questions and 3) # of questions answered
post #28 of 33
If the OP is only looking at GRE, I'd suggest Princeton Review. It's been a long time since I looked at test prep materials, but 15-20 years ago, the main difference among the different test prep outfits was this. Kaplan, et. al. want you to learn math, vocab., etc. in order to improve your score on the test. Princeton Review wants you to learn how the test works in order to do better on the test. PR used to make the claim (and I'm not sure how this has changed with computerized testing) that you shouldn't have to do any math to answer the questions on the math section of the test.
Edited by sjmin209 - 5/8/12 at 11:03am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Nickels View Post

that's true for sure but your score is calibrated to the fact you are already getting more difficult questions... getting a question incorrect at that point may even contribute to your overall score as opposed to someone else who is getting easier questions correct... the score is based on 1) questions correct 2) difficulty of the questions and 3) # of questions answered

I don't know a ton about the scoring metrics, but the exam will adjust to the taker. The end goal is to basically have the taker get one or two right, then one wrong, then right, then wrong. In the end, a person who scores 650 will still get a similar amount of questions wrong as somebody who scored 450, but yes, the difficulty of questions will be very different. I imagine the score is based far more on the difficulty of the questions first, and then the number of those correct.
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhaller View Post

I know Manhattan spares no expense in getting good instructors. For instance, they just go ahead and pay far more than any other outfit ($100/hour to teach plus a $4000 or so hiring bonus... not bad for a part-time job). They require all their teachers to have scored in the top 1% of the test they teach.
That said, it's not a guarantee of a good teacher - it's always best if you can ask around - but I do admire the approach of "lets throw money at the best people so they'll work for us".
DH

thanks for heads up on manhattan, i was looking at kaplan and one other for now.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Business, Careers & Education
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › GRE course