G.R.E. Crash Course February 17, 2007 Campbell University Trey Asbury, Ph.D. Certified GRE Campus Educator
Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology Biology Chemistry Computer Science Literature in English Mathematics Physics Psychology General TestVerbal, Quantitative &Analytical WritingII. Subject Test
When to register… • Begin to consider your options during the second term of your junior year. • Check the deadlines for submission to graduate programs of interest. • Register 6-8 weeks before you plan on taking the GRE. • Schedule your testing session the semester before the first term of your senior year (ideally summer).
Local GRE Test Sites1-800-GRE-CALL • Prometric Testing Center (Two locations in Raleigh) • North Carolina Central University (Durham) • Fayetteville State University
What do my scores mean?Average Estimated Correlations with First-Year GPA in Grad School
Appropriate Use of GRE Scores • The GRE Board urges graduate institutions to evaluate each student’s application as a whole, considering the student’s personal history, letters of recommendation, grade transcripts, personal statement, and test scores. • Scores should not be added together. • The setting of “cut-off scores” is considered an inappropriate score use.
Linear (traditional) Tests • Are based on standardized test forms containing a mixture of easy, middle and difficult questions • Test scores are derived from the number of correct answers • Test forms are equated by means of an equating block
Some CAT Rules • You cannot go back and revise a previous answer. • You cannot skip ahead to fill in answers to questions you know. • You must answer each question as it is presented -- by posting a guess if necessary.
CAT Strategy: Answer Questions! • Learn to identify the point at which it is best to post a guess. There are no time outs once a section has begun. • It is normal in CAT to answer several questions incorrectly, even for high scorers. • CAT scores are not based solely on the number of questions answered correctly, but rather on such question characteristics as level of difficulty.
Don’t Get Hung Up on a Question • Pacing is critical to success in the GRE General Test. It is important not to leave questions unanswered, or to finish with a string of guesses. • If the candidate sees a possible error, he/she should note its location and report it to the test center supervisor at the end of the test. Actual errors are very rare. • It is important for a test taker to focus on just one thing: answering the current question on the screen!
Math Content Generally no higher than pre-calculus, high school math. No Trigonometry or higher college-level mathematics is assumed • Arithmetic • Algebra • Geometry • Data Analysis
Question Types • Regular Multiple Choice—stand-alone questions with 5 answer choices • Quantitative Comparison—two quantities are compared, with 4 possible answer choices • Data Interpretation—a 5-choice question about a display of data; these questions appear in sets of two or more consecutive questions about the same display of data
Quantitative Measure • 28 Questions; all types mixed together • 45 minutes to complete section • Calculators not permitted Strategies Handout
Preparation GRE Math Review (Available online at www.gre.org)
Verbal Content • Designed to measure knowledge of words and the ability to reason or understand and analyze relationships among words, among groups of words, and within sentences. • Also seeks ability to read a passage and determine main ideas, make inferences, evaluate purpose and structure and identify style and tone.
Format and Type of Questions 30 questions 5-item multiple choice 30 minute time limit • Antonyms • Analogies • Sentence Completion • Reading Comprehension
Antonyms • Questions require you to find the answer choice with the word or phrase that is most nearly opposite the word in question. • Some questions may require the knowledge of words that have more than one meaning.
Analogies • Questions test the ability to see a relationship in a pair of words, to understand the ideas expressed in the relationship, and to recognize a similar or parallel relationship. • Always identify the precise relationship between the two words in question before looking at the answer choices.
Sentence Completions • Questions require the analysis of the relationship of sentence parts, and to supply the most appropriate word(s) to fill in the blank(s). • If there are two blanks, the correct answer must have the best answer for both blanks.
Reading Comprehension • A combination of short and long passages. • Topics for passages are purposely obscure. • Typically required to determine main points, implications, style, author’s tone or attitude.
Preparation • Read articles from news magazines such as Time, Newsweek, U.S.World Report, etc. • Read technical magazines designed for the layperson such as home repair, auto mechanics, etc. • Read newspaper editorials. • Don’t study dictionaries or “G.R.E. vocabulary lists”.
A.W. Content Two separately-timed analytical writing tasks: 1. Present Your Perspective on an Issue (45 Minutes) 2. Analyze an Argument (30 minutes)
A.W. Issue You will be given a choice between two Issue topics. Each one states an opinion on an issue of broad interest, and asks you to discuss the issue from any perspective(s) you wish—as long as you provide relevant reasons and examples to support your views.
A.W. Argument • You will not have a choice of argument topics. • The task requires you to critique a given argument by discussing how well reasoned you find it. • Consider the logical soundness of the argument—not whether you agree or disagree with the position it presents.
A.W. Scoring Criteria You will be judged by college and university faculty based on… • Consideration of the complexities and implications • Organization, development and expression of ideas • Relevant reasons and examples supporting your ideas • Control of the elements of standard written English
A.W. Scoring Guide Scoring Guide Handouts
8 GRE Subject Tests • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology • Biology • Chemistry • Computer Science • Literature in English • Mathematics • Physics • Psychology
Subject Test • All paper-and-pencil tests • All 170 minutes in length • Administered only 3 times per year: November, December, and April • Subscores reported for 3 tests: Biochemistry, Biology, and Psychology
Types of Questions • All questions are 5-option multiple choice • Some sets of 2 or more questions based on a particular stimulus • Roman numeral format • Classification set format
Strategies • Non-CAT means you can skip questions and come back to them later. • Correction for haphazard guessing is used in scoring Minus ¼ for incorrect answer 0 points for blank answer
Preparation • Review basic undergraduate textbooks • Be familiar with question types • Take practice test in allotted time frame • Review incorrectly answered questions • Form study groups Examinees can decide whether or not to send Subject tests to a particular grad school.
GRE and ETS Resources • Powerprep Software, version 3.0 • Math Review • An Introduction to the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE General Test • GRE Practicing to Take the General Test, 10th Ed. ($18) • GRE Diagnostic Service ($15)
Other… • You will be given immediate feedback for the CAT (Verbal and Quant). • Allow Two-Four weeks for A.W. and Subject scores You will have the option to cancel your CAT session when time is up—before you see your score of course. When scores are sent to grad schools—all your GRE General Test scores for the past 5 years are also sent.
Changes in General Test • Effective September 2007 • Elimination of CAT (back to linear) • Verbal Reasoning--2 40 minute sections • Significant content change • Quantitative--2 40 minute sections • Minor content change; calculator added
Changes in General Test • Critical Thinking & Analytical Writing • 2 30 minute tasks, relatively minor changes • Additional Unscored Section • Time and content variable
Changes in General Test • 29 scheduled administrations over the calendar year • Scoring change • 200-800 replaced by 130 to 170
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