If you are thinking about attending graduate school you should already be familiar with the Graduate Record Examination or GRE. Not all graduate programs require the test but many in the U.S.A. do so it’s a good idea to take the exam, especially if you are applying to multiple programs. The exam covers a variety of topics so it’s a good idea to study and prepare prior to taking your exam. There are many different types of GRE test prep classes and materials to help with this.
What Is the GRE?
The GRE is a standardized test, similar to the SAT or ACT, that is required for admission into many graduate school programs in the U.S.A. It is designed to test your skills in multiple subjects and to see how ready you are for graduate school. The vast majority of American graduate schools require that you take the GRE and submit your scores, though how important they are will vary from school to school. Some simply want you to take the exam and your exact score isn’t nearly as important as the rest of your application. Others place high importance on your score, either the overall or the score in an individual section.
The GRE has six test sections, analytical writing, two in verbal reasoning, two in quantitative reasoning, and one that is a research or experimental section. The last section is a way to test potential new GRE questions and doesn’t count toward the overall score but when taking the test, you won’t know it is any different than the scored sections. You will receive a score for each individual section as well as an overall score. The scores range from 130-170 and also correlate to a percentile for each section.
A Trusted Name in Test Prep
The GRE has been around for a while so there are many different types of test prep materials and classes available for you to choose from. One popular way to study for the GRE is to use materials from Kaplan Test Prep.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Kaplan before. They’ve been in business for over 80 years. They have test prep centers in over 36 countries and some of them can be found near university campuses, so you may have seen them before while going to university for your undergrad degree. They sell print test prep books and digital products like CDs and DVDs with videos to help you prepare as well so you may also have seen these products in book stores.
Kaplan doesn’t just offer test preparation for the GRE. They offer pretty much any test you may need to take, such as the SAT, ACT, LSAT, GMAT, and admission exams for dental school, medical school, pharmacy school, and optometry school. High school and university students alike have been using Kaplan for decades to help them prepare for exams. You may even find them useful after getting your degree and moving on into your chosen career field as they can help you prep for different professional licensing exams like the Bar Review.
Millions of people all over the world have been helped by Kaplan. In fact, their test preparation materials and centers are used by over 2 million people in a single year! They are probably one of the most well-known, and the most trusted, names when it comes to test prep. They have been successful in helping students get higher scores on their GRE for decades. In fact, they have a higher score guarantee offered with their test prep materials. If your score does not improve after using their materials, they will issue a full refund or let you continue to use their prep services for free.
How You Can Prepare
Kapan offers a variety of printed materials that include sample exams, example test questions, and different prep materials to help you study. These books often come with disks as well that offer audio or video components to go along with your test prep. If you need more than what a prep book can offer, though, you have a few different options for taking GRE test prep classes available to you.
When you go onto Kaplan’s website, you can actually take a quiz to see what kind of test prep is right for you. People learn in different ways and what is right for one person may not work at all for another. One option is to take an in-person class at one of their centers. As mentioned, they have many, all over the world, so there may be one near you. If you attend university or live near one, there is a high likelihood that a Kaplan center is nearby. Their in-person classes also include some online elements, such as online video instruction, computer-based practice tests, and thousands of sample test questions. If you need more one-on-one instruction, private tutoring is also available.
But what if a center isn’t near you or the classes just won’t fit into your schedule? Kaplan has plenty of online offerings. One way you can prepare online is by signing up for their Live Online classes. You can attend these classes from anywhere you’re able to access a computer, taking out the need to commute to a far away center if there isn’t one nearby. Their regular Live Online class includes 21 hours of live instruction as well as 35 hours of additional, optional instruction from The GRE Channel. You will also receive two GRE prep books, seven computer-based practice exams, over 180 hours of various instruction videos, and access to QBank, which is a quiz builder with over 5,000 different questions you can use to build tests to suit your needs. In addition, the Live Online class comes with Kaplan’s Official Test Day Experience. This is a chance to take a practice test that is designed to perfectly mimic the real exam. You take the practice test in an actual testing center and are timed in the exact same way you will be when it comes time to take your real exam.
There are many different schedule options for the Live Online classes but sometimes you just can’t guarantee you’ll be able to make all the live video classes. If this is the case for you, then the Self-Paced prep option is for you. This is also all online but it comes with 18 hours of video instruction that is pre-recorded so you can view it at any time. This option also comes with the same practice exams and GRE prep books, as well as access to QBank and the chance to take a practice exam with the Official Test Day Experience. It does not come with access to The GRE Channel unless you buy the Self-Paced Plus package.
Both the Self-Paced and Live Online prep options have Plus packages available. These classes include all the same materials and instruction as either the Self-Paced or Live Online classes plus some extras, GRE Math Foundations and GRE Advanced Math. These materials are also available separately, as are QBank, The Official Test Day Experience, and the full-length practice exams.
GRE Math Foundations is entirely self-paced and is designed to help you brush up on your math skills and prepare specifically for the math section of the GRE. This is one section that many people struggle on so it’s always good to have a little extra preparation. GRE Math Foundations includes over 400 test questions and different online workshops that will help you have a better foundation for your math skills. GRE Advanced Math takes it a step further and offers you over 200 more test questions at a higher, more difficult level. It also comes with instructional videos that break down each topic you need to go over in order to do well on those difficult math questions. Again, both of these Math Section prep materials are available by themselves or as add-ons to the Self-Paced and Live Online classes.
Get the Scores You Need to Succeed
However you choose to take GRE test prep classes, the main goal, in the end, is to get the best score possible. Achieving a high overall score can mean the difference between being accepted to your dream school or getting that dreaded rejection letter in the mail. Whether you are taking this exam for the first time or retaking it in hopes of getting a better score, Kaplan in-person or online prep classes can be a huge help. You have a lot of options when it comes to test preparation so search around and find the one that is right for you. Even if you only need a little extra help on a single section, know that there are materials out there to help you.