GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)

Hey guys!

I'll be graduating with a BS in Marine Bio this December. I'm planning on taking the GRE in June because I want to apply for grad school next spring.

The GRE is used as a test for getting into grad school, kind of like the SAT is used for getting into undergrad college.

I looked into it, and it's a 4-hour test with 1 break. I am not sure if I should sign up with a request for accommodations, or just go and take it like a regular kid. I don't want to be stuck with a falling or rising blood sugar and not be able to do anything about it... but to register with accommodations, it looks like it takes lots of paperwork through snail mail that takes something like 6 weeks.

Has anyone taken this test and can advise me on the best approach? (Study tips welcome too!) :)

Thanks!

Amanda 

I'd fill out the accomodation forms and ask to be able to test your blood sugar and eat glucose or administer insulin as needed.

Best way to study for the GRE is to take practice tests.  It gives you a good feel for how the questions are worded.  People in my life who've done best with the GRE or LSAT studied daily for months before the test.  Those who tried to cram a few weeks before taking it ended up having to take it again and wasted their time and money.

I'm sure you'll do great.

I just took the GREs on March 1st. I did submit accommodation paperwork.  They were actually super quick! It took less than 2 weeks (no where close to the 6 they claim!). I mailed in all the information, and got a call from them once they received it. The woman who called to speak to me is a professor at some school in Virginia and she actually has type 1 herself! I didn't have to do any explaining, she just "got it". So it was nice that they have people on their team who are familiar with type 1!  I would DEFINITELY recommend taking the time to get the accommodations for a few reasons:

1. You will be in a separate room from everyone else. This is so that you can bring in food, water, meter, pump, etc. It was so nice to not have to worry about other people making noise or anything like that. I had my own quiet space. They don't even let you bring in water if you don't have accommodations. I had a terrible cold at the time and they would only let me take in two tissues at a time. They're extremely strict.

2. No matter the reason for getting accommodations, you do NOT have to do the experimental section. (You'll do the 2 analytical writing sections, 2 verbal sections, and the two quantitative reasoning sections. Everyone else has to do an additional verbal or math section). To put it another way, your test will be 35 minutes shorter than everyone else!!! And when the test is 4 hours, trust me, it's awesome to not have to sit there any longer!

3. I was way more calm and relaxed knowing I didn't have to worry about testing and losing time on the test. There was a little button on the top of the screen that says "break". You click this at any time during the test and it pauses your time. I think it really eased my mind knowing I didn't have to worry about what my blood sugar was doing - I had the time to test if I needed it.

I hope this is helpful! Feel free to ask me any other questions!

One more thing,

Talk to your disability services at school to see who you should get in contact with at your school about GRE supports. I go to the University of New Hampshire. There is one guy (he works with Student Supports and Services) who is in charge of GRE help classes and all that good stuff. He was an awesome resource. Unfortunately, I found out too late, but I could have gotten half of the GRE fee waived if I had told him I was signing up. Your school might have similar supports. I qualified for the fee waiver because of my Type 1.

Thanks! That's what I'm thinking too. & I will be studying daily for over a month, for sure. :)

@ LoLoG,

Thank you for all the advice! I am actually going to stop by disability services today. I will check about a contact and a fee waiver. That would be pretty sweet.

I forgot to ask before--- When you register to take the test with accommodations, does it limit the days and times you can sign up to take the test? Like, I understand for "normal" kids it's offered pretty much continually online. So for me, would it still be offered any day online, or would I be restricted in the days/times it's offered?

And, you wait until you get that phone call, and then they give you the info you need to actually register, correct?

I went through all of this stuff for SATs 4 years ago... I wish the accommodations I requested back then could just be "transferred" or something LOL!

Yeah, definitely awesome to only have to pay half! You have to do the fee waiver before you send in the accommodation paperwork because that is when you pay.

It may depend on your location, but I had no difficulty whatsoever getting a time to take it. I called early because, like you, I figured it would take a while. They were like, "we have an opening in 3 days". I was like....uhhhh no thanks! haha I took it about a month later. They were available every day of the week except for Sunday, I believe. And, they have appointments multiple times per day (I think twice) - they asked if I could do 9am, but on that particular day that didn't work so I was able to take it at noon. I am NOT a morning person, too, so it was nice to take it in the afternoon.

Yes, so you submit all the paperwork and money, and then you'll get a call or email from one of their people. You'll then get sent the accommodation paperwork by email. Once you have that paper, you'll be able to call the company and set up your appointment.

I said the exact same thing about having had the SAT accommodations! haha

As far as studying, just start doing high school math problems. Like I said, my school had a guy, Randy, who worked with us - he would offer weekly math review sessions. It was really, really helpful. He also told us about www.quizlet.com  - it's a website where he put up a bunch of lists of words that you should memorize. That's really the only preparation you can do for the verbal section. If you go to Quizlet, search for "Randy GRE" and all of the word lists are super helpful! There are a TON of words...but at least it gives you a place to start. Randy used to work analyzing the GRE exams for ETS. So he knows what to study!

Hey LoLoG!

I just wanted to update you on the whole GRE thing so far! So I submitted all the necessary paperwork and the fee, and called today to make sure they received it. So now I just have to wait for an email/phone call to go ahead and schedule the exam!

I want to thank you again for all of your help and advice. You're the best!! :)