Successful GRE Score = Successful MBA Students

Want to know what HBS has to say about accepting the GRE?An Educational Testing Service (ETS) press releases reports on a study conducted by ETS that examines the performance of part-time and full-time MBA students who had taken the GRE revised General Test. Results show that high GRE scores predict solid student performance in MBA programs.

According to David Payne, Vice President and COO of Global Education at ETS, “The GRE® Program has a long history of predictive validity for graduate-level programs such as social sciences, including business, which is why more than 1,100 business schools worldwide are accepting GRE scores for their MBA Programs. This new study provides even more evidence regarding the specific population of MBA students.”

The ETS press release also shares the following points:

• Currently, almost all top b-schools (90% of U.S. News’ top 100 schools) accept the GRE.

• GRE test takers report positively about the GRE’s ScoreSelect which allows test takers to submit only their best sets of scores to schools for up to five years from the test day.

• Test takers also provide positive feedback regarding their ability to skip questions and return to them later on.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You! Helping You Write Your Best

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• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
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How to Ace the GRE Quant Section Without (Too Much) Math

Need more GRE advice?

Don’t try to “Math” your way through the GRE!

Many people think that the GRE is designed to test your math and verbal skills. While this is true to some degree, the tests are really designed to test your critical thinking skills. Trying to “math” your way through every problem on the quantitative section is possible, but it will likely take a lot of time. Let’s take a look at a sample GRE question and see how we can solve it in different ways.

On Monday, 2/5 of a full tank of water is emptied. On Tuesday, 1/5 of what’s left is emptied out of the tank. How full is the tank on Wednesday?

A] 2/25

B] 3/25

C] 2/5

D] 12/25

E] 3/5

First, we’ll go through the math. Then we’ll talk about how to do this problem without math.

The tank is originally completed full, or 5/5 full. Then 2/5 of the tank is emptied, so 5/5 – 2/5 = 3/5. At the end of Monday, the tank is 3/5 full.

Then 1/5 of the remaining water is emptied. 1/5 of 3/5 means 1/5 x 3/5 = 3/25. So on Tuesday, 3/25 of the overall volume of the tank is drained. So 3/5 is left, then 3/25 is taken out, so we’ll need to convert the numbers into common denominators and we end up with 15/25 – 3/25 = 12/25. The tank remains 12/25 full.

There’s the math based way to solve this question. But because the GRE is actually a critical thinking test, is there another way to solve this problem what will get you to the answer more quickly?

Let’s take a look at how to do this without so much math

Take a look at the answer choices. On the first day, 2/5 of the tank is drained, leaving 3/5. No matter what, more water will be drained, so E cannot be the answer. Further, this problem is more complicated than simply doing this math: 1 – 2/5 – 1/5 = 2/5. Eliminate C.

If you simply multiply 1/5 and 2/5, you get 2/25, and we can eliminate A, as that is too easy. This leaves us with B] and D], and if you simply consider that the tank should still be around half full, after 1/5 of 3/5 is removed, only D] remains in the ballpark.

Approaching the problem in this way will save you time, if you know how to apply these methods. This is what preparing for the GRE is all about. Not just hammering at questions with direct math and being fast at it. It is about recognizing what the test is actually testing. The second method will take far less time on test day, and time management is a huge part of attaining a high score on the GRE.

Next Step Test Preparation, specializes in 1-on-1 tutoring for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT. Contact them today to discuss your goals and to learn how they can help you achieve them.

Download our free report: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School Application

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The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well

Click here to listen to our conversation with Arthur Ahn!If you have the GMAT or GRE in your future, then you’ve most certainly heard of Kaplan Test Prep. Trying to figure out which test to take? Getting ready for test day? This podcast episode is for you!

Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview with Arthur Ahn, Senior Manager, Product Development at Kaplan Test Prep for the GRE and the GMAT for some great insight into test prep, test taking and what matters to admissions committees.

00:01:00 – Linda answers the oft-asked question: “I got accepted to School X. Should I attend?”

00:05:03 – The test prep biz: Instructing students, but not as the enemy.

00:06:23 – What Kaplan offers future GMAT and GRE test-takers.

00:08:28 – GMAT vs GRE: Differences in prepping & test taking.

00:16:04 – Why a low GRE score is the biggest application killer (by far).

00:22:31 – Is it the total GRE Score, or section scores, that make it or break it.

00:28:32 – Arthur’s top 3 GRE prep tips.

00:30:34 – How to make the big GMAT vs GRE decision.

00:34:20 – Too early to assess: Do applicants with lower scores have a better chance of admissions with one test over the other?

00:39:12 – Why most b-schools don’t really care yet about GMAT IR section scores.

00:47:25 – Last minute advice for exam takers.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of

Related Links:

• Kaplan Survey: Two Years After its Launch, a Majority of Business Schools Still Not Sold on the Importance of the GMAT’s® Integrated Reasoning Section; Most Deem it Unimportant, but Students Ignore it at their Own Risk
• What’s the Biggest Graduate School Admissions Application Killer? A Low GRE® Score, According to Kaplan’s 2014 Survey of Admissions Officers
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Not so Nostalgic for the Standardized Test of Yore

Looking for grad school admissions advice?

No longer are your parents waking you up to study or take a test.

In the twilight region of your brain, there is buried a memory. It probably goes something like this: against your will, you woke up very early one Saturday morning to crowd into a room of similarly groggy teenagers. A vaguely authoritarian figure handed out number two pencils and yelled “start” and “stop” at 30-minute intervals.

You emerged from the experience frazzled, probably wondering why you had to take a stupid test that didn’t test what you really knew but seemed intent on tricking you. A few weeks later you got a score and then went on your way, a sour taste in your mouth whenever anyone uttered the letters—SAT.

Now, what seems a lifetime later, another very similar test stands between you and your academic career: the GRE. Like the SAT, you will have reading passages, big vocabulary words, and, of course, answer choices that are designed to trick you. Unlike the SAT, you may have a very different attitude towards education. No longer are your parents waking you up to take a test or telling you when to study (or at least I hope not); you are in charge, and you are set on doing very well on the GRE.

Much of that success depends not just on the size of your vocabulary or your knowledge of integer properties, but on how well you understand how the test is designed. Below are some points to keep in mind.

1. The SAT and the GRE are not exactly the same

The information above may lead you to think that the GRE and the SAT are exactly the same. First off, the GRE is much more difficult (makes sense since it tests knowledge in grad school bound students). And students often find themselves confused with the different scoring. The GRE score range is from 130 to 170 on a math and a verbal section (the GRE doesn’t have a writing section—though, like the SAT, it does have an essay).

 2. Understand why the right answer is right and the wrong answer is wrong

For SAT test takers there is a tendency to want to argue with the answers, especially on the dreaded SAT reading passages. The key is to not fight the correct answer but understand why the test writers consider the right answer and why your original answer is considered incorrect.

3. You must learn vocabulary

In high school you were probably loath (which means reluctant) to study vocabulary. For the GRE, you have to turn your initial revulsion to all things multisyllabic into an all-consuming passion. Think of a GRE word list as your ticket to a good score.

4. How did you do before?

If you did well on the SAT, you should do quite well on the GRE. There is no SAT to GRE score conversion, but unless you spent college unlearning your math and reading skills, your good SAT score should translate into a good GRE score.

If the SATs did you in and sent you sailing in a different direction in life, don’t despair. That’s what this post is for: to galvanize you to approach GRE studying differently from how you approached SAT studying. An average SAT score doesn’t have to translate into a mediocre GRE score. You can overcome the past. So get cracking on those vocabulary flashcards!

grad 5 Fatal Flaws

MagooshThis post was written by Chris Lele, resident GRE expert at Magoosh, a leader in GRE prep. For help with GRE vocabulary, check out our free flashcards and Vocab Wednesday videos on the Magoosh GRE Blog.

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• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
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