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I'm planning on going to grad school straight out of undergrad. I haven't planned for taking the GRE yet, and so far people I've asked give me a wide range of answers on when to take it and the best way to prepare. I'm in my junior year now, I'm aiming for a December 2010 grad. date (extra semseter to finish my double degree).

I would really appreciate some help on the matter. Has anyone here taken the GRE yet?
When in the best time to start preparing and when should you take it? What prep, if any, would you advise? Is it very difficult?

I'm worried about the math portion, its always been my weakest subject and the last math course I took was in my freshman year. Got a D (counts for passing) and moved on with my life- though I will be taking a math course (into to probability) this summer for a double degree requirement.
 

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Magnanimous carcinoma
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Start preparing at least a month in advance of taking the test, and take the exam as early as possible, in case you need to retake it. There's prep materials that you can order, and I would recommend doing so. The test isn't "difficult," but it covers a lot of things that I, personally, hadn't worried about since high school, so most people have to refresh themselves. There are study books you can purchase that cover the pertinent topics and include practice tests for each section; many also include CD-ROMS with practice tests that simulate the actual test. Also, you can try to expand your vocabulary (which is relevant to the verbal portion) by looking through an online dictionary/thesaurus.
 

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I took this in the mid 90's so my advice might be a little dated. Most important thing is to take actual past GRE's for practice... the prep books are useful but their sample exams aren't really like the actual test (which are based on questions given to a large statistical sample of actual test takers). So practice on real tests with a timer.
 

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Après moi, le déluge
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I've taken the GREs twice. Each time I used a book (Kaplan, I believe) to get me through it. The math was basically high school level algebra and geometry. I hadn't done high school stuff in a while, but the books are really helpful here. They tell you all the tricks that you may have forgotten. The tricks make the problem easier - oftentimes you won't have to do the problem, but can just use process of elimination to find the answer, thus saving time.

The analytical section is an essay now. (It was multiple choice the first time I took it, written the second.) I find the essay to be easier. Just make sure you explain your position in answer to the questions as best you can and you should be fine.

I found the practice tests in the book to be harder than the actual test. I actually recommend taking them. After I did that, I got to the test and realized, "Hey, this isn't so bad. It's much easier than the books."

Anyway, good luck! :yes

Have a nice day,
Kelly :)
 
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