Attending graduate school entails a large commitment. This is not like a bachelor’s program where you might be looking to get a holistic degree that requires you to take a number of electives to keep you well-rounded. Grad school tends to be tightly focused on development toward a specific career path. The intensity of the classes and the academic environment speaks to this idea.
With that in mind, before you decide on the program you want to enroll in, there are a number of questions you will want to ask yourself:
Do You Really Need a Graduate Degree?
Do you really need a graduate degree to be successful in your chosen profession? Before embarking on a program that will likely be taxing (financially and the amount of your time it consumes), it’s crucial to truly assess this question.
- Do you have a clear career path? Again, grad school is for those who are focused on a specific vision of their professional future. If you are still trying to decide your next move, you may need to do more research and self-assessment before going to grad school.
- Can you achieve the same level of education with certificate programs? If your goal is purely instructional and you do not require a further degree or any of the other opportunities that graduate school affords you, it is time to look into certificates or professional development courses.
Is This The Right Time?
There are a number of factors to weigh, both personally and professionally to make sure that you are in the right place for graduate school. Some things to assess include:
- Family obligations: Make sure to realistically discuss with a spouse, partner, and other family members what the commitment will be like. There are very likely aspects of your life that will change drastically, and you will need others to help you pick up the slack. Do you have childcare in place where you need it? Will you be financially solvent? Are elderly relatives being taken care of? If the timing is just not right for your life, you will want to wait until you can responsibly attend grad school.
- Professional obligations: Is it possible to take the necessary time from your work (or your career path) right now to attend school? For example, if you are a nurse who wants further your education, research whether a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) would be most appropriate. If you are thinking of going into a program that allows you to assist your current company in some way you may want to speak with your boss about your thoughts on grad school. Some workplaces are very encouraging about added education and will subsidize grad school or at least make time allowances for employees so that they can retain their position while attending school.
- The right academic timing: Do some research to see when most of your peers received a grad degree. If they waited five or six years before getting a degree, there may be a good reason why. Some of the elite business programs, for example, may have this as a tacit requirement for admission. For example, the average age of an applicant to Harvard Business School is 27 with 54 months of professional experience. If you want to get into this level of a program, you’ll want to weigh your chances against those with at least that much experience.
Have You Researched Different Programs?
The prospect of graduate school can be exciting and make people want to apply right away, but the process of searching for the best degree program should be a long and measured one.
Some ways to think about the grad school research process include:
- When to start: You will want to have enough time to really engage with the programs that you are considering. This usually means a timeline of at least 9 months before application. A year would be even better. This allows you the chance to fully prepare and to find your best program.
- Types of colleges: Are you able to get your degree online rather than in an in-person format? Is an online academic environment one in which you will thrive? Some people are more self motivated than others and if you are not someone who has the best time management skills, then an online college may not be the best choice for you.
- Courses available: Are you going to school to be a doctor? Or are you going to school to be a lawyer? Your career goals will play a large role in what degree program you choose. Make sure the program you are interested in has the courses you need to succeed in your professional career.
- Look for practical hands-on training: Another enormously important aspect of graduate school is access to professional-level opportunities. Most grad programs offer practical training in the professional world that includes shadowing, interning, or participating in low-level field placements in return for the education that can only come experience. Look into the relationships that particular schools have with companies or organizations that you would like to work with and try to exploit those partnerships toward leveraging a career after graduation.
- Do your research: Some of the most crucial parts of the grad school experience include making connections with faculty that can help you progress professionally and gaining practical experience while still in an academic program. You will want to research which programs have relationships with professional development programs that appeal to you and which have professors that can help you advance your career.
- Networking: Another one of the most important aspects of grad school is the peer and alumni network. These are the people that will be your collaborators, champions, and friends. Before choosing a school, check out the current network and what graduates have accomplished to see if these look like a group you would want to join.
- Visit campus: If you choose an in-person program, you will want to visit as many campuses as possible. Take tours, talk to relevant faculty as well as current students to assess if this place is right for you.
Taking all this into account will help you get precise and systematic about how you choose the best grad school path (if you choose to go). Looking for an easy way to visualize this information? Check out this flow-chart that paints an excellent picture of how to consider your grad school readiness.
Study fatigue is a real concern, and it can have a truly detrimental effect on your exam performance and resulting grade. If you are worried that you’re going to fall victim to this ever-present danger, or if you’ve experienced it in the past and are seeking to avoid it this time around, here are some helpful tips that can help you prevent GRE study fatigue.
If you’ve committed to taking the GRE, you’re probably already aware that you’ve also committed yourself to countless hours of study. Investing this time is of course, crucial to your success, but staring at words on a page or images on a screen for days and weeks at a time can quickly lead to feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, and burnout.
The longer you keep yourself in this overly focused and often stressful state, the more you will find your motivation decreasing, and your ability to retain information falling short of what you need it to be.
Here are some creative ways to help you combat study fatigue and get that dream score on the GRE!
MS in US. This is definitely a dream for millions of students (and their parents) around the world. If you’re an international student who just finished college, you must have definitely thought about going to grad school. And more importantly, about pursuing a Masters degree abroad.
Getting an undergraduate degree is definitely a major life achievement. However, it is often accompanied by the constant gnawing of the ‘What Next?’ question. As if the continuing anxiety of college wasn’t enough, this constant forward-looking question is something that must be haunting you. They always say that college opens up a lot of doors but no one ever warned us that choosing which door to open is going to be super stressful and virtually impossible.
It is, of course, a difficult choice to make, if not one of the most difficult choices you’ll ever make in your life. This is true, given that this is probably the first time you’ll leave your family and your home country to live and study in a foreign nation. And while we cannot make that difficult yet rewarding decision for you, we are at your service to help you make an informed decision.
The two most obvious choices after undergrad are employment and grad school. While working right after college is not a bad option, undergrad degrees often do not prepare you with advanced technical skills. Skills that are required to land a high paying job. A masters degree is not only an advantage but also a requirement in order to settle into a professional environment. And then to successfully maneuver the ever-growing competition in the business world.
So you agree that you need a Masters degree. And you’ve made a wonderful choice!
But then comes the next question. Where should you pursue it? 🤔
The fact that you’re looking for some last minute GRE tips means that the D-day is upon you!
All those months of preparation – days when you burnt the
midnight oil every single day by getting worked up with GRE practice questions,
skipped binge watching your favorite TV shows, gave up on all/many past-time
hobbies, and frantically try out those mock tests to see if you’ve improved
your score – all of that is about to come to an end as you gear up to face the
And all you need right now is to learn some last minute GRE
tips. You may call them strategies, or even hacks, but truth be told, you’re
looking for that much needed final push to squeeze out a few extra points on
“Stay calm! It’s not that difficult!”
“Just go ahead with what you have learned so far and
everything’s gonna be alright…”
“No shortcut can replace months of toil and hard
These might be some of the pieces of advice that you might
receive when you’re only days away from the test.
But then, there’s always a way (or even 21 ways, in our case) to improve your performance on the test day, and get the best GRE score you can get.
Retaking the GRE – for some it is more like a luxury that they want to pursue with the hopes of improving their chances at the top schools or get some additional funding, and for others it is a necessity because they desperately are looking to improve their scores.
If you belong to one of these two groups, and especially the latter, then it is possible that you’re full of questions. It’s not uncommon to spend a few sleepless nights thinking:
Should I consider retaking the GRE? 😏
Is it worth the extra time, money and effort? ⏲️💰😪
Will I be able to improve my score significantly? 🤔
Should I study on my own or join an online course? 💻
And what if I score even lower than before? 😱
Whoa, now that’s a question to keep you awake last night, isn’t it? 👀
GRE Quantitative Comparison questions make up almost 40% of GRE quant, and hence can singlehandedly decide the kind of score you’ll be getting on the test. Which is why it is safe to say that you’re able to get a good grip on this question type, then it’s safe to say that almost half of the battle is won.
Having said that, most test takers are not well equipped to answer GRE Quantitative Comparison questions, mainly because quantitative comparison as a concept is not very common outside of the GRE exam. It’s not something that you would have learnt in school, yet it is an important part of the GRE math section.
Quantitative comparison is a unique type of question, and the answer choices that accompany this question type are also unique.
It is hence important that you understand how this question type works, and learn the techniques required to solve such questions quickly and easily. Quantitative comparison is one of those rare topics that you’ll have to start from the very beginning. And this guide will help you do exactly that.
The easiest way to get a great GRE quant score is to avoid making silly mistakes. It is possible that even with 2-3 mistakes, you can still get the perfect score in GRE quant. But then you should be sure to not make mistakes with the easier questions and fall for simple traps in GRE quant.
While solving the really hard questions on the GRE is already difficult, most students make simple errors and fall for common trap answer choices, which further reduces their chances of getting a good GRE quant score. 👎
It’s okay to make a mistake or two when solving the hardest questions on the test, but if you make mistakes in the first quant section itself, then you’ll surely miss the 170 mark.
Remember that the first GRE quant section will be of average difficulty level, and as such, you should ideally answer every question correctly. ✅
And the simplest way to get there is to make sure you don’t make simple mistakes that you can avoid in the first place.
Have you ever asked yourself why some students study so little but still end up getting very high GRE scores? And why the vast majority of students are unable to increase GRE score despite studying rigorously for the test? 🤔
It’s because successful students apply what is known as the 80/20 rule when they’re studying for an exam like the GRE.
The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto principle, which originally was an observation by Vilfredo Pareto that 80% of the world’s wealth is owned by only 20% of the population.
Now, we’re not here to discuss economics, but the 80/20 rule is applicable to many things in our daily life. Think about it: 80% of the work in a typical business is done by 20% of its employees. 80% of your problems are created by 20% of the people in your life, etc.
Turns out that this rule can also be applied to your GRE prep, because it can help you increase GRE score by eliminating the unnecessary. 🚫
GRE data interpretation is not like regular data interpretation. To be successful in this section, you need to have special skills. If you’re just beginning your GRE prep, you need to know how important this section is, and how you can increase your GRE math score by turning this section into your strength. 💪
Data Interpretation may not seem like the most prominent question type on the GRE, but on test day, you can be sure to see at least 6 questions from this concept out of a total of 40 question in the GRE Quant section. That’s 15% of the entire math section – which should tell you how important this section is if you want to succeed in quant. 👈
When studying for the GRE exam, students pay too much attention to the verbal section, because it is widely considered as harder than GRE math. 😿
In comparison, the quant section on the GRE may seem a lot easier to manage. Yet, for all the attention that the verbal section gets from the vast majority of test takers, it is very rare to see someone get a perfect score in that section. 💯✔️
But, with a little bit of work and diligence, you can get a perfect quant score, which is 170 on the GRE. Or at the very least, you can improve your quant score to a significant extent, and aim for a 160+ score within a few weeks.
So if you’re just starting out with your GRE prep, it is important that you know how you can ace the math section on the GRE.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some GRE quantitative tips and strategies that will help you get closer to your target score.
These tips are more like a checklist of things that you need to make sure you do, to break the barrier and get the 170 score in math. 👌