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Thread: GMAT, LSAT, GRE the alphabet soup of tests

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    GMAT, LSAT, GRE the alphabet soup of tests

    As you are all aware I am looking to change careers. I figure the easiest way to do this is to back to school. I'm looking at a few graduate programs (GRE) a few MBA (GMATs) and even considering law school(LSAT). The question is, I've never had to take this type of standardized test. Just wondering what to expect and any hints on prepping for one.

    Another issue, is that I tend to "freeze" during tests and end up choking on them. Should I tell the school that before I take the test or go for learning tests before i take the test to document this 20 year pattern. (study hard, understand the concepts, explain the concepts to others, choke)

    I am leaning towards an MBA. If I am going to invest this type of $$$ in a new career, it had better have the opportunity for a pay off for me.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    Most, if not all, of these tests are now computer based. There are simulators out there, some of which come with the test prep books. Perhaps if you make use of the simulators a bunch of times, you won't be so nervous when you actually take the test.

    I have the opposite problem in that I can't force myself to take sample tests. Unless there is really something on the line, I just won't focus. So test books and simulators are pretty much wasted on me but the first few chapters of the books where they go over the test procedures and strategies for a good score are worthwhile.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

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    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    Have you thought about taking up welding?

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by munibulldog
    Have you thought about taking up welding?
    I have actually thought about going back for a trade also, but don't want to spend the next 2 years in school then 4 years as an apprentice.

    I would actually prefer to take a paper based version of the test, as I have a hard time reading things on a computer screen.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    I would actually prefer to take a paper based version of the test, as I have a hard time reading things on a computer screen.
    I'm with you on that. The cheap flickering screen I used to take the AICP exam gave me a headache.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
          roger's avatar
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    Just pick up a GMAT prep book and go to town. Concentrate on the areas where you know you're weak. For me it was math, so I bought a GRE math prep book and worked through it before I took the test. The Princeton Review makes good prep books.

    GRE and GMAT both consist of verbal, math, and analytical writing sections. There are certain sorts of questions that only appear on one of the tests. IIRC the LSAT has verbal, reading comprehension, and logic.

    If you think you have a learning disability, get some documentation to back it up...I doubt they'll bend any rules if you just come up and tell them you have a hard time taking tests. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    I have actually thought about going back for a trade also, but don't want to spend the next 2 years in school then 4 years as an apprentice.
    I think that I would probably have been happier in my career if I had done an electricians apprenticeship rather than going to the University. I might have felt that I had missed some intellectual development. But the way I view my career now, is that it is a way to get to retirement, the sooner the better.

    If I knew then what I know now...

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    I recently took a simmilar test. Call the test provider and ask them if they have a study book. The book will consist of old test that are no longer in circulation. This will give you a feel for the format and type of questions that are asked.

    When I took my test I got two types of study books, one was the basic Kaplan Study Guide that I picked up from Barnes and Noble, -- which was worthless once I saw the actual test. The second study guide was from the test provider like I described above -- this one was perfect and there were no suprises when test day came.

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The GRE test book is pretty useful from what I've heard from others and comes from the test provider.

    I know the GRE is still offered in paper form in some places, but not very often. A GRE test registration packet will have info on testing centers, dates, and whether paper tests are available.

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    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Don't forget....

    How about the FSE.....Foreign Service Exam That is far more difficult than the LSAT or GRE At least it was for me......It would have helped, had I gone to Georgetown University or one of those Ivy league joints that do nothing for four years, but prepare you to test well on this exam.....no wonder so many of our international representatives reflect the ivory tower intellectuals and not the "real" american.......just my 2c.........(mental picture of cooter from Alabama trying to negotiate a free trade agreement with Brazil...... ) You know what....that agreement would most likely work out just fine for our exportation of pickled pigs feet and jars of grain alcohol not to mention the importation of Pampas Pork Rinds....har har har....

    Yeah, for my money and time....the FSE was the most difficult test and the LSAT, only because I didn't take enough english classes that taught all that crap about sand is to block as cat is to _________. I guess with so many applicant's they can afford to get the "so called" cream of the crop....whom I've met and would hate to think are shaping the worlds view towards me and my country

    I liked the GRE because it included some math and analytical.....which I rocked at...but alas...analytical means nothing to the schools.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

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          roger's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    How about the FSE.....Foreign Service Exam That is far more difficult than the LSAT or GRE At least it was for me......It would have helped, had I gone to Georgetown University or one of those Ivy league joints that do nothing for four years, but prepare you to test well on this exam.....no wonder so many of our international representatives reflect the ivory tower intellectuals and not the "real" american.......just my 2c.........(mental picture of cooter from Alabama trying to negotiate a free trade agreement with Brazil...... ) You know what....that agreement would most likely work out just fine for our exportation of pickled pigs feet and jars of grain alcohol not to mention the importation of Pampas Pork Rinds....har har har....

    Yeah, for my money and time....the FSE was the most difficult test and the LSAT, only because I didn't take enough english classes that taught all that crap about sand is to block as cat is to _________. I guess with so many applicant's they can afford to get the "so called" cream of the crop....whom I've met and would hate to think are shaping the worlds view towards me and my country

    I liked the GRE because it included some math and analytical.....which I rocked at...but alas...analytical means nothing to the schools.....
    A friend of mine and fellow alum from FSU's International Affairs program just got an appointment to the Foreign Service. So it's not unattainable for non-Ivy Leaguers. But it does require a lot of work, not to mention a LONG wait in most cases. My friend had to wait about 2 years; he had given up and was about to start law school when the call came.

    He and his wife are going to Ho Chi Minh City. Should be interesting....

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sweet.....

    Quote Originally posted by roger
    A friend of mine and fellow alum from FSU's International Affairs program just got an appointment to the Foreign Service. So it's not unattainable for non-Ivy Leaguers. But it does require a lot of work, not to mention a LONG wait in most cases. My friend had to wait about 2 years; he had given up and was about to start law school when the call came.

    He and his wife are going to Ho Chi Minh City. Should be interesting....
    I'm going to give it one last try before giving up.....this year sometime......argggh.....wish me luck...........
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    I didn't take enough english classes that taught all that crap about sand is to block as cat is to _________.
    The answer is umbrella.
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    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Kind of a personal plug here, I guess...

    I have a great-condition Princeton Review "Cracking the GRE" GRE Prep book if anyone is interested in it. Reply or shoot me an email.

    Adam

  15. #15
    If you've ever taken the SAT, the GRE is similar. I got the EXACT same score on both, separated by ~4 years. BTW, GRE math is junior-high level, as art students take the same tests as economists.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Forgot to provide an update on my test. I earned a respectable score, but not a fantastic one. Kind of like my previous academic endeavours, career and life in general. The score I got is at teh low end of what they would be willing to accept, at least I don't have to worry so much as I've started my new job.

    A few hints that are not in the books.

    Verbal - Keep track of teh number of reading comprehension questions you have done. You know there will be 10-15. I got mine early in teh test and spent a disportionate amount of time on those 15 questions, got a bit annoyed and raced through them as I was scared I'd run out of time. If I had tracked the question distribution I probably would have done better. I ended up finishing 20 minutes early, with apretty good score.

    The math section is definitely unfair to visual thinkers. They only use geometry to test advanced scorers, which i am not. I new I was doing well when I saw a few geopmetry questions, but they are so crazy that you can't think athem through like I would at work.

    Definitely get the GMAT book and review the essay questions, don't have to do them, but at least think about as many as you can. I ended up recognizing both of mine.

    On teh math section I nearly did not finish, I had ne question left with 1 minute to do it in. I selected the answer my gut told me was correct, then went back to try and figure it out. That is the right thing to do as you have less points deducted for a wrong answer than an incomplete test. When the time limit is up it asks if you want to use the answer selected so no matter what you are a half step ahead.

    Should get the results back from the essays this week.

    If anyone is interested I have a complete library of books and CD's for the test. (2 Kaplans with CD, 1 princeton review, GMAT official book, GMAT official CD)
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  17. #17
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    Since this thread was recently revived, I can offer my 2c on at least the LSAT (and soon the GMAT).

    For the LSAT/law school in general, a "must have" resource for applications is Montauk's "How to Get Into the Top Law Schools" (or something like that), I'd also recommend "Law School Confidential" as a book, since it gives a pretty good idea of what to expect for the entire process. When it comes time to study for the test, take a few practice tests. If you score < 160, use Kaplan's products (classes and/or books), as they are geared toward people scoring in that range. If you score ~160 or above, use Powerscore's materials (LR and LG Bibles) as they are geared more towards scorers in the 90th percentile and up.

    I'm actually in law school now. A while ago, I asked for career advice on this board, and people were kind enough to make me reconsider my interest in U/R Planning as a career. Just as they said to me about this profession, consider what you're getting yourself into. Lawyers consistently rank towards the bottom in regard to career satisfaction.

    Hopefully, within the next month or so I'll be able to talk about the GMAT, since I'm applying to my school's JD/MBA program (basically, only applying for the MBA).

    Everyman (lurking much, but only typing on what I know)

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