How I Studied for the GRE

GRETo be perfectly honest, I really didn’t want to take the GRE. I am not one of those people who love standardized tests. But after speaking to one of my good friends, I was decided to take the exam. Although there are plenty of graduate nursing programs that do not require the GRE, there are schools that require the GRE.  To reach the highest academic level of nursing (PhD, DNP), majority of programs require the GRE.

I did well! Here are the tools I used to study at home and at my own pace.

1. Magoosh GRE 

I highly recommend using Magoosh, especially since the entire study program is online. There are detailed videos on how to answer math, verbal, and the writing section. There are over 1000 questions ranging from easy, medium, hard and very hard. The format and types of questions is nearly the same as the actual GRE so you’ll get plenty of practice from day one. And yes, you do get use a onscreen calculator, a pencil and scratch paper for the real exam.

They also have apps for the iPhone and Android so you can practice vocabulary on the go and watch videos!

2. 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

5lb book of GRE practice problemsThere is a verbal and a math diagnostic test to take to find out your weaknesses. Then I did every third question in the math to get through the book thoroughly. While it’s huge, I highly recommend getting the paperback copy.

3. Manhattan Prep: Reading Comprehension & Essays GRE Strategy Guide

51r7AA89kUL._SL160_This is great for reading comprehension and especially the writing portion. There are 2 sections: one is creating an argument and the other is to take apart an argument. This text is great with the general topics to break down. The GRE actually has every possible topic that could show up on the exam on its own website. The Magoosh blog has shortened the list to something much more manageable that you should practice brainstorming prior to the exam. Personally, I bought the kindle version and thought that it did the job.

I spent about 2 months studying while working full time. If you’re thinking about taking the GRE, go for it!! Let me know if you’re planning on taking it or need any help.

Also, this is my first time linking products from Amazon. If you enjoy reading my blog, at no cost to you, it’d be great if you could buy anything from Amazon through my link. I’d earn a small commission and really appreciate your help! Thanks.

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  • Jane Sawyer

    Hey Jess,
    I’ve been following your blog even before I started the accelerate program at NYU. I’m currently in the third sequence. Congrats on Michigan. I came into nursing school with the intentions of pursuing the CRNA path and I’m looking into the GRE now. I see that you’re in the 24 month program at Flint and I was wondering are you going to go on to get your DNP for CRNA? Do you know if its mandatory for CRNA’s? Any info would be greatly appreciated it.

    • Hi Jane,
      Thanks a lot! I’m glad that you’re going along this path. As of right now, they wish to have all advanced practice nurses become doctorate prepared by 2025 and those who were masters prepared prior to that will be grandfathered. When I was looking into programs, I was considering doctorate programs too but other factors were more important and picked a masters program. It seems that many of doctorate programs are 3 years long, which is a lot faster than going for a masters then a doctorate.

      I hoped that helped. I will probably eventually go for a doctorate after a couple years of practice. Good luck!

  • Tori

    Do you mind if I ask what you got on the GRE? I took mine a couple weeks ago and got 155 verbal, 158 quant, 4 writing. I’m taking the CCRN in 10 days…D: So nervous! Cardiac is killing me!

  • Joe Plaza

    hey jess i happened to stumble across this page because I am about to embark on this journey of gre prep and crna applications. Just wanted to give you kuddos for making it in to flint and cant wait for an updated post on how you are progressing thus far.

    • Hi Joe,
      When I first read this I was really happy to hear that! Good luck with your prep and I hope things go well.