Continuing Education to offer GRE prep courses for students

Baylor’s Continuing Education program will offer GRE prep courses in May and June, however students can take the test on any of the approved days in March or April as well. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

By Rachel Smith | Reporter

Continuing Education will offer a three-week GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) prep course to help students prepare for the GRE exam.

The course will take place over three sessions on May 20, May 27 and June 3 and will include a mandatory pre-test nine days before the course begins as well as an optional post-test. However, students can take the exam in either March or April as well.

Coordinator of special projects Lindy Reamer said she has helped director Gabriela Colman plan the course by finding an instructor and talking with faculty and students to find if the course was something of interest to them.

“It really does prepare you for the exam,” Reamer said. “Self-study can be difficult. Instruction can be helpful.”

Reamer said this course will be the first exam preparation course offered through Baylor’s current Continuing Education program, which was revitalized in February. After looking at archives from the former Continuing Education program, Reamer found it had offered prep courses for exams like the GRE and LSAT.

“Exam prep was an existing program in the old Continuing Education program,” Reamer said. “We decided to go ahead and bring it back.”

Cambridge will provide the curriculum for the course, which will cost $599.

“We feel like we’re priced significantly lower than other offerings in the area,” Reamer said. “We’ve heard a couple of students say there’s no affordable test prep in the area. We kind of wanted to make that an option for students.”

Sessions will last from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dr. Adam McCune, lecturer in the department of English, will instruct the course.

“We went to the dean of the graduate program, and he suggested Dr. McCune,” Reamer said.

McCune said the course focuses on test-taking strategies like figuring out how questions are put together and how to work through options.

“The GRE is mostly about effective test taking skills, understanding the different questions and how to answer them,” McCune said.

McCune said the course will be broken down by question type, with the first session addressing an overview and general strategies and the others addressing verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and writing, though he may revise the schedule.

“I hope that what they take from it is the GRE is something you can prepare for,” McCune said. “Often, the idea behind aptitude tests is that they’re measuring something that you can’t quite practice. There are strategies you can learn.”

McCune said he also hopes students will finish the course with confidence.

“I think they’ll do better on the GRE as a result,” McCune said. “GRE scores are one of the tools that grad programs use in selecting candidates, so it’s advantageous in that way, obviously.”

The deadline to register is May 4, according to Continuing Education’s website, and students can register through the website. Although some exam dates precede the course, later dates that would allow students to prepare through the course beforehand can be found on ETS’s (Educational Testing Service) website.

“As a former student who’s taken difficult, rigorous post-grad exams to get into graduate school, law school, I struggled with that, and I can’t wait to see the students thrive on their exams because they were able to participate in an affordable prep course,” Reamer said. “To see students come out of a GRE test successful is worth every minute of my time.”