Studyware for the GRE. (educational software) (evaluation)
by Kathy Yakal
Some friends of mine took the Graduate Record Exam when they were fresh out of undergraduate school. Smart move. Not only do you start to lose test-taking skills shortly after graduation, but that mass of knowledge that you built up for a diploma starts to fade away pretty quickly, too. Depending on what kind of higher degree you're after, those GRE scores can be quite important. And whenever you take the test, some studying may be in order. Based on actual current exams, StudyWare for the GRE allows your preperation time to be focused and well used. If you're comfortable using the computer, then Study/Ware may be an appealing study tutor.
The program is broken down into two main areas of preparation: the StudyWare test preparations and course reviews, and an electronic version of Cliffs GRE Preparation Guide. (Remember Cliffs Notes? Those inordinately helpful little booklets with yellow and black stripes?)
You can take the StudyWares tests in either Test mode (which operates like a real examination, only allowing you to answer questions) or Tutor mode (which gives you immediate feedback, telling you whether you answered a question correctly and supplying the right one if you didn't, along with a brief explanation).
In many cases, StudyWare can supply additional information before you answer a question, to help you make the correct choice. If you're in Tutor mode and don't know the definition of a word, you can look it up in the built-in glossary. In mathematical areas, you can peruse online charts and graphs as study aids.
Available tests gauge and sharpen your quantitative, verbal, and analytical abilities. In the verbal area, for example, choose to test yourself in areas like sntence completion, analogies, and reading comprehension. Quantitative exams analyze your abilities in standard mathematical subjects.
StudyWare for the GRE comes with a paper copy of Cliffs GRE Preparation Guide; it is awkward to use this portion of the program--you must read the test questions out of that document and answer them on the electronic answer form within the software.
You can operate the program through either the mouse or the keyboard, and the user interface is elementary enough the little use of the accompanying brief manuals is required. StudyWare monitors your progress and reports on your level of success at the end of each section.
Gloomy projections regarding the job market for this year's graduating college seniors may prompt many of them to remain in academia instead of job-hunting immediately, in the hopes that a higher degree may help them nab a better position in the real world. If you're one of these seniors or if you're trying to return to school after being out in the work force for a few years, invest in StudyWare for the GRE and give yourself a decided edge.