Student Career Journal: Acing the GRE at Mississippi Valley State University

By Andrea Byrd

Student Career Journal is a series of articles written by HBCU Students about career events, workshops and opportunities on their campus in order to encourage students to take advantage of the career services offered at their school.


On Sunday, November 10th students at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) had the opportunity to partake in GRE practice exam. The GRE is often a mandatory exam that post-grads take in order to apply to grad school.  It was held at Valley’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology building.  The instructor was Abigail Voller.  Many of the students who attended were upperclassmen preparing for December graduation at the Valley. There were also students who are planning to pursue graduate school for careers in STEM fields. In addition to this, some early year students were there to get a head start in preparation for their graduate studies. 

Upon arrival, students received binders with questions and useful information about all parts of the GRE exam. They had access to online resources such as Kaplan Test Prep and sample writing sources. Students participated in a practice writing test and were able to receive ample feedback from Instructor Voller as well as tips for efficient essay responses.

Students were also lectured about the writing portion of the exam using a powerpoint containing tips and writing samples by actual students who took the GRE. Voller stressed that one of the most important skills to have for the GRE writing response is time-management. Since the time limit for the writing response is thirty  minutes, it is imperative that students work with that in mind. The instructor’s main tip for time management was to plan out what to write before starting.

She introduced different types of essay maps and how to pick what works best for the student. The GRE practice concluded with questions about the lecture and an exchange of more resources for students.

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