Johnson Says Study Now, Bring on the Flashcards


I’ve got two months to relearn everything I’ve ever been taught, not to mention the things I’ve never learned.

In order to go on to the next level of college, I have to take the Graduate Record Examinations test.

Over the summer, three harmless letters began to make my roommate and I cringe.

“Have you started studying for the GRE?”


We would get our books out and begin making flash cards, laughing at the things we didn’t know. Then we’d see Cash Cab was on the television, and the books would be put in the corner of the living room to collect dust until next month.

There’s three portions of the test: verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing.

You can take the test more than once, but it costs money each time. It’s done on a computer, and you know you’re score before you walk out of the testing center.  Sounds pretty simple, right?


Inchoate. Obsequious. Taciturn. These are some of the most commonly used vocabulary words on the test. And they’re words I’ve never even heard of.

Why use a big word nobody knows when a small one will do? In theory, I should rock the vocabulary portion of the test because I’m an English major.

I should have a big vocabulary. Yet I find myself struggling to even pronounce the word. I’m supposed to know what it means, too?

I bought the books at the end of May, and barely opened them all summer.


Because my roommate and I had better things to do this summer than study for the GRE – what drink specials were going on downtown tonight? When do we work tomorrow? And how are we going to pay for the electric bill and still have money for groceries?

We’re really smart girls.

So now as I sit here with the GRE book in hand, I’d like to preach to all those who are thinking of going on to get a Masters after Simpson.

Plan ahead and stay motivated.

I had all summer to start studying, yet I didn’t. Now that school is starting up, I’ve got too much homework to get any serious amount of studying in for the big test.

I was a strong believer in the fact that summer is supposed to be full of fun and the sun. But now, my views have been changed.  

As I struggle to keep up with everything classes have to offer, I realize that I put this stress in my life all by myself.

Goodbye sleep, hello longer nights of learning math equations that I didn’t even know existed.

Buy the books, and do the CD-Rom they include. I had a friend go take the GRE and bomb.  

Colleges can see the scores of that test. And it costs money – quite a bit of money. So buy the book and do the work.

It’ll end up saving you some cash in the long run. Besides, there’s nothing like failing the GRE that makes you never want to try it again.

Make flash cards of the vocabulary and mathematical equations. It may take time, but it’s more beneficial to have them made.

You can rope in a friend and have them help you study, or you can easily use the flashcards by yourself.

Look into colleges that you’re interested in.

Maybe by the grace of God they don’t require the GRE. Consider yourself amazingly blessed, and do a happy dance.

The colleges have deadlines to get your applications, recommendation letters, test scores and whatever else they feel the need to make you fill out.

Know what you need and what you don’t. Most colleges have the requirements online.

As I sit here writing this, looking at my GRE book, I hope you take my advice.