GRE course policies and information

Thank you for registering for a TestCrackers small group GRE course!  Please read and sign the 4 pieces of critical information. You may also wish to review the useful information that follows.

Critical Information

1.  Refund/course change policy:

As indicated when you registered for the course, if you wish to withdraw from the course, you must do so at least two full weeks (14 days) before that course is scheduled to begin in order to receive a refund of your course fee. This is because we are committed to keeping class sizes small, and once you reserve a spot, we don’t offer that spot to anyone else. You may also switch to another course date, but only if you do so two full weeks (14 days) before the course for which you are registered is scheduled to begin.

Please electronically sign here to indicate that you have read and fully understand the refund policy above.

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2.   Practice exam: 

As soon as possible, please take a strictly timed practice exam.  Feel free to skip the essay sections. Do not put this off! As you will see below, there may be significant preparation that takes weeks to finish before the course starts, based on your test scores. Please input your scores below, which will only be sent to your instructors. If you've taken the actual GRE recently, you may input those scores instead.

3.  Quant Preparations

If you scored below a 153 in the quant section, complete the drills in the Foundations of GMAT Math Book (either the 4th or 5th edition) before the quant course begins. Note that although the book says "GMAT" in the title, it is completely relevant to the GRE and has the foundational math skills you will need to get the most out of the GRE quant course. This may take 2 to 6 weeks of your time, so please do not put this off!

Foundations Books

You may borrow a used copy from us for free, or purchase a copy ( ≈ $16 new on Amazon). To borrow, stop by our Berkeley office at any time of the day or night, enter the door code we e-mailed you, and go up the stairs. To your right will be a box of books. Take one!  

If you signed up for a Santa Clara course-- you may also stop by at any time of the day or night. Just go up the stairs to the right at front of the building.  Enter the glass doors using the gate code, then go through the doorway that you see on your right, and there will be a bookshelf on the left with the foundations books.

These books are also available in our SF office, in the right corner of the office after you enter.  Please try to come by this office before 6:30 pm to minimize disruption to our courses.

Please return this book before your quant course is complete.

Web Resources

For additional study resources to supplement the book above, please see the links we have compiled to to free Khan Academy online resources for foundational math study here.

4. Verbal Preparations

Vocab

There is a lot of material to cover in order to master the GRE. We’ll be discussing study strategy during our first class, but don't let that stop you from getting a head start! Your course includes your choice of the Essential or Advanced 500 vocab card set, but unless you have a very strong vocab coming in, you'll want to spend at least some time mastering both lists using the links below.

A. App: Students definitely prefer Memrise (one of the websites below) and the free app that they offer.  You can find it in the app store or follow the links below on your phone/tablet:

Click here for iOS                                                   Click here for Android

Within the app, look under test prep material to find the appropriate word lists.

B. Podcast

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/victorprep-vocab-podcast

C. Websites for online study:

Essential:

http://www.memrise.com/course/119089/500-essential-gre-words/

https://quizlet.com/78693590/quizlet-manhattan-essential-gre-words-flash-cards/

Advanced:

http://www.memrise.com/course/106317/500-advanced-gre-words/

https://quizlet.com/19478743/manhattan-prep-gre-500-advanced-words-flash-cards/

D. Additional Sources

Wordnik.com                               additional context, etymology and examples of use

http://www.etymonline.com/        best source for etymology

http://wordsmith.org/                   Super-nerdy, in-depth information on a single word, once daily as part of one of                                                     the oldest continually operated listservs out there:

E. The Best Way to Study Vocab on Flashcards according to Science

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leitner_system (we teach a modified version of this in our courses)

Reading Comprehension

The GRE also tests your ability to read and comprehend dense, technical passages. One of the best ways to practice this before beginning your actual study is to read dense, technical passages! Here are some links to free sources of relevant material. If you struggle to understand these, you can get started with some daily practice:

http://phys.org/

http://www.livescience.com/

http://www.spacedaily.com/

http://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/acme/index

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/

http://www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/archives.php

https://lareviewofbooks.org/

http://medicalxpress.com/

Useful information

Locations and Parking:

SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE

Our office is located at 582 Market Street Suite 301. You will receive a code for the door by e-mail. We are literally on top of the Montgomery BART station. 

If you do drive, you will need to pay for parking. Please check yourself for updates, but last we looked these were the best deals nearby:

Weeknight Parking SF:  155 Stevenson St. - Garage (Lot 385). 

If you reserve online, you can park for as long as 2 pm - midnight for $10. It should be the first option listed here. Parking in the same lot costs more if you do not reserve ahead of time.

Saturday Parking SF:  173 Sutter St. - Post Montgomery Center Valet Garage (Lot 422)

If you reserve online, you can park anytime Saturday until 7 pm for $12. It should be the first option listed here. Parking in the same lot costs more if you do not reserve ahead of time.

Sunday Parking SF: 50 3rd St. - Park Central Valet

If you reserve online, you can park anytime Sunday from 2 pm - 10 pm for $15. It should be the second option listed here. Parking in the same lot costs more if you do not reserve ahead of time.

Street Parking There is very limited street parking available in the area, and we do not recommend relying on this.  Most meters must be kept current until 6:30 pm. 

BERKELEY OFFICE

Our office is located in the second floor of 3284 Adeline Street in Berkeley, CA.  You should have already received a code for the door by e-mail. We are a short walk (3 blocks) away from the Ashby BART station. We are not located in Oakland: that is the wrong 3284 Adeline!

If you're driving, there is plenty of parking available near our office. After 6 (any day) and on Sundays: Nearly all public and on-street parking in our area is unrestricted. 

Before 6 pm on weekdays and Saturdays: There is a 2-hour limit on parking in front of businesses near us on Adeline, and in the lot on the Southeast Corner diagonally across Adeline and Alcatraz from our office. Enter this lot from Alcatraz. Parking is also available on side streets to the west of Adeline.

SANTA CLARA OFFICE

Our office is located at 1543 Lafayette St., Suite B, Santa Clara, CA. As you face the building, just go up the steps, and we are right there. We are a short walk from Santa Clara University.

Parking: There is free on-street and on-site parking. To park in our lot, enter the driveway on the right side of the building and park in any space on the left.

Schedules

Go to http://www.testcrackers.org/coursecalendar/ and click on any of your class sessions to download the course schedule directly to your calendar -- please be sure to download the quant and/or verbal course(s) you registered for!

 

Office Hours

Click here for the full calendar of quantitative and verbal office hours

Quantitative Office Hours: (calendar)

During and one week after your Quant course, you have access to drop-in quantitative office hours:

In Person, In Berkeley:       Saturdays 12 noon - 2 pm

Online:                                 Sundays 10 am- 12 noon 

If you wish to continue attending office hours after your Quant course is complete, you may purchase more sessions here.

Verbal Online Office Hours:  (calendar)

During your and in the month following your Verbal course, you have access to two 2-hour sessions of online verbal office hours.

     October 24 Session - Wednesday, 10/24 6:30 - 8:30 pm (online) 

     November 26 Session - Monday, 11/26 6:30 - 8:30 pm (online) 

     December 19 Session - Wednesday, 12/16 6:30 - 8:30 pm (online)   

If you wish to continue attending office hours after your Verbal course is complete, you may purchase more sessions here.

Quant courses:

Course TitleLocationDay of the WeekTimesInstructorStart Date
(Class 1)
Class 2Class 3Class 4End Date
(Class 5)
Skips
10.09 GRE Quant Berkeley Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Anisa 10/09 10/16 10/23 10/30 11/06
10.13 GRE Quant Santa Clara Saturdays 3:00 - 6:00 pm Andrew 10/13 10/20 10/27 11/3 11/10
11.01 GRE Quant Santa Clara Thursdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Marty 11/01 11/08 11/15 11/29 12/06 SKIPS 11/22
11.07 GRE Quant San Francisco Wednesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Isaac 11/07 11/14 11/28 12/05 12/12 SKIPS 11/21
11.11 GRE Quant Berkeley Sundays 5:30 - 8:30 pm Anisa 11/11 11/1812/02 12/09 12/16SKIPS 11/25
11.20 GRE Quant Santa Clara Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Andrew11/20 11/27 12/04 12/11 12/18
12.06 GRE Quant San Francisco Thursdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Isaac 12/06 12/13 12/20 1/03 1/10 SKIPS 12/27
1.03 GRE Quant Santa Clara Thursdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Andrew 1/03 1/10 1/17 1/24 1/32
1.06 GRE Quant San Francisco Sundays 5 - 8 pm Isaac 1/06 1/13 1/27 2/03 2/10 SKIPS 1/20
1.09 GRE Quant Berkeley Wednesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Anisa 1/09 1/16 1/23 1/30 2/06

Verbal courses:                 

Course TitleLocationDay of the WeekTimesInstructor Class 1
(Start Date)
Class 2Class 3 Class 4
(End Date)
Skips
10.16 GRE Verbal Santa Clara Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Kirk 10/16 10/23 10/30 11/6
11.04 GRE Verbal San Francisco Sundays 1:30 - 4:30 pm Isaac 11/04 11/11 11/18 12/02 SKIPS 11/25
11.04 GRE Verbal Santa Clara Sundays 1 - 4 pm Kirk 11/04 11/11 111/18 12/02 SKIPS 11/25
11.27 GRE Verbal Berkeley Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Anisa 11/27 12/04 12/11 12/18
12.10 GRE Verbal San Francisco Mondays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Isaac 12/10 12/17 1/07 1/14 SKIPS 12/24 + 31
1.05 GRE Verbal Santa Clara Saturdays 3 - 6 pm Kirk 1/05 1/12 1/19 1/26
1.08 GRE Verbal San Francisco Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:30 pm Isaac 1/08 1/15 1/22 1/29
1.13 GRE Verbal Berkeley Sundays 1 - 4 pm Anisa 1/13 1/27 2/03 2/10SKIPS 1/20

Make-up classes

Because the class size is small, we only are able to offer one make-up class per course (so one class for the quant course and one class for the verbal course). If you have to miss a class, find the class that corresponds to the one you will be missing, and e-mail the instructor to make sure there are make-up spots available in that class. However, there are videos of all class material on-line, which can be used to make up a class or to review material. Access to the on-line videos will be given during the first class. 

Participation

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this class is very participatory, so, with very few exceptions, you (not the instructor) will be doing all the problems presented in class. We call on people to answer questions whether or not they raise their hand--so let us know if you'd prefer that we not call on you. Please note that this means we all need to make one another feel comfortable taking risks and asking a lot of questions. So we ask that you be very careful not to judge anyone in the class for how they answer questions or what questions they ask. If we were taking a class in your area of expertise, we would look like utter fools. And that's OK!  GRE questions can be intimidating--we need your help in making the space one where we all can feel good and comfortable while mastering the exam!

Thank you for registering!

Please let us know if you have any questions. Give us a call at 415-323-5728, or send us an email at contact@testcrackers.org