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GRE Prep Seminar is Back at EWU to Help Students Prepare for Graduate Programs

The+PLUS+center%2C+which+is+located+in+the+back+of+the+library%2C+assisted+fifty+students+in+the+GRE+Prep+Seminar+last+fall+quarter
The PLUS center, which is located in the back of the library, assisted fifty students in the GRE Prep Seminar last fall quarter

The PLUS center, which is located in the back of the library, assisted fifty students in the GRE Prep Seminar last fall quarter

Kristi Lucchetta for The Easterner

Kristi Lucchetta for The Easterner

The PLUS center, which is located in the back of the library, assisted fifty students in the GRE Prep Seminar last fall quarter

By Logan Stanley, Copy Editor

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Program Leading to University Success (PLUS) will be sponsoring its annual spring GRE Prep Seminar, which will be free of charge for EWU students. The seminars will start on April 11 and occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4 p.m to 5 p.m., until May 11. They are set up to help students who are aspiring to get into graduate school.

“[Prep seminars are] about being a successful college student and getting them the experience that they need to do well in their future classes,” said PLUS Retention Specialist Alyson Rode. “Especially going into like a senior capstone: so how do you work in a group? With other people? Improving your communication skills and improving your line of connection of with faculty on campus.”

Each academic year PLUS holds two of those seminars, one in the fall and one in the spring. Dr. Julia Smith of the anthropology department will be leading the upcoming spring seminar.

Rode said the seminars have been operational for over five years now and that around 150-200 students are served each year.

According to the 2015-2016 executive summary provided by PLUS, 82 total students attended last year’s seminars for a total of 314 contact hours. Although that turnout is on its way to changing.

“We had a record number of students sign up for this quarter,” said Rode.  

Statistics obtained from PLUS solidify the claim too. 50 students attended in fall of 2016 and 197 students have signed up for next week’s spring seminar.

The prep is designed to provide students exposure to the kinds of questions they will face on the three component-GRE test. The GRE’s three parts consist of analytic writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. Rode said that most students fear the quantitative portion of the test, which is known as the math section.

Primarily, it is only juniors and seniors attending the seminars that are held in Patterson Hall 128. Students attending will be receiving support from Dr. Smith, who understands the test  — she has previously worked with the organization that provides the GRE.

“She knows the ins-and-outs of it,” said Rode. “So, she can help hone in the things students need to focus on.”

During the 10-session seminars, informational handouts are given out which is accompanied with a digital version via EWU’s online learning service Canvas. Rode said resources are posted online, which is also where PLUS tracks the attendance of those who sign up for the seminars. Each student is required to put in two to three hours of work each week.

“In each session, we’re going to talk about specific strategies you can use for particular kinds of questions you’re going to run into,” said Dr. Smith. “What is it they’re trying to get you to do? How can you attack it? How can you manage your time in a way that will allow you to get the most points you can get on it?”

The sessions will be trial-and-error, with students attempting sample questions and then going over what went wrong and how to fix it. The principal point Dr. Smith emphasizes is keep calm; she believes that mindset will benefit students the most.

PLUS just doesn’t help assist with graduate school entrance. They are an entity constructed to be a makeshift study hall for students. PLUS, which is nestled away at back of the main level floor of JFK Library, is a hub for current EWU students who are seeking assistance in their classwork. The support provided is peer-based tutoring, said Rode. There is also eTutoring available for students.

The program began in the fall of 1992 and has extended from study groups to now individualized tutoring. Only requirements for tutors is that they must be a sophomore and maintain a 3.0 GPA. A myriad of topics are covered, ranging from biology to mathematics.

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GRE Prep Seminar is Back at EWU to Help Students Prepare for Graduate Programs