Can I use my commute to improve my GRE score?
October 8, 2007 7:05 PM   Subscribe

How can I study for the GRE vocab section while walking to/from the train/work and, primarily, while standing on the subway during rush hour?

I'm studying for the GRE, which I'm taking for the second time on October 22. I ride the subway twice a day for a good amount of time during rush hour and then spend about a half hour walking to/from the train/work. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with some way to incorporate GRE studying into my commute. I almost never get a seat and so flashcards don't work well. I do have an ipod, but haven't found any good podcasts (everything I've seen looks sounds pretty mediocre) or ways to use it. I saw flashcard software which looked great but was pricey. I'm primarily concerned with the verbal section and learning vocab words. Any ingenious methods for studying while standing up using one hand?
posted by lxs to Education (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
iTunes has a Kaplan SAT verbal prep game. It may help.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:17 PM on October 8, 2007

Maybe you could get one of those study guide books, record yourself reading a word, then a pause (or you can hit pause on the ipod), then the definition. Then, load em up on your ipod and put them on shuffle so they come in a different order.
posted by chndrcks at 7:18 PM on October 8, 2007

I think these pocket-sized flashcards should work.
posted by Memo at 7:18 PM on October 8, 2007

I used to be a GRE/SAT tutor, and I always suggested that time spent drilling on words would be better spent reading some difficult texts and improving your vocab naturally. How about some erudite podcasts? The Word Nerds is a good one, and I love BBC's history podcast In Our Time.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:34 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Why do you have to have a seat to use flashcards?

I did pretty much all of my GRE studying on city buses, often while standing. If balance is the issue, wrap your arm around a pole. You'll still have two hands for the flashcards.

You could also use those 4x6 note cards that come spiral-bound. They'd be more of a one-handed job.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:43 PM on October 8, 2007

1000 words = 100 points. Word families, ala Kaplan, seem to work best.
posted by k8t at 9:34 PM on October 8, 2007

flash cards
posted by Ashley801 at 10:12 PM on October 8, 2007

Dang nab it, the iPhone had a nice little 3rd-party flashcard application, but the 1.1.1 update locked it out. It seems likely, though, that 3rd-party apps will be working again soon.
posted by nicwolff at 10:50 PM on October 8, 2007

If you have a PDA (Palm, Clie, whatever) buy SuperMemo from Mapletop software. It's a cool program that uses some algorithm which tracks your learning. I used it to study for the GRE, to increase my Chinese vocabulary, and to learn Portuguese. You can input the data either manually directly into the PDA or else via an Excel/CSV file. Check it out.
posted by mateuslee at 1:56 AM on October 9, 2007

The Princeton Review (I work here) has free vocab minute podcast songs that might help you.
posted by rmless at 8:40 AM on October 9, 2007 (link)
posted by rmless at 8:40 AM on October 9, 2007

Belatedly: read lots of old books. I found GRE vocab to be extremely easy, and I can only attribute that to having grown up on a steady diet of British Victorian novels. You're more likely to retain words read in context anyway.
posted by wintersweet at 10:04 PM on October 13, 2007

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