You may study the GRE in hourly 1-on-1 lessons, a deeply discounted structured course, or (4th quarter only) Wednesday Walk-ins (see below).

Schedule a GRE lesson, join a group class, or book a free consultation now

*** Summer 2020 classes are tentatively ONLINE until further notice ***

Summer GRE-1 session 1: Saturdays, 6/27 – 8/08 (skipping 7/04), 10 am – 1 pm. Registration and payment deadline Sat 6/20.

Summer GRE-2 class: ONLINE, Sundays, 6/28 – 8/09 (skipping Independence Weekend), 5 – 8 pm. Registration and payment deadline Sun 6/21.

Summer GRE-1 session 2: Saturdays, 7/18 – 8/22, 5 – 8 pm. Registration and payment deadline Sat 7/11.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hourly vs. Structured Course logistics
How much preparation should I plan on?
How do I sign up for the group class?
What if I have to be absent?
Should I take GRE-1 or GRE-2?
What is the instructor’s experience / background?
Why is the Nth Degree GRE class less expensive than Kaplan or Manhattan Prep?!
I have to put down a deposit?  I’m concerned about pre-paying for a class I’ve never heard of
What is the Nth Degree approach / vision / philosophy?

Hourly vs. Structured Course logistics

I recommend the structured course if it fits your schedule and budget.   Advantages of the structured course:

  • Lower hourly rate.  $600 buys three weeks 1-on-1, four weeks for two students, or six weeks for 3+ students.  In a 1- or 2-person course, you’ll then have the option to complete a six week program with a second payment (see Rates).
  • Guaranteed time on my calendar.  Course times are reserved for GRE students only.
  • Coverage of all 3 sections of the exam, with emphasis on math.

Advantages of hourly study:

  • Flexibility to meet a limited schedule or budget
  • Strictly individual attention and feedback
  • Can focus more on the Verbal section if you need to.

“How much preparation should I plan on?”

Improving GRE scores is harder than most students expect.  You should plan on working hard at home as well as in the classroom. On the other extreme, you won’t have all the time in the world, and it’s impossible to study full-time anyway. I suggest you treat GRE prep like a part-time job, say 1 – 2 hours day, 3 – 5 days / week. The quality of your study time is just as important as the quantity. 

The GRE is designed to test us on lifelong learning, not a cram session. Therefore, true exam excellence is built up over the years. In an ideal world, I would advise most students to defer their grad-school plans by a year and devote 3 – 9 months to raising their scores to their highest potential (mostly on deep mastery and memorization of middle-school math content and reading informative non-fiction). Realistically, most students who call are on a tight budget and feel impatient to take the test soon.  I designed my six-week course to meet the high demands of that market segment.  I would consider the GRE-1 course a realistic minimum introduction to your GRE program.  If six weeks is all you can spare, then do yourself a favor and clear your calendar of everything unnecessary during that time.

“How do I sign up for a GRE group class?”

Each class is reserved for the first ten students to provide deposits.

  1. Sign up for the class at this calendar.  (Go to the first date of the class)
  2. Pay any time before the due date at the Make a Payment page.
  3. View this video for full enrollment instructions.

Price:  Each class requires an initial deposit of $600.  Includes materials.

Your seat must be booked on the appointment calendar, and your deposit is due a week before class starts.

“What if I have to be absent?”

Each day you are absent, I’ll email you makeup material, generally consisting of handouts, video lessons, and homework.  Therefore, there are no refunds for absences.

Sorry, there is no make up for homework questions or essay feedback.  You must be in class for those.

If you know you’ll have to be absent twice or more, I would not recommend the group class to you.


“Should I take GRE-1 or GRE-2?”

If you have no GRE experience, you should first enroll in the GRE-1 class.  On the first day of class, we will have a diagnostic.  If you happen to score high on both sections (156+ verbal, 157+ math) then I will permit you to skip directly to GRE-2.  Otherwise, it will be more appropriate for you to stay in GRE-1.   If you have recent GRE diagnostic scores that meet the cut-off (upper 150s) then you may enroll directly in GRE-2.

If you have GRE experience but your most recent GRE diagnostic scores are low – medium (mid-150s) then schedule a consultation to talk with me.

Here is a little more information about each class.

GRE-1:  Intro. to the GRE

Here is the GRE-1 class syllabus.  GRE-1 is an introduction to the exam for students with low-to-average academic preparedness (including “returning students”, who have been out of school for years).  It covers all three sections of the GRE.  Math review emphasizes the topics that are most heavily tested and most improvable for the greatest number of students.  (Think of this course as bulking up on points!)

GRE-2:  Mostly Advanced Math

Here is the GRE-2 class syllabus.  This class is intended for students

  • Who have already taken the Nth Degree GRE-1 class, or
  • Whose entrance diagnostic scores are already high

It mostly provides a thorough review of math topics not covered in the introductory course.  This class also briefly addresses the Verbal and Essay sections, with special attention to difficult problems and the “Alternative Explanation” essay type.  (Think of this course as refining your way from a solid score to the very best you can do!)

Materials

Enrollment includes the price of our main study guide, the GRE Official Guide with real GRE questions.  The class also includes Scot’s own handouts.  There is an accompanying set of flash cards with speed goals, which is optional and available for sale or rent.  The introductory six-week course includes over an hour of valuable video lessons for the essays.  In case of absence, there are also video make-up lessons for each class.

Your instructor’s GRE Experience

I have taken the GRE three times.  I was accepted to Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Brown, Berkeley, UCSD, and Northwestern.  I attended the graduate school of engineering at UCSD with a full-ride-plus-stipend UC Regents Fellowship.  My most recent GRE was in 2013, when I earned a perfect score on the Math section, 166 (96th percentile) on the Verbal section, and 5.5 (98th percentile) on the Essays. (See Score Report Here.)  I have been tutoring the GRE since the early 2000s, and my structured six-week classes have been increasingly popular since 2013.

“What is the Nth Degree approach / vision / philosophy?”

That’s a great question; thanks for asking!  In this course, you will focus on the substance of the exam, not just the procedure.  I would advise you not to be too taken in by courses trying to convince you that you can ace the GRE (or any standardized exam) just with procedural tips / tricks / gaming the exam.  (“Just plug in” , “Read the question stem first” etc. are NOT secret recipes for success).  These exams are designed to reward students who

  • Are well read
  • Are highly literate in English and can read with 100% comprehension
  • Have good recall of math facts, and
  • Understand mathematics at the level of principles, not just processes.

The Nth Degree course takes the exam seriously by

  • Examining the obstacles to reading comprehension, and how to work through them
  • Fostering vocabulary retention and careful reading of information-dense material
  • Teaching complex material as information that can be parsed into small simple parts
  • Making sure you are rock solid with the most heavily tested / learnable math facts
  • Understanding the difference between right and wrong answers
  • Presenting elegant / insightful mathematical solutions as alternatives to brute force calculations

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