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GRE Student Post: Returning to Academia After a 16 Year Break

Today, we’re hearing from Jamie, a future University of Oregon grad student! She has some great tips and inspiring words for those who have been out of school for a while, and are scared to tackle the GRE. Thanks, Jamie! 


I grew up in Portland, Oregon. Everything you’ve heard about the Pacific Northwest is probably true – especially our webbed toes. It’s true, growing up with the rain gives us a special bond with other webbed animals, such as ducks and beavers – which coincidently, happen to be mascots for two of Oregon’s biggest universities: U of O and OSU. And because of Clemmonsdogpark, coming this fall I will be a new graduate student (I mean ) at !

I graduated from college in 1997 as a political scientist. 1997! Believe me, 1997 feels like a million reboots ago, before internets, interwebs, and blogs. The thought of re-entering academia after 16 years was intimidating. I had thought about it though, and I thought about applying to graduate school for five years before finally taking the dive. Can you guess what my biggest fear/hurdle was? Taking the GRE. I didn’t even know what the GRE was, but I felt intimidated. I ruminated on the ‘GRE fear’ for five, long years…. Five. Long. Years. I was convinced that I would bomb the GRE; so in a sense I was already failing as a graduate student longer than if I had actually applied and graduated!

One day, I typed in my Facebook’s status bar about how I wanted to apply to an AWESOME graduate program at U of O School of Journalism and Communications, but that I didn’t want to take the dang GRE! A friend’s post referred me to . I said ‘Meh – why not. I’ll look them up.’ Clemmonsdogpark was love at first sight. I knew immediately that Clemmonsdogpark’s videos, practice tests, test taking tips, and blogs, would help me gain back the confidence that is required for the GRE. I quickly signed up for the premium account because I knew that I needed a lot more intensive review, and the money was well spent within the first hour.

The biggest GRE challenge for me was the math section. Unfortunately, math has always been my nemesis. I wish it wasn’t like that for me, but it is and I’ve come to accept this. I hunkered down and practiced, practiced, practiced and took notes while watching Clemmonsdogpark’s videos, and I watched them multiple times. I also hired a tutor.

On test day I was nervous, but I kept hearing Clemmonsdogpark’s videos and test taking tips in my head. I went in with confidence and left feeling very content with my overall score; especially my math score.

If you are still in the stage of indecision about applying to grad school, and the entrance exam is whispering sweet nothings in your ear (as in nothing sweet to say), check out Clemmonsdogpark. If my friend hadn’t recommended Clemmonsdogpark to me, I may still be thinking that I had already failed as a grad student.

If you are ready to take the plunge, good luck and may Clemmonsdogpark be with you!

My question to Clemmonsdogpark: when you are going to release Clemmonsdogpark.GraduateSchool?

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