SAM Center offers GRE/GMAT help

Although the SAT’s are over, it’s only the beginning of standardized testing for students seeking admission into a graduate school; those seeking a graduate degree must take the GRE/GMAT exam before applying. To help prepare applicants for the exam, the SAM center is offering a free prep course for the test. The seven-night program is well under-way, which began on Monday, Feb. 18 and will continue until Wednesday, Feb. 27. There will, however, be a mini-session at the University Center in the Woodlands. The mini-session starts Friday, Feb. 29 and lasts through Saturday., March 1.

The classes are available to participants for free. The only cost of the program is the study manual, which is available in most bookstores. “I take enormous pleasure in this program because I believe that our students are very bright and very capable, but demographically over fifty percent are first generation students,” Dr. Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs, said. “I think it’s about helping our students close the gaps, and ensuring that higher education and advanced higher education is an opportunity for anybody with the ability.”The program was created by Dr.Strauss, but Margaret Ferguson has been in charge for the last few years. The classes are taught by Sam Houston State Univeristy math and English professors. They teach math and English skills, as well as general test and study strategies. “I feel they’re very prepared. They’re able to get across to you that it’s not about failing or how to take the test, it’s about endurance and it’s not pass/fail,” said Valerie Sparkman, a program participant. “The experience has been well worth the effort of spending the time.”

“The thing that stuck out most was the English part of it – Dr. Cook has really pushed us to look at different ways,” Sparkman said. “She makes you feel more secure about going in to take the test.”The GRE/GMAT is one step in the graduate application process. It’s not a fact-based IQ exam, but one that requires planning, decisions under stress, time management, test-taking skills and basic math and English skills, Strauss said. “Our students deserve to order from the full menu, and ordering from the full menu means that you know everything that’s out there and have all of the info about how to participate,” she said. For more information on the upcoming dates, visit the Web site at

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