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Me, myself and I

It's just not that simple.

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GRE experiences anyone?
general: no idea
Hey :)

I'm usually only talking about myself but right now I'm looking for your input:

Seeing as I'll be finishing my undergrad in 2010 or 2011 (at the age of 25 :coughs:...), the gathering of information for my PhD has begun.
I was wondering whether some of you have taken the GRE in the past and could share some experiences - how to prepare, how much weight it has in the final decision, anything.

My "problem" is that my favorite schools don't require it - but all the Ivy League universities do, of course.
It is expensive, it is hard to study for and, speaking English only as a Second Language, I am likely to get rather below-average scores in Writing and probably Verbal Reasoning. On the other hand, not taking it means excluding the best universities in the world from my list of possibilities.

I'm grateful for all kinds of input, really :)

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I studied for it, and then didn't end up needing it for the grad school I went to. The books with the practice tests were the most helpful for me...let's see...they were hand-me-downs from some older friends, I think one was Barron's, and one was Princeton Review. Verbal is the hardest part for the English speakers, heh. I made a CRAZY amount of flashcards to learn definitions of words I've seen...once...in my life, so I highly recommend flashcards.

Thanks for the tips for books. I think I used Barron's for the Toefl and that was already pretty helpful.

And thanks for the flashcards. Yeah, verbal is supposed to be extremely hard... I kind of hope that my high school and basic undergrad math will be enough and only needs to be brushed up a bit.

And yeah, I'm afraid that I'll take, spend money and time on it and then end up not needing it... hands down, my chances of getting into Harvard or Yale are kind of small anyway ;)
And the schools more suitable to my GPA don't need the GRE... tough choice...

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