How To Prepare For The GRE Test
The GRE, otherwise known as the Graduate Record Examination is a standardized exam that students who want to take up post-graduate programs in the United States and other countries have to pass. There are two categories of the GRE, the first one which is the general test, and the second category which is the varied divisions of subject tests. Priority is given to the GRE general test, meaning it is that which students must take, while the subject tests are specific tests chosen by them.
Questions that you will encounter in the GRE general test are designed to challenge your thinking abilities- skills that are pertinent for obtaining a degree in a post-graduate course or in business school. What are the different sections included in the GRE general test? Namely, they are:
- Analytical Writing
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
Your scores in the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE will be measured on a scale of 200 to 800 points, whereas your Analytical Writing test score will be based on a point-scoring system where 6 points are the highest you can get.
In the Verbal Reasoning test, you have to prepare to have your abilities in evaluating and analyzing written content tested. You need to have the aptitude to scrutinize the information that has been integrated into such written content. In the Quantitative Reasoning section, expect to deal with problem-solving items where you’ll be utilizing quantitative methods that may encompass arithmetic, data analysis, algebra, and geometry. The Analytical Writing test, on the other hand, is meant to try your abilities in writing and critical thinking. You have to be proficient in fluently and efficiently supporting and explaining concepts and ideas.
Test Prep Resources To Use For Taking The GRE
Higher learning skills are tested in the GRE, and you have to be serious in preparing for it. It needs you to render sufficient effort and hard work. Be keen on devising and adhering to an effective test prep strategy if you want to pass the GRE with flying colors. Experts recommend that candidates should allocate 4 to 12 weeks (at the least) of dedicated studying and preparation. A particularly indispensable tool for your GRE test prep is taking practice tests. Research has shown that taking practice tests can significantly improve your score in the Verbal Reasoning section.
To boost your GRE score, you can utilize an ETS-provided software called Power Prep II. With the use of the Power Prep II, you can access GRE practice tests that are very similar to the actual Verbal Reasoning test. Knowing what to expect early on, you can gain an advantage in this aspect, especially when it comes to acclimatizing yourself to the Computer-delivered GRE. Thus, you’ll be more confident when taking the actual test which saves you time, too.
Other than the Power Prep II software, the ETS has made available various GRE test prep resources that are more affordable. There are guidance videos that feature test prep tips and strategies, or the Official Guide To The GRE Revised General Test which is deemed to be an exemplary resource. It provides sample and practice tests that are apt to enhance your skills when taking the GRE Paper- Delivered test. You can purchase the Official Guide To The GRE Revised General Test resource on paperback or download it online as an ebook.
Reading advanced texts regularly is an effectual way to prepare for the GRE, specifically the Verbal Reasoning section. In this part of the GRE, the main skill required is your reading comprehension and vocabulary. Hone your aptitude by habitually learning new words.
You can find a good number of GRE test prep websites on the Internet at the same time. Our GRE test and study guide are one of the most credible of these resources. You can find mentally-stimulating GRE practice tests in our pages, along with relevant and excellent test-taking tips, techniques and strategies in our blog. You can also see our review of the Best GRE Prep Course here.
How To Create Your Study Plan
Preparing for the GRE needs you to be meticulous. The recommended time to allocate for your GRE test prep is at least 4 to 12 weeks. Now that you have ample time for doing this, how do you create a study plan that can make you ace the GRE?
Granting that you have 2 months to prepare for your exam, it is apt to divide your study plan into two parts, alloting 1 month for each. On the first month, you should learn how to master your strategies in tackling the type of questions that you’ll come across with. You ought to also sharpen your knowledge in Math and Vocabulary to be able to answer related questions correctly. On the second part of your test prep, you should work on your skills in answering the questions quickly, congruent to the designated time limit for each section of the exam. Time yourself while responding to the items in your practice test.
Prior to going full-speed on your study plan, you should determine your academic strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, you can decipher which areas to target to improve your scores. Fortify your weak areas while building on your strengths. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your GRE study plan:
- Start by taking an official GRE practice test.
It should be a full-length and realistic GRE practice test. Your goal for doing this is to figure out your scores for the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections. Make use of a GRE practice test whose results indicate your score as well as which type of questions you were able to do well on and which ones you found tricky. This is the initial information that can help you further design your study plan. Taking a GRE practice test is also motivating. You can learn to acclimatize with the format and timing of the actual test, which makes it easy for you to ace the questions.
However, see to it that you are taking your practice test under conditions that are most similar to the actual GRE. Limit interruptions and disruptions to the optimum. Apportion 4 hours for this undertaking if you intend to include writing the essays, or 3 hours if you want to skip taking the essays. Schedule an additional 1.5 hours for reviewing your test either on the same day or in the next or two days after.
- Arrange your study schedule.
Thinking that you have ample time (2 months) until your test day, you might have the tendency to procrastinate. Steer clear of this habit because the days and weeks slip by fast, and before you know it, your GRE test day is tomorrow! In this case, you have to be precise about your study schedule. Study on most days of the week instead of just once or twice a week. It will be more effective if you study for 5 days a week for one hour and a half every day. Divide this daily study schedule into 3 segments of 30 minutes each. Make use of flashcards (physical or phone app cards) and carry them with you throughout the day to boost your Vocab skills and knowledge.
Track your progress by regularly taking practice tests, specifically one month before your exam and every week following that. Your last practice test ought to be taken 1 week ahead of your exam day. Other than adapting to the real GRE test, be keen on honing your mental endurance while taking your practice tests.
- Work out your study plan.
This is when you develop how you are going to study for the GRE. Learning some strategies and content should be your initial step, and you can do this by utilizing a GRE book, a GRE prep class or our online GRE test prep and study guide. Follow up on these by answering test-like questions. You’ll be able to retain more information if you test what you’ve just mentally ingested with the types of questions that you’ll come upon on your GRE test day. Focus your studying on the areas that you find most difficult and those that are mostly tested in your resources. Build upon your strengths on the last week before your test day so that you can boost your confidence and affirm that you can rely on your aptitude.
You can see our full breakdown of the Best GRE Prep Book here.
- Be “Super” on your test day!
If ever you find yourself feeling nervous on your GRE test day, remind yourself that you have rendered sufficient time for your test prep and are ready to rock your test! Thanks to your hard work, you are now one step closer to fulfilling your higher academic goals.