GRE Preparation Tips - Check Strategy, Study Plan & Tricks to Crack GRE

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Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 02, 2023 5:43 PM IST

Are you planning to take the GRE Exam this year? Outlined on this page are some of the preparation tips for GRE exams that you can adopt in your preparation strategy. When preparing for the GRE exam this year, you need to consider a multitude of parameters first, including knowing the GRE exam syllabus and exam pattern among others.

This exam page highlights the different tips and tricks to ace the GRE exam this year. You can find the general preparation tips for GRE exam as well as the section-wise GRE preparation tips that you can use for your benefit when preparing for the test this year.

GRE Exam Preparation Tips

Your preparation for the GRE test depends on the type of GRE test you are going to take and the amount of time you have available. Once you check the GRE eligibility, GRE syllabus, GRE practice paper, and GRE Exam Pattern the questions like how do I prepare for the GRE test?, how much time does it take to prepare for the GRE test? and where do I get section-wise GRE preparation tips? will start occurring to you. The information provided on this page can solve all your queries and provide answers to all similar questions that you might have regarding your GRE preparation strategy. Students can find the preparation tips for Verbal, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing for GRE along with tips for every GRE Subject test.

GRE is one of the widely-used graduate exams across the world, accepted by popular universities such as Oregon State University, Suffolk University, George Mason University; University of Massachusetts, Washington State University, and more.

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How to Prepare for the GRE General Test?

The GRE General Test, as the name suggests, tests you on your general skills and aptitude. The test is designed to examine whether the test takers possess the basic aptitude and skills that could be expected from a graduate person.

Six Tips for GRE Preparation

The GRE General Test is divided into three sections, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The section-wise preparation tips are discussed further on this page. Meanwhile, you can refer to the following preparation tips for GRE General Test’s overall preparation:

  • You need to prepare for the GRE exam through practice papers and question papers. While section-wise preparation will help you in perfecting your section-wise performance, the overall paper preparation will help you in managing the stress and pressure created by the GRE exam.

  • It is easier to handle section-wise tests, as time is short and the test gets over in a shorter time. To prepare for the patience and mental state to sit through the whole GRE General Test, you will have to practice timed question papers of the test.

  • In the last two weeks of preparation, you must practice at least one GRE question paper which is a replica of the actual test. This will ensure that you can attempt all sections well, or test-takers often tend to underperform in later sections of the GRE exam.

  • You must ensure practice that the performance of each section is undisturbed by the performance in preceding ones, and by worries of upcoming ones. Practising for GRE General Test as a whole will help in perfecting such a mental state.

  • You can consult a study abroad test expert to help you find out your strengths, weaknesses, and other features of attempting the GRE test. They can help you in adjusting your behaviours, timing, answers, and mindset, for a better GRE score.

Preparation Tips for GRE Verbal Reasoning

GRE Verbal Reasoning test is conducted in a multiple-choice format. The questions test your language skills. The preparation for GRE verbal will require you to follow the tips below:

  • One important thing that you need to know about the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE General Test is that it contains questions in a variety of formats. Some require you to select a single answer choice, some require the selection of more than one answer, and some instruct you to enter a numeric answer. Therefore, you must check the instructions to know the kind of response you are required to give. 

  • To prepare yourself for questions related to Reading Comprehension, you should learn new words every day and enhance your vocabulary.

  • You will be required to have active engagement with the text you are reading.

  • Practice formulating and evaluating hypotheses, and reflecting on the relationship of a text to others. 

  • Another kind of question that is asked in the Verbal Reasoning sections is Text Completion Questions. In these kinds of questions, you will have to fill in the blank spaces with the correct words. In such a case, you must not assume that the first blank needs to be filled. Give the question a good read and then proceed with filling in the blanks as per your understanding.

  • Once you have filled all the blanks in a sentence, check if it sounds grammatically and logically correct. To prepare for this measure, you must read as must as possible. 

  • Solve sample papers or practice test papers. 

  • Before answering a question, read the passage to get a sense of its overall meaning. Make sure to provide a balanced and accurate answer. After choosing an answer to a particular question, read the entire passage to get a sense of its overall meaning. You may also want to try filling in the blanks with your own words. Doing so helps identify words or phrases that are significant to the passage.

  • In preparation for the GRE test, many people ask where they can find materials that cover the reading comprehension questions. They identify a passage's main idea and point out the various assumptions that underlie its argument. They then draw inferences and conclusions from the passage. They then analyse the passage's logic and rhetoric to support their questions. It has to be complex and logical to support their assertions.

  • Look for materials that contain strong supporting evidence or arguments. Usually, these are featured in academic journals and newspapers. Trade books and articles written by experts and journalists are also good sources of material. However, these types of materials tend to lack the complexity of the passages commonly used for the GRE test.

Preparation Tips for GRE Quantitative Reasoning

GRE Quantitative Reasoning is tested in a similar manner to GRE Verbal Reasoning. The skills tested by each of the sections, however, differ. The preparation of GRE quant must relate to the test and questions asked in the section-wise test. Hence, you will find the following preparation tips to cater specifically to the preparation of GRE Quantitative Reasoning:

  • The Quantitative Reasoning measure assesses your understanding of mathematics using your problem-solving skills. You will be provided with an on-screen calculator while attempting the Quantitative Reasoning sections. For this section, your preparation must include practising as many sample papers as possible because every question comes with a different difficulty level and solving method. If you practice regularly, you will be able to get a hang of the type of quantitative questions asked in GRE and how to go about them. 

  • This section includes questions related to Data Analysis, Geometry, Algebra and Arithmetic. You must get yourself familiarised with mathematical symbols, conventions, and terminologies used in the Quantitative Reasoning sections.   

  • Remember that the shapes of the geometric figures are not drawn to scale. Instead, try drawing or diagramming them to help you answer the question. A good way to avoid lengthy calculations is by rounding up numbers before performing an estimate. It can also help identify a continuing pattern or look for comparisons.

  • If you get stuck or have an unreasonable time commitment, try a different strategy. Having a clear answer will help you avoid repeating the same mistake. After coming up with an answer, make sure that it's reasonable to the question. You can also review some of the strategies on the GRE website.

Preparation Tips for GRE Analytical Writing

GRE analytical writing section is a subjective test. You will have to attempt writing tasks under this section. In order to prepare well for GRE analytical writing following tips will prove helpful:

  • You will be given different tasks with a time limit of 30 minutes each. In such a case, it is important to manage your time while taking the exam. 

  • For the Analytical Writing section, you will have to practice on different topics that are most likely to be discussed in the exam. 

  • You must practice providing a response that discusses the extent of a topic by giving proper reasoning and facts supporting your statements. 

  • Always add the most compelling examples or reasons while writing a response or analysing an issue. 

  • The ‘Analyse an Argument’ task from this section will assess your ability to understand and evaluate an argument to convey your evaluation in writing. For this section, your responses must discuss the specific evidence that is needed to evaluate the argument.

  • Before going to the test, take the time to thoroughly review the guidelines for the essay's scoring and the task's argument task. This will help you prepare for the multiple writing assignments that are part of the Analytical Writing section. Attention to the task's instructions and the essay's structure will help you score well in this section. Also, writing an outline will help keep you focused. On the issue task, make sure that you support your position by drawing examples and reasons from your academic studies or reading experience.

  • After the test, take a few minutes to thoroughly read through your essay. It's also important to check for any obvious mistakes, such as spelling or grammar.

How to Prepare for the GRE Subject Test?

The test preparation for the GRE Subject Tests requires time and focus from an aspirant. The subject tests are:

  • GRE Subject Test - Chemistry

  • GRE Subject Test - Psychology

  • GRE Subject Test - Mathematics

  • GRE Subject Test - Physics

Here are some preparation tips for the GRE Subject Tests that will be useful to you before and during the test. 

  • The first thing you would need is to become familiarised with the syllabus of the test. Only then can you proceed with your preparation. 

  • The different subject test contains a different number of questions in it but the duration of every test is the same i.e. 2 hours and 50 minutes. In order to prepare for the GRE Subject Tests, you must gain familiarity with the types of questions asked.

  • Understand the scoring pattern and plan your preparation and time management accordingly. 

  • Keep practising by taking sample tests and reviewing your test-taking strategies from time to time. 

  • If you have a thorough understanding of the directions that you need to take before the test, you will have more time on your hands during the test to focus. 

  • Since the syllabus for GRE Subject Tests covers a wide range of subject matter, it is not possible to familiarise yourself with the content of every question. However, make sure to cover each topic under a different content category constituting the syllabus for the test. 

Things to Keep in Mind While Taking GRE Test at Home

Here are a few things you should keep in mind while taking GRE Test at Home: 

  • The test proctor will ask you to show ID, show your computer screen, and take a 360-degree view of your room using a mobile phone. Your entire session will be monitored by a human proctor, who will take a photo of you.
  • Talk to the test proctor politely and avoid doing anything suspicious. There are also optional breaks for each section. You can leave your seat for a short break, but you must stay in your seat during the one-minute breaks.

  • Your ID will be verified by AI-powered technology throughout the test. After a break, speak to the proctor to get their attention. It may take up to 30-60 seconds for the proctor to respond. You will also need to wipe any notes in view of the test.

  • Before taking the GRE test at home, make sure to bring all the necessary documents and equipment. You will need to show your ID, which should include a photograph and signature, as well as a mobile phone or mirror to show the proctor your screen. You will also need a mirror or a mobile phone to show the screen during check-in and to keep track of notes.

  • Before the end of the test, wipe all of your notes in view of the proctor. If there are any technical issues, speak to the proctor or contact Proctor.

Tips and Strategies for the GRE Test Day

This topic will introduce some basic strategies that will help you prepare for the test. It's important to get used to the format and directions of the questions so that you can avoid wasting time.

  • One of the most important things to remember when preparing for the test is to be aware of your time. A section clock appears on the screen to help you keep track of how long it has been since you last took the test.

  • Make sure that you understand the questions' content before answering them. You do not want to get credit for incorrectly answering. Although there are no points for incorrect answers, it's still important to answer all the questions correctly. Doing this will help you score better.

  • Do not waste time on questions that are difficult to answer. It's important to provide the best possible answer to every single one.

  • Use the time allotted to review the questions to ensure that you are still focused on the ones that are most important to you. Doing so will distract you from the other questions. Instead, use this time to check your progress and make sure that you answer the questions that are important to you.

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FAQs on GRE Preparation Tips

Can I score well in the GRE without external help/coaching?

Yes, you can score well on GRE but with the help of coaching, you can certainly score better. Being a globally competitive exam, it is imperative that you score as high as you can, which is possible with the help of experienced GRE faculty and professional tutors who can guide you and offer you great prep tips.

What are the best books for GRE?

The official guides provided by the ETS are considered to be one of the most effective study materials when it comes to the GRE General Test. Candidates can buy paperback versions of GRE preparation material by ETS on various online sites. Candidates can buy the online version of the same on the official website of ETS.

What is the right time to take the GRE?

The right time to take the GRE is May/June. However, it is completely on you although it is important to have enough buffer time before admission deadlines. Also, the right time to take the GRE is totally subjective and depends on various factors. One of the biggest factors to be considered before taking the GRE General Test is to check if you are prepared for the test, and have a feasible application deadline.

Which is the trickiest section of the GRE General Test?

The verbal reasoning section is considered to be one of the trickiest sections of the GRE General Test. The GRE Verbal Reasoning test measures students’ vocabulary retention power, their ability to read a comprehension passage and answer the questions, and ability to critically analyze a sentence or any given data.

What is the right time to start preparing for the GRE?

Six months is the ideal time to start preparing for the GRE. It is very important for students to improve their score high enough to be globally competitive. With the help of experienced and qualified teachers, students can improve and score better.

Is the GRE test difficult?

As compared to the GMAT, the GRE is considered somewhat less difficult. However, GRE’s verbal reasoning section is known to be more difficult as it aims to test tough vocabulary. Nonetheless, a good preparation strategy would help students score high in the test.

Where can I find preparation material for the GRE?

All GRE applicants can find GRE study material on the official website of ETS. The official guides provided by the ETS are considered to be one of the most effective study materials when it comes to the GRE General Test. Candidates can buy paperback versions of GRE preparation material by ETS on various online sites.

How to prepare for the GRE Subject Tests in order to score well?

For the GRE Subject Tests, you must create a plan according to the number of topics that you need to cover. Attempting as many practice tests as possible is the best way to score high in a GRE Subject Test. Apart from that, you need to work on your weak areas and expand your knowledge of existing ones.

How to prepare for the GRE General Test?

Being familiar with the GRE General Test syllabus is the first thing to do. Other than that, completing all the topics, practicing hundreds of questions associated with each topic, and taking mock tests regularly will ensure a good GRE Score for the GRE General Test.

Can I prepare for the GRE in one month?

One month would not be sufficient to prepare well for the GRE exam. One should devote at least two to four months to prepare for the test. However, it varies from candidate to candidate but one must note that GRE is an important factor for university admission and hence it should not be taken lightly.

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