Graduate Record Exam (GRE) – Preparation Tips

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) was started during the year 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The GRE’s administrator is the Educational Testing Service. Candidates who are applying for admission to the Master’s and Doctoral degree courses in the United States’ business schools have to appear for the GRE. The candidates’ scores are considered by the US universities for granting admissions to their degree programs. The significance of GRE scores varies from a simple admission formality to an integral selection criterion.

A series of designated Prometric testing centers conduct the GRE via online or offline mode.

The objective of GRE is to test various skills of the candidates. These include critical thinking, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning ones. Also, GRE covers vocabulary, arithmetic, geometry, and algebra.

GRE has two formats that are the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Tests. GRE General Test has 6 sections that include analytical writing, two sections each of verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, and a research or an experimental one. The length of the GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

GRE Subject Tests help to evaluate the applicant’s strengths in specific subjects. These include Psychology, Physics, English Literature, Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics. The duration of each exam is 170 minutes.

GRE: Preparation Tips

  • To prepare for the GRE, you must first gather quality and reliable study material that covers the entire syllabus. Also, you can avail free online resources. As such, download relevant software programs to become familiar with the test pattern and the type of questions to expect.
  • After studying the GRE format, accordingly you can plan your study schedule to cover all sections of the paper.
  • The Analytical Writing section assesses how candidates express complex ideas and give supportive arguments. To develop your analytical skills, you should read and analyze articles.
  • Remain updated on the latest developments around the world. For the same, ensure that you read newspapers and magazines that study recent global trends. More so, explore the Internet and television for the recent news.
  • The Quantitative Reasoning section helps in evaluating the candidate’s analytical skills and how they interpret various quantitative problems. Also, their Mathematical skills for solving problems are assessed. The different subjects include Probability, Statistics, Algebra, Geometry, and Arithmetic. To excel in this section, make sure that you learn the basics and, also, get enough practice.
  • For the Verbal Reasoning section, the candidate’s ability to comprehend reading passages and how they derive conclusions are evaluated. As part of your preparation, you must read regularly to improve your English Grammar.
  • GRE does not have negative marking system, so you must attempt as many questions as possible. However, first attempt the questions that you are confident of, following which you can address the difficult ones.
  • Make sure to read and understand the questions before attempting them. For some questions, you have to give one choice and more than one choice for others. Also, you may need to give a numeric answer for some questions. Thus, carefully read the questions and only then, furnish your answer.
  • As per the latest GRE pattern, you can change your answers. Thus, you have the flexibility of attempting questions as you deem convenient. So, first, attempt the sections that you find easy.
  • Take regular GRE practice tests to judge your level of preparedness. Also, by doing so, you can recognize your weak areas and, then, get more practice to become adept at them.
  • During the preparatory days, besides studying from books, you must prepare mentally and physically too. For the same, you must get adequate sleep, keep hydrated by consuming sufficient water, and eating healthy foods. Also, you should exercise, perform yoga, and practice meditation.
  • Post taking the practice tests, you must compare your score against the average GRE scores of others who are applying to the same universities (obtain this information via the specific school’s website). Then, you can get a clearer picture of your performance.
  • Calculators are given during GRE via on-screen display. However, you need to determine whether to use a calculator for greater accuracy or learning the Math fundamentals is a better bet.
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