20 Tips to Prepare for GRE

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20 Tips to Prepare for GRE

I’m guessing you already know the meaning of the acronym G.R.E. But just in case you don’t, it means the graduate record exam. This test has concrete international recognition, as many reputable countries from all around the world require you to take this test.

Just like every other test, the graduate record exam looks to measure your intelligence and reasoning ability. However, this time, GRE wants to know how well you can write analytically, how you can solve technical math equations, and of course, how good is your vocabulary.  Therefore, the tests span across your writing and math skills, as well as your English vocabulary.

In many cases, reputable schools in the United States and Canada use the Graduate Record Examination. Passing this exam is one of the criteria they employ to ascertain your eligibility for a program. So you see, if you wish to study in an American or Canadian university, you may need this test.

Four universities and the Carnegie Foundation collaborated to introduce GRE in 1936. However, the first university to require candidates to take this test was the University of Wisconsin, which was in 1938. Mostly, candidates take this test on their computers, except in places without sound computer systems. Then, they offer this test on paper. Usually, the scale for the Graduate Record Examination is between 130-170. Like I mentioned earlier, the tests try you in three different fields.

Now, given the recognition and reputation of this test, it doesn’t always come easily. It may be daunting to prepare for the exams. However, I have pulled from my experience and the experience of other simple tricks you can use to pass excellently well. Keep reading, as I show you how to prepare for your GREs.

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1.Choose a Suitable Time

The Graduate Records Examination is a technical exam that requires a lot of your attention. Except you’re a genius, the GRE is not one random test you can take just anytime without, As a result, the first advice I’ll give you is to pick the right time to prepare for these exams.

For example, if you presently work at a firm that takes between 9-5 for you every day, you shouldn’t schedule GRE immediately. It is best to schedule your graduate record examination when you have the opportunity to take leave. That will give you more and more time to prepare, research, and study for the exam.

I’ll prefer it if you scheduled the exams during any of the long breaks such as summer. This will give you enough time to decide and prepare correctly for the test.  However, the fact that you are in search of the perfect time is no excuse to keep procrastinating or postponing your schedule.

2.Understand your GRE

I cannot overemphasize how technical this exam can get. As a result, you need to know the tiniest details of this test before you prepare for the test. That will allow you to look in the right direction and study smartly. You need to understand the arrangements features and score the grades of the exam. For example, the exam usually has three parts which are; analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. These three parts are spread across about six sections with a duration that is fifteen minutes shy of four hours. Mostly you face the writing test with two different tests on quantitative and verbal reasoning.

3.Know your strengths and weakness

In many cases, we all have that particular line of study we find easy to prepare and understand. Likewise, in the sections of the GRE, there are some sections that you may know more than others. For instance, you may know how to write excellently well but have a hard time-solving math question. In cases like this, analytical writing may be your strength, while quantitative reasoning is a weakness.

Therefore, you need to channel some more study energy into working on some of your weaknesses. In the same vein, you shouldn’t neglect the studying of that course you’re confident about. When you work on your weaknesses and play on your strengths in line with the exam guidelines, success is sure.

4.Determine Important Sections

Sometimes, graduate schools require more than just meeting the required grading. Some schools go as far as looking into your scores in each section relating to your desired course. If you do great in those sections, they offer you admission.

Therefore, the sections you find comfortable should influence your choice of course study. That’s because some schools may check the individual scores in those sections. So you see, if you’re aiming for a science-related course, your quantitative reasoning and analytical writing need more energy. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the other sections.

5.Take Time Tests

You need to understand how good you presently fit for this exam. So, it’s better to take a time test, where your cousin or friend can watch you closely. With this, you have an idea of the time you spend on each section and where you need to put more energy.

When you do this frequently, you know where you need to do more studying. Likewise, you understand how to track your time progress better. Since you know the required score and your current one, you can work with a better goal sight.

6.Get Study Assistants

Time is an essential factor when you want to write exams like this one. Therefore, you need to be able to read and study on the go, regardless of where you are and what you’re doing. You can’t always do this with books only; you should consider some other ways.

It would help if you had a wide range of resources and research for studying. Instead of saving your textbooks digitally, you can have fun mobile phone apps that make you learn quickly. That way, instead of surfing the internet on Facebook and Twitter, you can study efficiently.

7.Plan your study

As a person, I love to deal with reality when it comes to studying. You can not finish the whole curriculum for the Graduate Record Examination within a short period. Therefore, you need to map out a strategy you will employ for your study.

You first need to be sure of the number of hours you need to study the whole curriculum. When you know the number of hours, you can now spread it over a particular timeframe, maybe two months, or six months. Then it would be best if you had specific times every day that you dedicate to reading hours. Doing this makes it easy for you to track your seriousness in your studying for the GRE

8.Buy Standard Reading Materials

While preparing for your GREs, you can’t afford to use mediocre materials for preparation. When you use materials of top-notch quality, you have an assurance of quality and real knowledge that relates directly to the standards of the graduate records examination. Yes, these standard materials may cost you a fortune that may tempt you to neglect their importance. However, do not forget that the authors of some of these materials are part of the producers of GRE itself.

9.Gain GRE Experience

The wise man who said “experience is the best teacher” must have been sagacious, as this statement is almost always correct. Likewise,  for the GREs, you need a bit of experience, and the best way to get this experience is by buying practising questions. When you take these tests, you have hands-on experience on how to handle these exams with a timeline. At least you should take a standard GRE test about three to four times before you write the examination.

10.Note Your Imperfections

You need to note the mistakes you make during your preparation periods carefully. Doing this is crucial because you can quickly identify what you need to work on. It’s possible you take too much time or don’t understand some specific questions. Either way, you can efficiently work on your time frame or seek help from experts on confusing sections. That almost makes your study perfect, which has positive effects on the exam.

Now, let’s take a look at specific preparations for the quantitative reasoning section.

11.Know the Right Calculations

I know you believe GRE is a top-quality exam recognized by the globe and should have very tough mathematical equations. Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, as mathematics, you’ll see are the same at high school. So, there’s no need to test all those complicated mathematical topics. Instead of these complex calculations, the GRE looks to test your understanding and reasoning of quantitative measures like algebra, geometry, data, and arithmetic.

12.Understand Your Calculator

When you start the quantitative section, you can open a calculator on the computer screen. Now, the features and commands of this calculator may be a little different from the regular calculator you know. You have to understand the commands you can apply and how to use this calculator effectively.  Usually, the GRE calculator takes everyday calculations such as multiplication, division, addition, among others. So, don’t go there looking for logarithm and exponentials.

13.Calculate Quickly

Like every standard exam should test, the GRE tries to push your time usage. So the time isn’t on your side, you need to optimize time. If you do not know how best to answer a calculation, you can go through the options to the equation. You have to learn how to work on all calculations as quickly as possible. And when you can’t get the answer right, you can input the options into the equation given.

Now, let’s take a look at tips for the verbal reasoning section;

14.Read far and wide

The best way to understand how to read excellently is by reading a lot of meaningful texts. Now, that doesn’t mean reading any written article is right for the GREs. It would be best if you focused on full books, stories, and passages that have the quality that’s on the same level as GRE. Notable examples are the New York Times, The Economist, and many more.

15.Learn several vocabularies

One primary reason why GRE seems harsh to many is the wide range of vocabularies you’ll see. Essentially, the Graduate Record Examination looks to test your knowledge of some odd and weird language. As a result, you need to learn far and wide, so you can have a lot of vocab off hand.

16.Structure Passage Reading

You may not have a specific style of reading passages, but if you want to read excerpts to answer questions, you need a strategy. For the GRE, having a reading style is not only a necessity, but it also helps you save time and reduce costly mistakes. You may love to read and understand the questions first before you even read the passage, or the other way round. Whichever one you choose, make sure you’re doing the most straightforward and swiftest option.

Now, let’s explore tips for the analytical writing section;

17.Study GRE standards

When you write GRE, they expect you to write out two essays in an hour. One of the pieces addresses an issue, while the second essay is an argument. Luckily, ETS has all the questions under this section. So, as I mentioned earlier, it’s great to read standard items and understand the behaviour of the questions.

18.Write GRE Standard Essays

From my personal experience, I believe it’s better to attempt the previous questions provided by ETS. That way, you subconsciously train your mind to understand the question trends. More so, you can develop the fastest means of writing an essay.

19.Check Essay Standards

Writing several essays for practice is excellent, but it only trains your speed and outline skills. After you write, you must grade these essays to GRE standards.


Whatever you do if you want to write GREs, make sure you aren’t afraid. Fear or anxiety is one of the last things you want to build on your list during preparations. So, it would be best if you were as confident as possible.


GRE isn’t an easy test to take, but when you know how to prepare for your GREs, it can become a tea party. You need to prepare for standards and write practical GRE tests. When you do that effectively, you understand the patterns and features of each section. We have highlighted twenty tips you should practice when you intend to write this test.

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.