Acing any exam is not an easy feat; it takes time, energy, and a lot of preparation. A lot of people think passing the GRE is a herculean task. Getting an impressive score will be complicated for you if you are not willing to put in the work required. Anything can be done with a positive mindset and dedication.
Passing the GRE examination is an important selection criterion for gaining admission into prestigious universities, especially in the United States. Whatever your reasons for taking this test, the GRE will put your abilities to solve problems to the test – see what I did there? It will require you to use everything you’ve learned to answer trick questions, so the logical solution will be to figure out the problem each question is asking you to solve, right?
These questions can be very tricky, and these pose a problem to even the brightest of minds. But not to worry, nothing is too hard. The good news is that you can’t pass nor fail your GREs. What most schools are looking for, what you need is a score that will get you into the institution of your choosing. This way, you can set a target.
You will face six sections for a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes. Your first section and challenge are the analytical writing section for a total of 30 minutes. This is followed by verbal reasoning with two sections and quantitative analysis with two sections. Both are timed for 30 and 35 minutes, respectively. There is a brief 10-minute break in-between sections to allow students to rest. These sections are not restricted to any particular order. These tests are intended to measure the level of intellectual development regardless of your field of study.
First, you need to understand that your approach to the test is critical in general. You need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses – more about this later. Are you good at maths? Naturally, you’d be better at questions in the quantitative reasoning section. So what do you do about your weakness? You work on them.
In addition to this, your knowledge in specific areas like biology, chemistry, literature in English, mathematics, physics, and psychology might come in handy. These are subject-specific tests, and they are optional for students who want to prove that they know their eggs in specific fields.
Do you plan to take GRE examinations? Here are 20 quick tips you can apply to pass any GRE
The first and most important thing you should do is relax. Reassure yourself, tell yourself that you are not going to fail, that you are going to study to pass. This will help you feel motivated and stay on track.
Preparation makes up 90% of what you need to do to ace the GRE test. Not just prepare, prepare the right way. It would help if you wrote out the goals and expectations. What scores do you want to get on each section? What scores do you want overall? What score is required for the program you want to study? These questions will give you an idea of what scores you should aim for.
3.Visualize Your Goal
Visualizing your goal allows you to figure out how much effort you need to put. If you want to get into an Ivy League school for your program, that would mean more effort and study time. You already know that you need to get very high scores. Writing this down will help you stay focused. It will help you take time to put things into perspective, like how much time you have before the tests when you want to take the tests.
4.Take a Practice Test
Taking a practice test helps you know where you stand. It will help you evaluate how prepared you are for the difficulties in terms of a baseline score and the target you are working towards. Practice tests, as you will find out, are critical to acing your GRE. The key to a great score is PracticePractice. Practice! Practice! Practice!
5.Use Available Resources
There are tons of resources to choose from on the internet. Some are free, and others paid for. The ETS has a platform called Power Prep. It is a platform where you can test yourself like you were taking a real test. It is very reliable and is used by many applicants all over the world. There are many other platforms available on the internet. This is the nearest to a test environment you will find. It requires an internet connection, and you have the advantage of pausing the timers.
6.Get High-Quality Materials
ETS provides free testing with Power Prep online practice tests. They are test materials available made available by GRE. You can use these materials to test yourself. If you are opting for other testing platforms, ensure that they are of high quality and reliable. If you opt for print or paper materials, they contain a lot of unique questions. They will not give you a feel of a test set. They are a preferred option if you are the type that likes to study and do research from the comfort of a study. They give you a test drive, a feel of what the tests are like. You can either take them online or on paper-based materials
7.Get Familiar with Your Format
Now you have to decide what format you want to take your test in. Will you take a computer-based test (CBT), or will you take a paper test? Whatever you decide would play a large role in your study, Practice, and final test. Familiarizing yourself with the format will help you figure out how much time you should be spending per section.
8.Create a Study Plan
Create a study plan allowing bolster all your weak points. There are several things to consider here. The longer you learn, the more likely you will get a higher score, but this will all be for waste if you do not study effectively.
9.Evaluate Your Strength and Weakness
It is important to note that the questions are likely to become more difficult or simpler based on your performance in previous tests. The advantage of this is that it will help you identify where your strengths lie and what weaknesses you might need to work on them.
10.Hire a Tutor
If you’re doubtful about your ability to practice and study effectively on your own, you can hire a tutor. Having someone physically explain the questions could be just the help you. It would help if you took care to look for a tutor; what is his or her success rate with previous students. There are sites online that offer great tutors at affordable fees.
11.Understand the Questions
This is very important; before answering any question, make sure that you have a clear understanding of what the question requires. If you don’t, you can move on to the next question, save it for later.
12.Device a Strategy
Finding answers, especially in quantitative reasoning questions, often requires more than an understanding of the question. It is possible to understand a question and choose an incorrect answer. You must have a plan for every type of trick question the test will throw at you. In cases of questions that require you to use formulas, you’re not going to get the right answer if you do not know the procedure.
13.Cross Check Answers Carefully
The test allows you to review marked questions later if you are not sure about them. So if you are not sure about a question, mark it and move on to others you are sure about. Read the answers carefully; you do not want to lose a few points because you misunderstood or misread a question. The GRE often uses questions to tests your ability to read, comprehend, and draw meaningful conclusions from what you have read.
14.Devote Time to Important Subjects
Let’s say you are applying for a program in Arts, and the wiser decision would be to tackle more questions on Verbal reasoning and Aptitude tests; you’ll save more time and energy. This does not mean that you should ignore other subject areas. The idea is to score as many points on your strengths and not fail too much on your weaknesses. Another smart thing is to answer all the easy questions first, mark the more difficult ones and answer them later
You are keeping an open mind when studying can help you cover a wide area of subjects. The advantage is that you can identify content that is likely to appear on your test. You will also be able to identify questions that might want to catch you off guard.
If you are unsure about an answer, here’s a trick you can use. Eliminate options that you are not correct and give your attention to other options; you should be left with the right answer or something close. Panicking will only make things worse
If you are not feeling very good about your chances of passing, it is okay to reschedule. However, you will be charged a fee. You are permitted by the ETS to change your date and even time of destination to a more suitable time; you should know that you can take the GRE tests every 21 days, five times in a year.
18.Do Not Cram
The test is specifically created to test your intellect through applied knowledge and critical thinking; cramming is a sure way to fail. It is a known fact GRE never repeats questions. Cramming answers to past questions is going to be futile that questions are never repeated on the GRE.
19.Manage Your Time
Something that GRE applicants take for granted is the amount of time they have. Many students focus on the tests alone and forget that even though the test takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes, you will spend a lot of time trying to figure out the answers. The time constraint is often the undoing of many applicants. It would help if you learned to manage your time. The length of each test is 170 minutes. That’s approximately 4 hours.
20.Attempt every Question
Do not leave any questions unanswered. You might score a few points for answering them; the testers are likely to give you some credit for attempting them. Who knows? You might be lucky and make the right guesses. But be sure to make educated guesses and not just a random selection of answers.
When you have studied enough, you are sure that you are ready to take your tests, relax, and do your best. You will realize that the answers, more often than not, are straightforward, but it is also straightforward to make silly mistakes. It’s also wise to take mini breaks (1 minute is a reasonable amount of time) between sections. This will help you relax and replenish your mind. Arrive early, make friends, and chat about questions. Avoid anything that will make you anxious.
The truth is there is no sure fireproof method to ace the GRE test. You have to study, and you have to put in the work. Give yourself time and take practice tests. I recommend a month of study and two practice tests; too much pressure and intense study will stress you out. Identifying your weaknesses and preparing for them will do you a wealth of good. You can revise the ones you know.
Questions where you have to interpret some form of data to require a lot of PracticePractice, never assume that you know the answer. Leave questions that would take longer to solve for last. Last but not least, always check your answers, once to be sure, twice if you have enough time on your side.
When I wrote the GRE, Quantitative Reasoning questions proved the most difficult, and I’ve never really been good with Mathematics. So I put some effort into understanding the question and all the forms they could be asked; in the end, I found that the tests, in general, want to test how focused you can be and how well you can weed out incorrect answers until you arrive at the right one. I hope you found these tips helpful, study well, and Goodluck on your tests.