How to Guess on the GRE

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How to Guess on the GRE

There will come a chance in life when you just have to skip some questions because you don’t know them, and despite the uncertainty that comes with some of the answers you have picked, these things happen to the best of us. Now, imagine a scenario whereby you are at the end of one of your Quant sections while writing your GRE, and you are left with just five minutes, but unfortunately, none of the questions you skipped could be solved in such a short time. Your best bet in that incident is to pick a random answer by guessing. Hopefully, you will not be clinging on a tiny thread, but this could harm you when it comes to GRE because, for every failed question, your score gets deducted and will come back to hurt your final GRE score, which is the standard for GRE.

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However, having a few minutes left does not give you an express drive into picking an answer with no clear technicality and methods, so thoughtfulness and intelligent guesses are paramount when guessing on GRE examinations. This is why I will be giving you some hints on how to think on the GRE:

Information gathered from the GRE’s official website gave me a clear insight into how wrong guessing could be counterproductive. So, I can boldly inform you that they have given out basis and analysis by which they arrive at the final scores for both the Verbal and Quantitative sections, which has to do with the number of correct responses you give. Therefore, to pick as many right reactions as possible, you just have to answer the maximum number of questions possible. What I am attempting to say is that you must answer every question. You just have to attempt everything.

The Question on Your Mind Right Now Will Be, But What If I Do Not Know The Right Answer?

Picking up any of the available options will not suffice for such a situation, so what you should do is start by taking out vital information about the question and eliminating as many answer options as you can. Even if you could only stop just one option, it will go a long way in helping to increase your odds of guessing rightly on multiple-choice questions that require a single answer. The range of percentage for a smart move could move you from 20% to 25% or even 30% in some cases. You can then proceed to pick one of the remaining answers. But there’s more to this, and just keep your focus here as I unfold more insights to you.

After you must have made a strategic guess amongst the remaining choice of answers left, you can quickly move on to other questions.

You should know that leaving a question blank without an answer will reduce some points from your score. When you chose a reply, you are not sure of, based on strategic guessing, improving your chances of accumulating as many points as possible when you take your examination.

However, for you to answer every question, whether you will be guessing the answer or working it out, everything is centred on the amount of time available to you. On the Quantitative section of your examination, you have an average time of 1.74 minutes to attend to a question. On the Verbal Reasoning section, you have an average time of 1.4 minutes to listen to a question. Hence the need for time management because guessing in a hurry might just come back to hurt you after that. More time will give you the confidence needed to apply your guessing strategy.

Time Management and Guessing

Another vital thing to do is, get your brain accustomed to what “a minute and a half feels like.” How do you go about this? It is by inserting the time into your daily living to get a real feel of it. Now when you have your mouth washed every morning, give yourself a timer of 1.4 minutes, find audio that lasts for 1.4 minutes, and sing it often. Train your pet for 1.4 minutes, take a look at a passerby for 1.4 minutes, and while you practice, give yourself 1.4 minutes to spend on each practice problem that you try to solve.

These are to help you understand what such a time feels like by integrating it into your daily life. You do not get to invest above 2 minutes on a problem and continue like manner with other questions leading to wrong guessing. There will some questions that will require more time from you. Still, you should know that some questions also do not consume your time so that you could save up time on such questions, but at the end of it all, you should spend an average of 1.74 minutes on your Quantitative Reasoning questions and 1.4 minutes on your Verbal Reasoning questions.


It is now well known and understood by you that guessing could be very helpful and cheerful. Likewise, it could be you shooting yourself in the foot if not approached strategically. To do this, you must be very calm with eliminating options from answers made available to the problem you are working on.

Remember, how to guess on the GRE is not rocket science. You need time on your hand to guess right. That is why you should understand what the time allotted to each question is and feel it by applying it in your daily routine. I can assure you that if you can keep all of the above in mind and work strategically during your practice sessions, your guessing on your examination day will be seamless and more direct.

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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.