The GRE test is one that needs the best preparation for optimum results. So, determining the best possible time to take it is key. While some time may work for a certain group of people, a different time may suffice for others. For people who are still in college, the best time to take the GRE is sometime between the spring semester of the junior year and the fall semester of their senior year. Either way, adequate preparation is of utmost importance.
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The Best Time If You are not Currently in School
A lot of people preparing for the GRE are not college students. Many people who decide to return to graduate school after some time, either as a professional or a parent. So, if you have decided to take the GRE after some time out of school, it is important to give yourself a good amount of time to study and prepare for the test.
Also, the best time for you to take the test is during the time of the year that is not busy for you. If you are a parent, for instance, you may want to avoid taking it during the busy back-to-school season. And if you are a professional, avoid taking the test during a busy quarter, or when you have a big project at hand.
The GRE test is offered round the year at Prometric (TM) test centres. Therefore there is no need to sign up for a test date, months in advance. In finding out the right time to take the GRE, you should check your academic schedule as you don’t want to take the test during your busiest semester, as both your test results and your GPA will suffer. Instead, try to find a way to relieve the load for a semester and make use of the extra hours to prepare for the GRE. Also, if you have a light summer, then use those months to prepare for and take the test then.
What Time of the Day is Best?
GRE is all about focus and vigour. It is about sustaining an extraordinary level of concentration for a prolonged period of 5 hours. So, most of this will depend on your routine and style in examinations. However, based on the empirical data, you should consider taking the exam in the morning, but if you think you will be sleepy during the morning exam, then you could try the other time slot.
Another way to find out which time is perfect for you is to test your focus by taking a few mock exams in the morning and a few in the afternoon, then see if there are any considerable variation in your performance.
The Best Month
The GRE test comes in two types; Paper-based and online-based GRE test. The paper-based GRE tests are available only twice in a year; one in November, and one in February. The online tests, on the other hand, are available on most days, but this doesn’t mean you will necessarily be able to sign up on any day you want. Test availability is limited by the number of seats available on the given day. Therefore, the earlier you sign up, the more choices available for you.
Factors to Consider
1. Target Score
Having in mind what score you want out of the test gives you the basics on how to study. This guides your plan and how to improve to meet that target. If you don’t have one in mind yet, then you can by listing out the universities you are planning to apply for and which are your top choices on the list. Then find out their average GRE test scores for the program you are applying for. A few notches higher than that score must be your destination score.
2. Your Present Level
How to be sure of this is to take a full-length practice test, then score yourself to know how you perform. This will tell you how best to improve your learning and what aspects you haven’t quite grasped yet.
3. Study Plan
It would help if you had a study plan. For an average performance in the GRE tests, you need minimum concentrated learning of 120hours at least. 2-3 months on average. So, working with your test time will help you prepare better to take the tests and ace them.
This is by far the most important tool in preparation for the GRE test. There are lots of study materials online, so you need to get them and start practising. Take the tests like it was yours even before the main exams. Score yourself and make adjustments where necessary. Practice all the time.
6. Have Confidence
You will need your confidence levels at the rooftops during the time of the test. There is a tendency for your confidence level to begin to plummet as the test draws closer. It is your responsibility to always keep in check. Set your mind on the goal, and believe in yourself enough to ace the test.
7. Preparation Time
When you can take the test depends on how much time you need to prepare for the test. While on the average, most students require 2-3 months of prep time to get a decent score, some test takers require as much as six months, while very few people require less than four weeks prep time. It would help if you prepared with the test time in mind.
8. Admission Deadline
Also, take cognisance of your schools’ deadline. This will help you choose the best time to take the test and when the results will be out to furnish your school with. Planning will help you make proper decisions on when is best to take your test.
Lastly, every person is unique. The apt time to take the GRE is when it is right for you. Consider relevant factors that will affect you when you take the test and plan from there.