Most universities in the USA require its prospective students to take GRE exam, as it is one of the admission requirements for its graduate programmes. If you’re currently applying and need to prepare for GRE exam, you’re in the right place. We are sharing with you some of the GRE exam tips that you may make use of while preparing for it.
Know the exam format
Before sitting for any exam, you must first know what to expect! Therefore, let us together find out the format of GRE.
The GRE exam has three sections:
Verbal Reasoning – This English section is to test your skills in reading, understanding and analyzing short texts and paragraphs.
Quantitative Reasoning – This is the Math section that tests your skills in arithmetic, algebra, geometry etc.
Analytical Writing – This English writing section is to analyze your skills in preparing and composing two organized and critical essays.
All these sections will be taken on a computer and the questions in the first two sections (Verbal and Quantitative) will be generated on run-time by the computer. Meaning, the answers will get harder as you answer the questions correctly.
Prepare your study plans
Now that you know the exam format, you may then come up with your own study plans. You can set the study plan according to your time and availability. If you’re currently working as a full-timer, having a whole-day studying schedule might not work for you. Regardless of your current situation, there are several study plans that can work for all. For example, you may take the online preparation courses, which can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
For GRE, there are several online courses that help you to prepare for the test:
ETS Powerprep Software – This free software is available to be downloaded online at ETS Website.
Kaplan Test Prep – Sign up for this free practice test provided by Kaplan on its website.
Manhattan Review GRE Practice Test – You can easily access Manhattan’s online practice test by filling up the sign-up form on the website.
By doing as much online preps as possible, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the test format and the question types.
Adopt educational tool in your memorization practice
One of the important preparations that will need to be done by GRE candidates is the words memorization. In GRE exam, your vocabulary skills will be tested in the Verbal Reasoning section, in which you will have to find the most suitable word for the Sentence Equivalence questions. You will also need to know and understand the meaning of a word, within a context, in the Reading Comprehension section.
Since memorization takes time, it is advisable for you to start the exercises as earlier as possible. Try to select at least ten new words everyday and focus on memorizing those words — in context! You can also adopt the most suitable and effective memorization tool that can assist in boosting your vocabulary skills. Perhaps, flash cards with images can help you to remember faster.
Technologies have made student’s lives easier these days. If you’re a smart phone user, simply choose an educational app that can help you in your memorization. Some of the recommended apps are:
Evernote – A free app for note-taking
Dictionary.com – A free app to find words definition
StudyBlue – A free app to create flashcards with images
Check out the 10 great apps for students that we have shared in one of our blog postings.
Identify important topics for Quantitative Reasoning
Another section in GRE exam is the Quantitative Reasoning section. If you have graduated from high school for more than ten years, perhaps, it is recommended for you to reopen your high school textbook and refresh your knowledge on those algebra or arithmetic formulas.
Here are some the maths topics that you might want to revise:
Expand and factorize quadratic and cubic equations
Know how to add and multiple fractions
Know how to convert percentage to decimal values
Know how to calculate a circle or a polygon’s area
Prepare for the Analytical Writing section
The third section in GRE is the Analytical Writing. Just like the Verbal section, Analytical Writing also requires candidates to prepare early. In order to expose yourself with as many topics as possible, you might want to do lots of reading before the exam. It is important to note that, the reading should come with an active understanding and information retrieving process. You might want to write down some of the interesting points that you find in your reading. You can then reuse them in your essays during the exam!
Besides than the reading preparation, you might want to equip yourself with some of the writing tips such as:
Brainstorm and list down your ideas in bullet points
Prepare good introduction and conclusion paragraphs
Write one or two sentences for each of your points
Use proper grammar, spellings and punctuation rules. You may learn the punctuation rules right here in our blog.
Try to write a complete essay within 30 minutes, which is the real exam duration, on daily basis.
Since GRE is a bit more advanced than its cousin exams (e.g. SAT, IELTS, TOEFL etc), you might want to put an extra effort on this one! Hopefully, the tips that we have shared with you are helpful enough in getting you ready for your GRE exam. All the best and may luck be with you!