How to Prepare for GRE Exam
How does it feel when preparing for a GRE Exam? Do you think brainwashed or even overwhelmed with diverse ideas? Some say it feels like a sea full of ideas (both good and bad), whichever way it might be; it is best if you adequately prepare yourself for the exam. That being said, you are plagued with the question, “what can I do now to ensure success in my GRE exam?”
From extensive research, it is noteworthy that all students who have registered for GRE and would be sitting for the exams should learn to take out time to practice extensively. It is through extensive learning in their own time. Research says when students read ahead of reviews and are fully prepared for it, they get more confidential about whatever could be ahead of them; this shows the importance of self-training.
What is the GRE?
To get started with what GRE Exams are, we must first duly understand what GRE itself is. GRE General Test is a standard test that was created and administered by the Educational Testing Service popularly known as ETS. This test is designed to measure a student’s overall academic preparation and readiness for graduate school. In buttress of that, individual graduate programs require that students take more than just the GRE General Test but also a GRE Subject Test to test and access their knowledge in a field related to their desired course of studies like biology, psychology, physics or mathematics.
The GRE exam is designed across six subjects, which is meant for students who have either studied them as a significant course or minored them in the university. Some graduate schools might also take a math subject test to test the student’s quantitative skills, especially in schools where numerical competence is a core aspect of their academics.
Disregard any learning method you might have been exposed to (towards your GRE exam success). The steps and procedures stated below are designed to get you a better GRE study plan. That being said, this will also launch you into better study measures and subsequently GRE General exam success
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- Plan ahead
Due to new information and sudden decisions, many students do not have much time to plan adequately for the GRE exam. When the exams seem close, they tend to ask questions like, “can I still have a good score?” The answer is definitely YES! Although, this would have been easier if you had planned ahead of time and before now that it is almost getting late; however, it is never late until you fail to plan.
No matter what you do, keep it a must that registering for your GRE test date remains your priority. A lot of times, spots get filled up so early (usually months before the exam), now, if you perform better mentally during weekends, or weekdays (as the case may be), pick up a convenient date now.
- Know what you are getting into
Turning back now might be too late if you never read extensively about the GRE general exam. Contrarily, you can still familiarize yourself with the exam and also get acquainted with your weaknesses and strengths by taking a GRE diagnostic test. This is the best time to do this.
- Study what’s on the test
One of the best ways to prepare for a GRE exam (for success) is to study what is on the test and not go outside of what is essential. This might sound somewhat obvious, but the truth is a lot of students study outside of the curriculum while trying to study what is right (not what is on the test). Falling into this trap is very easy; for instance, you might have heard that the GRE General exam has a math section, and then you start trembling and getting on old books because you have never been a good student of mathematics. This way, you tend to leave out on other vital subjects; it would be said when you eventually get to find very few (or no) mathematics in your general exam.
Never behave like others, before you act on anything you read or hear, always test it for truth and reasonableness. Then, familiarize yourself with what is in your test and figure out a convenient schedule through which you intend to focus on that. More preparation is excellent if you are studying the right thing.
Also, never make assumptions that the GR general exam is going to be like other exams you have taken. People usually give misconceptions that are bound to mislead you when you live solely based on it. In that effect, always strategize yourself on learning and understanding the question types, honing techniques, and directions through which you can approach each question type.
- Take lots of practice tests
Many students preparing for the GRE general exam think that just reading and taking lessons cum doing practice is enough to assure them good grades, that is not so! GRE is a marathon that requires you to stay at alert the moment you decide to sit for the exam. This marathon extends to you, taking about one practice test weekly to keep your brain fully in action.
- Start studying vocabulary
GRE verbal is composed of high loads of vocabulary; more importantly, if you are applying to social sciences or humanities, you will need to be a master of vocabs. Know that the GRE general exam is not ACT/SAT level, the words are hard (to be very honest).
- Figure out what you need to focus on
The truth about the GRE general exams is that there is going to be a part of the exam subjects that will be more important and relevant to your graduate study. You do not want to leave out on what is more important to study what you might not be needing. For instance, if you would be delving into math or science-focused field, you will need to focus extensively on your Quantitative score. Those going into humanities and social sciences will be more concerned about the verbal score.
In the broad term, some social science candidates might need to focus more on their quantitative scores. For instance, someone intending to take graduate studies in economics will be more quantitative and not verbal just as the engineering admission committee will be less concerned about your level of English scores; this is why it is crucial to figure out what should be focused on.
Contrarily, you do not need to ignore other sections of your study totally; it only makes more sense when you outline the most important ones, and you put your total energy into it.
- Don’t ignore the other subject
This is somehow contradictory from the latter, but it is essential to note it as well. While focusing on one subject that matters, you do not want to ignore other essential issues too totally. If you have a shallow score on a particular part of the test (even if it is not relevant or closely related to your field of study), it has the power to raise red flags to the admission committee. That being said, you need to put up some extra work!
- Use good materials
Using the right materials for your practices is just as crucial as getting the correct scores in your exams. Whatever study material you are using, there should be a detailed analysis and explanation of why some answers are accurate and why some are wrong (not just telling you this is right and this is wrong with no comments).
Surprisingly, very few books do this! This implies that you have to work hard on your scouting and take a look at some pages of the materials you are buying before making a purchase (also be ready to pay, these books are usually costly).
- Know question types
In this aspect, too, great lessons are not enough. You will come across some question types on GRE having different answers where you have to fill in a numerical solution. Pay close attention to the way these questions are set as well as to your responses (whenever you get them wrong). When you get a question wrong, seek ways to the right answer, and read it repeatedly.
- Keep an error log
In the purest form, an error log is a record of all your mistakes and wrong answers (as well as the correct answers and your outlined approach to get them). When you have an error log, continuously work through these problems daily and watch yourself grow out of balance.
- Target your weaknesses
Any significant and beneficial preparation program does not only include you building yourself; you also need to discover your weaknesses, so you can effectively address your weak spots. You will begin to see the most significant improvement when you focus on your shortcomings, like question types and topic areas where you currently lag and struggle with.
When you continually work on areas that you are already healthy, you do not show any sign of anticipating progress or betterment. Your strengths just brush up and make you feel better about yourself (you only become productive when you push yourself beyond your comfort zone).
In conclusion, If you desire success in your GRE exams, you need to get acquainted with practicing. In the aspect of the GRE general exam, it does not only mean that you need to put in some practice time, but it also entails you practicing with the skills you often struggle with. If you continually get wrong answers with geometry questions, the one thing you need to do is keep on doing geometry until the items look easier. While you keep honing your weakness, do this alongside the steps mentioned above for better success in your GRE general exam. Success!