Last Minute Useful Study Tips to Ace the GRE Exam


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The GRE score is accepted in countries, like the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Singapore, and Australia. The test is taken by graduates, business schools and law school applicants.

Before you start preparing for the GRE, it is important to know every single detail about the GRE exam. May it be the GRE structure, the question types, eligibility for GRE, GRE exam fees or the scoring pattern, ensure that you understand the rules of the game before you start to play.

GRE Test Structure

The GRE test structure is made up of three separate GRE sections. The GRE AWA, or Analytical Writing Assessment, is the first section of the exam, followed by the GRE Verbal Reasoning and finally by the GRE Quantitative Reasoning.

Sections Number of Questions
Analytical Writing 1 Section

(1 Essays)

Verbal Reasoning

(Two sections)

Section 1 : 12 Questions

Section 2 : 15 Questions

Quantitative Reasoning

(Two sections)

Section 1 : 12 Questions

Section 2 : 15 Questions


How to Study for the GRE?

How to ace the GRE? You cannot cram for the GRE. In general, the exam is a test of patterns rather than facts, so if you want to improve your GRE score, you must devote enough time to studying. We recommend that you prepare for the GRE for 4 to 12 weeks.


1. Find Your Baseline

Your baseline score is the score you would receive if you took the GRE today. Before you make a study plan, take a full-length GRE practice test under the same testing environment as the real thing. The results will guide your prep by showing you which content areas you need to focus on the most.


2. Determine Your Target GRE Score

You’ve probably started making a list of the graduate programs that interest you. Compare your practice test score against the average GRE scores of the most recent incoming class to each program (find this information on the school website or in our grad school profiles). Your target GRE score is one that would put you at or above the average for the schools on your wishlist.


3. Make a Plan to Close the Gap

Whether you choose a GRE prep course, online program, or a test prep book, you need a smart prep plan that will hold you accountable and give you the results you need. With a little research, you’ll find the right environment for you.


4. Practice for Technique

Focus on how you approach each question while taking practice tests and drills. If you focus on just the results, you do nothing more than reinforcing the way you are taking the test right now. The techniques you use and the way you solve a problem are what help you get better at taking the GRE.


5. Mimic Real GRE Conditions

Paper-and-pencil tests can help you practice concepts and test-taking strategies, but they do not adapt to your performance like the real GRE. Make sure you budget online practice into your study schedule to help prepare you for the computer-based test experience.


6. Review Your Results

Always review your performance after taking GRE practice exams. What kinds of questions do you consistently miss? What question types do you tend to ace on the GRE, and which ones slow you down?

This is where access to a GRE tutor can really give you a leg up. Test prep is only partly about mastering content—it’s also about your pacing and test-taking skills.

To be completely prepared, sit down with a coach to review your performance on practice exams and make a smart plan to meet your GRE score goal.


7. Build Up Your GRE Vocabulary

Vocab is still an important part of the GRE Verbal sections. You can absorb many of the words that will show up on the GRE by reading respected publications such as academic journals or some of the more highbrow newspapers and magazines.

When you come across new words on practice tests or practice problems, add them to your list. They have been used before on the GRE and they may very well be used again. Check out our GRE Power Vocab book for lists and drills.


8. Practice With and Without a Calculator

A calculator is provided for you on the GRE as part of the on-screen display, and can be a huge advantage if used correctly! But the calculator can also be a liability. Figure out when using a calculator makes you more accurate, and when you’re better off learning the rules of a key math concept.


Useful Last Minute Study Tips to Ace the GRE Exam

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a stressful exam if one lets the stress get to them. And this stress is compounded if the GRE exam is right around the corner. No matter how long one has prepared and how well the GRE mock test scores are, one does face anxiety, excitement, and a bit of tension at the last moment. This is understandable and it is better to stay on track if you desire to ace the GRE exam. This article will give you 8 highly influential Tips for studying for the GRE to follow during the last minute of the exam.


1. It’s an Exam, Nothing Else Matters

With a pivotal exam like the GRE, a lot is at stake, for many people: both students and working professionals, the GRE is a defining moment in their academic career and professional career. But, because of this importance, one does forget that it is an exam, just an exam. It does not judge you or decide your life, it is a factor that will augment your chances and if you get it right it will help you. To be psychologically strong and have the right perception towards the exam is very important.

Just like any exam, your ultimate focus during the exam must be on the exam, not on the Visa or your admission or any other benefits that might accrue. GRE test prep would have prepared you academically for the exam, but here comes the real deal, to be mentally prepared is the key.

Finding the right balance can be difficult. You may occasionally feel compelled to choose between giving priority to the present and the future. So, having a GRE study plan for working professionals is a must.

Related Blog Post: 11 GRE Preparation Strategies for Working Professionals


2. Revision, Revision, and Only Revision

The GRE is a skill-based exam, and this definition may lead you to believe that there is nothing to memorize or revise. But, if you give a serious look, you will see that half of the GRE verbal reasoning is vocabulary (Text completion and sentence equivalence) and there is only one way to remember all those high-level words, that is revision. Please make sure that you have a notebook filled with all the words that you deem difficult to remember. This will be a gold mine a few days before your GRE exam.

The same applies to quant as well, some standard formulas have to be memorized. One has to remember all for quick application. One cannot depend on the calculator always, so it is better to get familiar with mental calculations as well.

Coming to the skill-based and application-based part of the exam, make sure that you remember the strategies very well, the techniques, and the approaches. It would be futile to stop and think in the GRE exam trying to remember which approach to be applied for a specific question type.


3. Analyze Everything

It is one part to take the exam, the important part is to analyze everything that you have attempted. This is the most helpful tool, to get an idea of what one did and of what one should do. Test analysis is an important part of your GRE online test prep, make sure that you have the access to the right tools.

Manya – The Princeton Review provides one of the best online tools to analyze one’s test performance. Test performance should be analyzed not only in terms of question type but also, in terms of time spent.

Each question has to be evaluated in terms of how much time you have spent, how well were you able to apply the technique and how well did you remember the vocabulary or the formula. Was it the right vocabulary or the right formula?
This analysis is the key to your GRE exam, it gives you an action plan and tells you what needs focus and what doesn’t. It tells you what is taking time and what isn’t.


4. Develop a Routine and Stay Consistent

Everyone has a personalized approach to the exam, what works for you works for you. It takes a lot of introspection to find it out. More than introspection, it takes a lot of practice, this evolves over a period of time when one takes many tests and realizes that something works for them.

One has to find this out very well before the exam and latch onto it. One also should remember that they should be consistent with it. One can evolve many such techniques. In most cases, whenever solving verbal sections, students always start with sentence equivalence questions, no matter what the first question is.

One should always have a daily routine, fixed sleeping hours, and mealtimes. Do not pull all-nighters and disturb your circadian rhythm. Sleep for at least 7-8 hours, and allocate practice time accordingly.


5. Don’t Ignore AWA

Many students ignore the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment, and they do it unconsciously. They are so busy preparing for the verbal sections of the GRE that they tend to forget that they have AWA to write. AWA is an integral part of the GRE, it is an indispensable part of the exam and one has to give due importance to it.

Preparing for GRE AWA takes time, one has to develop writing skills, and many students might not be well versed in this area of writing. Because it deals with issues and argument analysis. To evaluate, dissect and write about arguments takes time.

One has to go through the AWA evaluation guidelines extensively and has to write a few essays. One should also get them evaluated. Take feedback and improve at the same time.


6. Form a Learning Group

Note that a group may facilitate discussions and debates, but the purpose is to get a better learning approach to your GRE online Prep. To benefit the most out of the discussions, form a small group of at least 2 to 5 students and take the lead by turns every time you connect.

Fix a time slot and topic areas to be discussed for all the slots. You keep sustaining a competitive spirit of the group by working out the targeted questions in advance, noting the time you take to solve every question. Remember that your approach to solving a question will be most effective when you unlock it in the least time.


7. Cover the Syllabus

After you’ve decided on the topics to be covered in the slots, you must keep the reviews going in a consistent but relevant manner as you go. Don’t get carried away by the concept’s pulse. Instead, concentrate on the strategy for covering the entire curriculum without deviation. We don’t want to learn anything if we don’t have to talk about it.


8. Better Recall Value

You will undoubtedly notice that group learning gives better recall value than self-learning does. Vocabulary will not be a challenge if you can remember the meanings as long as you need it.

If ‘Phlegmatic’ looks alien, so is ‘bellicose. You may learn the meanings, but you need to retain better recall value which happens only through discussions. You are not only sharing your ideas but also retaining others’. The learning group is the right platform to master the strategies faster.


How to Make a Study Calendar for GRE?

The GRE is one of the most crucial entrance requirements for institutions abroad and has millions of applicants who take part in everything from preparing with the GRE Books to attempting the GRE mock tests. Unlike the SAT exam, the TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam, which are more suitable for both undergraduate and graduate-level admissions, the syllabus for GRE covers a wide variety of topics more suited for graduate admissions.

GRE test preparation is no ordinary method of studying. The GRE pattern has been designed to assess the applicant’s mental ability to think and apply concepts in a more structured fashion. Applicants in the GRE tackle sections for reading, writing, mathematics, science and an optional essay section that is usually undertaken for extra points. Preparation for the GRE begins by crafting an elaborate study plan that can be well executed to be completed well into just two months.


Getting Started

Get your hands dirty by getting a GRE test prep guide and take a few tests to check out how well you perform. As the tests serve as a threshold to check for personal potential, take the next step of giving a full-fledged practice test that is uninhibited by time. Use this to understand how long it takes you to finish the paper and assess the time spent on each of the sections.

Use the information learned from the practice tests to formulate a study plan that is tailored to the sections that you are weak in and those that require more work. Another benefit of the practice test is that it makes one comfortable with the general GRE format. Schedule 4 hours to take the test a second time if you choose to do the essay section. If not, keep the limit to 3 hours and invest at least 1.5 hours in reviewing the test on the same day or the next.


Make Use Of All Resources

Manya- The Princeton Review has a bundle of resources with proctored GRE practice tests online that can be accessed with complete convenience. Expand out and start looking out for GRE test prep materials online. This could include conventional papers from the previous years, guides, and study materials from those who would have taken the test previously.

Forums and online message boards like those from the Princeton blog or the Manya- The Princeton Review discussion boards can provide excellent information on how to tackle the GRE best and with enough time to maximize marks.

Remember that achieving a mediocre mark is simple, but it’s not what gets people to the best of institutions. Securing marks and getting that beautiful 320+ score requires careful consideration of time, resources, and a peculiar eye for knowing how difficult the questions are going to be.


Set The Dates

Remember how people say that they can prepare for the GRE in just two months. What they forget to mention is two months exactly equals two months with zero procrastination and distractions. Here’s how to beat the clock and set a proper calendar.

  • Spend at least an hour and a half consistently five days a week with no breaks and total concentration. Depending upon the section that you are preparing for, more time may be allocated or less.
  • Save time preparing for the vocabulary section by carrying as many flashcards as possible with antonyms and synonyms of commonly used words in the GRE. Remember to use the words in actual writing so that they are adequately immersed in your mind.
  • Plan out in such a way that there is enough time to carry out at least four full-length GRE practice tests. Take a second practice test at least a month before your actual GRE and then one exam after every week. Take the last practice test 1 week before the exam.
  • Take some time to review and introspect on time spent and how improvements can be made in the most efficient of ways.


The Finishing Touches

Get an actual calendar, keep it on your phone or laptop, and follow it as much as you can. Have a reminder for every test, question, and practice session. Keep a day for relaxation and get back onto the pressure tests as per the schedule.

Keep the practice tests structured close to lunch or dinner to mimic the actual test so one can know if any problems do arise or not. This brings test-takers to the final aspect to consider when making a study calendar for GRE prep exams. Spend some time learning how to use the computer system and learn how to start the exam (from more easy to difficult or the other way around).

Finally, stick to the schedule and perform the steps of taking up as many practice questions as possible.


Improve Your Vocabulary with GRE WordsApp

If you are preparing for GRE and struggling with your Vocabulary then Manya GRE WordsApp is the ideal choice for you. Manya GRE WordsApp is a simple and efficient way to improve your vocabulary for the GRE Exam. This app will make it simple to memorize words and to improve your GRE vocabulary in bite-sized pieces.

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How can I prepare for the GRE at home?

You should be able to study on your own if you are a dedicated student who feels secure and has no major weaknesses. Here are some tips to prepare well.

1. Determine your starting point. The score you’d get if you took the GRE today is your baseline score.

  1. Choose a GRE score that you want to achieve.
  2. Make a strategy for closing the gap.
  3. The technique should be practised.
  4. Simulate real-world GRE circumstances.
  5. Examine your findings.
  6. Build up your vocabulary for the GRE.
  7. It’s a good idea to practise both with and without a calculator.

However, If you require more structure and/or guidance, you should consider enrolling in GRE online coaching.

How should I prepare for the GRE exam?

You have to take a diagnostic (full-length) GRE test to set the baseline. This will help you know where you stand and how far are you from your target score.  Accordingly, choose a course or books to help you prepare for the test.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the GRE exam:

1. Know the rules of the game – Get thorough with the structure, format, and scoring of the test.
2. Review the essentials (basic concepts) required for the test. For verbal, learn vocabulary and for math, learn the basics of the math topics tested.
3. Learn techniques, strategies and pacing tips to boost your score.
4. Practice questions from standard GRE materials.
5. Take GRE Full-length practice tests at regular intervals and review the test to learn from the mistakes.

For more on GRE prep, see our guide for making a GRE study plan.

What are some last-minute study tips to prepare for the GRE exam?

Some useful last-minute tips include creating a study plan, focusing on weak areas, practicing time management, and taking practice tests.

How important is time management during the GRE exam?

Time management is crucial during the GRE exam, as you will be given a limited amount of time to complete each section. It is important to develop a strategy for managing your time and pacing yourself during the exam.

Is it possible to prepare for the GRE exam in a short time?

Yes, it is possible to prepare for the GRE exam in a short amount of time, but it will require a focused and intensive study plan.

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