The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a study abroad exam, designed to check the verbal, quant and logical skills of candidates planning to enter higher education institutions primarily in the USA and a host of other countries. For years now, GRE has been a daunting task for many students, the vocabulary is tough; quant is tricky and AWA is a nightmare for students who are not articulate enough with the written word. But, times have become better, and techniques have evolved to an extent that no question is so touch that students have to shun it. This article precisely aims to elucidate the most effective of those techniques for the benefit of the students.
In GRE, similarly as with any exam, how you study is as important as what you study. There is no set syllabus for the GRE, so planning for this particular skill-based exam becomes all the more difficult. But, ardent students are well aware that there is always a pattern in the GRE exam. And one can easily prepare for a patter, given that one understands it well.
For example, when it comes to verbal, half of the GRE is just vocabulary and so learning, memorizing, revising and practising vocabulary should take priority. This should be followed by short reading comprehension and then must be backed up by long reading comprehension. The types of questions do vary, but one must keep in mind that some question types take very little time, while the others take a lot of time. So, one must pace oneself accordingly.
Well, there is no perfect one-stop for this question. One must remember that the official guide comes first and the standard coaching material like that of Manya – The Princeton Review’s material is a solid source for quality approaches and questions.
It is only too easy to be drifted away in the online world of notes, questions and words and more words. One should assess the exam very well, take a few mock tests, prepare from the material and then assess the improvement in the scores. This shouldn’t take a lot of time, as one or two mocks will give you the right feel of the material.
There is a trend that has been observed in students. They tend to underestimate Quant and overestimate verbal. While overestimating verbal does not do any real harm, as it only pegs the students to prepare even better. But, underestimating the quant sections does some damage to the score.
This is true with students who have a strong Mathematics background. They take one look at the quant questions and peg it to be easier than the verbal. But, one has to tread carefully the waves of Data interpretation. One wrong look or one mistake while calculating leads to disastrous consequences without the student even realizing it. Because GRE has a tricky way to put potentially wrong answers that students arrive at amongst the options. This makes the quant section even trickier. So, be aware, nothing comes easy.
Some students choose to skip GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) because they perceive it to be less important and also, they are eager to move onto the “actual” sections. But, AWA plays a very important role in selection in a few colleges. One must prepare well for AWA and there is no other route but to opt to write as many essays as one can and get them evaluated at the same time.
AWA is simply not a language test, it tests a range of abilities like analytical thinking, logical reasoning, idea generation, coherence and objectivity. All the skills which are deemed important for a prospective student.
One assumes an exam to be a purely mental exercise, this is only half the truth. The GRE is for 3 hours and 40 minutes. To sit at a place for that much time and to focus is not a natural thing.
Not at least for an itinerant species like human beings. So, keeping this scientific fact in our minds, students should prepare themselves well in advance to sit and focus for the exam for 4 hours straight!
Adjust your diet accordingly to keep your energy levels high and exercise your brain well to keep your mental energy at its peak. You will be needing both.
Many students go about GRE as if they are giving a University exam, the more the better. Well, in the case of the GRE and especially study abroad, every university has peculiar requirements. Some universities have a cut off particularly for both verbal and quant. They specify a specific standard for verbal and for quant, anything below which it is unacceptable and everything above it is all the same.
So, please create a list of your dream universities, look at their specifications and see what needs to be done. If they ask for a 160+ in verbal and 150+ in quant, then set your preparation accordingly. Make certain settings and rule out the kinks.
As a verbal faculty, I am a bit biased towards the verbal part of the GRE. So, I will force in an extra technique here just for the verbal. GRE vocabulary is an Ocean, and not it is just very possible for one to get disheartened just learning the meanings of the words. But, where is the wrist: most of the time the literal meaning of the words doesn’t help. The context is more important if not the only important thing when it comes to preparing for GRE vocabulary.
Please be informed: Happy, Delighted, Elated and Exuberant all mean the same thing, but they are not used interchangeably. Each word has a context and every word has a specific situation. One can be delighted after a meal, but it is absurd to be exuberant!
The above techniques are well researched and experimented. Please be cognizant of these and put them into practice. All the best!
You can take the GRE 5 times in a rolling year. There must be a gap of 21 days between any two exams.
No. there is no way to know which one is the experimental section. You should be attempting all the questions with utmost dedication.
You get an optional 10-minute break, during the exam.
There is nothing as such mandatory, but, we highly recommend that you write it.
No. One cannot expect that, but, you do get some similar patterns of questions.
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