How to use scratch paper effectively on the GRE


What is a Scratch Paper?

Once you enter the exam hall, the invigilator will give you a SCRATCH PAPER booklet and a PENCIL. A scratch paper booklet has limited pages so once it is filled up, you can ask for a new one. Don’t hesitate to ask! When you need a new set of papers, you have to submit the previous one and only then you will get a new one. You will not be allowed to write anything on the scratch paper until it is time to start.

An Invaluable Tool!

Many students underestimate the importance of scratch paper but it is an invaluable tool that will help you manage your time in the actual GRE exam.

Using the scratch paper will help you avoid making silly mistakes, make accurate calculations, review answers and save time. But many students don’t use it. These students wrongly persist in doing all the calculations in their mind and because of this, they go wrong. So use the scratch paper to get accurate answers as well as save time.

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Using the Scratch Paper Effectively

Park all your thoughts on the scratch paper so that you will be able to crack the questions at the given time.

1) Practice During Practice

While practicing, use scratch paper and a pencil so that it will be easy for you on the real exam.


 2) Strike it Out

Don’t waste your time erasing your answers. Instead, strike it off and do the calculation again – this will save time.

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 3) Organization Saves Time

Organize your work. It is not necessary that you write neatly but what you write has to be legible. Draw a small line after the completion of one question as this will help you review any answers if needed. Also, don’t forget to put the question number.

Encircle the question number if you use the mark option. This will help you identify the incomplete question and redo it without wasting time searching the entire scratch paper.


4) Check and then Return

Before you return the filled scratch paper to get a new one, ensure that you have completed all the questions on that paper, including the ones you have marked.

Use your scratch paper effectively and ace your GRE!

Learn top experienced tips to ace the GRE: Download our FREE, Complete Study Guide to the GRE!

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