What Makes a Good GRE Practice Test?

Taking GRE full-length mock tests is an essential part of the GRE test prep. GRE mock test series can help simulate test day and make you better prepared for the actual GRE. 

So what makes a good GRE Practice Test?

The Format

The GRE is a standardized test with a clearly defined format. Each section on the GRE tests certain skills and has time limits. The number and format of the questions are also unique to the GRE. The GRE is sectional adaptive, which means the difficulty level of the second quant section depends on your performance in the first quant section. A good performance in the first quant section means that the second quant section will be of higher difficulty. The same is true for the verbal sections also. The sections in the practice test must also be adaptive in a similar way. The GRE mock test series should match the format of the actual GRE for it to be effective as a prep tool.

The Questions

The most important part of the GRE full-length mock test is the questions. The questions must be similar to the ones on the actual GRE. The questions have to test the content at the level that is tested on the GRE. Certain question formats are unique to the GRE, for example, Quant comparison questions in the quant section and Sentence Equivalence questions in verbal sections. The number of questions and the way the questions are worded must also be similar to the questions in the actual GRE test. The questions in the GRE full-length mock test should be of varying levels of difficulty in the different sections (to reflect sectional adaptability) as in the actual GRE. Using questions of lower quality beats the very purpose of taking a full-length practice test. 


The Computer Interface

You should be able to take the practice test online. The test-taking interface should be similar to the one on the actual GRE and must be easy to use. A timer similar to one on the actual GRE interface would be very helpful for the test taker. The math section should have an online calculator. You should be able to navigate to any question within a section. Once a section has ended, you should not be able to return or change answers in it. This would reflect the actual test conditions and help you be better prepared on test day.


The Answers

A GRE mock test series is a useful GRE online prep tool only if the correct answers and detailed explanations for the answers are available.

After taking a practice test, it is equally important to review your performance to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This analysis can help you make better and more effective use of your study time. If you make many mistakes on a particular topic you should review them using GRE books or other GRE online prep material. The GRE Official Guide from the makers of GRE (ETS) and Cracking the GRE (from Princeton Review) are some of the best GRE prep books available.

Manya – The Princeton Review offers 8 full-length practice tests for the GRE. The interactive score reports not only provide detailed answer explanations but also make recommendations about your strengths and weaknesses for further practice. 

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