How to Prepare for GRE

How to Prepare for GRE

Every year around 7 lakh people take the GRE to apply for various undergraduate and graduate courses across the world.  There are 6 six basic rules of GRE preparation that every serious test taker should follow. Follow these rules and you will score much better.

First rule is “Revise your concepts till high school”. Many GRE test takers are not well versed with algebra, geometry and arithmetic. I would strongly suggest that go through your books of high school and that is all that you need to know for solving almost all the questions in the quantitative aptitude. Also important here is to understand that as a student of undergrad or grad school you have to apply these concepts.  

Second rule is “Hone your language skills and Vocabulary”. This rule is much more true for non native English Speakers. The verbal reasoning and verbal ability topics test an individual’s understanding of context and meaning and hence, one has to prepare very well to ace this portion.

Third rule is “Take a good GRE Prep course for your preparation”, if you can. This will ensure that you are focussed during the preparation of the exam and cover all important topics. You will also get a chance to learn from the experience of those who have done very good in the exam. Learning from their experience and an understanding of current test pattern will help you score more and better.

Fourth rule is “Take as many tests as possible before you take the actual test”. It is a well known adage that “practice makes a man perfect”. It is seen that people normally delay writing the mock tests citing one reason or another. A serious test taker, who wants to score in excess of 310+ should attempt 2 tests a week and do complete analysis of his/her score. This will help you to identify your weak areas and you may fine tune your concepts in those areas.

Fifth rule is “Take the test again, if you don’t like the score”. Many test takers think that Universities can access your scores of last 5 years and hence, even if they score higher in another test, it will not benefit them. Let me assure you that universities are looking for your best score and that actually reflects your true current potential. You should stop worrying about your low score and reappear for the test after fine tuning your concepts. You should not hurry for the test and should invest enough time so that your new score reflects your desired score.  

Sixth rule is Take the Analytical Writing very seriously. Analytical writing is as important as any other section of the GRE. However, most of the test takers do not prepare for it dedicatedly. This is something that all serious test takers should avoid. You should prepare for this part of the exam very seriously. A score which is less than 3.5 may go against your candidature for a course.

The rules will help you to strategize the road map for GRE. Now we should focus on each topic of the GRE test and formulate strategies for each of them. Someone who is good at quantitative reasoning should focus on verbal reasoning. We should make separate plans for each subject/topic. There are few thumb rules for the study plan that you make.

    • Divide the entire study plan into weeks and give yourself a task to finish with in a week.
    • If possible, then you should assign work on daily basis as well. This helps in keeping the preparation on track.
    • You should have revision plan for the complete week.
    • You should also attempt section or full length tests every week. Ideally one should appear for 2 full length tests a week or 6 sectional tests (3 each for verbal and quantitative aptitude).
    • One should also write analytical writing at least once a week and get it evaluated from a teacher.

The above mentioned points will help you prepare for the exam in very well organized way and will also help you to score better.

All the best!!!