If you are planning to go to graduate school, you must prepare well for the Graduate Record Examination, also known as GRE. It’s a four-hour standardized test that is steered by the Educational Testing Service and is used by most universities in their admission program. The test has three sections: the verbal section, the quantitative section, and the analytical writing section.
For this reason, it’s important to enhance your critical, writing, and problem-solving skills before the test. If you are worried about how to do this, here are some tips that can help you prepare for GRE effectively:
Invest in the Right Study Material
One tip to give your GRE preparation a head start is to invest in the right books and study materials. When it comes to GRE test preparation, there are many books and study materials available online and offline for you.
However, you should carefully select these materials to make the most of your practice. We recommend choosing updated books and study materials to help you practice the latest version of the test. Official practice material tests are also ideal because they are accurate and will enable you to gauge your skills.
Develop a Study Plan
You also need to prepare suitable study materials and understand how and when to take the practice tests.
If you are looking to excel in GRE, then it is only fitting that you develop a study plan. You can’t hone your skills overnight, so you need to start early to give yourself enough time to prepare.
Many students who prepare for GRE choose to tackle them all at once which may not be effective at all. Instead, it would be best to devise a practical study guide to help you practice the tests.
When developing a study plan, consider your exam date and the number of weeks left. Once you have a viable study program, it is advisable to print it out and place it on your study desk. This will motivate you and keep you updated on how much time you have left before the test.
Hone Your High School Math Lessons
A recap of your high school math lessons is something that you should incorporate into your study program. Honing your high school math knowledge will help you do well in GRE’s quantitative reasoning section. This section tests your reasoning ability rather than your understanding of concepts and formulae.
You can expect questions that test your ability to interpret data correctly. This section can be difficult to tackle if you don’t take the time to study your math notes from high school. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with different charts and graphs.
Begin by focusing on the basic concepts of GRE’s quantitative section, such as:
- Data interpretation
You should develop a system for doing these categories quickly.
Have Knowledge of the Contextual Meaning of GRE Words
One way to succeed in the verbal reasoning section of the GRE is to boost your vocabulary. However, there’s more to that than just increasing your knowledge of the 3,500 GRE words. If you want to succeed in the test, you need to understand the contextual meaning of each word.
One way to do this is by associating the words with images or pictures that will enable you to remember them easily. Concentrate on understanding the context of several words in a day, depending on how much time you have left before the test.
Another tip is to use the suffix or prefix of words to analyze their meaning. This trick comes in handy, especially when you are doing the actual test and can’t seem to understand a particular word’s meaning. Also, use GRE flashcards to study the roots of different dishes.
Practice the Analytical Writing Assessment
Analytical writing assessment is essential for evaluating your writing skills. This section is crucial and will allow you to score excellent test scores. However, the lack of preparation will make it harder for you to pass the test.
Take enough time to practice writing essays so you can relay your thoughts comfortably within a short period. Familiarize yourself with the format of the paper and try writing several essays in this structure.
Before you begin writing, spend at least 5 to 7 minutes thinking and arranging your thoughts. After listing your ideas, spend about 15 minutes bringing them into words. You can then spend 5 to 7 minutes concluding the essay.
Focus on Your Mental Stamina
Apart from using a study guide to enhance your GRE prep, you can also do mental workouts to stimulate your mental stamina. The GRE test lasts for about 4 hours. There is no denying that your attention span will likely reduce when doing long tests like the GRE.
For this reason, it is vital to boost your brainpower by learning simple mental exercises. Here are some things that you can do to build your mental stamina and boost your endurance.
- Engage in brain-teasing games such as Sudoku to help hone your problem-solving skills.
- Sit up straight as this increases your energy levels.
- Avoid junk food and other foods with a lot of sugar. This is crucial to keep your energy levels high.
- Practice the GRE mock test while mimicking similar conditions to the test day. You can do a lot of practice tests at discounted price at several online websites.
Embarking on these simple mental and practical exercises will help you focus for a long time so you can complete the test.
Research on Your Target Universities
As you prepare for your GRE test, it pays to set aside time to research your college and university of choice. While studying, consider factors such as GRE score cutoffs, finance, course duration, course offerings, and more to help you narrow down your choices. In addition, build and improve your profile to increase your chances.
The above tips will enable you to confidently o improve your approach to GRE test preparation. In the end, you should find a strategy that works best to enhance your chances of getting high GRE scores.