The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test that measures the verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills of students. The test is taken by the US-based Education Testing Service (ETS) and is accepted by all top US Universities for MBA, MS, Law, and other graduate programs. Almost more than 1,300 business schools like Harvard, Wharton, Chicago, and many other Top 50 B-schools accept GRE scores.
GRE is an online, computer-based exam, and no two students get the same set of questions; the maximum weightage of the test is 340. A good GRE score does not guarantee admission into a particular university, rather it is one of the considering factors for shortlisting the most eligible candidates.
There are three parts in which the GRE® test is divided including Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing Assessment. GRE is a good option apart from GMAT, particularly for students having good English language skills as compared to the Quantitative ability.
There are two different types of GRE Exams including GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. The syllabus that comes in the exam is different for both.
GRE General Test
GRE general test measures an individual’s command of quantitative ability like basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis, and vocabulary. More importantly, this section measures an individual’s reasoning ability, how effectively they can analyze and evaluate written material, think critically, and solve problems.
GRE Subject Test
The GRE Subject Tests are taken to shortlist candidates planning to take admissions in the field of English Literature, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, and Biology. This test aims at checking an individual’s ability on a particular subject. The duration of the exam is 170 minutes and is taken offline at test centers globally three times a year; the exam is held in September, October, and April.
Candidates preparing for the GRE must first understand the course content, there are 3 sections including Analytical Writing Assessment, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The writing section comes first, whereas the other two, along with the dummy unscored sections come later. The online exam is different in pattern and time duration from the paper-based version.
Preparation Tips for GRE Verbal Reasoning
- An important thing that needs to be considered while preparing for the Verbal Reasoning section is that GRE General Test has many questions in a variety of formats. Some have a single answer choice, while others need the selection of more than one answer. Thus it is important to go through all the instructions to know the kind of response you are supposed to give.
- Try to learn new words that improve your vocabulary.
- Take an active part in reading and try to evaluate hypotheses that reflect the relationship of a text to the others.
- Another style of questions asked in the GRE Verbal Reasoning sections includes Text Completion Questions. Here you are supposed to fill in the blank spaces with correct words.
- After filling all the blanks in a sentence, look whether they are grammatically and logically correct or not.
- Do more sample papers or practice last year’s papers.
Preparation Tips for GRE Quantitative Reasoning
- This section is included to assess an individual’s understanding of mathematics.
- Candidates are provided an on-screen calculator to solve the GRE Quantitative Reasoning sections.
- Try to do as many sample papers as possible as all questions have a unique style and difficulty level. Practicing regularly will help you to become an expert in the same.
- Questions related to GRE Data Analysis, Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic are asked in this section.
Preparation Tips for GRE Analytical Writing
- Test takers are given different tasks having a time limit of 30 minutes each, so managing the available time is very important.
- For the GRE Analytical Writing section, stay updated about the latest topics that are most likely to be discussed in the exam.
- Always give an example of more compelling reasons while giving a reply to a particular response or analyzing an issue.
- The GRE Analyze an Argument task asked in this section will judge test-takers ability to understand and evaluate an argument and how correctly they can convey their evaluation in writing.
GRE Common Preparation Strategies
The GRE evaluates the logical and aptitude skills of all the test takers, across all sections. It takes almost 1-2 months time to prepare effectively for the exam. Some of the useful tips that help you prepare for the GRE exam are mentioned below:
- Improve your vocabulary. The majority of the test takers are either the working class or doing UG courses. All of them are advised to first brush up on their foundational mathematics topics and the grammar rules as they are important and helps get a good score in the exam. Also, try to spend at least half an hour to improve your vocabulary skills, and it helps get a good score in the verbal section.
- Practice from Official Guide. Since Data Comparison and problem-solving are the two most prevalent question types, so you can’t ignore them. Try to solve a minimum of 10-15 questions of each from the Official Guide that help brush up your skills. You can use a Performance Tracker to keep a close track of your performance and look at the unanswered questions.
- Do more mock tests. Once you are well-versed with all the kinds of questions given in the Official Guide, try to do more Mock Tests as it helps analyze your performance. Look at the repeated error areas, and try to improve them by doing the same set of questions again.
- GRE books. Referring to the best GRE books can help you prepare for the GRE exam. Some of the most popular books that can be referred to include The Official Guide to the GRE General Test (ETS), Barron’s GRE 22nd edition, Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides, Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus 2019, etc.
Candidates preparing for the GRE General Test can refer to the above-mentioned tips that help prepare for all different sections of the GRE test smartly. GRE Preparation can be a challenging task, but a proper diagnostic test can help improve your strength and weaknesses in a particular section.