Ultimate guide to prepare for GRE

If you’re planning to pursue a Master’s Degree from a foreign university, chances are you would need to take the GRE. The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) Test is a standardised test used for admissions to colleges in many foreign countries, especially the United States. Every year, more than 100,000 candidates in over 160 countries take the GRE.

To help students prepare for upcoming entrance exams and secure their college admissions, we at Buddy4Study have been offering tips for preparation on our blog for these exams. In the same series, here is what you need to do to get a good GRE score:

About the Test: Before you can attempt to prepare for the test, the first step is getting to know everything about the exam – its format, pattern, syllabus, and how it is scored.

Test Pattern: In India, the GRE is offered as a computer-based test at many centres throughout the country. The total duration of the test is 3 hours 40 minutes with the students getting a 10-minute break mid-way through their test.

Test Syllabus: The GRE General test measures a candidate’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills.

Score: Three scores are reported: Verbal Reasoning on a 130–170 score scale, with -point increments; Quantitative Reasoning also on a 130–170 score scale with 1-point increment and Analytical Writing score on a 0–6 score level, in half-point increments. Any section in which you answer no questions at all will be reported as a No Score (NS). GRE scores are valid for 5 years. You can take the GRE Test once every 21 days, up to five times within a 12-month period.

For more information and to register for the test, visit www.ets.org/gre

Tips for preparation:

Begin Early – The earlier you begin, the more time you will be able to afford for laying the groundwork. With the test available all through the year, you should give yourself at least 5-6 months with an hour of study each day to be comfortable with your preparation.

Take practice tests – Practice, they say, makes you perfect. And they couldn’t be more right, especially if it is a perfect GRE score you’re looking for. The more practice tests you take, the better acclimatized you would be to the kind of questions asked and the time it takes for you to complete it.

Develop your strategy – Your practice tests will give you an insight into your strengths and weaknesses and help you strategize for the real test.

Take Care of yourself – To be able to ace the test, you need to take care of yourself first. Get a good night’s sleep a day before the test and do not neglect your diet. Staying stress-free, calm and alert to give your best performance.

Be prepared to retake the test – If you’re steadfast in the decision to join the college of your choice, you would need to get the minimum eligible score as prescribed by the institution. Unfortunately, GRE is a hard test to crack and there are no guarantees you would perform as per your expectations the first time you take it. Thankfully, GRE has a feature called the ScoreSelect. You can try to better your score by retaking the test and select which score goes to your prospective schools.

Studying abroad is expensive. After cracking the GRE, you would do well to also check out for scholarship opportunities for the institution or course of your choice to lessen the financial burden.