fbpx

How to Study for the GRE: Tips and Strategies for Success

May 19, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Asian students taking an exam

How to Study for the GRE: Tips and Strategies for Success

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is an important component of the graduate school application process. It is a standardized test that measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. Preparing for this exam can be challenging, but with the right strategies and resources, you can increase your chances of success. In this blog, we explore what the GRE is and how to study for the GRE.

Understanding the GRE Test Format

Before creating a study plan, it is important to understand the structure of the GRE. The exam is divided into three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Each section has a specific time limit, and the questions increase in difficulty as you progress. Understanding the exam format can help you allocate your time more efficiently and approach each section with the right mindset.

Overview of the GRE Sections

The Verbal Reasoning section tests your ability to analyze and evaluate written material, as well as synthesize information obtained from it. This section includes questions on reading comprehension and sentence equivalence. The reading comprehension questions require you to read a passage and answer questions based on the information presented in the passage.

The sentence equivalence questions require you to choose two words that best complete a sentence, with both words having the same meaning within the context of the sentence.

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information and solve problems using mathematical concepts. This section includes questions on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

The multiple-choice questions require you to choose the best answer from five options, while the quantitative comparison questions require you to compare two quantities and determine which is greater, or if the two quantities are equal.

The Analytical Writing section assesses your ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. This section requires you to write two essays: an issue task and an argument task. The issue task requires you to analyze an issue and present your perspective on the issue, while the argument task requires you to analyze an argument and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

Young man studying in front of his laptop.

Does this answer the question, “How to study for the GRE?” Not quite yet. Read on to learn more.

Types of Questions in Each Section

The Verbal Reasoning section consists of reading comprehension passages and sentence completion questions. The reading comprehension passages can cover a wide range of topics, including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The sentence completion questions require you to select the best word or words to complete a sentence based on the context provided in the sentence.

The Quantitative Reasoning section includes multiple-choice questions and quantitative comparison questions. The multiple-choice questions require you to solve a problem and select the best answer from five options. The quantitative comparison questions require you to compare two quantities and determine which is greater, or if the two quantities are equal.

The Analytical Writing section requires you to write two essays: an issue task and an argument task. The issue task requires you to analyze an issue and present your perspective on the issue, while the argument task requires you to analyze an argument and identify its strengths and weaknesses. You will have 30 minutes to complete each essay.

Scoring System and Percentiles

The GRE is scored on a scale from 130 to 170 for Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, and from 0 to 6 for Analytical Writing. Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, and the difficulty level of those questions. The score report also includes percentiles that show how your score compares to other test-takers. Percentiles range from 1 to 99, with a higher percentile indicating a better performance compared to other test-takers.

It is important to note that the GRE is just one part of your graduate school application. Admissions committees also consider your undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and other factors when making their decision.

However, a strong GRE score can help strengthen your application and increase your chances of acceptance into your desired graduate program. Thus, it is crucial to learn how to study for the GRE with minimal effort and maximum returns.

Creating a Personalized GRE Study Plan

Creating a personalized study plan is the key to success in the GRE. A study plan should take into consideration your starting point, your goals, and your schedule.

Assessing Your Starting Point

Before creating a study plan, take a diagnostic test to determine your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you focus your efforts on improving the areas where you need the most help. You can find diagnostic tests in official GRE test prep books or online resources.

Once you have taken the diagnostic test, take some time to analyze your results. Look for patterns in your performance and identify the areas where you need the most improvement. This will help you create a study plan that is tailored to your specific needs.

Setting Realistic Goals

Set achievable goals that align with your target score and your schedule. Be realistic about the amount of time you can dedicate to studying each day/week, and create a plan that fits within your available time. Your goal may include a specific score, or it may focus on improving your performance in a particular section.

Students working on a library while working.

It’s important to remember that the GRE is a challenging test, and it may take some time to achieve your desired score. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate progress. Keep working hard and staying focused on your goals.

Allocating Time for Each Section

So, how to study for the GRE? Allocate your time based on the time limit of each section and your own pace. Make sure that you dedicate enough time to each section, but also allow for breaks and review sessions.

For example, if you struggle with the quantitative reasoning section, you may want to allocate more time to practice those types of questions. On the other hand, if you are confident in your verbal reasoning skills, you may be able to dedicate less time to that section.

Incorporating Practice Tests and Review Sessions

Practice tests are an essential part of any GRE study plan. They help you gauge your progress and identify areas where you need more practice. Review sessions should be used to analyze your mistakes and understand why you made them.

It’s important to take practice tests under test-like conditions. Find a quiet place to work, and make sure you have enough time to complete the entire test. After you have finished, take some time to review your results and identify areas where you need more practice.

Review sessions should be used to analyze your mistakes and understand why you made them. Look for patterns in your mistakes, and try to identify the underlying concepts that you are struggling with. This will help you focus your study efforts on the areas where you need the most improvement.

Remember, creating a personalized GRE study plan takes time and effort. But with the right approach and a lot of hard work, you can achieve your target score and succeed in the GRE.

Essential GRE Study Materials

Preparing for the GRE can be a daunting task, but with the right study materials, you can feel confident and well-prepared on test day. In addition to the standard study guides and practice tests, there are a variety of other resources available to help you succeed.

Official GRE Test Prep Resources

When it comes to answering the question, “How to study for the GRE?” it’s hard to beat the official test prep materials. These resources are designed specifically for the exam and were created by the same people who write the test. They include practice tests, study guides, and other valuable resources to help you prepare.

One of the best things about the official GRE test prep materials is that they are consistently updated to reflect changes to the exam. This means that you can be sure you are studying the most up-to-date information and that you are familiar with the latest test format and question types.

Recommended Books and Online Courses

In addition to the official test prep materials, there are many books and online courses available to help you prepare for the GRE. These resources can provide additional practice and strategies for answering GRE questions.

One popular option is the Kaplan GRE Prep Course. This comprehensive course includes in-person or online instruction, practice tests, and study materials. Another great option is the Manhattan Prep GRE Course, which offers a variety of study options, including in-person classes, online courses, and self-study materials.

Utilizing Mobile Apps and Flashcards

Mobile apps and flashcards are a convenient way to study on the go. They offer a quick review of important concepts and can be used during your commute or break time.

Students walking around the school campus.

There are many GRE-specific apps available, such as Magoosh GRE Prep and GRE Flashcards by Kaplan. These apps provide practice questions, flashcards, and other study tools that can help you prepare for the exam.

Creating a Study Environment

So, how to study for the GRE effectively? When it comes to studying, your environment can have a big impact on your productivity and focus. It’s important to find a space where you can concentrate and eliminate any potential distractions.

This might mean setting up a dedicated study space in your home or finding a quiet spot in a library or coffee shop. You may also want to consider using noise-canceling headphones or a white noise machine to block out any background noise.

Additionally, it’s essential to take breaks and give your brain time to rest. Make sure to schedule regular study breaks and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercise or meditation.

By utilizing a variety of study materials and creating a conducive study environment, you can feel confident and well-prepared on test day. Good luck!

Tips for Mastering Each GRE Section

Each section of the GRE requires a different approach. Here are some tips for how to approach each section:

Verbal Reasoning Strategies

When it comes to the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE, it is important to read the text carefully and focus on the main idea. Look out for any keywords or phrases that might give you a clue as to what the passage is about. Additionally, pay attention to the tone and context of the passage, as this can help you answer questions that require you to infer meaning from the text.

One useful strategy for answering sentence completion questions is to use the process of elimination. Start by eliminating any answer choices that are clearly incorrect, and then use context clues to help you determine the correct answer.

Quantitative Reasoning Strategies

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE can be challenging, but there are some strategies that you can use to help you succeed. Remember that the questions increase in difficulty, so it is important to begin by answering the easier questions and gradually work your way up.

Another useful strategy is to use the answer choices to your advantage. Sometimes, plugging in the answer choices can help you determine the correct answer more quickly than trying to solve the problem algebraically.

Analytical Writing Strategies

The Analytical Writing section of the GRE requires you to think critically and write clearly. This is another aspect that you need to unravel if you want to know how to study for the GRE. To succeed in this section, it is important to take your time to prepare and organize your thoughts before writing.

One effective strategy is to create an outline before you begin writing. This can help you structure your essay and ensure that you include all of the necessary information.

When writing your essays, be sure to use specific examples and evidence to support your argument. This will help to demonstrate your understanding of the topic and show the grader that you are capable of critical thinking.

Finally, leave enough time to review and edit your essays. This can help you to catch any errors or inconsistencies before you submit your test.

Conclusion

We’ve already answered the question, “How to study for the GRE?” and the why as well. The GRE is an important test that requires preparation and dedication. By following these tips and utilizing study resources, you can improve your score and increase your chances of success on the exam. Remember to stay focused, set achievable goals, and maintain a positive attitude.

Female student writing in her desk.

With all these things being said, having all the necessary information is essential before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise in assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.

 

Search
College Admissions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.