How Can You Best Prepare For the GRE?

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Updated June 29, 2022

Millions of students across the country research how to best prepare for the GRE every year. Also known as the General Records Examination, it is one of the things that graduate schools look for when deciding on which students to admit into its programs. The GRE is a computerized test that you take on your own in a testing center, and you can schedule a testing appointment for nearly any day of the year. Learning how to prepare yourself for that test can help you get a good score or boost a bad score.

Use Review Software

As the GRE is a computerized test, many students find that using review software is helpful. These programs let you download the program right to your home computer and test yourself on each area covered by the test. You can go over the mathematics section or any other section to remind yourself of some of the skills you used in the past. You can also use the review section to go over sample questions and to cover information found on the test that your classes didn't cover.

Take a Practice Test

One of the ways to best prepare for the GRE might be with a practice test. Some of the new tests give you detailed information on how to set up your study space to resemble your testing location, which will give you a better idea of the conditions you'll face when taking that test. You can also time yourself to give you the exact amount of time that you'll have on the test. There are computer programs that feature practice tests, and you'll also find testing books and supplies you can buy online or in bookstores that feature practice tests.

Go Through Test Prep

U.S. News & World Report recommends that students take a prep course designed for those taking the GRE. These courses are often a little on the expensive side, but you'll learn skills that you can't pick up online or from books. Instructors working for those programs usually received a high score on the test and can give you tips and tricks that they used before taking the test. Classes often meet once a week for several weeks. If you cannot afford a test prep program, consider hiring a tutor to work with you a few times before taking the exam.

Identify Your Worst Areas

When looking at how to best prepare for the GRE, you'll find that many experts recommend that you use practice tests to identify your worst areas. The basic GRE consists of a verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing section. Practice tests will let you submit your finished test for scoring. Your score will break down how well you performed in each area and where you did the best and worst in each of those areas. This can help you decide if you need to focus more on specific areas of mathematics, if you need additional help with your writing or if you need help in another area.

Related Resource: Graduate School Dissertation

A high score on the GRE practically guarantees that you receive admission to the school of your dreams, but even if you have a high GPA, you might not score as high as you would like. Those looking at how to best prepare for the GRE will find that they can use practice tests, take a prep course or use review software.

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