Do I really need to attend GRE Coaching class to get a good score in GRE Test?
Well, first of all, this article – How to select the best GRE Coaching class and if GRE Coaching is required is long overdue. I should start off by saying “Scientia est potentia” – “Knowledge is power”.
Listen to the Podcast
Let me make a BOLD statement before moving any further:
Improving your GRE test score is directly proportional to your skill level, effort, and hard work. You might be good at Math, some at good at Verbal and some at good at both GRE math and verbal section. But, attending GRE classes class may or may not improve your scores.
First, lets’ look at an experience shared by a student who got 22 point increase after attending GRE Coaching, but he swears that he joining the coaching center not to increase the test scores.
My quest for finding a good GRE coaching institute began a while back and I’m happy to say that I found one and finished the test prep and training. But, why did I attend the GRE Test Prep Classes?
Let’s face it. Not many people have the motivation or the grit to allocate the time for GRE Test Prep every day. So, I joined a GRE Test Prep class – just to get find my groove, but not to increase my scores.
Now, you might wonder, why would someone spend all the money to find the grove, but not to boost the GRE test scores. Sound against the very reason why anyone would want to join GRE test prep classes.
My GRE Coaching Classe Format
The GRE Coaching Institute I joined offered the following:
- Total Hours of Coaching: 60 hours
- Total Duration: 10 weeks (6 Hours per week)
- Access to GRE Test Prep materials
- Access to Study Lab to take the mock test without distractions.
Now one might ask, “Is that sufficient and necessary?“.
Well for a majority of the GRE Test takers and those who struggle to find motivation (& maybe lacking hard working skills), the simple answer is Yes. GRE coaching classes are necessary if you want to stand a chance of getting decent GRE test score. I am not telling that the classes are mandatory, but if you lack
GRE coaching classes are necessary if you want to stand a chance of getting decent GRE test score. But, as I mentioned, I didn’t join the GRE classes with primary motivation to increase my GRE Scores. I will tell you why in a bit. I am not telling that the classes are mandatory, but if you lack
I am not telling that the classes are mandatory, but if you lack the discipline to get going with your GRE Test preparation, classes will help you to get into a routine and certainly attending them would not hurt.
Reasons to Join GRE Coaching Classes
The reasons are threefold to join GRE
- Helps you get into a rhythm of GRE Test prep
- You can form study groups if you are a group study person
- Just by joining centers will not boost your scores
- Ever present teachers can help you in case you have questions
- Opportunity to network with GRE Test takers along the same timeframe.
- You paid the money, so you are committed (& forced) to attend classes at a set time.
Now the place I have joined a GRE Test Prep center in Chennai, India. Of course, the big-name company is Princeton Review, where every other GRE Test taker seems to join.
I opted for a lesser-known GRE coaching center. Compared to Princeton this place costs less and offered more class time with instructors. In short, you get more bang for your buck. Remember, I joined Test prep class to get into the grove of preparing for the GRE, not to boost the test scores.
How to select the best GRE Coaching Center?
After a long search and visiting a lot of different GRE Coaching and test prep centers, I zeroed in on this and I should say its probably the best decision I have taken.
The teachers are excellent and moreover one of them is a freelancer working for ETS, India. The Classes were taken in a beautiful classroom setting and the courses was engaging.
I also should mention that their material is more comprehensive than other expensive coaching center contents.
Plus, I’m aware of this important fact:
The value of the GRE coaching depends on the quality of the instructor. I can get lot more value from a no name GRE Test prep center if the instructor can teach strategies to solve problems is a shorter time and keeps me engaged during hour long class.
Are you convinced yet? If not continue to read.
Do Attending GRE Classes Really Help?
I took a mock a computer based test with zero preparation. I scored 299 out fo 340 using ETS online practice test. That was before I joined the GRE Coaching classes.
After 10 weeks long GRE coaching and little extra GRE Test Prep from my part, I took another test on the same ETS online practice test. I scores 321. So yeah, attending the GRE class helped me a little. But, I still think it’s the self-prep got me the 22 point boost.
So finally I would sum up by saying, if you are not a self-motivated student nor have the discipline to allocate two hours per day for GRE test prep, then join a GRE Coaching classes (or any other test prep).
Be Honest with yourself – two hours daydreaming is not hard work.
Plus, joining a GRE coaching classes will not automatically boost your GRE scores. Just because your friends and everyone in your around you are attending GRE coaching doesn’t mean you have to join on as well.
If systematic hard work is not your piece of cake, well then buckle up and join the GRE Test Prep classes.
Again I wish to reiterate my point to why you should join GRE classes.
- Just to get into the groove of studying for GRE.
- Forcing yourself to allocate time to attend the classes
- Getting into the rhythm and prepare for GRE test.
Once you understand that and coupled with real hard work, scores would then naturally improve over a period of time, not overnight.
GRE coaching centers and instructors are not miracle workers. You would have to understand what’s taught, apply that to learn new test strategies for various question types, then you would start to see an increase in your test scores.
Is GRE Coaching Required to Improve GRE Score?
The answer to the question depends on you. Every person is unique and only you can decide if you really need to spend time and money to attend GRE classes.
GRE Test is required to get admission in Graduate Schools in the USA and several other countries. Many prospective students struggle to prepare for GRE and decide to attend GRE classes. In this article, I will explain both advantages and disadvantages of classes
Different Ways to Study for GRE Test
I can think of several ways you can prepare for getting GRE Test:
- Using GRE Test Prep Books
- Online GRE Test prep courses
- In-Person Instructor lead class (expensive)
- Offered by test prep companies
- Offered at universities
- One on one tutoring
The effectiveness of above options depends on individuals effort and interest. You cannot improve your score, only by attending GRE class.
Pros of Classroom Coaching
- After observing several comments and questions, I have realized that many students start studying for GRE without knowing much about GRE test. You want to know as much as you can about the GRE Test, to effectively help you with test prep, then joining GRE classroom class is a good idea.
- Everyone is not born nerds! but you don’t have to be a bright student to ace the GRE exam. If you are willing to work hard and smart, you can get a good score. Higher GRE score equates to getting admission in good universities with scholarships.
- If you find it difficult to allocate specific time every day, then I strongly recommend attending GRE coaching.
- Find a coaching center where classes are offered daily. If not, see if they have good library, so you can allocate study time, go to the library and prepare for GRE.
- You will be able to find few study partners from GRE centers you attend. You can derive lot of motivation when you work with someone who have similar goals and aim in life.
- Typically, tutors in the class have good knowledge about the test strategies and have gained insider knowledge and experience. Even though you can buy several books, if find it difficult to understand certain concepts, experts in the GRE coaching will be able to help you.
- Don’t select a center where there is no library. It’s not possible to buy all the study materials. Library will get you access to several GRE books.
- Its easier to learn test strategies from the books and from GRE centers. Before you go to the class, spend few hours studying on the topic, that will open up lot of ideas and you will be able to understand the strategies being taught.
Cons of GRE Coaching
- If you are not using the tutoring sessions effectively, you are wasting time, money and letting yourself down.
- Don’t attend a class because everyone else is also attending (peer pressure)
- Blindly assuming joining GRE coaching will boost your score by several 100 points.
- Ask for references and recommendation about best centers in town.
- GRE Coaching centers would list high scores by students, who attended the coaching class, but they will not say how they were scoring before joining the center. Its hard to find that information, but observe close friends who are attending classes.
Listen to the Podcast
I would like to hear your thoughts about attending GRE classes
- Did you attend any training classes?
- Did you really improve your GRE score?
- Which GRE test prep class did you attend and where?