GRE Exam Prep tips for Preparing for GRE Test – Shared by a Reader.
Quantitative Section of GRE
- Anything < 800 in quantitative portion of GRE should be unacceptable.
- Quants is the easiest section of the test, so do your best to ace it.
- Practice, practice, and practice – it does make perfect for this portion of the test.
- At times, the easiness of this section might lead to complacency – try to avoid losing points because of that.
Verbal Section of GRE
- Find a friend who is willing to help you learn the words in the word list by heart – this is immensely helpful.
- Test each other – ask each other meanings of the words, ask each other to use those words in a sentence.
- Don’t be afraid to learn the meanings of the words by rote if you have to.
- Understand the usage of the words – that helps a lot, for a single word can be used differently in a different context.
Writing Section of GRE
Prepare for the writing portion of your GRE as seriously, if not more, as you’d for the other two sections.
A score of 5+ is very gettable and shall stand one in good stead. It is not that difficult to achieve either.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your analytical writing:
- Keep yourself up-to-date vis a vis the current affairs, and when i say current affairs i mean world affairs (social, economic, political, scientific, technological etc. etc.) and especially the issues that relate to the west, especially the US. Read newspapers, magazines, books and whatever else you can lay your hands on. The more you know about various issues, the better you will be at articulating your point in the essays that you write.
- Do not be reluctant to read articles etc. on esoteric topics either, e.g. … i dunno, ‘The mating habits of crickets in the lawns of The White House’ or ‘NFL teams’ nose tackles and linebackers join the fight against obesity’ or ‘The trade winds this summer are predicted to flow from west to east for atleast three weeks’! What i mean is, read anything and everything – even if you wouldn’t normally care a fig about a topic, read it, in fact, read it first.
- This will also you with your preparation for Verbal Section of GRE – you’ll develop your habit of reading stuff about boring subjects, and the more you read the faster you’ll be able to read as well as comprehend. Both these skills will be mighty helpful not just during the verbal section of your GRE but later on in your student and professional life as well. This shall also allow you to rack your word-list quite a bit and improve your understanding of how those words are used.
- Practice your writing as much as you can – write on topics that have appeared in GRE exams before. Get your write-ups evaluated from someone who’ll give you an honest assessment of your write-up and will also give you useful tips and suggestions for improving it. Here are a couple of quick ones: (i) always take notes before launching into a write-up – jot down what points you are going to mention and what examples you are going to use (ii) always have an opening paragraph and a closing paragraph, and a separate paragraph for each idea/point/analysis/critique you present.
- Try to have examples other than the ‘run of the mill’ ones. Avoid using such cliched examples as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi etc. To show that you are more thoughtful, well read and analytical, use examples which might be a little less common.
- Last but not the least – do not be afraid to have a strong opinion on the topic/subject that you have to write an essay on. Just be ready to support your opinion/assertion with examples. If your topic calls for it, make sure that you mention the pros and cons, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, of an idea, situation, and philosophy etc. that your topic is about.
GRE Exam practice is the key, but sometimes sometimes Practice Test scores differ a lot from Actual GRE Exam.