The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a test that you must take if you are planning to do your master’s degree abroad. It is a multiple-choice, standardized computer-based test accepted globally. This exam checks your analytical, verbal, and quantitative skills.
A perfect score on the GRE would be getting a 170 in the verbal section, 170 in the math section and a 6 in the analytical section. This score or even something approximately equal to it is perceived to be impossible. However, this notion can be proved wrong. Sure, it can be difficult, but certain tricks will definitely help you get near to the perfect score.
However, what is a good or perfect GRE score can be relative. To get an idea of what is a good GRE score for you, you can read here.
The GRE exam usually requires a dedicated amount of preparation time and hard work. Cracking the GRE is something that requires smart work, and the will to achieve a great score. However, when you’re aiming for that Ivy League college or some top university, you will need a much higher GRE score to give you leverage over other students who are applying.
To break stereotypes, and to dream of that perfect score you are aiming for, and turning it into reality, requires a lot of dedication and hard work. You can’t just get up one day and give the GRE, hoping to score well. With consistent efforts, you can surely achieve your ideal GRE score.
However, not to worry! Here, we tell you how you can prepare yourself so you can ace this exam.
1) Be practical
Sure, aim for that perfect score. But you must keep it in mind that it is not necessary that you will get that perfect 340 or a 6 in the 3 sections. Usually, we all tend to aim for 100%, try and give our best to achieve a score somewhere near that. So, the first thing to keep in mind is that you need to be practical and be open to the idea of losing a few marks.
You should know the probability of you getting anywhere near the perfect score by analyzing how good you are at quick calculations, or reading, or have been teaching students.
You may not be a prevention-centric person and might like doing things spontaneously. However, if you want to achieve that perfect score, you’ll have to become a bit of a planner. Strategize.
Decide how you want to go about, in how much time frame would you want to be thorough with each section, how much time would you want to give for practice tests, how do you plan on finishing every aspect of each section, and so on. There are a lot of questions that may pop into your head when you think of devising a plan and making a schedule.
You need to answer these questions, make a plan, and follow it religiously. Remember to cover all areas of each section, lest, you should miss out on a particular topic. In case that happens, it can prove to be a major downfall when you are giving the exam. So make sure you have a proper syllabus to refer to and make a well-organized plan to cover everything.
3) Know the format
Learn the format of the question paper for the ease of solving.
Also, know the order in which you will have to solve the sections.
Knowing the format thoroughly ensures that you know what to expect in the exam. We give you a rough idea of the format:
a) Analytical Writing Assessment
- 2 essays
- Time duration: 30 minutes for each essay
b) Verbal Reasoning
- 2 sections having 20 questions each
- Time duration: 30 minutes for each section
c) Quantitative reasoning
- 2 sections having 20 questions each
- Time duration:35 minutes for each section
4) Time-based approach
Getting all the answers right may be easy to achieve to a certain extent. However, the key to mastering what you’re doing is timing. You’ll have to finish the exam within the allotted time period only.
Timing has been a concern for a lot of students for the past few years. Students complain that the paper was easy, but if only they had a little more time, they would have aced the paper. So solve loads of practice papers by timing yourself, especially math.
The quantitative reasoning section can have tricky (but easy) questions that can eat up a lot of your time. You will also need to balance getting the answer right and solving everything when you’re under time-pressure. Solve a variety of questions so you can get the hang of it.
5) Tons of reading
Read a lot of real-world examples through newspapers, articles, magazines, and books.
Read books that have great vocabulary to apply it in your essays. Doing reading will help you greatly in the analytical writing assessment where you are to write 2 essays. Familiarize yourself with current affairs of the world as well as traditions that have been followed to date.
This will help you form an opinion about things, which will greatly help you in drawing conclusions from given texts, comment on the text given, knowing what the author is talking about, understanding words and the relations between them along with also improving your vocabulary.
6) Experimenting with vocabulary and math
You will be able to do well if you actually show interest in learning and not just do it for the sake of the exam. To get yourself interested, try different approaches towards learning new words and improving your grammar. This will not only make your prep time fun but will also enable you to remember better by letting you relate to certain things. You can make use of flashcards, which will also help you with your timing.
Another fun way could be asking someone to keep an object in front of you, saying all the possible synonyms for that object, and incorporating it into sentences.
Similarly, for math, you can make your practice interesting. Try solving mental math questions or compete with a friend who is also planning to give the GRE. This will keep you engaged in whatever you’re learning, help in maintaining your time schedule, and not let you get bored.
If you’re practicing with a friend, it will also give you a rough idea of where you stand.
7) Don’t mug up
One of the worst practises would be to mug up any essay or answers to math problems that are likely to come in the exam. Imagine learning an entire essay or 1000 new words picked randomly from the dictionary. That would not only reflect poorly to the examiner (since they can pick up when you are writing a learned answer) but also make you forget whatever else you’ve learned.
Since the GRE has a vast amount of portion, you will be likely to not even remember what you’ve learned. Instead, learn concepts thoroughly and solve questions based on these concepts.
8) Don’t stress
With all the amount of studying and practice tests that you will have to take, there is bound to be a huge amount of pressure on you. You have to maintain a schedule such that the pressure does not get to you. For starters, don’t ever procrastinate.
If you plan on completing one topic on one day, finish it off. Don’t postpone it until the next day. This will only make you want to keep delaying it until you’re in panic mode and too stressed to understand anything.
One more important thing to keep in mind is to allow yourself to unwind. Three months of preparation can take a toll on you, and therefore, you must give your body proper rest so you can retain everything on the day of the test, and don’t feel tired.
9) Be confident
Achieving a perfect score on the GRE will also require you to believe in yourself. Without thinking that you are capable of achieving a 340/340 and a 6/6 in all sections of the paper, you will not be able to get anywhere near that. So the last tip for you is to be confident because that preparation of 3 months will definitely pay off.
We hope that you keep all these important points in mind before attempting the GRE. Be it whatever country you plan on applying to, getting a perfect score will give you a different kind of satisfaction.
Also keep in mind that along with concentrating on your GRE preparation, there are other aspects too that you need to focus on. Along with a good GRE score. I also focus on your IELTS preparation as IELTS acts as a prerequisite for admission to various countries. While giving your undivided attention to GRE is of utmost importance, make sure that other aspects that make your profile strong don’t completely take a backseat.
Keep all the above points in mind, work hard and work consistently, give GRE your all and you are bound to see great results. All the best!