GRE Study Guide: How to Prepare for GRE Test
If you wish to Study in Abroad and preparing for GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) exam. Then I’m sure this GRE Study Guide: How to Prepare for GRE Test will help you.
Here you will find details of the GRE format, question structure, question structure, scoring system and more. Learn every step in depth and apply these steps to your preparation strategy.
1. Study Plans to Help Prepare You for the GRE
Our study plan philosophy is simple: we provide you with tutorials to help you become familiar with the format of the GRE test. Along the way, we urge you to practice using as many of our GRE practice questions as you can. Periodically, we suggest that you take several GRE practice tests, which is the absolutely best way to prepare for the GRE exam. And, we coach you to expand your vocabulary so that you can attain your highest possible GRE verbal score. Really. It’s that simple. Not at all rocket science!
2. GRE Study Advice
As a general rule, you want to allow yourself as much preparation time as possible. The GRE is not a test of memorization, and so to do well, you need to practice as much as you can over several weeks, preferably over several months. Our most popular study plan is the eight-week study plan. But, if you have only a single or two weeks to prepare, we have study plans for those study durations, too!
3. Verbal, Math, and Essay Test Prep
Each of our study plans breaks down the test into its constituent parts. Each study plan provides suggestions on how to improve your math, verbal, vocabulary, and essay skills. Thus, if you are good in math but poor in verbal skills, then you can focus on the verbal section of your study plan. Depending on which plan you choose, the overview section of that plan will suggest approximately how many hours you should spend each day or week in preparing for the GRE test.
4. Preparing for the GRE – A Sample Study Plan
Each study plan provides detailed instructions for each week of your preparation schedule. Take a look at one of the study plans on the right. Regardless of which study plan you choose to prepare for the GRE, each weekly plan is composed of the following:
- A summary for the week
- A day-by-day guide of what you should focus on each day
- A breakdown of what you should do to prepare for the Verbal section of the GRE
- A breakdown of what you should do to prepare for the Math section of the GRE
- Suggestions on how to improve your writing skills to help prepare you for the essay section of the GRE
- Suggestions on how you should acquire new vocabulary words so as to score well on the verbal section of the GRE
5. GRE Question Structure
There are two particular types of GRE Tests. One is the Computer-Delivered Test, and the other is the Paper-Delivered Test. The following breaks down what you can expect from each type:
The Paper-Delivered Test:
- Time: The time given is 3 hours and 30 minutes for the entire test. The test contains a total of 6 sections with a 10-minute break provided after the completion of the second section.
- Time per section: Each test is provided with a particular time limit. The Analytical Writing Test is divided into 2 sections. Each section must be answered in 30 minutes. The first section involves the analysis of a problem while the second one involves the analysis of an argument. Similarly, the Verbal Reasoning Test is divided into two sections with a total of 25 questions per section. The time provided is 35 minutes for each section. As for the Quantitative Analysis Test, there are two sections again with 25 questions each. The time provided for each section is 40 minutes.
- Order of the tests: The Analytical Writing Test is always the first part of the GRE General Exam. However, the other two tests may arrive in any order.
Candidates are allowed to skip and return to questions in the sections provided under Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The answers can also be changed if needed.
The Computer-Delivered Test:
- Time: The time provided for the Computer-Delivered GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are 6 sections in the test with a 10-minute break being provided after the completion of the third section.
- Time per section: The Analytical Writing Tests contains a single section that is divided into 2 separate tasks. Each task must be completed in 30 minutes. The first task is to analyze a problem, and the other is to analyze an argument. Similarly, the Verbal Reasoning Test has 2 sections with 20 questions each. The time allotted per section is 30 minutes. The Quantitative Reasoning Test has 2 sections with 20 questions each and a 35-minute time limit per section.
- Extra sections: There will be an Unscored Section or a Research Section provided, too. The Research Section will usually turn up right at the end of the test. The Research Section is provided for ETS’s (Educational Testing Service) research purposes, while the Unscored Section helps ETS try out questions that may be incorporated into the GRE General Test in the future. The Unscored Section also helps ETS compare the scores between earlier and newer editions of the test.
- Order of the tests: The Analytical Writing Test is always the first, while the others may appear in any order. This is why even the Research Section or the Unscored Section must be treated as scored sections, in order to complete the test on time.
Questions can be skipped and returned to later, for which you are provided with ‘Mark’ and ‘Review’ features for each question. Answers can also be edited and corrected if required.
6. The Scoring System for the GRE
The scores of the GRE General Test are valid for up to 5 years from the date of testing, after which you must take part in the test again if needed. These are the following scoring patterns for the GRE General Test:
- Verbal Reasoning: 130-170 with an increment of 1 point.
- Quantitative Reasoning: 130-170 with an increment of 1 point.
- Analytical Writing: 0 to 6 points with an increment of half a point.
Sections that go unanswered will be marked as ‘NS’ or ‘No Score’. The scoring processes for the Computer-Delivered Test and Paper-Delivered Tests are similar. First, a raw score is calculated for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Sections based on the number of correct answers given. The number of questions with the right answers and the statistical aspects of the questions are factored into the raw score, as well. So two candidates who give the right answers to the same number of questions end up with varying scores, which is explained by the complexity of the questions each of the candidates answered.
The raw score is then is scaled to the final score using the method of equating. The final score is then fixed to reflect the differences in the complexity of the questions that appeared in different versions of the test.
As for the Analytical Writing Test, scoring is carried out by two readers who assess the answers based on writing skills and critical thinking abilities. Minor grammatical errors are usually overlooked; however, serious ones end up affecting the overall score. The readers score answers on a 0-to-6-point scale with half point increments. The average for both reader scores is calculated and rounded off to the closest 1.5 points, resulting in the final score for the Analytical Writing Test.
If there is a wide difference between the scores provided by the first two readers, then the test is evaluated by a third reader.
Finally, the best advice that we can give you is to be diligent. Preparing for the GRE is not an overnight process. It should take you weeks to thoroughly become familiar with the test format. Rushing through practice questions and practice tests is also not a good idea. You want to choose a plan, and STICK to it!
Keep in mind that you may need to slightly adjust these study plans to meet your exact needs.