5 Tips for Taking the Graduate Record Examinations

The Graduate Record Examinations is a fairly difficult test that is commonly required for admission to certain graduate colleges and programs. Fortunately, it varies widely as to whether or not a particular school or program requires the GRE. Still, this test is no pushover, so you will need to know how to prepare for and take this exam. It’s too easy to just treat this test like the SAT and go at it without studying, but that’s a really bad idea. Here are some tips for taking the GRE!

1. No matter what, do well on the first few questions of the GRE.
Like a few other tests, the GRE works on an adaptive system in which your first few answers dictate the difficulty and possible score range of your entire test. You must answer the overwhelming majority of the first 10 or 15 questions correctly in order to even have a shot at a higher score. After the first few questions, the computer will automatically put you into a score range that you can’t get out of after that unless you start getting everything wrong. Don’t take the questions lightly because a few wrong answers can guarantee you a low score.

2. Know your high school mathematics.
For a portion of the Graduate Record Examinations, there is a section that revolves around basic math principles that plenty of people don’t remember from high school. You will want to brush up on some of the basics from way back when to ensure that you know what coordinates and basic theories are. Otherwise, you might find yourself blank in the head for some of the technically easiest questions. A few minutes with that high school math can get you a better score.

3. Study vocabulary regularly – the GRE is like the SAT vocabulary on steroids.
Some of the vocabulary used in the GRE is just like the words used on the SAT, except that isn’t true at all. The Graduate Record Examinations is packed with words that you probably haven’t heard before. With that in mind, you should try to brush up on some advanced vocabulary for the weeks leading up to the test. You won’t even be able to make an educated guess on some of these words – that’s how tough some of them are.

4. Brush up on English before taking the GRE to prepare for the essays.
Two essays await you at the beginning of the GRE, which means you better know how to write well. It’s a great idea to take an English class during your senior year of college because you will get some intensive work on essays. Of course, this is especially helpful for individuals who aren’t English majors and basically forgot about essay writing over the course of four years. On the other hand, you can brush up on essay writing basics and grammar to improve your chances of getting high marks on the essay portions.

5. Like any other test, take some practice tests!
Without a doubt, you are going to need to take plenty of practice tests. There is no magic number of test you should take, but it’s a good idea to do them weekly leading up to the Graduate Record Examinations. The more you practice, the higher your score is going to be. To be honest, you can’t score high if you aren’t studying in some way or another, and practice tests are one of the best study methods out there.

The GRE isn’t that intimidating.

In reality, the Graduate Record Examinations truly is like the SAT with superpowers or something like that. You can’t just wing the test and hope to get a passing or acceptable score. Of course, the graduate school you want to attend might not even require the GRE, but you might not be that lucky. This test is no LSAT or GMAT, but that doesn’t mean that it’s simple by any means. You have to study for this test and know exactly what to expect or you will find yourself with a very low score.

For more information, visit The GRE Website.