GraduatePrograms.com Offers 10 Suggestions for How to Best Prepare for the GRE

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Have a study plan. Develop a method to the madness of studying for the GRE. It is probably helpful to designate specific days for practice tests. Many students suggest it is best to study for one section at a time on a weekly or monthly basis, i.e. vocabulary during the first week of every month

1)     Have a study plan. Develop a method to the madness of studying for the GRE. It is probably helpful to designate specific days for practice tests. Many students suggest it is best to study for one section at a time on a weekly or monthly basis, i.e. vocabulary during the first week of every month. And space the studying out. Try not to have crazy twelve hour study stretches at a time just because of a packed schedule; take time to rest and absorb.
2)     Brush up on high school Algebra and Geometry. Either dig up some old textbooks used in high school algebra and geometry courses, or find a GRE study guide that sufficiently covers these topics. The more sample problems done, the better.
3)     Even more important than the Math is the English. Although the math on the GRE is fairly comparable to the SAT, the vocabulary is far more advanced. Glance over the dictionary every day or every other day. Read some great literature and look up unfamiliar words (devices connected to the internet are a huge asset!). Make flashcards or, find a prep book that comes with flashcards or a list of words that should be known.
4)     Write practice essays. This will help prevent panic from setting in when the clock is ticking. The GRE essay shouldn’t be the first you’ve written in months—or years!
5)     Practice taking sample GRE tests. Test takers should be as familiar with the format as much as possible. While no one can predict the exact questions, it is possible to get accustomed to the time constraints, as well as the look and feel of the exam. Modify bad habits by monitoring each performance under testing conditions. Work them out beforehand so that test day goes as smoothly as possible. Make sure to take computer based practice tests since the exam is administered on a computer. Since schools will see all test scores, it is preferable to take the GRE once.
6)     Hire a tutor or take a prep course. The downside is the cost involved. Evaluate the options based on the costs versus the benefits; then decide what’s best.
7)     Start preparing six months in advance. Hopefully this will lead to a more productive and less stressful preparation period. Don’t practice so far in advance that its necessary to brush up all over again as the test date approaches. If there is less than six months until the test date, don’t panic. It can be done in less time, though studying may be a bit more demanding and intensive.
8)     Purchase the most up-to-date study books and guides. Yes, they’re expensive and older editions are going for a few cents on Amazon, but it’s worth it. Test formats change over the years and it’s unproductive to prepare for an outdated exam.
9)     Practice pacing. Don’t agonize over a few questions. Make sure to allow enough time to complete the exam. When taking practice tests, try to figure out an appropriate amount of time to spend on each problem and stick to it. It might be more beneficiary to pass over some questions if they become too time consuming.
10) Breathe. Work calmly and efficiently. It’s more common to misunderstand questions when frantic. Use the practice exams to get comfortable with the pacing, including leaving some time to breathe.

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Harvey Berkey
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