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A Great Preparation Guide for the GRE General Test

What is on the GRE

As soon as one begins to consider attending graduate school, he or she starts thinking about the GRE. This is the Graduate Record Examinations required by most advanced programs after college. It is highly regarded as the penultimate “test” before achieving a Ph.D. Despite most students have an idea of what goes into the test we know there are questions and we pose to answer them with some GRE writing tips included.

What is on the GRE?

A lot of students thinking about taking the GRE start working months ahead of time preparing by finding out what is on the GRE, what the best ways of studying are, whether or not they should consider hiring a GRE tutor, and how long the test will be. Taking all of these questions might make a student feel overwhelmed. But with the proper amount of dedication and the ability to establish a strategy, students should be adequately prepared when the GRE test day arrives.

Sections of the GRE

There are three sections to the GRE test:

  • The Verbal Reasoning section which reports on a 130 – 170 scale;
  • Quantitative Reasoning section which reports on a 130 – 170 scale;
  • Analytical Writing section which reports on a 0 – 6 scale.

Any section where you do not answer any questions will be reported as a No Score.

GRE Scores Valid

After taking the test you will have the option to report or cancel your score. Scores are made valid as soon as you decide to report them. At the test center, you will have the opportunity to view your unofficial scores for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. Since the Analytical Writing section is scored on your writing ability, this score will not be available until about 2 weeks when your official scores are released.

GRE Preparation Strategies

There are a variety of strategies one can take when preparing for the test, including hiring a GRE tutoring service. Whether or not you can afford a dedicated service is beside the point. Here are strategies you may consider to save money.

GRE Reading Comprehension Practice

The reading comp portion of the test coincides with the GRE verbal practice. When you increase your vocabulary in earnest you will understand words you do not usually use in normal conversation. You should take every opportunity to take a GRE vocabulary quizlet. The more practice you have the higher your scores will be.

GRE Analytical Writing

The best method to prepare for this section of the test is to review sample GRE questions and start writing. GRE writing is timed. You need to formulate an opinion and argument within a minute or two and then write essays within 30 minutes. Practice makes perfect.

GRE Math Subject Test

A standard of testing, the GRE quantitative is designed to assess a student’s ability to pursue a degree where math is involved. GRE math problems are much easier than what one sees in the SAT or ACT tests. Yet, they are among the most intimidating questions students report on having to solve. Taking a GRE quantitative practice test is always a good idea to get you familiar with the GRE test format.

Other Subject Tests

There used to be several subject specific tests, including GRE Chemistry and GRE Physics, but many have been removed from the official ETS program because schools are no longer making them requirements. It’s still a good idea to take them if you are interested in a specific program. The scores will be a good supplement to your undergraduate work, including experience and letters of recommendation.

Sample GRE Essay Prompts

The GRE argument essay asks you to agree or disagree with a statement and provide an explanation for your position.

  1. Scandals are useful because they focus our attention in ways no professional can.
  2. The most effective way of understanding society is to study its major cities.
  3. The sports economy is essential to a nation’s overall economic growth.
  4. Colleges should dissuade students from pursuing degrees in which they will have little success.
  5. Governments are responsible for stimulating economies in their largest cities.

Great GRE Essay Tips

  1. Practice. You Need to Practice.
  2. Don’t Switch Sides. Take a Stand.
  3. Use Examples that Connect.
  4. Don’t Use the First-Person.
  5. Be Confident and Make Conclusions.

FAQ about the GRE test:

Is the GRE test hard?

Compared to the SAT and ACT the GRE is considered the hardest. Even though the level of math in the GRE is a lower level than what is tested in SAT and ACT, the vocabulary and reading passages are significantly harder.

Is the GRE difficult?

Compared to other graduate-level tests such as the GMAT, LSAT, or the MCAT and other law schools that accept GRE, the GRE is considered the easiest. The GRE is a general test and requires less specialized knowledge. Its math questions are considered less difficult.

How hard is the GRE?

Generally speaking, the GRE is harder than college entrance exams but easier than other graduate exams. An easy way of thinking about it is that it is the middle-level test you need to get into a graduate program that isn’t in the medical, legal, or technology fields.

How long should I study for the GRE?

It’s not a good idea to put off studying for the GRE. Because the test is mostly about solving problems with patterns (e.g. vocabulary, reading, and math) you will need to plan to study for about 4 to 12 weeks before your scheduled test date or when to take the GRE.

How many times can you take the GRE?

You can take the GRE once every 21 days. However, you can only take it up to 5 times with a continuous 12-month period even if you cancel your score from a previous test. You should also consider the cost when thinking about taking the test multiple times because the service fees are upwards of $200.

Can you use calculator on GRE?

The good news is that you can use a GRE calculator on the quantitative questions. However, you can’t bring your own to the testing site. If you are taking the test on a computer, you are allowed to use the on-screen calculator. If you decide to take the print form test, then you are only allowed scratch paper.

How long are GRE books?

There several GRE practice books of varying page lengths so there is no definitive answer to this. Some books have quizzes and numerous full-length practice tests, so it’s a good idea to shop around to find the one you feel offers you the most.

How Long is the GRE?

The GRE lasts about 3 hours and 45 minutes consisting of 3 separately timed sections. The GRE sections are split Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, each split into two sub-sections with 20 questions each. There is also an Analytical Writing section that is 30 minutes long.

GRE Prep Book

There are a handful of respected printing houses that release complete handbooks with lessons, quizzes, GRE essay examples, and much more. The value of owning a good prep book is unquestionable. “The Official Guide to the GRE General Test” is a great place to start, but so too is the assistance you can learn about the GRE format that you get from dealing with professional academic writers.

The GRE test makes a lot of students nervous. If you feel you need assistance we are certainly willing and able to help. Our goal is to make sure you study and pass in the first try, so if you are concerned about which “GRE tutor near me can help?” we have experts that can provide study resources like strategies, tips, tricks, and guides.

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