You have just finished college and thought you were done with standardized tests. Well, if you want to continue your studies in graduate school, chances are high you will have to take the GRE to get in.
There is a lot of material to cover when studying for the GRE, but by starting well in advance and practicing a little each day, you will be well prepared to take the test. peerTransfer has come up with 5 tips on how to get going!
1. Find out your current skill level
The GRE has three types of sections: Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing. Let’s first determine your current skill level by taking a free online GRE practice test. This will give you an idea of the areas you are good at, as well as those you need to work and focus on a little more. Your study plan will depend on the program you want to get into and the target score you need/want to get.
2. Create a study plan
Experts suggest to spend at least 4 to 12 weeks studying for the GRE. Start by making a list of your strengths and weaknesses from the practice test. To improve your scores, you will have to work on your weaknesses. Determine your learning style and whether you would rather spend a certain amount of time each day, study only on weekends, every other day, or take part in test prep programs like Kaplan or Princeton Review. Create a realistic plan of chapters to go through each session. Make weekly and monthly goals.
3. Choose your study material
Go ahead and get your GRE study books. Follow the book’s instructions and keep practicing. Many of the books include complete practice tests with essay questions and sample responses. As English is not the first language for most international students, you may want to check out Barron’s Essential Words for the GRE to practice your vocabulary. It is also a good habit to read newspapers like the New York Times daily to familiarize yourself with new words.
4. Practice Tests
Make it a habit of taking practice tests regularly to track your performance and improvements (for motivation :)). Become familiar with the test layout so you know what to expect when you take the test. You do not necessarily need to take an entire test in one sitting each time, but it may be helpful to try to write the essays within a specific time. Then analyze your mistakes and hit the books to revise the parts you still don’t know or understand.
5. Stay healthy and fit
While you need to practice, practice and practice your material, it is important to keep a balanced life. Work out and keep fit physically, eat well and get enough sleep. Make sure to take enough breaks from studying and reward yourself when improving on practice tests.
If you have any questions, or know of great tips and tricks on mastering the GRE, please let us know in the comments below!