rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » 9 tips and strategies to ace the new GRE

9 tips and strategies to ace the new GRE

Last updated on: May 14, 2012 21:58 IST

9 tips and strategies to ace the new GRE

     Next

Next

Education Testing Service, the administering body for GRE tells you how to make the most of the resources you have and prepare for the exam.

Since last year, the Graduate Record Examination has become a computer-based test.

Administered by Education Testing Service (ETS), the GRE is a multiple-choice entrance test that graduate schools in English speaking countries, (eg. United States, United Kingdom, where the medium of instruction is English) use for admission of students into their graduate programmes.

While GRE has both general and subject tests, the former measures your abilities in verbal, quantitative and analytical fields which are needed for admission to a graduate or business school.

From understanding what is expected of you in each section to strategising your approach, here are 9 tips that will help you accentuate your performance in the GRE this year.

ALSO READ: All you need to know to crack the new GRE

Please click NEXT to continue reading


Photographs: Rediff Archives

     Next

1. Understand what the test measures

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Analytical Writing section measures your ability to sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion, articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, support your ideas with relevant examples, and examine claims and accompanying evidence.

There is one Analytical Writing section in the test, with two 30-minute separately timed tasks: "Analyze an Issue" and "Analyze an Argument."

The Analytical Writing score is reported on a 0�� score scale, in half-point increments.

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to analyse and draw conclusions from discourse, understand multiple levels of meaning, select important points, and understand the meanings of sentences and entire texts.

There are two 30-minute Verbal Reasoning sections in the test, each containing about 20 questions.

The Verbal Reasoning score is reported on a 130? score scale, in 1-point increments.

The Quantitative Reasoning section measures your ability to interpret and analyse quantitative information and use mathematical skills such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics to solve problems.

There are two 35-minute Quantitative Reasoning sections in the test, each containing about 20 questions.

The Quantitative Reasoning score is reported on a 130? score scale, in 1-point increments.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




Prev     Next

2. Know the test format

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The total time allowed for the computer-based GRE revised General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes, and has six sections with a 10-minute break after the third section.

The directions at the beginning of each section specify the total number of questions in the section and the time allowed for the section.

The Analytical Writing section is always the first section, while the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections can appear in any order.

An unidentified unscored section that does not count toward a score may be included and may appear in any order. An identified research section that is not scored may be included, and it will always be at the end of the test.

The questions in the GRE revised General Test have a variety of formats.

Some require you to select a single answer choice, others require you to select one or more answer choices, and still others require you to enter a numeric answer.

Before answering a question, make sure you understand what type of response is required.

The GRE revised General Test offers you the freedom to move back and forth, edit or change answers, skip and return to questions, all within a section; you also have the ability to use more of your own test-taking strategies.

The on-screen calculator is an additional advantage. New questions emphasise real-world scenarios and there is less reliance on vocabulary out of context, adding to the appeal of the revised test.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




Prev     Next

3. Understand test-taking strategies

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

On the Analytical Writing measure, it is important to budget your time.

Within the 30-minute time limit for each task, you'll need to allow sufficient time to think about the topic, plan a response and compose your essay.

Save a few minutes at the end of each timed task to check for obvious errors.

Although an occasional typographical, spelling or grammatical error will not affect your score, severe or persistent errors will detract from the overall effectiveness of your writing and lower your score.

Your Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning raw scores are determined by the number of questions you answer correctly.

Nothing is subtracted from a score if you answer a question incorrectly. Therefore, to maximise your scores on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures, it is best to answer every question.

Work as rapidly as you can without being careless. 

Since no question carries greater weight than any other, do not waste time pondering individual questions that you find extremely difficult or unfamiliar. 

You may want to go through each timed section rapidly first, stopping only to answer questions you can answer with certainty.

Then go back and answer the questions that require greater thought, concluding with the difficult questions if you have time.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Prev     Next

4. Plan your preparation

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Preparation for the test will depend on the amount of time you have available and your personal preferences for how to prepare.

At a minimum, before you take the computer-based GRE revised General Test, you should know what to expect from the test, including the administrative procedures, types of questions and directions, approximate number of questions and amount of time for each section.

The administrative procedures include registration and appointment scheduling, date, time, test center location, cost, score-reporting procedures and availability of special testing arrangements.

You can find out about more about what to expect by visiting http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/tips/.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




Prev     Next

5. Practice, practice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Practice taking the test. Make use of the free materials that are available at www.takethegre.com/prep.

You can also download the POWEPREP II software from the ETS website to experience a simulated test-taking experience, take a practice test, and become familiar with the test directions, question types, on-screen calculator, testing software and test design.

Printed material is also available, such as The Official Guide to the GRE revised General Test from ETS, the makers of the test.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Prev     Next

6. Remember your valid photo ID

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Check the ETS website (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/test_day/id/) to make sure you have valid and acceptable identification.

The name you used to register must exactly match the name on the ID documents that you will present at the test centre.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Prev     Next

7. Connect with other test takers

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Visit the GRE page on Facebook and interact with other GRE test takers to exchange ideas.

You may also sign up to get official test-taker updates at www.takethegre.com/signup.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh





Prev     Next

8. Make final preparations for D-day

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Pack anything that you may need such as water and a snack to have during the break!

Pack your bag the night before and set an alarm.

On test day, wear comfortable clothes and dress so that you can adapt to any room temperature.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Prev     Next

9. Rest adequately

Prev     More
Prev

More

Last, but not the least, a good night's sleep will work wonders for you in your exam.

All the best!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh





Prev     More