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GRE tips: How to get the perfect score

By Arun Jagannathan
July 12, 2016 16:15 IST
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If you want to get into one of the top schools abroad, you will have to crack up a good GRE score.

Read on to find out how you can do it.

ALSO SEE: The GRE topper who scored a perfect 340!

GRE

If you are planning to pursue your post graduation abroad, chances are you will be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Every school has its own set of requirements and there is a minimum GRE score for you to be eligible for admission.

Conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the computer-based exam tests you for competency in Quantitative and English skills.

Here are some handy tips that will arm you with everything you'll need before you face the test!

Tips for Quant

GRE Quant lends itself perfectly to using the process of elimination. Use this along with the process of backsolving.

Eliminate the answer choices that are illogical and then backsolve from the remaining answers.

Calculators are allowed on the GRE, so you don't have to worry about being quick and accurate with basic calculations.

However, here is a pro tip: Use the 'plugging in' process for solutions with numerical values. Try to roughly estimate the size of the number which helps you eliminate wrong answer choices.

The biggest pain most students face on the GRE is the quantitative comparison section.

It is important that you memorize the four answer choices.

They're the same for each and every Quantitative Comparison question. By memorising the answer choices, you will save valuable time on the GRE.

Tips for Verbal

Essentially there are two types of sentences on every Reading Comprehension passage - Opinions and Facts.

The first time you read your passage, do not bother with remembering every single detail. Just make sure you note down the GIST of the passage.

GRE vocabulary is the biggest bugbear of most GRE aspirants. You can use flashcards for this purpose.

Flipping through some flashcards whenever you're free during the day will prove to be helpful.

You might encounter only a few of these words on the GRE, but you can still expand your overall vocabulary.

Try to understand the sentence well while working on Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion.

The clues are subtle and they drive the answers to a great extent. Just knowing words is not going to assure a high hit rate on these questions.

General Strategies for Practice

Learn to simulate the Test Day.

Take the practice test on the same time of day that you're planning to take your actual exam.

If you have to eat or drink anything, make sure you do so during the test breaks.

Analysis is the key to improvement. Keep an error log that tells you WHY you made the mistake and not just WHAT mistakes you made.

You might need to brush up on certain areas that need improvement.

For some, it might be geometry and for others their essay-writing skills. Knowing why an answer option is wrong, is as important as knowing why the correct option is correct.

All the topics that you would encounter on the GRE are already released by ETS.

Hence all you need to do is practice from this master list. Use these essays to assess your own level of writing.

Stick to the general circle of writing, outlining, editing, reading and improving. This should help you with the AWA section on the GRE.

Tips for GRE Exam Day

There are optional breaks and you should certainly take these to clear your mind and regain your mental stamina.

Ensure you drink enough fluids so you are hydrated, and eat something light so you can be focused for the 4 hours. Bananas and nuts come to mind -- although, if you got through college chomping on snickers bars, that will do too!

Do not be stubborn with difficult questions. If you are unsure about what the correct answers are, look for answers that you know are wrong, eliminate them, and take an educated guess.

Check the time periodically – but don't be clock-paranoid. Manage time by keeping to a rhythm and figure out if you're ahead, behind or right on pace.

If you're behind, adjust your tempo and move to the beat.

Keep calm and study for the GRE! It sure isn't easy to crack this test, but if you believe you can, you're already halfway there.

The author Arun Jagannathan is CEO and founder CrackVerbal, an admissions counselling and consulting services.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: David Reber/Flickr/Creative Commons

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Arun Jagannathan