How to Study for the GRE

How to Study for the GRE

– Over 700,000 individuals take the GRE each year.

– More than 1,200 business graduate schools require and accept the GRE.

So you’re ready to take the next step and apply for graduate school. We know that just by applying for graduate schools can be an overwhelming process. On top of just submitting your application to the school or schools of your choice, you’re also required to take the GRE exam.

The GRE is also called the Graduate Examination, which is a four-hour exam. Many graduate schools across the country require the GRE exam for acceptance into their graduate programs. This exam gives the school’s acceptance review panels information about your level of knowledge within reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical skills. This information will show the panel whether or not you will be able to succeed in a challenging post-graduate program.

There’s really no right answer as to when you absolutely need to take the GRE exam. Many undergraduate students take the exam during their junior year while others may take it during or even after their senior year.

Schools and programs differ in how they use your GRE score as well as what minimum score they will accept.

No matter what minimum score that the school of your choice accepts, it’s always best to strive to do your best and get the highest score you possibly can. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you best prepare for the GRE and to give you an idea of where to start to begin studying.

1.Learn the Format of the GRE Exam
Before studying for the GRE exam, you’ll need to understand the format of the exam and exactly what it is that you need to study. You’ll want to learn all you can about the sections on the exam, how many questions, and the types of questions that you’ll be given.

Here are a few things that you should know about the format of the GRE exam:

• There are 3 sections on the GRE exam.
• Each section is timed for 30 minutes, making the total time for the entire exam to be 3 hours and 45 minutes.
• There are 40 questions on the exam as well as one “Analyze and Issue” task and one “Analyze an Argument” task.

2019 GRE Test Dates

2. Understand What You Need to Study
You should have somewhat of an idea as to what will be on the GRE exam. You’ll know that there will be a math section, but before you pull out every math book that you own, take a minute to sit down and look over the actual content of the exam. You’ll be more likely to get a higher score on the GRE if you prepare by studying the right concepts.

Here’s a little insight as to what to expect:

Verbal Reasoning

This section tests your ability to:

• Evaluate written material
• Synthesize information
• Analyze relationships

The types of questions you’ll be given:

• Reading comprehension
• Text completion
• Sentence equivalence

Verbal Reasoning Practice Test | Verbal Reasoning Review

Quantitative Reasoning

This section tests your ability to:

• Interpret quantitative data
• Solve mathematical word problems
• Apply basic and elementary arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis math concepts

The types of questions you’ll be given:

• Quantitative comparisons
• One-answer multiple choice
• One or more answer multiple choice
• Numeric entries

Quantitative Reasoning Practice Test | Quantitative Reasoning Review

Analytical Writing

This section tests your ability to:

• Perform critical thinking
• Articulate complex thoughts
• Maintain a coherent discussion

The types of questions you’ll be given:

• 30 minute analyze an issue task
• 30 minute analyze an argument task

Analytical Reasoning Review

GRE Secrets Study Guide
GRE Secrets Study Guide

3. Use a GRE Study Guide
You probably used a study guide or two when you were working on your undergraduate studies. Using a study guide that is geared towards the GRE exam can help you dig deeper into the content of the exam. You’ll be able to review the test format as well as review content for the Quantitative Reasoning section and work on vocabulary that you will need to know for the Verbal Reasoning section.

4. Boost Your Vocabulary
Your vocabulary will be tested in the GRE Verbal Reasoning section. This section will give you questions that require you to choose the appropriate word or words for a given sentence. Because of the Verbal Reasoning section, it’s important that you boost your vocabulary. To boost your vocabulary, keep a GRE vocabulary list. A great GRE vocabulary list can be found in our GRE study guide!

5. The GRE is Computer-Adaptive
Each section of the GRE is computer-adaptive. This means that if you answer a question correctly, you’ll be given a harder question that is worth more points. However, if you answer a question incorrectly, you’ll be given a question that is easier but it will not be worth as many points, which won’t boost your score as much.

GRE Flashcards Study System
GRE Flashcards Study System

6. GRE Flashcards
Using flashcards can help you tremendously when it comes to studying for the GRE exam. They are very helpful when you need to study the vocabulary list for the Verbal Reasoning section. Flashcards allow you to focus on one vocabulary term at a time. They also allow you to focus on one key concept at a time in other areas of the GRE. This helps you to retain more information for a longer period of time without burning out your mind.

7. Create a Study Plan
When you have a plan, it’s easier to get things done. Studying for the GRE can be a hard task, so it’s important that you create a study plan. You should sit down and write out a study plan that works with your life, work, and any other obligations that you may have. You should try to devote a couple of hours each day to studying for the exam. You should also try to break down the information on the test into blocks such as which section and concept you will study and which materials you will study from.

GRE Suggested Study Plan

8. GRE Practice Test
After you feel like you understand the strategies and the concepts of the GRE, it’s time to put that knowledge to test. The best way to test your understanding is to take the GRE practice test. A practice test can help you see which areas you need more work in and which areas you are doing well in. Once you know which areas you need to work in, you can add those areas to your study plan. You should also try to take more than one practice test during the time that you study for the GRE. Comparing your scores on practice tests can let you see how much you have improved from the last test.

GRE FAQ

What is the GRE test?

The GRE test is the Graduate Record Examination, which is a test that is required many graduate schools around the country for entrance into their graduate program.

What is on the GRE exam?

There are three sections on the GRE exam:

  1. Analytical WritingThis section tests your ability to:

    Perform critical thinking
    • Articulate complex thoughts
    • Maintain a coherent discussion

  2. Verbal ReasoningThis section tests your ability to:

    Evaluate written material
    • Synthesize information
    • Analyze relationships

  3. Quantitative ReasoningThis section tests your ability to:

    Interpret quantitative data
    • Solve mathematical word problems
    • Apply basic and elementary arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis math concepts

How long is the GRE exam?

Each section on the GRE exam is timed for 30 minutes. The total time for the entire exam is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

How much does it cost to take the GRE test?

The cost of the GRE test is $205.

What is the average score for the GRE test?

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections on the GRE test is scored on a scale of 130 to 170 in 1-point increments. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a 0 to 6 scale in 1-point increments. The average score for the Verbal Reasoning section is 151 and 153 for the Quantitative Reasoning section. For the Analytical Writing section, the average score is 4. However, each graduate school or business school determines what GRE score they will want to accept.

Is there a “pass” or “fail” score for the GRE?

There is no “pass” or “fail” score for the GRE. Each school and program has a different cutoff score regarding to what is “pass” or “fail”.

How often can I retake the GRE test?

You can retake the GRE test every 21 days up to five times within a 365 day period.

How long is my GRE score good for?

Your GRE score is valid for five years after the date you took your test.

Published by

Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more