GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized entrance exam conducted for the purpose of granting admissions in graduate colleges in English speaking countries, especially in the United States. The GRE test is conducted in the United States, Canada and some particular universities in the world including India. Some colleges consider GRE scores as an important factor in determining a student’s aptitude, while in others it is considered a mere procedure. But a GRE score is considered very crucial to one’s future. GRE score also determines a better chance of financial aid. Every year there are a number of students seeking admissions in various colleges for higher studies, but there aren't enough seats to accommodate all of them. That is why there is a lot of competition to grab the available seats. Only the ones who can prove their aptitude in GRE are considered eligible for admissions into the colleges. Thus, in order to get admission in a graduate college, one needs to outshine the others in GRE. This is not possible without good GRE practice. The GRE general test is a computer-based test which is conducted to test the skills of the candidates to graduate programs and higher studies. In particular countries where computer- based tests are not available, paper-based GRE tests are given. In fact, GRE test is considered a milestone in a student’s future as it gives him a better future. In the United States, the GRE test is conducted throughout the year at specific locations.
GRE practice is a tool, which helps you to swim through the test without any difficulties. GRE practice is important since you don't just need to clear the test, but you need to get a score, good enough for you to get noticed amongst thousands of students. GRE practice brings perfection in your preparation and thus, you can exercise a fair amount of control over the test. Not only do you get enough experience to handle all the sections, GRE practice also improves your speed and efficiency in taking the test. GRE exam tests your basic skills rather than test you in one particular subject or specific area of knowledge.
PLANNING FOR GRE PRACTICE
GRE practice is most effective if you plan your practicing strategy. You must keep in mind the following while planning for GRE practice.
1. Keep ample time for GRE practice. Besides preparation, you must devote some time on a regular basis to GRE practice. In the last days, you should not learn new concepts; instead you should devote that time for solving sample questions and practice tests. The best option would be to start practicing for your GRE exam three months in advance. Also, there is plenty of test prep material to practice .
2. You must gather information about the pattern and structure of the test. You should also know the content and types of questions asked in it. Only then can you practice what is required. You should make an effort to collect as many sample questions and practice tests as you can from all possible sources. The more you practice, the better it is.
3.GRE practice should be a wholehearted effort. You should practice with effort and concentration and not just read through the solved answers given with the practice tests.
4.GRE practice is effective only if you are able to identify your weaknesses. You should find out your shortcomings and work upon improving them.
UNDERSTANDING GRE TEST
It is very important to understand the structure of GRE in order to prepare for it. GRE practice can be facilitated in the right direction only if you have a fair idea of the pattern and the types of questions asked in it.
GRE comprises of a compulsory general test and an optional subject test. The GRE general test has three sections, which are the Verbal Section, the Quantitative Section and the Analytical Writing Section. This is a compulsory test and most of the colleges emphasize on the score in GRE general test for the purpose of admissions. However, for some masters’ degree programs, along with the score in GRE general test, some colleges require the score in GRE subject test as well. The GRE subject based test is therefore conducted in order to test you for your understanding of a particular subject. Generally speaking, GRE refers to the GRE general test.
GRE PRACTICE FOR VERBAL SECTION
This section is designed to test the students for their proficiency in English language. Your understanding of the language is tested by your ability to reason, analyze and interpret the given question. This section tests the students’ ability to examine and draw conclusions from a given passage, summarize text, identify author’s objectives, understand relationships between words and concepts. The verbal section test emphasizes more on reading skills and objective reasoning skills.
These questions require specific skills, like comprehending the given written material, understanding meanings of the given words, finding a logical relationship between the different parts of a sentence and identifying the concept of written passages.
For GRE practice of this section, you must understand each type of question and its requirements. You should then focus your GRE practice according to the requirement. You must practice as many verbal reasoning and grammar exercises as you can. This section requires you to have a strong vocabulary. Not only should you learn new words and their meanings, but you should also know their opposites, similar words etc. Only then will you be able to find a relation between two words. However, learning new words is not enough and you need to practice them daily. Only then will you be able to fix them in your memory, otherwise you tend to forget them. GRE practice of grammar will also help you in sentence completion questions and reading comprehension.
The best way to practice for this section is by solving GRE practice tests and sample questions. That gives you a fair idea of the types of questions. Once you attempt these GRE practice tests, you will know your mistakes and you can take the opportunity to rectify them. Thus, you not only identify your shortcomings, but you can also improve upon them and practice more of those exercises.
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