Every year there is a sizeable increase in the number of students taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) for gaining admissions to graduate schools of their choice. As a result, the number of applications for admissions received by the graduate schools is on the rise, leading to a requirement of higher scores for admissions to reputed schools.

Students tend to develop cold feet at the mention of preparing for the test. The general consensus is that the review is extremely tough and requires lots and lots of hard work. Well, the good news is that the hard work can be reduced to an extent if your test review is well planned right down to the minutest details. If you commence your preparation at the ideal time, spend adequate time for your test review everyday and follow the correct procedure for this, then you will realize that succeeding in the test is not that difficult as it has been made out to be. Given below is a suggested sequence of events to be followed as a part of your review if you want to do well in this exam.

Step 1

The first step that you take in your test review would be to identify the graduate schools to which you would like to apply for admissions. This is a very important aspect of your  admission schedules of these schools will help you decide the time when you should ideally take the test. Register for the exam keeping in mind the time taken for the test scores to reach the colleges of your choice. Your scores should reach the colleges before the last date of submission of applications for admissions. Also you would like to get an idea of the test scores that are considered competitive for admissions to the schools of your choice.

Step 2

The second step in your prep would be to collect relevant study materials. Do not be under the impression that your school books will be sufficient for review of the subject areas tested by the GRE. It is worth mentioning the fact that the GRE is not a test of knowledge; rather it is a test of your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. You would not have been taught these skills as a part of your academic studies. You are expected to have developed these skills on your own over a period of time. However, it will be incorrect to think that content review is not required to be included. It should be a mix of content review and development of the required skills in equal proportions.

In order to develop the skills tested by the GRE, you will require expert advice, guidance and practice. You can achieve your aim of fine tuning your skills and subject based knowledge by building up a good collection of  guides. It is important for you to selectively pick up the guides as per your requirements. Your search for the ideal guides and study materials can start from which is the official web site of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization that administers the GRE. This web site offers various materials and documents for assistance in your Review. Most of these materials are available free of cost. You can search the internet for more materials.

Carry out a survey to identify suitable guides. There are innumerable guides available in the market. Check out the local bookstores and online bookstores to segregate the popular guides from the ones that may not be of much use. You may discuss with other students who are also preparing for the test or who have already taken this test to earmark suitable books. Web sites like allow students to post their views on the utility of a particular guide. You may find these student reviews to be useful in your search for the ideal guide. Do not plan to carry out review from a single guide. You may have to study from a combination of two or more  guides because a single guide may not be able to meet your requirements.

Step 3

After you have taken an overview of the content tested by the GRE and you have a fairly good idea of the test format, take an initial practice test. This is a very important step of review as the results of this initial practice test will be able to help you schedule your GRE Review accordingly. Your schedule should be planned in such a way that you are able to dedicate a large chunk of the time available with you for reviewing the subject areas in which you have scored low in the initial practice test. The initial practice test scores may not be an exact indication of your likely scores on the actual test, but they will definitely help you in identifying your weak subject areas.

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