GRE or Graduate Record Examination is required by the students who are aspiring to get admission in graduate courses in the colleges and universities of their choice. To get admission, the GRE score should be high. The marks scored in school are not enough to get you admission in these institutes and colleges, though some educational institutes are not rigid enough to admit the students based solely on a GRE score. It is a well-established fact that a high GRE score does help in securing admission as well as help in getting financial aid and grants to the applicants. The world is about competition and you have to work hard to achieve your aim of getting a high score. Well reputed institutes require the best students. GRE acts as a standard scale to measure the caliber of these students. It is a stepping stone to further one’s career. In this competitive world, securing high marks in GRE is not an easy task. It requires tremendous hard work, regular GRE study and rigorous practice. A well planned GRE study will help you to secure a high GRE score and get admission in the college or university of your choice.
GRE Study Plan
The GRE study should be planned well in advance so that you can prepare yourself for the exam. This will give you adequate time to study for GRE. You need to put a lot of effort and work hard to get good grades. The time and effort required for GRE Study will be based on your present level of preparation. First, you need to evaluate yourself. You should first make yourself fully aware about the exam, its syllabus, requirements and effort required to score high marks in the exam. This can be done by using books, tutorials, browsing internet or by interacting with your friends in your school or college. You should then make a plan for your study. The plan depends on the target score you need to achieve and the university or college that you desire to attend. You may first decide to prepare for each of the three sections individually and then practice for the entire test. There are practice tests available in the market that will help you to find out about your present level of preparation. This will help you to assess your weaknesses and the efforts required to improve your score. You need to be extremely disciplined to follow a study plan and stick to it rigidly.
The time plan for GRE study should be made as per the time available to you. The adequate provision should be made for GRE practice tests in the time plan. You should take these practice tests at adequate intervals to make maximum use of these tests. GRE study is about the improvement of the knowledge and skill that you would have already acquired over the years. Therefore, the time required for GRE study will be based on your preparation level at the start. An average person should take three to four months for the preparation for GRE. You need to put in effort depending on your skills and ability. Only by working hard, can you score really well to get into a university of your choice.
As mentioned above, familiarization with the syllabus of the exam is very important. You should not only be aware of all the sections but also of the types of questions in each section, marks distribution and time allotted for each of these questions. You should make yourself aware of the directions to appear for the test. Awareness of these details will help you during GRE study as you will use this information to your advantage while studying. Although PBT or Paper Based Test is still continuing in some parts of the world, the discussion here will focus more on CBT or Computer Based Test, which has replaced PBT in most parts of the world.
The scores that are reported on the GRE scorecard for the Verbal section and Quantitative section on a scale of 130-170 with 1 point increments. New question types are given in both Verbal as well as Quantitative sections. Emphasis is laid more on reading passages. More questions on data analysis will be included. An onscreen calculator as well as an ETS calculator will be provided to the candidates. The third section is the Analytical section which is reported on a scale of 0-6 with 0.5 point increments. The answers can be edited during the course of the test. The duration of the complete test is longer. The percentile score is also taken into account during the admission process, which shows the percentage of candidates who have scored less than you. GRE scores are valid for 5 years from the time the scores are issued.
Books, Guides and Tutorials
You should select your guide or a book for study which you should follow throughout your GRE study. There are a lot of options available these days but for scoring high marks in GRE you should be deliberate in choosing your study material. You may choose books, guides, an online tutorial or a coaching institute. The POWERPREP software available in www.ets.org is the best option as it has numerous online practice tests, answer keys, tips and strategies for improving your scores, etc. You can listen to podcasts and take part in online tests. The earlier you take this decision, better it will be for your preparation. The choice will not be easy as there are a large number of books available in the market for GRE study. E-books sold by Amazon.com also is another source of information. You should keep a few things in mind before finalizing your book. The book should be from a renowned author or publisher. It should have detailed explanatory notes for each of the sections along with the sample questions and practice tests.
Some of the good GRE guides that are suitable for preparation for GRE are, The Official Guide to the New Revised GRE, Barron's How to Prepare for the GRE, Kaplan GRE Exam 2010-2011 with DVD and Cracking the New GRE with DVD, 2012 Edition by Princeton Review. Most of these guides are accompanied by CDs/DVD's containing software and sample questions which may be very useful. You must make use of these CDs. It is recommended that you should see at least a couple of guides before selecting the one that suit you best. There are web sites on the internet which offer online tutorials for GRE study which might be heavy on your budget. Some of these are even free of cost and you should select the one which is both good on your pocket and time.
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