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GRE TEST PREPARATION
GRE or Graduate Record Examination, which is conducted by ETS, is a difficult exam and you will have to work hard if you wish to get a high score in this exam. A planned GRE test preparation which covers all the aspects of GRE will help you to achieve your aim and get admission in the college or university of your choice. GRE test preparation should provide you the knowledge and practice to appear for the test with full confidence and get a high score in GRE. Good GRE test preparation should also make you familiar with the test format and the directions to appear for the various sections in the test. The GRE test preparation should be planned to achieve the above aim. It should just concentrate on the goal that you decide to achieve at the end of the GRE test preparation.
GRE test preparation should be based on the format of GRE that is applicable to you. At present, there are two formats of GRE; PBT or Paper Based Test and CBT or Computer Based Test. Although CBT has replaced PBT in most parts of the world but there are certain countries where PBT is still being conducted. CBT is a computer adaptive test. You may classify GRE test preparation into several parts, each part aiming to achieve a different goal. There cannot be a single GRE test preparation plan for all students. You should make your own preparation plan based on your needs and this will eventually help you in achieving your target of getting a high score.
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GRE Test Format
One of the important parts of GRE test preparation should be to familiarize you with the format of the exam. This would require you to know the details of the various questions in each section, marks distribution and the time allotted for each section in detail. The revised GRE CBT is much friendlier than the old computer adaptive test in the sense that the test will adapt itself based on the way you answer the same section in the previous part. You could also leave some questions unanswered and come back to it before completing a section, making the “adaptive test” to be “non-adaptive” within the same section. You should also familiarize yourself with the directions for different types of questions in the exam. This will not only give you tremendous confidence but also help you to save a lot of time during the exam.
The Analytical section measures your ability to express your views. It consists of two parts, the first part is the issue task and the second part is the argument task. In the issue task you can express your views in favour of or against the argument, but in the argument based task you have to critically examine the argument. The revised issue task and the argument task has been allotted 30 minutes each.
The Verbal section of GRE is organized to test your knowledge about the English language. The revised Verbal reasoning has 30 20 questions in each section and 30 minutes are allotted to each section. There will be two verbal sections to attempt. The questions in the section may require you to select single choice answer, multiple choice answers or a numeric answer. Time is a big constraint in such tests. You should practice hard to develop techniques to save time during the test.
The Quantitative section tests your basic knowledge of school level mathematics. The Quantitative section is more about practice as the more you practise the more are the chances of getting a high score. The revised quantitative part again 2 sections with 20 questions of 35 minutes each.
The most important part of GRE test preparation is to study for the exam. This part is very important and will play the role of an anchor for your preparation. You should be well versed with English language, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. These three qualities are also the basis for the three sections of the test. You should study hard. You should plan your study to cover all the aspects of each section of GRE. You should choose a good guide book or a preparation course which will be very useful. There are a large number of books available in the market and you should select one after careful analysis of the various books available. Some of the good books that can be helpful for the preparation for GRE are, The Official Guide to the New Revised GRE, Barron's How to Prepare for the GRE and Cracking the GRE with DVD. There are books to study for GRE exam in general or to prepare for a specific section individually. Many books also claim to teach you the techniques to handle the computer adaptive tests. You should improve your vocabulary and grammar for scoring good marks in the verbal section. You should revise your concepts of algebra, geometry and arithmetic and use them for data interpretation. This will be helpful for the quantitative section. The AWA section would require you to have the understanding of various topics and the ability to express your views with valid arguments.
Another important part of the GRE test preparation is to practice. While preparing for GRE, you may classify practice into three levels. You should practise a large number of similar question types to understand their difficulty levels and develop various techniques to solve them using minimum time during the exam. In addition, you should practice to answer the entire section of GRE at a stretch. You should make notes of your weaknesses based on the feedbacks obtained from these practices. You should use these notes to rectify the mistakes in the future practices and in the actual test. Complete practice tests in real test like circumstances is the third level of practice. Such practice tests will make you comfortable by exposing you to the exam environment, and the problems and tensions you are likely to face during the examination. As mentioned earlier you should use the feedback from these tests to remove those weaknesses. There are web sites and tutorials available which provide you with the facility of taking the test online. Most of the books mentioned before, have a CD or a DVD which contains software for practice tests. Many of them do have computer adaptive tests. You may take these practice tests at the beginning of your preparation and then at regular intervals. The score from these tests at the beginning of preparation will tell you about your present level of preparation and how much effort you should put to improve your score in the exam.
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