Preparation for GRE
The Different Preparation Methods for GRE Preparation
Carrying out your preparation for GRE in the best way is not very tough though it may appear as such to students. The methods one can use to prepare for any standardized test can be broadly classified into three - self study, joining coaching centers and online training. Preparation for GRE can also be done by following any of these three methods. You are advised to give yourself at least four months to prepare for the test. Any method for preparation for GRE is incomplete without a sense of discipline and putting in regular hours of study.
If you plan to prepare for GRE by studying on your own, certain things should be kept in mind. First of all, you need to put in somewhere between four to eight hours of studying on a regular basis. Vocabulary lists should be practiced every day. It is difficult to retain words and remember their meanings in a short period of time and this task can be achieved only over a period of time. Begin by understanding the format of the test. For this, consult the official website of ETS for the formats of the Paper-based Test (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/content/pbt/) and the Computer-based Test (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/content/cbt/).
Next, set about arranging the materials that you will require in your preparation for GRE. Do not get perplexed and breed confusion in your mind by buying too many books. You can choose from the following books:
- The Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test - This is a publication of ETS and contains practice tests, questions as well as a CD ROM containing the PowerPrep software. This software contains practice materials as well as a practice test that simulates the test taking experience.
- Barron's GRE - Barron's GRE is the most popular as well as the best GRE preparation guide that is available in the market. It contains a comprehensive overview of all the topics that form a part of the GRE test content. It also has lots of practice questions of a higher difficulty level than most books. Barron's is famous for its vocabulary practice.
- New GRE Premier - This is a publication by Kaplan and has all the basic features including practice tests and questions which form the basis of a good guide book. Do refer to the free sample questions available on the official website of GRE (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/) to get an idea of what sort of questions are asked. Also download the free PowerPrep software (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/powerprep2).
Joining a coaching center is actually the most popular and effective means of preparation for GRE. You will have to find out which training institutes are popular in your location and perform some market research by yourself to find a good coaching center. You will avail the benefits of having an experienced course instructor and have a sense of camaraderie by finding out how fellow students are coming along in their preparation for GRE. Do not forget to put it in a few hours of self-study in addition to what you are taught at the class.
Online Training Centers
Online training centers are just coaching centers freed from the constraints of place and time, working for the creation of online virtual classrooms. Kaplan (http://www.kaptest.com/GRE/Home/index.html) and The Princeton Review (http://www.princetonreview.com/grad/gre-test-preparation.aspx) are the two prep institutes which dominate this market. You can choose among a number of plans that are available. One study plan would provide you with a personal tutor. Another could put you in a class with several other students. Some classes have fixed timings and are live streamed whereas others are recorded versions and can be accessed at the user's convenience. Although convenient, online training is quite costly. Do make use of the plethora of practice materials available. You will have to put in hours of self-study again, as classroom teaching is never enough to gain a good grasp over any subject.
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