The Graduate Record Examination or the GRE is a standardised test that caters to candidates who are seeking admission into international universities. The GRE is conducted by the Educational Testing Services (ETS).
Are you confused as to how to go about the GRE preparation process? Are you worried about not performing well? Fear not! We will guide you through the GRE preparation process and provide you with free GRE prep tips to ace the exam, along with a practice test and sample questions!
GRE Eligibility Criteria
There is no specific eligibility criteria for the GRE test. The GRE has not listed an upper or lower limit with regards to the age of the candidate. Since the GRE is a graduate examination you are required to have obtained a bachelor’s degree or relevant equivalent credits. If you think that you are ready to take the GRE exam, then you should proceed with your preparation without giving it a second thought. The primary documentation you will need is a valid government-issued photo identity proof, such as your passport.
GRE Exam Pattern
The GRE is a computer-adaptive test; this means the difficulty level of the section depends on your performance in the previous section. If you do well in the first section, the difficulty level of the second section will automatically increase.
The GRE is divided into three sections—Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning are each scored between 130-160, with one-point increments. The Analytical Writing Assessment on the other hand, is scored between 0-6, half-point increments.
A good GRE score is your ticket to securing admission to your dream university. An efficient and structured preparation strategy is bound to take you closer to a good or satisfactory GRE score.
GRE General Test
|Section||Question Types||Number of questions||Time Given to Complete Section||Score Possible|
|Quantitative Reasoning||Quantitative Comparison||20 x 2 sections = 40||35 mins x 2 = 1 hr 10 mins||130 – 170 with intervals of 1 (scaled)|
|Verbal Reasoning||Reading Comprehension||20 x 2 sections = 40||30 mins x 2 = 1 hr||130 – 170 with intervals of 1 (scaled)|
|Analytical Writing Assessment||Analyse an Issue||1 essay question||30 mins||1 – 6 with intervals of 0.5|
|Analyse an Argument||1 essay question||30 mins|
GRE Preparation Tips
We have put together a comprehensive guide for free GRE prep. To begin with, we suggest you dedicate between 4 and 12 weeks to the process. Additionally, given below are tips to help you through the process:
- Stick to a study plan
It is essential to construct a study plan with the GRE syllabus in hand. Make sure to allot an equal amount of time to each component of the GRE test. The key to a successful study plan is to realistically schedule time according to your strengths and weaknesses.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Taking a mock test in the initial stage of your preparation will help analyse your strengths and weaknesses. The mock test will help you to devise a preparation plan that will be best suited to your individual needs. It is advisable to draft a plan that helps you to build on your strengths and at the same time aids you in your weakest areas.
- Set a target score
Setting a target GRE score gives you a concrete goal to aim for and also helps you track your progress during your GRE prep. Your target score depends on the GRE cutoff of the schools you wish to apply to. The best way to set a target score is by doing the following in order to make a list of the schools you will potentially apply to:
- Choose the programme you would like to apply to and all the schools that offer it. Check rankings and research the acceptance rate at each school as well.
- Check the score distribution for applicants in your field – what score do aspirants that get accepted usually get? (Check ETS data for prospective graduate students in your area)
- Focus on understanding the concepts
The best way to prepare for the GRE is to develop a strong grip over the underlying concepts. Regular practice of questions from easy to advanced levels will help you in the retention of the learned concepts. Devote an extra amount of time to work on and mitigate your weaknesses.
- Practice tests and sample questions
The GRE sample questions and practice tests will allow you to work on questions related to different sections simultaneously. Make sure to time your practice tests and compare and contrast the progress of each test you take.
Reviewing your performance after every GRE prep exam is a good way to assess your progress. Ask yourself — what type of questions did I consistently miss? Which questions do I wish to ace, and which are the ones that slow me down?
Create a metric for improvement. This will give you an overview of the improvement in your score and assess the effectiveness of your study techniques. Thus, by regular self-evaluation, you will track your progress for each question type and section, and will be able to fix study patterns that are not working for you.
- Positive approach
Preparation is most effective if done with a positive mindset. Once you truly believe that you have put in the hard work required, you will gain the confidence required to help you do well. Do not get frustrated if you find some parts of the test to be difficult; take your time with it. Having a positive approach will help you avoid getting physically or mentally burnt out.
- Scheduled break time
Make sure you include study breaks in your preparation plan. It is important to take sufficient breaks, and take care of your mental health while you prepare for a big and important exam such as the GRE.
How Can CareerLabs Help?
With complete dedication and proper guidance, you will be able to crack the GRE and achieve the desired score to get into your dream university. CareerLabs can provide you with all the guidance and help you might need with your GRE preparation. We provide expert guidance, conduct workshops to ease the preparation process, offer consultations for admission procedures and visa procedures, and much more.
The CareerLabs website lists products and services according to the three-tier system. The three-tier system is as follows:
For beginner candidates: The Beginner service is provided to students who are not very familiar with the GRE subjects or are unsure as to how to proceed with their preparation.
Services provided: For beginners, Careerlabs offers comprehensive guides on how to register and prepare for the GRE. They also provide live classes by experienced professors who have scored 300+ on their GRE tests. In addition, CareerLabs also helps you get acquainted with the basic components of the GRE exam, and provides revision tests that you can take as part of your preparation process.
For intermediate candidates: The Intermediary service is for those who are halfway through the preparation process and are finding it difficult to navigate further.
Services provided: For intermediaries, CareerLabs offers a Diagnostic Tool Kit (DTK) at this tier. DTK is a software that analyses the tests and provides detailed feedback on how you’ve performed in the practice tests. With the software, we help you identify and strengthen your weak areas. In addition, they also provide access to advanced and adaptive questions banks to aid a rigorous preparation process.
For seasoned candidates: This service is provided to those who are at the revision stage of the preparation process.
Services provided: For seasoned students, CareerLabs offers access to a library with 1000+ practice tests, and also provides lectures to build strengths and weaknesses. You are offered a personal mentorship programme as well, if your level of preparation places you in this tier.
Choosing the CareerLabs GRE Preparation Programme would be a great investment towards building a bright future for yourself.
Look at the GRE as a golden opportunity for not only admissions and scholarships but also a window to offset a low GPA. A smart GRE prep strategy helps develop a solid command of the test. Our exhaustive guide on GRE preparation online will help to sharpen your study techniques. Choose the right option for your GRE preparation, and study well! Good luck.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a computer-adaptive test entail?
The GRE test chooses the difficulty of your next exam subsection based on your performance in the previous subsection. So, your performance in the first Verbal Reasoning subsection of 20 questions will impact the difficulty of the questions you get in the second subsection.
Who can take the GRE?
If you are looking to apply for technical, managerial, or techno-managerial masters programmes abroad, the GRE test is for you. You only need to have a bachelor’s degree to take this exam, and anyone can take it regardless of age or nationality.
Can the CareerLabs GRE programme work for me?
Yes! The CareerLabs GRE programme is designed in such a way that it can cater to your exact needs for your GRE prep. Visit our website to learn more about the programme and ace your test!