GRE Preparation Strategy & Study Plan 2021

Updated by: Subhashri Roy on Aug. 14, 2021, 3:05 p.m.

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GRE Test Preparation

Your preparation for the GRE test depends on the type of GRE test you are going to take and the amount of time you have available. Once you check the GRE eligibility, GRE syllabus and the GRE practice paper, GRE Exam Pattern the questions like ‘how do I prepare for the GRE test?’, ‘how much time does it take to prepare for the GRE test?’ and ‘where do I get section-wise GRE preparation tips?’ will start occurring to you. The information provided on this page can solve all your queries and provide answers to all similar questions that you might have regarding your GRE preparation strategy. You can find the preparation tips for Verbal, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing of GRE along with tips for every GRE Subject test.

GRE is one of the widely-used graduate exams across the world, accepted by popular universities such as  Oregon State University, Suffolk University, George Mason University; University of Massachusetts, Washington State University, among others.

COVID-19 Update

The Education Testing Services (ETS) which conducts the GRE 2021 tests across different nations in the world, has temporarily offered the candidates with a provision of GRE General Test at Home. ETS has specifically outlined guidelines and regulations for this purpose, which can be found at CollegeDekho StudyAbroad.

Want to Score 318+ on the GRE?

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How to Prepare for the GRE General Test?

The GRE General Test comprises three measures: Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning. Since the content and structure for all three measures vary, the preparation tips vary too. By going through the tips mentioned below, you will get to know how to prepare for different sections of the GRE test.

Preparation Tips for GRE Verbal Reasoning

  • One important thing that you need to know about the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE General Test is that it contains questions in a variety of formats. Some require you to select a single answer choice, some require the selection of more than one answer and some instruct you to enter a numeric answer. Therefore, you must check the instructions to know the kind of response you are required to give. 

  • To prepare yourself for questions related to Reading Comprehension, you should learn new words every day and enhance your vocabulary.

  • You will be required to have active engagement with the text you are reading.

  • Practice to formulate and evaluate hypotheses and to reflect on the relationship of a text to the others. 

  • Another kind of questions that are asked in the Verbal Reasoning sections is Text Completion Questions. In these kinds of questions, you will have to fill in the blank spaces with correct words. In such a case, you must not assume that the first blank needs to be filled. Give the question a good read and then proceed with filling the blanks as per your understanding.

  • Once you have filled all the blanks in a sentence, check if it sounds grammatically and logically correct. To prepare for this measure, you must read as must as possible. 

  • Solve sample papers or practise test papers. 

Preparation Tips for GRE Quantitative Reasoning

  • The Quantitative Reasoning measure assesses your understanding of mathematics using your problem-solving skills. You will be provided with an on-screen calculator while attempting the Quantitative Reasoning sections.For this section, your preparation must include practising as many sample papers as possible because every question comes with a different difficulty level and solving method. If you practice regularly, you will be able to get a hang of the type of quantitative questions asked in GRE and how to go about them. 

  • This section includes questions related to Data Analysis, Geometry, Algebra and Arithmetic. You must get yourself familiarised with mathematical symbols, conventions and terminologies used in the Quantitative Reasoning sections.    

Preparation Tips for GRE Analytical Writing

  • You will be given different tasks with a time limit of 30 minutes each. In such a case, it is important to manage your time while taking the exam. 

  • For the Analytical Writing section, you will have to keep yourself updated with topics that are most likely to be discussed in the exam. 

  • You must practice providing a response that discusses the extent of a topic by giving proper reasoning and facts supporting your statements. 

  • Always add the most compelling examples or reasons while writing a response or analysing an issue. 

  • The ‘Analyse an Argument’ task from this section will assess your ability to understand and evaluate an argument to convey your evaluation in writing. For this section, your responses must discuss the specific evidence that is needed to evaluate the argument.

How to Prepare for the GRE Subject Test?

The test preparation for the GRE Subject Tests requires time and focus from an aspirant. The subjects tests are:

  • GRE Subject Test - Chemistry

  • GRE Subject Test - Psychology

  • GRE Subject Test - Mathematics

  • GRE Subject Test - Physics

Here are some preparation tips for the GRE Subject Tests that will be useful to you before and during the test. 

  • The first thing you would need is to become familiarised with the syllabus of the test. Only then can you proceed with your preparation. 

  • The different subject test contains a different number of questions in it but the duration of every test is the same i.e. 2 hours 50 minutes. In order to prepare for the GRE Subject Tests, you must gain familiarity with the types of questions asked.

  • Understand the scoring pattern and plan your preparation and time management accordingly. 

  • Keep practising by taking sample tests and review your test-taking strategies from time to time. 

  • If you have a thorough understanding of the directions that you need to take before the test, you will have more time in your hands during the test to focus. 

  • Since the syllabus for GRE Subject Tests covers a wide range of subject matter, it is not possible to familiarise yourself with the content of every question. However, make sure to cover each topic under different content category constituting the syllabus for the test. 

FAQs about GRE Preparation

1. Can I prepare for the GRE in one month?  

One month would not be sufficient to prepare well for the GRE. One should devote at least two to four months to prepare for the test. However, it varies from candidate to candidate.

2. Can I score well in the GRE without external help/coaching?    

Yes, you certainly can. You can get the study material for the GRE exam online and prepare for it at your own pace without any external help or coaching. Having said that, you can take coaching classes if you find it necessary.

3. How to prepare for the GRE General Test?    

The first thing to do before starting your prepartion for the GRE General Test is to have a thorough understanding of the test structure and syllabus. Once you have done that, you can create a study plan accordingly and cover the most important sections first and move on the remaining topics. Lastly, take practice tests and revise.

4. How to prepare for the GRE Subject Tests in order to score well?    

For the GRE subject tests, you must create a plan according to the number of topics that you need to cover. Attempting as many practice tests as possible is the best way to score high in a GRE subject test.

5. Where can I find preparation material for the GRE?    

All GRE applicants can find GRE study material on the official website of ETS.

6. Is the GRE test difficult?    

As compared to the GMAT, the GRE is considered somewhat less difficult. However, GRE's verbal reasoning section is known to be more difficult as it aims to test tough vocabulary. Nonetheless, a good preparation strategy would help students score high in the test.

7. What is the right time to start preparing for the GRE? 

The ideal time to start preparing for the GRE is at least two to four months before the test date.

8. Which is the trickiest section of the GRE General Test?    

GRE's verbal reasoning section is said to be the trickiest section of the GRE General Test.

9. What is the right time to take the GRE?    

The right time to take the GRE is May/June. However, it is completely on you although it is important to have enough buffer time before admission deadlines.

10. What are the best books for GRE? 

Candidates can buy paperback versions of GRE preparation material by ETS on various online sites. You can buy the online version of the same on the official website of ETS.

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