The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is a standardized exam that is required for admissions to many graduate schools in North America. The test is designed to measure verbal reasoning skills, quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and analytical writing abilities.
When it comes to preparing for a big test far off in the future, it can be easy to put off the studying and research needed to excel in favor of dealing with more pressing school assignments and coursework. If you schedule in blocks of time for GRE preparation in advance, you’ll have a better chance of finding the time in your busy schedule. Studies have consistently found that people learn best through spaced out repetitive study sessions rather than cramming sessions. Studying for three hours, twice a week, for five weeks produces better results than studying for 30 hours the weekend before the exam.
In order to make sure you don’t devote too much time to working on aspects of the test that you already are proficient in, take a practice test. Ideally, you want to take this test a year or at least several months in advance. This will let you know which areas and content you need to devote more of your preparation time to.
During your practice tests, make sure to mimic the testing environment. Sitting comfortably in your room and being surrounded by other students while experiencing more pressure and stress on the latter are two different situations. Thus, here are some ideas to simulate an actual examination environment:
Set your timer the same as the allotted time for each part of the examination to help improve your time management skills.
Try conducting a practice test in a public space, such as a cafe or library.
Wear a face mask while taking the mock exam so you’ll get used to the feeling of wearing one.
If the examination is closed book, don’t use any resources despite their accessibility.
If possible, take the mock examination in a location where you’ll be taking the actual test.
It is important that when you are preparing for the test you are regularly tackling questions of the same form that will appear on the exam. This will help boost your confidence with the material, but will also help make sure your mind is approaching GRE questions in the right way. It’s not enough to familiarize yourself with the material, you should be getting comfortable with the material in the format that it will be presented on the test.
If you find yourself really struggling with certain aspects of the test or if you’re unsure of how to best study the material needed, it might be worth your while to take a course designed for GRE preparation. The Kaplan GRE prep course is designed by people with intimate knowledge of the GRE test and the common struggles that students face when preparing for the exam. There are different study methods available that involve self-paced prep work, in-group coursework, and live online courses so you’ll likely find something that suits your schedule and study preferences.
Meanwhile, if you’re trying out more admission examinations aside from GRE, you can get your money’s worth by getting prep courses from one platform, like gradprep.com. These include the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), They offer study guides for the four major examinations: GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT. Because the resources are readily available on your end, you can take your pace and not worry about missing lectures and assessments. With the personalized courses for each student, they’ll take the extra step to help you prioritize which learning aspects you should focus on depending on your needs and situation.
Over the course of human history, there have been some people that have blown the minds of others with their ability to memorize facts, figures… even random numbers in a sequence. Commonly, those who have superior memories use memorization techniques to help organize the things they’re learning in their minds. Try out a few of the more common ones and see if something feels good and fits well with your studying.
With a little organization and quality time, you’re well on your way to being prepared for the GRE examination. Remember to ensure that you’re getting adequate sleep and are staying hydrated while you study as both of these things can greatly improve your focus and retention.