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Test Preparation – GRE

What is the GRE?

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) assesses your ability to excel at graduate-school level education, just like the SAT and ACT assess your ability to excel at undergraduate schooling. Your mark on the GRE is one of the main factors used by university admissions officers for deciding whether or not to admit you into their programs. As such, it is crucial to have a good test preparation for the GRE and get as high as you can.

GRE Format

Established by Educational Testing Services (ETS), the GRE exam has many resemblances to the SAT. Both exams are now computer-adaptive tests (CAT); it is not required to bring a pencil, pen, or paper to the test venue. In a CAT, you attempt one question at a time; your answer to each question influences the difficulty level of the following question. As you answer questions correctly, the computer program increases the difficulty of your questions; when you answer a question incorrectly, the computer program provides another of the same difficulty or a slightly reduced difficulty. Ultimately, the computer program computes your score based on the correct level of your abilities in that area.

The GRE exam measures three skill areas:

Analytical Writing

(2 tasks for a total of 60 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

(2 sections for a total of 60 minutes)

Quantitative Analysis

(2 sections for a total of 70 minutes)

What are the GRE Subject Tests?

Together with the general revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE), there are subject-specific tests you can write. The GRE has particular tests on the following subjects:

  • Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

These tests are optional. Please check with the institution to which you are applying to find out if they want you to write a subject test. But, even if your school does not need a subject-area GRE test, you might decide to take it and submit the scores – with the expectation that your excellent score will help separate you from the other candidates.

GRE Registration – Test Preparation

You can register to write the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in a number of ways. The simplest way for most is to register online by creating a GRE account. However, you may also enroll for the GRE via mail or via phone.

The fee to register for the general GRE is presently $185; each subject test costs $150. There are also a number of additional services (like test preparation services) that are obtainable to you for extra fees.

GRE Testing Around the World

The USA is not the only country you can take the GRE. There are around 700 ETS-authorized testing centers in over 160 nations. In many nations, you can take a computer-based GRE at any time all through the year. And in those places where computer access is more restricted, you may still be able to write the GRE in a pencil-paper format. Irrespective of location or format, your GRE exam scores will be sent to the universities you choose, so they may assess your scores with the rest of your application.

What about GRE Scoring?

Your performance on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) will get a numeric value for each of the three testing subsets:

Analytical Reasoning

0 – 6 in half-point increments

Verbal Reasoning

130 – 170 in single-point increments

Quantitative Reasoning

130 – 170 in single-point increments

It is almost impossible to recommend to you what score you should aim for (outside stating “as high a score as you can”). Every university has its own requirements for GRE scores. The best way to set a GRE target is to check the programs to which you are applying.

GRE exam scores are usable for five years after the test is taken. In that timeframe, you can request (for a fee) ETS to send your scores to any institution you’d like.

GRE Test Preparation

Preparation is crucial to success in the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), as it is in almost every aspect of life. There are a lot of resources obtainable for you to help increase your scores (listed in ascending order of cost):

  • Free test questions online (including ETS.org)
  • GRE exam preparation books
  • GRE exam preparation software
  • GRE exam preparation programs (often quite expensive, but often these programs include a score enhancement guarantee)

Before you invest in a program (or even a book), bear in mind that the first step to GRE success is self-awareness. You need to precisely judge your own academic and cerebral strengths and weaknesses, so you may make wise choices about how to improve your GRE scores.

GRE Test Day

It is important that you bring your registration details and photo ID with you on the day of your test administration. Because your GRE exam score can define whether or not you get a Master’s degree or Ph.D., test security is absolutely necessary. For that reason, you will not be permitted to bring your cellphone, PDA, or any other electronic device into the testing venue.

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