When To Start Preparing For GRE ?

Posted In exam preparation On November 5, 2018

While applying/sitting for GRE is a huge decision that takes months, sometimes even years of consideration, planning and what not, when it comes to prepping for GRE test itself, a lot of us are left overwhelmed with what’s the ‘good enough’ timeline to what is the ‘just right’ kind of material to ace our game at it. The good news is that even with just few months left on your hand, GRE is a secure win for you as long as you don’t just plan hard but smart about it. Here’s how!

Between the three sections and 3 hours 45 minutes of longer-than-a-movie time duration, there is a whole plethora of information and instructions you can find on internet to help you nail this mammoth of a task. But with the increase in competition and the ambitious nature of the test, this only manages to scratch the surface as far as cracking a good score is concerned.

The key aspect here in landing a better than just decent GRE score is practice and reflection. Apart from finishing your syllabus, there are a number of other things that factor in, from your vocabulary to comprehensive quality to some solid AWA skills.

Syllabus vs time table

A wise man once said, “You can never cover 100% of your syllabus for GRE.” With just a few months left in hand, the last thing you want to do is try to do everything. There is a quick tip however, that sorts it out for you. Simply attempt a practice test at the start of everything and assess your scores. Between what you scored and what you ideally want to score in the final attempt, deduct the difference. Now whatever is your difference in the score, multiply it with 8 (hours). That’s the overall number of hours you need to put in your time table in order to reach your desired score. Now how do you plan to split that total time across days is totally up to you.

Similarly, in order to prioritise your syllabus, look at your assessment and instead of practicing everything, focus on your weak areas where you’ve scored lesser. Map it with each practice session and set milestones for yourself to track the progress. You’d be pleasantly surprised with the results at the end.

Approach vs Format

While it’s important to familiarise yourself with the format of the GRE test, getting used to the set up of the test is as important. It’s a 225 minute long test at the end of the day, and being mentally prepared for the whole stretch is as important as knowing the right answers.

Approach wise, try not to get hung up on the weightage each question comes with. The dynamics of GRE is such that it configures the next set of questions/level of difficulty with each answer you submit. So instead of spending more time on questions with high markings, focus on answering the complete test.

Practice vs Preparation

While practice maketh a (wo)man perfect, a certain level of screening at the materials and sources you use for that practice makes a big difference. Preparing a quick list with recommended sources, guides, practice tests, webinars as well as recorded online classes before diving deep into practice will get you full ROI on your hard work. Some of the Credenc recommended include Crunch Prep, Kaplan, Manhattan prep test, ETS official guide and your very own POWERPREP tests among others.

Countdown vs Time Management

It’s important to not lose track of your time vs scope as your GRE date comes close. The critical thing is to find a pattern in your mistakes and develop a practice test that is customised to fix that pattern.

Prepare a smart study schedule that helps you develop a good hand before the final day. A smart schedule would focus on targeting your weakness but at the same time, hone your strengths, all in a stipulated time.

At the end, one needs to remember that GRE tests are about a lot more than just the syllabus. It’s not the time you invest but how you invest the time in preparing for GRE that decides your fate on the D day. If you want to know in detail about any of these tips above, feel free to reach us at contact@credenc.com. If you are all set for your GRE score but wondering about the next step, a.k.a the education loan, drop a quick hello at info@credenc.com.

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