GRE Exam Preparation

What is the GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the grown up version of the SAT and ACT. It is a general knowledge test, that covers math, reading, and writing. Most graduate programs in the United States require the GRE, so time to start studying!

Preparing for the Test

The best thing I can recommend for GRE prep is to take a full-length practice test before you crack open an exam prep book. I call this test the “diagnostic test” because it’ll show you areas that you’re strong and areas that you could improve, so you know where to focus your effort while studying. And remember, this diagnostic test is just a way for you to gather information about how to study the best way possible, so don’t be discouraged by your grade. Your grade will get better after studying!

Next, time to pick how you’re going to study. You can buy a prep book, enroll in a prep course, or use online resources to guide your studying. No matter which you choose, remember which area(s) you want to focus on, based on your diagnostic test results. For instance, when I took my diagnostic test, the place I needed the most help was in vocabulary. In order to improve, I studied common GRE vocab words listed in a prep book, and I read Game of Thrones. Thankfully for me, George RR Martin uses a lot of popular GRE words, so I was able to count reading as studying!

Start your prep early and do a full length practice test every few weeks. Doing this will show you how helpful studying is and help boost your confidence! This will also show you if you need to change your study strategy, if your scores aren’t improving as you hoped. Finally, I would recommend that you sign up for the real test early. That way, you have time to take it again if you want to. You’ve got this!