What is the GRE?
The GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. It is a type of standardized test for students who aspire to join post-graduate programs in the U.S. and other countries.
The GRE is divided into two types of tests. The first one is a general test, and the second one is divided into subject tests.
When speaking of GRE, priority is always given to the general test at first. The general test is what all applicants must take, unlike the subject tests, which are specific to their chosen subjects.
The general test contains questions that are designed to simulate the thinking abilities, which you would need at business school or any other post-graduate course.
The general test contains various sections that include analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The verbal and quantitative reasoning tests are scored on a scale between 200 and 800. On the other hand, the analytical writing section relies on point-based scoring, where six points are the highest that can be scored.
The verbal reasoning test aims to measure a candidate’s ability to evaluate and analyze written content and process the information found within that written content. Quantitative reasoning tests your ability to solve problems by using quantitative methods, which might include arithmetic, algebra, data analysis, and geometry.
The Analytical Writing section tests abilities related to writing and critical thinking. It tests your ability to explain and support ideas or concepts in a fluent and efficient manner.
Still have questions or need professional writing help?Contact me: [email protected]
Who Takes the Test?
The GRE is taken by a wide range of students who aspire to enroll in graduate courses or business school. The aspiring applicants come from all over the globe, and their general aim is to pursue a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or even a top MBA online program.
The GRE helps in measuring the abilities and skills of the candidates using a common system, especially since the applicants originate from various cultural and educational backgrounds.
The GRE results are then used by various panels that oversee admissions, fellowships, or scholarships as a supplement to already existing undergraduate results, recommendation letters, and various other necessary qualifications.
The test is taken at authorized centers located across the globe in various countries, cities, towns, and so on. To be more specific, there are around 1000 authorized GRE centers located in 160 countries. Most of the countries offer the computer-delivered tests throughout the year.
In fact, in Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, the computer-delivered test is available up to thrice a month. The countries that do not follow the computer-delivered test system use an alternative system called the paper (delivered) GRE test.
This type of GRE test is conducted thrice a year in the months of February, October, and November.
Most Common Mistakes Made by GRE Candidates
The GRE is a difficult exam, and it takes a lot of preparation to get it right and score well. If you are not well prepared or are simply nervous, you are likely to make mistakes.
You may enter wrong values during computation, understand passages incorrectly, or take too much time and be left without enough to finish all the questions on the test. Here are a few mistakes that most candidates taking the GRE make in particular sections or overall through the entire test.
Most students commit a few general mistakes while preparing for the GRE.
- The GRE is an important test and is not something that you can get ready for at the last minute. Doing so will simply confuse you with the deluge of information, making you forget what you have already studied.
- There are a number of free online resources that offer guidance and practice tools for the exam. If you do not use them, you may find it difficult to finish the test on time.
- Each section of the test is distinctly different and requires preparation. If you do not practice equally as much for all the sections, your final score will suffer, even if you have performed exceptionally well in one section.
- Look for multiple guide books, sample questions, and tests online when getting ready for the GRE. Sticking to just one kind of study material will make your preparation less diverse.
Start early, keep looking for new sources online, study well, and time yourself frequently when completing questions.
Common Mistakes in Analytical Writing
The analytical section is tricky as it tests language skills, logical reasoning, and creative ideas.
- Spelling errors and typos are common when writing or typing quickly. Words get misspelled, or you end up spelling them wrong. For example, you may type ‘use’ as ‘sue’, thereby completely changing the meaning of what you say.
- Not being clear in your arguments and ideas means that the examiner checking your paper will not be able to fully understand what you are trying to convey.
- Errors in sentence formations are another major problem. Sometimes, you may have a thought that you are trying to convey but may end up writing long sentences that lose their meaning at the end and are plain confusing to read.
- If you start writing in a hurry, you may actually miss the point of the argument and may misunderstand the entire point of the essay.
Take your time and do not rush through this section.
Common Mistakes in Quantitative Section
This section tests your skills with numbers and analytics.
- Errors while writing an answer like not putting a negative sign or not using the decimal point can cost you points on the final score.
- The most common mistake is entering wrong numerical values or using addition instead of subtraction as it can completely change your answer.
- Being in a hurry and misreading questions usually happens when you are nervous or running out of time.
- Confusing single-option and multiple-option questions can cost you dearly, as you may end up losing multiple points for such errors.
Read questions carefully, and double-check computations for errors.
Common Mistakes in the Verbal Section
This section tests your language understanding and writing skills.
- If you do not read a passage carefully or understand it well, you could be answering all the questions for that passage wrong.
- If you choose one correct and one wrong answer in sentence equivalence, you will lose out on scores for the entire question.
- Many multiple-choice questions have similar-sounding answers, and it is common to get confused and choose the wrong option.
- Using the same words over and over again, or using the same idea in different sentences throughout the essay, can cost you points.
Read passages carefully, and double-check answers and essays for mistakes.
You can get rid of most of these errors simply by being better prepared and knowing how to time yourself to finish the test well in time.
Prepare well, be confident of your knowledge and reasoning skills, and you should be able to score well on your upcoming GRE test.
Do Not Ignore These if You Want to Score Well on the GRE
Here are a few tips to prepare well, answer correctly, and finish your test on time for your upcoming GRE test.
- If you find a question difficult, mark it for later review and move on to the next one. It will help save time; you can get back to the question later and view it with a fresh perspective.
- The Quantitative Reasoning Section will usually give you one option for an on-screen calculator for the computations.
- There is an option to view all the questions in one section on a single page. Use it to get an idea of the kinds of questions before beginning your test for each section.
- Time yourself for each question or each section and ensure you stick to the timeline. Doing so will ensure that you finish the test on time and do not miss out on any questions.
- Take timed tests during preparation so that you know which sections are faster to finish and which questions take more time. It will help you set a timeline for the actual test.
Keep these tips in mind and you will find it easier to manage your time during the test and give it your best shot.
Before the Test Prep Work
Before applying for GRE, make sure that the institutions and the courses you are applying for accept GRE scores. Here are a few facts that you should pay special attention to during your GRE preparation as well as on the actual test day.
- Register on the official GRE website to get email alerts for submission dates and other important dates and updates. It will help you make sure that you do not miss out on any submissions and payments in the midst of your preparations.
- Know that most business schools do not have a preference for GRE or GMAT. However, check with the school or schools you are applying for and the details of the programs you wish to enroll in to know the specific requirements.
- Check the cost of taking the test, and ensure that you have the amount ready so that you do not have to rush at the last minute to arrange for funds.
- Check various online sources to get more details about GRE. If you are not a native English speaker, you can take the test in multiple other languages, as well, so check for the details before applying.
- Calculators are provided at the center, so you need not carry or use your own.
Pay attention to these small details. They can help you with important decisions about taking the test or the scores you need to target as well as ensure that you are on time and at the right venue for your tests.
Know all the rules and regulations and follow them strictly if you do not want any last minute problems at the test center. Look at the list of documents to be carried to the center, and keep them ready beforehand.