GRE exam can be a tough nut to crack if you do not follow a proper preparation plan. Ideally, a student must devote at least two months for an effective GRE preparation. During these two months, you must devote your complete focus and attention to learn everything related to GRE. This article will help you know more about GRE and lay down a strategy for you, to nail your preparation in order to ace GRE exam.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized online exam, which is needed to apply for a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in any field overseas. You can take the GRE exam at any time of the year, by selecting a slot for the exam 45 days prior. ETS (Educational Testing Service) is responsible for conducting the exam.
GRE Test Pattern and Syllabus
GRE test is computer adaptive. In this test, the difficulty of the next section depends upon your performance in the previous section. If you do well in the first verbal section, the difficulty level of the second verbal section will automatically increase.
The difficulty level of questions within a section does not change. The scores for Verbal and Quant sections are between 130 to 170, in one point increments. Analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, in 0.5 increments.
The GRE syllabus basically consists of three subjects: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The time duration of the GRE test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are six sections in total: two sections each on verbal and quantitative reasoning, one section on analytical writing. The sixth section is redundant as it has no role to play in calculation of the final score. The GRE exam syllabus covering all three sections is as follows:-
In this section, the writing skills of a candidate are tested. Candidates are given topics on which they have to write. They are also provided with passages, on the basis of which they have to write the answers. The passages could be related to any topic, so the syllabus for this section is quite vast.
This section measures a candidate’s ability to analyze and draw conclusions based on the given data. It also tests a candidate’s ability to comprehend the written material, read and find out the logical relationship between the points mentioned in the passage. The topics covered under this section are as follows-
- Basic sentence: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
- Verb Tense
- Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions
- Pronoun Agreement
- Subject-Verb Agreement
The quantitative reasoning aims to find out the understanding, interpreting and analyzing abilities of a candidate, through the presented quantitative information. This section can be further divided into 4 major sections: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Data analysis. The detailed syllabus is as follows:
3. Exponents and Roots
5. Real Numbers
1. Operations with Algebraic Expressions
2. Rules of Exponents
3. Solving Linear Equations
4. Solving Quadratic Equations
5. Solving Linear Inequalities
8. Coordinate Geometry
9. Graphs of Functions
1. Lines and Angles
6. 3-D Figures
- Data Analysis
1. Graphical Methods for Describing Data
2. Numerical Methods for Describing Data
3. Counting Methods
5. Distributions of Data, Random Variables, and Probability Distributions
6. Data Interpretation Examples
Step 1: Take a mock test
Take a mock test at the initial stages of your preparation. This mock test will help you in identifying your shortcomings. After finding out your weak areas, practice questions related to those concepts to get rid of the faults. Giving mock tests will help you in practicing questions related to your areas of strength as well. This way you can learn new concepts and get better at what you already know, at the same time.
Step 2: Concept building
Learn new concepts, then practice questions related to these concepts. Doing rigorous practice of questions from easy to medium level will help you in retaining the concepts you learn. Find out the problem areas, by figuring out which sections (Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction) and which question types (Arguments, Idioms) trouble you the most. Give more time to learn and practice these concepts. Do not allow a chapter to be a dead weight on your score.
Step 3: Build on the concepts
Build upon the conceptual knowledge by practicing high difficulty level questions. These questions will put your application ability to test. Let’s suppose you face difficulty in tackling questions related to sentence correction. Then again brush up on gre grammar rules and only study key GMAT-specific concepts. Practice SC for twice the amount of time you spend on everything else, on a weekly basis.
Step 4: Practising and reviewing
Start giving back to back mock tests in the last two weeks of your preparation. All that you have learned, will be put to test during this period. Whenever, you come across a different type of question, make a note of it. Take an online test series from BYJU’S to get a comprehensive assessment of your tests. Make sure that you devote more time to your weaker subjects. Stay relaxed as the D-Day approaches. Be confident about your preparation and make sure that you are able to recall all the important concepts.
There are things that can help you in increasing your efficiency. You must keep in mind the things mentioned below, in order to make the most of the time you have at hand:-
Give more time to the topics that hold higher weightage in the exam. There will be days when you will not get the desired output, which can lead to some frustration. Long-term planning is an effective way to deal with it. So rather than preparing a daily plan, follow a weekly or monthly plan. Fix the number of hours you wish to devote to each subject in a week and work accordingly.
Set Realistic Goals
This rule applies to your GRE preparation as well. It is very important that you do not set any unrealistic goals. A working professional may have a limited amount of time to practice every day. That person must make up for the lost time during weekends. But do not compromise on quality over quantity. Learning more topics every day will not help if you forget them the next day. Rather try to ensure that you are able to retain those concepts, by thoroughly solving questions related to those concepts.
While following a strict routine, it is very important to find time for things that truly make you happy. Do yoga, meditation or any other form of physical activity to stay in an active frame of mind. Take proper rest by getting at least 6 hours of sleep. Doing so will help in increasing your overall efficiency, as you will be able to focus better.
During the preparation time, the motivation levels keep on going up and down. Tell some important people in your life about your plans. So, that they keep on reminding you of your goals. Talk to them when your motivation levels are down. Doing so, will not only help you to defocus but will also energize you.
It is also important to have a good mentor, who can bring certain ease to the entire learning process. Experts at BYJU’S come up with innovative ways of learning, through years of experience. These methods aim at making learning easy and fun. Take mock tests provided by BYJU’S and get an in-depth analysis of your performance. Find out your weak sections and go through the video lessons delivered by the experts to improve upon your weak areas.
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