GRE Mathematics Subject Test


GRE Mathematics Subject Test Continued

When you register for the Mathematics subject test of GRE you will have to look for a center in which paper tests are administered. Such centers are limited and tend to get filled early. Moreover a large number of students appear for the Mathematics subject test and hence it is likely that you do not get a seat at the center of your choice. Hence keep two centers on mind in case it is required. Furthermore, if you register well in advance then you are at ease and have enough time to mentally prepare yourself for the test. Then on you can plan well about what mode of preparation you should apply and you shall have sufficient time for revision. You can either register through the internet or by mail. On registering for this subject test you shall be provided with free test practice material.

After the registration comes the preparation for the test. It is vital that some 3-4 months be devoted to it. Though the test aims at judging the knowledge and capabilities of students which they are supposed to have developed over years of schooling, practicing for the test can considerably improve your score, especially since mathematics can only be mastered through practice. Also the subject is such that one can considerably improve his performance and hence score, if properly guided. Clarification of simple concepts and methods can help arrive at the correct answer. The Mathematics test is such that the answer options are generally very similar. The test setters are aware of the mistakes that the examinees tend to make and they calculate the wrong answers accordingly. Hence, if you make a mistake it is likely that you find your wrong answer as one of the options. Be mindful of this important point.

In case you are confident about your capabilities you can go ahead and prepare on your own. Get hold of a few good books, search the net for free resources, take ample practice and mock tests and you shall be able to prepare well.

Else you should look for a source which suits your requirements. There are basically four means of preparation that one can choose from: books, online courses, classroom coaching and software. Each of these means has its inherent merits and demerits and you must thoroughly analyze each option before taking a decision. You cannot afford to change from one source of preparation to another. Apart from the monetary losses involved in doing so, a lot of time is also wasted. Moreover do not switch to another source within two to three days of starting your preparation; take time to see if the source is really worthless before deciding to switch to another source.

Preparing for the  test does not just mean that you are able to solve problems. It also means that you build up your confidence in your capabilities. Confidence plays a very important role in any exam and more so in mathematics tests. If you get stuck at a point and cannot make a breakthrough you might tend to panic. Sometimes it takes mere confidence to tackle such situations. If you lose your cool, you are likely to make mistakes in the questions ahead as well. Endeavour to avoid such situations.

While you attempt the Mathematics test you shall be provided with extra space for the rough work. Moreover the  test is administered in the paper format. This makes it easy for you to go back and forth according to your preferences to attempt the test. Some students prefer to attempt the easier questions before moving on to the difficult ones. This method is particularly helpful while attempting the Mathematics test because all the questions carry equal marks. But in the bargain it is likely that you miss out on some questions or fill in the answers wrongly in the answer sheet. Moreover, you will waste time in deciding which question is easy and which is difficult. Hence you must be conscious of these facts while deciding whether you want to approach the questions sequentially or in a random order.

Your scores in the  test are calculated in two stages. The scaled scores are based on the raw scores. One fourth of the total number of questions answered incorrectly is subtracted from the total number of questions answered correctly. This gives the raw score, which is then converted into scaled score. The scaled scores are within limits of 200 and 990. On an average, a student scores between 440 and 810. In addition to these scores, the percentiles are also reported. A percentile score indicates the percentage of students who score less than the corresponding scaled score. Say your percentile in the test is 89. It means that 89% of the total examinees scored lesser than you. The percentile scores are very important for admission authorities to determine how capable a student is in comparison with others who appear for the same test. Thus it becomes a better indicator of your performance.

In case you are unhappy with your scores, you can retake the test. For this you will have to register again and it might leave you will less or no time for sending scores to colleges before admissions close. Also it has been observed that most retests do not yield the desired increase in scores. Hence it is advised that you give it your best shot in the very first go. So, prepare yourself well for the first test itself rather than investing your time, energy and money again.

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