Courses for GRE Prep

Why a GRE prep course?

Earning an admission in a graduate school in America and in many other countries of the world requires a good score in Graduate Record Examination (GRE) tests. The GRE tests are designed to test your ability in Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical writing abilities. It is not easy to obtain a high score in general tests without thorough preparation and practice. There are different methods of study for the test namely, an online tutoring system, a nearby coaching center, hiring a one-to-one tutor or self study. It is your decision to adopt the method of study, but the amount of time you spend in studying does not guarantee a high score in the tests. As a test taker you have to acquire certain skills by regular practice which is required to crack the tests with good score. Students are generally encouraged to take up a preparation course which will help them in acquiring skills, understanding the nature of questions and the right approach to attempt the questions to help them obtain a good score.

What do GRE Prep courses offer

The preparation courses for GRE are designed to enhance the student’s skills on being persistent with focused thinking; inductive and deductive reasoning abilities; knowledge on words usage, math, working with agility; ability to decide and remain focused in pressure situations and problem solving skills. Further, preparation courses also help the students on working at the right pace with each section so you learn how to manage time to answer all the questions in a section. Many courses are available on the internet, some sites offer courses as a free service, however some websites charge a fee for taking their courses online. We shall discuss a few websites which offer preparation course online.

The Official ETS website - (www.ets.org/gre)

The right place to look for detailed information on GRE. The website has a separate section with links to prep courses and materials and downloads. You can obtain free question types for all the sections, quantitative, verbal and analytical writing. The site also provides tips and test taking strategies, general advice for each section, sample questions and scoring guides. In addition to these, the site also provides a free software namely POWERPREP II, which will work similar to the actual test taking experience. This can be used for practice if you are taking the computer based test. The site also has many practice resources in PDF format for free download. The site also has a priced download section which has the Official guide to the GRE and ScoreItNow, an online writing practice facility which helps you to practice for the writing section in the general test. The URL to access the above facilities is:

http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/

Princeton Review - (http://www.princetonreview.com/grad/gre-test-preparation.aspx)

The Princeton review website provides comprehensive preparation courses related to GRE. The courses offered here are designed to suit your personalized learning styles, budget and schedule. The website offers expert training and guarantees a good score in the test. The site offers different options of courses so you can choose the most convenient one for you. The options available are:

  • (i)Private tutoring where a dedicated tutor will meet your individual needs;
  • (ii)Small group instruction allows you to develop confidence and helps you to build on your test taking skills in a small class room setting with instructions;
  • (iii)GRE classroom option is provided for students to be grouped by shared strengths and weaknesses and you are provided individual attention;
  • (iv)GRE essentials option provides you with comprehensive study materials, focused instruction and computer based practice tests;
  • (v) GRE online course offers an online version of courses to students wanting to prepare at their own pace.
  • (vi)Finally if you wish to study by self, there are links to books to prepare which are popular. This is popular among students and on the whole a good site or serious test takers.

Kaplan Test Prep - (www.kaptest.com)

A very popular website among students taking the GRE test, this website has been providing preparation course services for the last 40 years. The benefits of joining the preparation courses in this website are many. The highlights of Kaplan test preparation are:

  • (i)A one to one tutor based personalized learning facility.
  • (ii)On-demand GRE service where you can enroll and prepare at your own pace.
  • (iii)The site provides video instructions from wherever you want. The site features a classroom anywhere feature which offers you the facility to interact with an expert teacher, who will deliver instructions online and is a live system.
  • (iv)The website also offers a large question bank and a library to students who are enrolled, with personalized learning options with computer based practice tests.
  • The Kaplan website is priced slightly high and offers you a money back guarantee in case the scores are not improving during the course of study.
www.800score.com/

This website provides affordable preparation courses with lots of resources for test takers and offers free downloads of course materials and tests. This website offers a 24-hour tutor support, a GRE pacer which helps you in managing your time on test day and provides practice tests as per CAT format. This website is also a useful resource for test takers.

Choose a GRE prep course that meets your requirements

While you have made up your mind to appear for a general test it is important to understand that you have to plan your study to derive maximum benefit for the amount of time you spend in preparing for the tests. Normally, your study plan can be of 16 week duration, because most of the preparation courses offered are for 8-12 weeks duration. The remaining weeks can be spent usefully for practicing the tests and understanding how to manage your time on test day so you attempt all the questions with confidence. If you want to study on your own, you have the option of taking up free practice tests which are available online on the internet, like the Powerprep II software offered by ETS for practice. If you opt for tutor based training in a classroom setting, the price varies with each coaching institute. Taking up a course in a classroom setting has its benefits, but the price will be high compared to online courses available on the internet. Popular websites like Princeton review and Kaplan have priced their preparation courses around US$500. Their price varies for each type of  course being offered and based on the facility associated with each preparation course. Most of the preparation courses available can be customized to suit your learning style, the time you want to spend for preparation and the money you can afford on a  course. So, it is for the student to decide what is best for him or her considering these factors and offers that are available while preparing for GRE.