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Important Features Of GRE Courses

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Among all GRE preparation methods and techniques, enrolling in full-time courses are the most preferred preparatory method, by students and aspirants. The credit for their choice above all the other methods of preparation like software, flashcards, books etc can be given to the fact that they have a set format of teaching, which creates a schedule for a student, and a step-by-step process that covers the entire GRE syllabus. It is a systematic approach to the syllabus and its practice that allows a linear progression through the course. Another reason for which courses are liked by students and aspirants is that they include the guidance and support of an expert guide or tutor. These guides and tutors impart complete knowledge about the test and its syllabus, and also act as a source of motivation for the aspirants. In the presence of a guide one knows how much focus and stress needs to be given to each section of the test and can prepare accordingly.


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One can take a course by either enrolling oneself in a coaching centre which can be easily located in every city and town nowadays; and those who cannot reach up to these coaching centers can have the facility of these courses in their own houses by the means of online courses. The following paragraphs give information about both types of GRE courses and what features of theirs help one utilize them in the best way.

The Classroom-based Courses

The classroom environment of teachers addressing a group of students about a topic has been accepted by the society since the Vedic times and has been the most prevalent method of teaching. The classroom-based training sessions are also designed on the same lines and teach the students in the traditional way. There are many institutes that offer GRE coaching based on the classroom pattern but one should be careful while making a choice among them so that the time and energy invested by the aspirant in attending them does not go waste and one gets benefited from them accordingly. Here is a checklist of the features that should be sought in the classroom-based courses-


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  • It should be seen that the institute has an established name in imparting coaching for GRE. The scores achieved by the earlier batches of students from the institute should be analysed and if possible their experience of learning there should be interrogated.
  • The learning process depends largely on the teacher or tutor so one should see to it that the institute has a well educated and experienced faculty that is well versed in the field of teaching.
  • Another factor that affects the teaching process is how large the group of students learning is. If the student-teacher ratio is skewed, students will not benefit from the lessons that are given to them. Thus, it is crucial to note that there are small batches of students being handled by the tutors of the institute.
  • The institute or coaching centre should provide the students with quality notes and learning material apart from the classroom lectures. Apt amount of practice for various sections of the test and mock or sample tests should be offered by the institute so that the students are well aware of the test pattern. Along with those, one should consult the official GRE preparation materials as well.
  • The timings on which the classes are held are also important to be seen. Most aspirants are students who have regular education going on along with the GRE preparation. So, it is very important that the timings of the GRE training sessions don’t clash with their regular classes.
  • The last and the most important point to be considered while choosing a coaching center for GRE is the fees. It is not necessary that the institute demanding high fees from the students gives better coaching than those asking for less. Ultimately, it is always the hard-work that an individual puts in and not the fee paid because of which scores are achieved.

Though every city and town has institutes and coaching centers for imparting GRE coaching, there are some prominent organisations that rule this field due to the quality of coaching provided by them. Kaplan’s (http://www.kaptest.com/GRE/Home/index.html), Princeton Review (http://www.princetonreview.com/grad/gre-test-preparation.aspx) and Powerscore (http://www.powerscore.com/gre/content_index.cfm) provide courseson the classroom pattern in their centres and their franchises that can be found all around the globe. The preparation material by these organizations is known for its accuracy and similar is the kind of coaching provided by them. Those students who are situated close to their centres and don’t mind spending a bit more money on the coaching can also take the private tutoring options given by these organisations. They offer complete courses and also separate courses for the individual sections of the test. One can know more about the courses and fee structure of these courses from the websites of these organizations.

The Online Courses

For those GRE aspirants who cannot go to regular classes and tutorials, there is the new age option of online courses. These courses provide training for GRE on the lines of the classroom pattern; the only difference is that there is no actual classroom around the student. The courses have lessons based on the syllabus and supply a large amount of practice material which can be used by the students after being well-versed with the syllabus. These courses are highly suitable for the students who can’t adjust their routine to the timings and schedules of the coaching classes. However, one should look into the following features of online coaching classes before enrolling into them-

  • One should verify before enrolling into an online course that it covers the entire GRE syllabus and has enough practice papers and mock tests for practicing the different sections of the test. Also they should have a time monitoring feature which helps one tackle the time constraint in the final exam.
  • A very important feature of such courses that equates them to the regular training sessions is that they provide the students with the facility of online tutors and guides. One should see to it that the online course which one is looking forward to take up allows the students 24x7 tutor support via web or phone so that doubts and queries can be answered at any moment.
  • The online course that one aspires to enrol into should have the facility of students getting into group discussions so that the classroom-type interaction between the students can be there online. Through this, one doesn’t have the feeling of isolation even though one is studying alone.
  • The one thing that is the basic requirement for taking up an online GRE course is easy access to the internet. It is better that one has a good quality internet connection at home, so that one be in touch with the course material and the online guides at all times. Those students, who can’t access the net easily, should not opt for this option and try to approach GRE through other channels.
  • The most important thing that one has to decide for oneself before taking up an online course is that one should have a self-disciplined approach towards test preparation. If one is not following a disciplined and systematic preparation routine, all the money spent in enrolling for a course could be a drowned amount.

A very famous website that provides online courses is 800score.com (http://www.800score.com/gre-index.html). The website has an in-depth course for the preparation of GRE and has five practice tests based on the revised pattern. Also, the site is known for its unique Time Pacer feature that keeps on making the aspirant aware of the ideal time that should be taken for answering the questions; thus, making the aspirant increase the answering speed. The other websites which have been discussed earlier, i.e. Kaplan’s, Princeton Review and Powerscore.com also offer online courses for GRE preparation.

Whichever kind of GRE preparation methodology might be picked up by an aspirant, what matters the most is the amount of hard-work and perseverance put in while preparing for the test. Even the best and the most expensive study methods and courses can prove to be failures if one doesn’t work hard in the required manner. So, the key to success lies in practice and effort that the aspirant does based on the above explained GRE courses.

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