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Secrets for GRE

Secrets of success in GRE revealed


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Have you made up your mind to pursue higher studies? All you have to do is attend a premiere graduate school of your choice in US, UK, Canada or Australia and carry out your higher studies with Masters in a desired subject. In the fall of every year, these colleges are flooded with applications (about 675000) for admissions. The applicants come from different parts of the world (approximately 230 countries), even from where they do not speak in English. It is not an easy task, neither for the students, to get an entry, nor for the admission committees of the colleges, to select the students.


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All these internationally acclaimed institutes accept the scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) as a major selection criterion for admissions. So, dear aspirant, it is a must to get a high score in this exam and make the job easy for the people managing the college admissions.

Once you know your target, it is time for you to get your books, pen and papers ready and learn the methods to achieve a good score. If you want to stand apart from the thousands of other applicants it is going to be a laborious job, whether you are a full time working professional or a college student. Even if you have a lot of dedication and motivation, the job is not going to be straightforward.

Here are four secrets broken into a step by step process which will guide you for achieving a good score in the GRE.


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Secret 1: What is Revised GRE?

GRE is offered in the form of a General Test and Subject Tests.

The new pattern of Verbal Reasoning excludes the questions on “antonyms and analogies” and includes questions on “text completion” and “sentence equivalence”. In the revised version, there will be more “reading comprehension questions”.

The focus of the Quantitative Reasoning section will be on the basics of mathematics covering arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis, but there will be new “multiple choice” and “numeric entry” types of questions. There will be a new “on-screen calculator” and the scoring scale for this section will be changed.

There is only one change in the Analytical Writing section. There will be only one topic instead of a choice of topics.

To know the question types visit the ETS website.

You can showcase your application if you take the optional GRE Subject Tests. From the official website, www.ets.org, you can learn the scope of the test and the syllabus you need to cover to answer the questions.

Tricks of the trade

Secret one,

  • Learn the revised pattern of the General Test

Secret 2: Know Your Goal

The second secret to success is to know your goal. The goal is the college, in which you want to study. You should know the admission criteria for the graduate school that you wish to join. In addition to the cut-off marks, another important aspect is the time when the institute requires the GRE score. So, based on this you have to decide on the time you take the test. If your scores are not on time, your application will be rejected by the institute. Normally, the test scores are available within two to three weeks of the test. Check the official website, www.ets.org for the test dates and the dates when the scores will be available.

Tricks of the trade

Please note down the tricks of the trade

  • Target score
  • Date of the score availability

Secret 3: Find the Gap

Secret number three – find the gap. The difference between the skill level required for achieving the desired score and your current skill level is the gap. At this point, if you start reading the study materials, it will definitely come to you as an arduous task. You do not know what to read, which are the areas you need to stress more upon and what your strengths are. End result will be a score which is of no use. Your aim might just reduce to a numeric figure, if you do not know your present level of expertise. It is most important to take a self diagnostic test. There are free diagnostic tests available online. Once you register for GRE, ETS website offers you free software called Powerprep, which includes a diagnostic test as well. It uses the actual scoring algorithm. All the statistics of your current skill level will guide you to perform a gap analysis between your current level and the target score. Analyse the test scores and the statistics to find out the weak areas and the strong areas. It will help you to identify the gaps. Next task would be a little easy, as it would be to bridge the gaps and reach the target.

Tricks of the trade

Before you start on anything

  • Take a self diagnostic test
  • Analyse the score to find your strengths and weaknesses.

Secret 4: Bridge the Gap

Now, you know your areas of strengths and areas of weaknesses. This is your preparatory stage. This is your most important secret - Bridging the gap and to work hard where you need it most. Simply studying and breaking your head is not going to solve the problem. Stressing on the areas which you like the most will not take you nearer to the goal. Rather you have to concentrate on the weaker areas. This requires a comprehensive study plan. Anything done without a plan is destined to fail. You have to plan your areas of study and the time you need to devote to get ready for taking the GRE.

Decide upon a good preparatory course. A lot of courses are available online which impart training through virtual classroom session mode. Study materials are made available by them. These materials will help you revise or learn the best method to approach a certain kind of quantitative problem. Along with these, high school books are handy for strengthening your fundamentals. Do keep some time to cover up the questions on data analysis, because you must not have learnt this part in your high school studies. Keep some time for the Verbal Reasoning section. It is a section which is newly designed. Analytical Writing section is an area of utmost importance. Two essays one each for “analysis of an issue” and “analysis of an argument” are to be written.

An integral part of your study is periodic re-evaluation. You have to consider periodic re-evaluation followed up by corrective measures. Find a repository of questions, which you can use for the practice re-test. The online trainings also have good question banks. These mock tests will assess you in all the parameters and provide you with the scores. These scores are your corrective measures. Work on the corrective measures before you take the test again. This is going to be an iterative process.

Tricks of the trade

The process of bridging the gap is a step by step approach

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • Plan your study comprehensively considering the number of hours required and weak areas which needs to be stressed more
  • Decide whether you require professional help
  • Special care for data analysis
  • Work hard on the Verbal Reasoning section
  • Practice your essay writing skills
  • Re-evaluate
  • Work on the errors again
  • Re-evaluate

The Last Word of Advice

You need to remain focused and motivated. Work on your routine and work hard for your dream project. Follow the schedule you have prepared for yourself. There is no magic which is going to work for a good test score. Be disciplined and spend ample time in your study room.

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  • Verbal - 166
  • Quans - 170
  • Total - 336
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