GRE Study continued
For the quantitative section you shall have to prepare mathematics taught to you as a compulsory subject in school. You shall require the knowledge of concepts and formulae of algebra, arithmetic, geometry and data interpretation. Mathematics is all about practice but for the GRE you will have to learn how to estimate as well. It is not just actual calculations but your ability to estimate or arrive at the answer by incomplete calculation is also tested. The quantitative comparison questions deal with this. Hence you will have to learn tricks and short cuts for estimation. On the other hand the questions on problem solving require hard work. Here you will have to practice to get accurate results and estimations can not be considered. Firstly, you must revise all the concepts and then you can get hold of a question bank and start solving the problems given. Remember that you have to keep in mind the time constraints. Learn tricks of quick calculations and keep a track of how much time you take to solve problems. You don't want to leave those problems which you know because of shortage of time. For the third type of questions you should get knowledge of all types of graphs, tables and charts. The questions based on these charts are easy provided you know how to interpret the data and take readings from the graphs and figures.
For the analytical writing section you can look for a reliable source which can guide you. You need to understand the question types first as they can be misleading. Most students do not know how to handle this section as they are misguided about what is to be written. Gain information about them, go through some written essays, take note of the questions which appear and start practicing them accordingly. You must be careful that you structure your content well. The points should be given in a systematic and logical manner. The essay should start with an introduction and end with a conclusion. The time you take to write the essay should also be checked, don't write an essay in 2-3 hours and feel happy about it. Also keep time to revise the essay once you have finished writing. Since the time in the exam is very less you will hardly be able to think much and will be expected to start right away. Thus you must have enough practice of writing the essays. If you practice your brain gets conditioned in such a way that the points start flowing one after the other in a logical manner and you don't have to bother much.
There are a number of sources which help in the test preparation. You can buy one or two books from the market and study on your own. Or else a few of your friends can accompany you. Look for a book which has a CD of instructions and practice tests. There are some coaching centers which provide a variety of study programs. They provide classroom tuitions, private tuitions or tuitions in small groups. You can choose what suits you best. Some centers also give you the option of studying online. They will offer courses of different types, in some you can take an online course lasting 3-4 weeks while in some your learning is supported with the option to get guided by instructors online. It is very important for you to take a few practice tests, so check with the tuition centers if they have a provision for this. If you have to take the CAT then you must take the computer based tests in the centers. If you are preparing on your own then see if you have an option to take only the practice tests in some center. The practice of the complete test two to three times before the exam is indispensable. It gives you ideas of how the test is and how well prepared you are. It is also advisable to keep a check on your preparation and see how your preparation is coming around. For this you can use some self assessment techniques from time to time.
If you are aware of what you have to prepare for, the format of the test and the syllabus that you have to cover then you can prepare in a more organized manner; you do not waste your energy and time doing irrelevant topics. So it is a prerequisite that you know what the test is like: get more information about what is required for preparation, what sources would be best suited to your requirements and then start the preparation. Preparation is sure to give you results, provided it is systematic and timely.
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