When it comes to tests, there are enough acronyms to make your head spin. Luckily, we’re here to help you understand each test, what it entails, and most importantly how to prepare for it. You may not know of the Graduate Record Exam, also known as the GRE. If you’re still in high school, or your student is, this test is a little ways off, but no less important than say, the SAT or the ACT.
Each year, over 700,000 students take this exam, and while it is similar in many ways to its relative, the SAT, this exam does have several major differences that are worth noting. As we explore the differences and focal points of this exam, we’ll also show you the best GRE prep courses to try, or perhaps we’ll just show you the best one, period. You’ll just have to keep reading and see.
The Structure of the GRE
The GRE exam has three major sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. For the first section, the test taker has two 30-minute segments to finish an equal number of 20 question sets. The next section, quantitative reasoning, has two sets of 20 questions as well, with 35 minutes to finish each one. Finally, the analytical writing segment is composed of two essays, with 30 minutes to write each one.
The verbal and quantitative sections are graded on a 130-170 point scale in one point increments. The analytical writing section is rated on a 0-6 scale in half-point increments. Because the GRE is a computer-adaptive test, you won’t be using a pencil or scantron sheets. In fact, since the test is digitized, the difficulty of the questions will be based on the correctness of the answers to the prior questions. If you do extremely well on the first set of 20 questions, the next set will be augmented in difficulty.
Knowing the structure of the exam is only half the battle though. Even if you scored massively well on your SAT score, and you had a solid college GPA, you’ll still need some sort of preparation for this exam. The score of the GRE is used for college graduates as a gateway to enter prestigious graduate schools and business colleges, so the difficulty will be ramped up significantly.
Tips for Taking the GRE, Prep Courses to Look For
Even knowing the importance of the GRE, all that’s needed to achieve success in this test is a strong understanding of the content, and plenty of preparation prior to taking the exam. Before we delve into the ideal prep course for the GRE, let’s examine a few key tips that you should keep in mind when completing your preparation course, and studying for the exam in general.
1. Return to the Basics
After grinding your way through college, many of us tend to forget the basic aspects of math especially. Do you remember all the basic formulas and rules that apply to algebra and geometry? I know I don’t, and the quantitative portion of the GRE relies heavily on thes basic approaches and concepts when presenting more complicated mathematical equations.
2. Regular Reading Goes A Long Way
In regards to complexity, the verbal section of the GRE also pulls from high school level concepts. That being said, it helps immensely to be well read and versed in higher level vocabulary when going into the GRE. Students that are still in college should take care to read as many different books as possible during their time in school. A basic understanding of vocabulary is enough to get by, but an advanced knowledge is truly needed to maximize the verbal and writing scores.
3. Take a Preparation Course
The director of test preparation for Kaplan, Andrew Mitchell, has said that the GRE is designed to test student’s critical thinking skills, and not particularly what they learned in college. Even with stellar grades, and constant studying, critical thinking may not be a naturally occurring skill for many individuals.
“It’s worth investing some time and money in preparing for the GRE. Critical thinking is something that’s hard to change overnight because it’s such a lifelong skill. We try to help people unlock their critical thinking skills by getting more familiar with the test and more familiar with proven methods,” Mitchell said.
So, what’s the best preparation course for the GRE? It’s time to find out.
The Ultimate Choice: The SAT Preparation Group
Since 2001, the SAT Preparation Group has been providing students around the world with top quality training and preparation for all the major exams that students encounter in their careers. From the SAT, to the ACT, to the GRE, the results have been outstanding year in and year out. This is due in part to the elite premium coaches, and the individualized training the group provide; tailored to the specific student’s needs.
In-home and online courses are available. No matter where the student lives, or how busy their schedules are, the SAT Preparation group is ready and willing to provide the finest test preparation. Proven results, consistent success, and a team of unrivaled coaches make this the ultimate choice among GRE prep courses.
SAT Preparation Group advises in test prep, college planning, and success strategies for teens. Call Us Today at 877-672-8773 or click here for a free consultation.