GRE Preparation Guide For Beginners 2022

If you are looking for information on the GRE Preparation guide you have come to the right place. This article contains information on the GRE and how to prepare for them.

What is GRE?

GRE is an acronym for Graduate Record Examination. It is a test that assesses your ability to excel in studies at the graduate school level. GRE is the graduate school version of the ACT and SAT examinations for undergraduate studies. Universities use your GRE score as a strong determinant for your admission decisions. Each university places its own GRE score requirements. That means that it is best to confirm the university program you intend to apply to before going for the examination.

GRE preparation Guide
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Registration for GRE 2022

Registration for the GRE is online. You will need to create a My GRE Account on the ETS website. After creating, the account, may then, register for the examination on the site. You may choose a computer-based or paper-based examination. You also need to select a date and location while registering. The tests cost 205USD. There is an additional fee of 25USD for late registration, and 50USD for change of test center, rescheduling, and standby test fee.

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Break down of the GRE Format

Here is everything you need to know about the GRE format:

Quantitative reasoning (70 minutes)

This section assesses your basic skills in mathematics, your grasp of mathematical concepts, and your ability to apply these skills to real-world problems. It comprises four parts of questions: multiple choice questions: with one answer, multiple-choice questions with more than one answer, numeric entry questions, and quantitative comparison questions.

Verbal reasoning (60 minutes)

This section of the GRE aims at testing your ability to understand and analyze information from paragraphs, correlate words, and identify parts of sentences and their interactions with each other in a passage. The Verbal reasoning section comprises three parts: reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, and text completion.

Analytic writing (60 minutes)

This section is aimed at assessing your ability to critically think, build on, and creatively analyze an argument. It tests your independent thinking, logical reasoning, and response to another point of view in arguments. It consists of two parts of 3- minutes each. In the first 30 minutes, you are expected to analyze a particular issue and craft a well-written response either proposing or disposing of a particular argument. In the second 30 minutes, you are expected to analyze an argument from a short paragraph and make a specific case by implementing logic and facts.

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GRE Test Subjects

These are the optional subject-specific tests that you can take alongside the GRE. Checking if the university requires an extra test is advised. The GRE subjects are chemistry, biology, mathematics, biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology, physics, literature in English, and psychology.

GRE Scoring

The GRE is scored based on your performance in the examination. This result is valid for 5 years from the year you take it. The grading system is thus:

  • Quantitative Reasoning: 130 – 170 in 1.00 point increment.
  • Verbal reasoning: 130 – 170 in 1.00 point increment.
  • Analytical Writing: 0 – 6 in 0.50 point increment.

Preparation for GRE: Do’s and Don’ts

Before the examination, you SHOULD be calm and take a good night’s sleep, eat a properly balanced diet, ensure your dressing is comfortable and suitable for any temperature, and be at your test center an hour before the exam time.

You SHOULD NOT keep a late night prior to the exam, stress yourself physically or mentally, take test-preparatory books or anything that implicate you to the examination hall, eat poorly, or take caffeinated drinks,

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How Long Does it take to Prepare for the GRE exam?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions for people planning to study for GRE especially beginners. Typically, there is no set time frame to study for GRE.

Some test takers take about two to three months to complete their preparation for the GRE test while some others take either a longer or shorter time to prepare for the test.

However, we will recommend that you only schedule your GRE tests only after you have completed your preparation. That is to say that you can take as much time as needed to complete your preparation.

Studying for GRE

In studying for the GRE, these are some tips that should help you.

1. Choose your course, program

This is simply choosing your examination preparation method. They could be an online program, a test preparatory book, or a preparatory course. This will help guide your steps and push you to achieve your goals.

2. Which books are best for GRE preparation

Books and courses are good aides in preparation for examinations. I have listed books that are the best for GRE preparation below.

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3. Decide your target score

You should decide the score you are aiming to achieve in the GRE, either for excellence or your purpose of taking the GRE (requirements of the university).

4. Build your GRE vocabulary

This goes without saying. You have to build the necessary vocabulary related to GRE. It will make understanding the exam easier, and give you an edge in your answer to the questions, especially the analytical writing. 

5. Set up a GRE test condition

You should test yourself under a mock setting in an actual GRE setting. Consider a sitting arrangement, timing, and no reference setting.

6. Review your scores

Compare your results every time, checking the areas where you need improvement.

7. Practice over and over without calculators.

This is closely related to practicing under a mock exam condition. Take the tests over and over without calculators and assess your performance each time.

How to take GRE test on the D-day: Exam materials/ Things to Avoid

You will find the examination center to be orderly and controlled. The test conditions will not permit your friends and family to wait for you in the examination center. As soon as your seat is assigned, you are not expected to leave your seat except during the ten-minute bathroom break. In addition, you have the opportunity to cancel your score immediately after the examination.

You SHOULD BRING ALONG a valid means of identification, and sometimes, a fingerprint scan is used for verification of identity. In addition, you should present your examination admission ticket, extra HB pencils, and an eraser.

AVOID taking edibles, electronic devices, mechanical pens, calculators, or watch alarms into the exam hall, any additional clothing materials may be searched thoroughly upon entry.

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Getting ready to take the GRE might seem difficult. However, with the GRE Preparation guide, I have presented above, a lot of steps have been simplified. If you follow the guide and prepare properly, you will ace your GRE.

Good Luck!

If you are preparing for IELTS please see our post on the Best IELTS preparation books.

FAQs GRE Preparation Guide For Beginners 2022

What is GRE?
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GRE is an acronym for Graduate Record Examination. It is a test that assesses your ability to excel in studies at the graduate school level. GRE is the graduate school version of the ACT and SAT examinations for undergraduate studies. Universities use your GRE score as a strong determinant for your admission decisions. Each university places its own GRE score requirements. That means that it is best to confirm the university program you intend to apply to before going for the examination.

Why do you need to take GRE?

Your GRE score is a big criterion in the decision-making of your admission processes by the universities. Furthermore, it sharpens your thinking and analytical skills, especially when you spend a good amount of time preparing for the exams.

When do you need to take GRE?

The score obtained from the GRE is valid for only five years. It is advised to take the exam about one year before you start graduate school. This enables you a retake chance if necessary.

Where do you take GRE?

There are about 1 000 test centers in over 150 countries in the world. Mostly, you can take these exams in test centers of universities. It is advisable to take the exam in the centers closest to you. Follow this link to find out what GRE test centers are closest to you.

How long do you need to study for GRE?

It is advisable to give the GRE for about 5 – 12 weeks of dedicated study. You do not need to cram for the exam. It is meant to test your skills and not your memory.

How hard is the GRE?

When compared with other exams like SAT/ACT, the GRE is more difficult. This is because the questions are developed for an advanced level with a trickier presentation of problems, and it has a bigger vocabulary.

Furthermore, in comparison to other higher examinations (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT), it is considered not as difficult as they are. This is because the knowledge required for GRE is more random and less specialized. The questions are relatively less challenging than other graduate examinations. If you read this GRE Preparation Guide properly, you wouldn’t be having any issues with the exam.

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