How to Study for the GRE on Your Own: 7 Best Success Tips Plus Guide

If you’re trying to figure out how to study for the GRE on your own, you probably have some questions!  What’s the best GRE study guide and way to prep?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examinations, offers a gateway to graduate and business schools.  While those entering medical school or law school take other tests, those interested in most liberal arts fields, education, and some business program will be looking to take the GRE.  And like all the standardized tests, the better your scores, the more options you have available for schools as well as financial aid.

GRE Study Plan

But students also lead busy lives and ensuring you have time to focus on the GRE may not always seem possible. So just how long does it take to study for the GRE? The short answer is, however long you have! You can have a GRE study plan 3 months long and some are longer and some are less.

Naturally, the longer you have the more likely you are to achieve a higher score, but there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success without the luxury of time. This is your guide on how to study for the GRE and how to create an effective GRE study plan.

What is Involved in the GRE General Test?

There are three sections in the test;

  • analytical writing,
  • quantitative reasoning, and
  • verbal reasoning

The test can be taken as many times as you like, but considering there is a cost with each attempt it is best to adequately prepare so you can achieve your desired result the first time around. Your confidence level may also take a hit with each unsuccessful attempt, so do it once and do it right!

Let’s look at the test sections in further detail.

Analytical Writing – this section requires focused responses that articulate complex ideas that are supported with relevant reasons and examples. You must examine claims and evidence, and maintain a concentrated discussion with a high level control of standard written English.

Quantitative Reasoning – this section examines your ability to understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information. You will use mathematical models to solve problems and your basic skills of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis will be tested. You are allowed to use a calculator when completing this section.

Verbal Reasoning – here you will analyze and draw conclusions, identify the author’s assumptions and/or perspectives, and understand the author’s intent in a literal and figurative manner. You will be tested on your ability to summarize text, selecting the key points from the text as well as understanding the structure of the text. Your understanding of the meanings of words and sentences will be tested, as will your ability to recognize relationships between words and concepts.

One really important point to remember about this test!  Questions on the test can be skipped and you can return to them later.  Plus, you also have the opportunity to change any answers before submitting your test. Now let’s move on…

How to Prepare and Study for the GRE

The skills required to succeed in the test are developed over a period of time and not related to any particular field of study. For this reason, preparation is crucial to success. Unlike many other examinations, where content can be revised and learned, the GRE measures your ability to respond to the information given.

The good news here is that you will already have acquired many of the skills required, you just have to put them into practice. By gaining an understanding of the types of questions asked in the test, you will be able to confidently answer the questions accurately. Here are some ways to prepare and study for the GRE that guarantee success.

  1. Spend the Time You Need

Like many other examinations, last minute studying is not useful. The more time you spend preparing for the GRE, the better your results will be. It is recommended that you spend 4-12 weeks developing your skills for the test. This is quite a broad timeframe, the lower end of the scale should be achievable by just about any student that focuses on their preparations. Naturally, spending more time will result in the best outcome possible.

  1. Create a Study Plan or Schedule

Base your GRE study plan on how much time you have. A longer timeframe may mean that you can spend less hours each week, allowing for many of your job and social commitments to continue.

While the GRE should be one of your top priorities, it can be easy to procrastinate if you prepare too far in advance. Breaking your study time into manageable chunks will help eliminate the possibility of procrastination.

Regardless of how much time you have to prepare, make sure you allocate sufficient time to study. Write down when you will be studying, and what you will study – use a schedule, pen and paper, calendar, or even input it into your phone and set reminders if you have to! This way nothing gets missed and you will still have time to enjoy a positive social/study balance.

  1. Study Sample Questions

One of the very best ways to study for the GRE on your own is to complete as many practice tests and questions as you possibly can. As already stated, the GRE doesn’t really require you to learn a large amount of new content, but instead it tests your ability to respond to certain types of questioning. The most effective way to learn how to respond to GRE questions is to do them!

Even if you only have a limited amount of preparation time, completing sample questions is an incredibly useful way to spend your time. Make sure you complete the questions within a time-restricted period to simulate actual test conditions. This will also help you develop coping strategies to deal with the pressure involved on test day.

  1. Make Each Day Count

The best GRE study plan is one that includes study time practically every day. This way you will be able to build upon your skills and knowledge. Studying for a large amount of time one day a week is far less effective.

To start with, your learning capacity diminishes with each hour of studying (just like your muscles become fatigued the longer you exercise).

Secondly, if you have a long period between each study session you are likely to forget what you have previously learned which means more time spent relearning what you already learned.  Does that seem smart?

You Might Also Be Interested in: 25 Study Tips You Need Now

Studying almost every day (it’s important to have a break too, remember) allows you to sufficiently build upon your knowledge and the repetition means it is more likely to be committed to your memory.

  1. Personalize Your Program

By understanding your own strengths and weaknesses you will be able to cater to your specific needs. One of the easiest ways to do this is to sit with a practice exam, under timed conditions, right at the beginning of your preparation period. This will highlight the areas you need to spend the most time on and allow you to allocate your study time accordingly.

Spend more time on the areas you find difficult, or on the subject areas that are most relevant to your educational goals. Your program will also need to be reflective of how much time you have to prepare. If you are really short on time, you may need to choose only a few areas to focus on as you probably won’t have enough time to successfully improve all of your weak areas.

  1. Use Online Tools

In the modern day of the internet, just about everything is at your fingertips. Preparing for the GRE online is a simple way to ensure you are studying practically and effectively.

Many first class, online prep courses come at a cost, but if you can afford it they can be worthwhile. These courses do require some kind of intrinsic motivation in order to develop successful results. If you are more of a people person, try investing in a personal tutor.

  1. Use a Tutor

You may be keen to figure out how to study for the GRE on your own, but using a tutor can significantly improve your results. Meeting regularly with a professional tutor will help you remained motivated and focused.

They can offer valuable tips and advice on how to best work on your own during your other study sessions, whilst keeping you on track with some valuable one-on-one time.

Finding a good tutor can be difficult. They need to not only have the knowledge and skills to teach you, but also understand your goals. A personality match is also crucial – feeling comfortable around your tutor will ensure you ask plenty of questions and are honest about your understanding of key concepts. Check out the following link to find a highly qualified GRE tutor in your area!

Overall, sitting and taking the GRE does not need to become a stressful event. Understanding how the test works, the types of questions asked, and implementing some valuable study tips will ensure you achieve the results you need to take your education to the next level.

Good luck with your GRE study plan and let us know what you did and how to study for the GRE on your own?

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Best GRE Prep Guide: How to Easily Get the Score You Deserve

We’ve created our best GRE prep guide to help you easily prepare for your upcoming exam!  The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is the key exam that is required to gain entrance to many graduate programs and some business schools.

A successful test prep and solid score will open up schools as well as financial opportunities that you haven’t explored yet. Whatever the reason for taking the exam, success in this standardized test is crucial. So how to you prepare and study for this unique examination? This guide will help you understand what is involved in the GRE and how you can best prepare yourself to do well on the GRE to achieve the results you deserve.

GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test

The GRE General Test features questions that are relevant and useful to the courses you will be taking at graduate or some business schools. The General Test is all you need to gain entry to your desired institution, however, if you are planning on majoring in a specific subject area, then the GRE Subject Test will help set you apart from your competitors. If you have an undergraduate major or extensive background knowledge in any of the following areas, the GRE Subject Test may be an additional test that you want to consider;

Our review guide will look at the GRE General Test, but it is worth considering taking the Subject Test as an extra test option if you feel it will broaden your opportunities that you hadn’t thought of before now.

Best GRE Prep – What is the GRE General Test?

There are three sections in the GRE General test;

  • Analytical writing
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning

The test can be taken on a computer or on paper, though it’s moving quickly to only being able to be done online. In this test you have the opportunity to skip questions that you don’t feel comfortable with, as well as the opportunity to go back and change your answers. If success doesn’t come the first time around, you may re-sit the test. This may sound appealing (and make you think you don’t really need to prepare for it), but the cost for the test must be paid with each attempt so figure out whether or not you want to put in a bit of time to get the results.

GRE Test Sections: What’s Included

Analytical Writingthis section requires focused responses that articulate complex ideas that are supported with relevant reasons and examples. You must examine claims and evidence, and discuss with well written English.

Quantitative Reasoning – this section examines your ability to understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information. You will use mathematical models to solve problems and your basic skills of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis will be tested. You are allowed to use a calculator when completing this section.

Verbal Reasoning – here you will analyze and draw conclusions, identify the author’s assumptions and/or perspectives, and understand the author’s intent in a literal and figurative manner. You will be tested on your ability to summarize text, selecting the key points from the text as well as understanding the structure of the text. Your understanding of the meanings of words and sentences will be tested, as will your ability to recognize relationships between words and concepts.

 

How to Prepare and Study for the GRE

The skills required to succeed in the test are developed over a period of time and not related to any particular field of study. For this reason, preparation is crucial to success. Unlike many other examinations, where content can be revised and learned, the GRE measures your ability to respond to the information given. By gaining an understanding of the types of questions asked in the test, you will be able to develop the skills to answer the questions accurately and confidently. The following five points are easy ways to prepare and study for the GRE to ensure your greatest success.

  1. Best GRE Prep Means Spend the Time Preparing

Like many other examinations, last minute studying is not useful. The more time you spend preparing for the GRE, the better your results will be. It is recommended that you spend 4-12 weeks developing your skills for the test. Naturally, spending more time will result in the best outcome possible.

  1. Create a Study Plan or Schedule

While success in the GRE should be your priority, the fact is that life often gets in the way. Job commitments, exercise, social engagements, and relationships must also take place. In order to spend the necessary time preparing for the GRE, you need to make sure you allocate enough time. Take a look at your week and designate certain times to study, as well as what you will study in each session. Be prepared to make some sacrifices, but remember that it will only be for a short while. Your study schedule needs to be realistic, specific, achievable, and flexible. Use an old fashioned, pen and paper diary or calendar, or schedule study sessions into your phone.

  1. Study Sample Questions

There is no point spending hours and hours preparing for the GRE if you aren’t preparing effectively. It can be easy to get carried away reviewing content that is not relevant to the examinations. The most valuable method of studying is to focus on practice and sample questions. These give you an excellent understanding of the type of questions that will be asked. Sample questions are easy to find, as are explanations for the correct answers to help ensure you are practicing correctly.  There’s online sources, review books to name just a couple!  Also, don’t forget to try timed sample questions. This helps simulate the time pressure of being in the actual exam.

  1. Personalize Your Program

By understanding your own strengths and weaknesses you will be able to create a study and test prep plan that meets your specific needs. Take a sample full test and see where you are weakest and work to build up those areas. Definitely spend more time on the areas you find difficult, or on the subject areas that are most relevant to your educational goals.

  1. GRE Prep Books – Additional Resources That Work

After you understand what you need to know and how the test is laid out, it’s time to find the right study material. GRE exams are quite common in the US, and you can find prep books in any library or bookshop, all you need to do is start the hunt and find the best ones. Check the official site and see what they recommend. Ask your local librarian if he or she has any other manuals to help you out and take them too. It’s important you find the right sources for studying with up to date information and correct answers.  We’ve collected a list of some of our favorites, Check Them Out HERE

 

  1. Find a GRE Tutor Near You

Enlisting the help of a professional tutor will help you remain motivated and on the right track to success. They are able to provide valuable feedback and you can really fine tune your skills in the one-on-one environment, whether it’s an online tutor or in home tutor option. A good local GRE tutor  or GRE tutor online will be able to assist with your study schedule, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and respond accordingly.

Finding a good tutor can be difficult. They need to not only have the knowledge and skills to teach you, but also understand your goals. A personality match is also crucial – feeling comfortable around your tutor will ensure you ask plenty of questions and are honest about your understanding of key concepts. Check out the following link to find highly qualified GRE tutors in your area: http://www.PrivateTutoringAtHome.com/GRE/

Overall, sitting for the GRE  does not need to become a stressful event for you if you prepare correctly. Understanding how the test works, what are the different types of questions asked, and then implementing some valuable study tips will help you to achieve the results you need to take your education to the next level. Using the best GRE prep tools and taking the time that’s needed is all that you have to do. Good luck and let us know how it turns out for you!

Enjoy All The Benefits

You don’t pay your first hour unless you find it a good fit.

Only pay for the time you need.

No subscriptions or upfront payments.

Find Tutors Near You

- OR -

call us for free to setup tutoring

(800) 417-9186
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