GRE Prep Guide

What Is Gre Test and Who Needs to Pass It?

Before you proceed we need to define what is the GRE test. GRE stands for a paper-based or computerized exam which contains multiple choices and is a standardized exam that is a requirement for admission of students to graduate programs and business programs on graduate level which are done worldwide.

The Graduate Record Examination was developed to as a means to be used to evaluate and compare the qualifications of applicants and if they are prepared for pursuing academic work at the graduate level and this is important for the business and graduate schools. These schools’ committees for admissions ensure they look at the GRE scores from the GRE exam of the students before admitting them. This also includes checking their academics records and other supporting materials about their academics to see if one can qualify for their studies.

If one has a high score in their GRE test, it will definitely influence their application chances positively. The GRE test is administered all year round and this is done in Parametric GRE test centers and in other centers, it is administered on selected GRE test dates and one should go early to seat for the exam since testing center locations usually fill up during the testing time.

There are also GRE test prep books to help one practice and be ready for the examination, they help you to sharpen up. You can take online or offline GRE courses, or, alternatively, take GRE classes from a private tutor to feel more confident and learn about typical mistakes students make.

Essential Things about the Gre

It is good to understand that GRE test can be administered both in paper or by computer. For you to be successful in it, you have to be familiar with the structure for the GRE test. This test is mainly divided into three main sections and depending on the method of administration, different sections appear before the other.

GRE test is divided into three main sections namely:

  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Analytic writing
  • Verbal reasoning

When GRE test is administered by the computer it starts with the analytic writing section which takes approximately an hour to complete. The verbal reasoning comes next and it takes a maximum of one hour with two sections of twenty questions to be completed in thirty minutes each. Let’s look deep into each section of the GRE test that you will encounter when you are asked to do it in whatever situation:

  • Verbal reasoning

It is good to understand that each section of the GRE test is meant to test a specific skill in you and before you proceed to write it, take your time to identify the objective for that section so that you can reciprocate accordingly. Verbal reasoning for instance, is usually meant to test on the vocabulary skills for the victim. It is also good to note that good reading and definitely reasoning skills will be required for successful completion of this section.

Once you have identified the objective for a particular section, then it becomes easy to customize your responses to meet the needs of the supervisor and hence you will become successful. In this section, it is also good to note that you are likely to encounter three type of questions for your test; text completion, reading comprehension and sentence equivalence. Let’s look at the structure of each of this questions and how to go about it when you come across it.

  1. GRE sentence equivalence- in this question you are required to select two words that would complete a sentence to bring the same meaning for the phrase. In this case you should ensure that both selections are correct an in a case where you get one answer correct and the other wrong then you fail the whole question, they should both be correct. Below are some of the tips that can guide you on answering this types of questions:
  • Read and understand the meaning of the sentence first. You should be able to understand the sentence for you to choose the right word that would fit the blank.
  • Once you have selected your right choice, the second word should just be a synonym of the other, but be keen to ensure it fits the context by rereading it after answering it.
  • Have in mind clue words and their meanings. In most of this questions you get to see that the same words are commonly used and therefore, just as a preparation get to know the meanings of this common words and where they are applied.
  1. Reading comprehension- here what you are tested on is your ability to understand a passage and answer questions from it. You should be able to read through the passage several times, first is to understand the flow and general idea of the passage. Go through the questions then get back to the passage and try finding answers to your questions as you go through it. One skill that you should perfect while going through the comprehension is understanding the attitude and tone of the author, once you understand this then you can easily identify their ideas and hence answering of the questions becomes more simple. It is also good to note that GRE test comprehension questions are not usually more than four and each can take a minute or two to answer.
  2. Text completion- In verbal reasoning, you also have to come across text completion exercise. In this case, each question contains several blanks that you are supposed to fill for it to make sense. For you to correctly complete this texts, you need to understand clues used in construction of that word so as to answer the blanks appropriately. This section is usually composed of ten questions. The test mainly focuses on vocabulary, so for you to excel in it you need to familiarize with GRE word list.
  • Analytical writing

When it comes to the analytic writing, you should note that there are two main sections for this test that you are obliged to satisfy. There is usually an issue and an argument. Since it is more of an essay you will be required to take a position in the topic, give your point and support it adequately. You should be wise in the position that you take in that topic by your ability to support it with relevant examples. The first mistake that you can make is poor choice of your stand, because you will eventually lack points. The time allocated for analytic writing is thirty minutes.

  • Quantitative reasoning

When it comes to Quantitative reasoning then, all you need to know is that it is divided into quantitative comparison and problem solving. In quantitative comparison you will not be required to calculate much and therefore you should not take much time on it. On problem solving, you will need to calculate and interpret some data for you to complete the questions successfully. While preparing for the quantitative reasoning you should carry with you a calculator if it is a paper-based test but if it’s a computer-based you will be provided with an on-screen calculator.

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How Long Is a Gre Test as a Rule?

The total time taken for one to take the GRE test in a day is approximately four hours. It includes the breaks given and the time or taking the actual test.

This is so because the Analytical writing section of the GRE takes 30 minutes per task, Verbal reasoning section takes 30 minutes per section, Quantitative reasoning takes 35 minutes per section, Experimental section or unscored section time varies from 30 to 35 minutes and the short or optional breaks take about 12 minutes making the test approximately 4 hours.

While undertaking the GRE test, it is good that you understand that time is very key because you have several sections to handle and therefore, need to divide your time wisely.

Applicable Gre Score Range and Its Meaning

The performance on the first section of the quantitative and scored verbal sections determines how the subsequent sections of these (quantitative and verbal sections) will be, that is the level of difficulty in the test.

The number of questions which have correct answers from each part of the text is called a raw score. It is then converted to a scaled score. This is referred to as equating. If a student shows good results on the first section, the questions in the second section say of the verbal section will be difficult but this will potentially give him/her a chance for a high score range.

Also, if one performs poorly in the first section, the questions in the second section will be less difficult, and this will lead to a low score band or potential. The Analytical writing section uses a 6-point scale, and each of the essays given gets a score from at least one reader. For a good GRE score, the applicant should consider looking at the minimums (if applicable) or the requirements at the business or graduate programs he or she is applying to know their score baseline.

A Score Select is a feature of the GRE that allows for sending only the scores of the GRE test from any preferred dates of the tests that one wants the schools to have a look at. For example, between 2012 and 2015, the performance of GRE test takers in the verbal score was as follows: the top 10% of all the persons that took the test their scaled score was 162, top 25% was 157, top 50% was 151 and below the 50th percentile of all test takers was 150.

The performance of GRE test takers in quantitative section in these years from 1012 to 2015 was also as follows: top 10% of all the persons that took the test their scaled score was 166, top 25% was 160, top 50% was 153 and below50th percentile of all the test takers was 152.

To be considered a competitive or successful applicant, the average or the mean GRE score of the applicants admitted to doing the test should be deduced. For instance, the score given to the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GRE is 130 to 170, and the mean score for Quantitative reasoning is 163 while that of Verbal reasoning is 161. For Analytical Writing Assessment, the sore given is 0 to 6 in the half point increments, and its mean score is 4.0. That’s all you have to know about the GRE test.