The GRE exams are a stressful time for everyone. You’re definitely not the only one who is feeling that cold trickle of panic when thinking of taking the GRE. While everyone has their own study process, knowing a few simple tips and tricks, such as how to best retain information and how to get the most of your study time can go a long way.
You want to feel as prepared as possible, and able to go into the GREs feeling confident and ready. Here are a few ways you can put your best studying foot forward, to do just that.
Set Yourself a Goal
Before you crack open that textbook or study guide, set a goal for yourself: you can do this by listing out your top choices for graduate programs, schools and careers you’re interested in, and seeing what your top score must be to get into these programs. Set yourself a goal that is challenging, but attainable. If you have a score in mind, something to visualize, your chances of reaching that goal are much higher. It’s all about putting it out there and seeing it to fruition.
Courses and Books
There are myriad different courses and books out there to prep you for the GRE, but not all are created equal. It’s best to choose a course of study that coincides with your own study style; something that you can follow easily, that you find engaging and easy to work through. Whether that’s an online course, a study guide, a textbook or a combination of the three is up to you. Resources like My GRE Exam Preparation can be really helpful, pointing you to all sorts of different online resources in one place.
People are often really divided on whether or not to take practice tests – some people swear by them, and some absolutely refuse. If you ask us, it’s a good idea to take a few. No, they won’t be exactly like the real thing. And yes, on the day of the exam things can go awry, there are variables, etc. But taking a practice test can’t hurt, right? Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, we say.
If you can afford it, hiring a tutor can put you leaps and bounds ahead when it comes to GRE prep. Tutors are worth every penny; not only are they trained to best prep you for the GRE, but they’ve already been through it themselves and can give you an account of what it’s like, helpful tips, advice and more. Plus, it’s just true that studying with another person (especially someone in the know) helps you retain more information and shoot for higher goals.
GRE Prep is stressful no matter how you slice it. But if you utilize good studying skills and follow the tips we’ve laid out, you’ll have a much better chance of not only passing but doing really, really well. The GRE doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you're well prepared. Set that goal and reach it!