Are you a cricket fan? Have you seen Dhoni’s interview after every match in the IPL? If you watch carefully almost always he talks about focusing on the process, executing the plan and improving upon the mistakes made in the game. And the result is – amazing success in the matches. And that is pretty much what has to happen as your prepare for the GRE to crack it. If you follow a process/plan and execute it you are bound to succeed in the final GRE.
Here is a brief outline of the process/plan:
- Step 1 : Self Analysis
Start with a diagnostic which tells you where you stand. Make a thorough analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Make a study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses.
- Step 2 : Learn
Learn the concepts/strategies and how to apply them. Using good resources is very important where you get to practice test level questions. Getting a good coach can really help who can teach you the concepts and strategies quickly.
In this step, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
For verbal, start building your vocabulary through sentences rather than just rote memorization of words as you need to know the words in context of sentences rather than in isolation. When you attempt sentence completion or equivalence questions first get into the habit of guessing the blanks based on the clues in the sentence and key words and transition words. Do not look at the options until you have a fair idea of what could come in the blank. This strategy alone will ensure a much higher level of accuracy.
For Reading Comprehension, learn the strategy of quick reading first to get the main or central idea of the passage. Often you will find that the author makes the main point in the beginning and/or at the end of the passage. Then as you start the questions, refocus on that part of the passage which the question is referring to. Find the key words and then paraphrase the part of the sentence which the question is referring to. Only then look at the answer options. This art called prethinking is vital to success at the verbal questions. Do not answer questions based on memory alone. Always go back and find evidence in the passage, which is referred to as Evidence based reading. Just following the above strategies along with a sound reading habit developed over a period of 2 or 3 months can ensure you crack verbal with 160+.
For Quant there are many concepts and strategies for each topic viz, numbers, word problems, algebra, geometry, coordinate geometry, sets counting and probability etc. Thus first make sure you learn all the concepts tested in the GRE thoroughly from an expert. I have often seen that it is not the Math where students get caught rather it is the understanding of the questions that they falter. Master this skill of converting the question step by step into equations which you can then solve to arrive at the answer and half of the battle is won.
- Step 3 : Practice
Once you have the concepts and strategies in place, it’s time to put them into practice and apply them consistently and practice atleast 500 quant and 500 verbal questions of the level of difficulty of the GRE. Again getting an access to these test level questions is very important where you can practice the concepts and strategies that you learnt in Step 2.
- Step 4 : Full Lengths
Finally once you are done with the above 4 steps, it’s time to attack the full lengths. Take 1 month out to practice atleast 10 full length mock tests. Make sure that you practice these tests at the same time you plan to write the final test so that your mind is programmed to peak at that time. After each test spend adequate time analyzing thoroughly the mistakes. Identify if the mistakes were silly errors or concept errors. Create a log book where you document these errors and iron out these errors as you proceed from one test to the other.
- Step 5 : Mental state
This is the last but most important piece of the whole process – being in a positive relaxed mental state on the day of the exam. If you have done Step 4 well, that automatically will ensure that you are in a relaxed and positive state. Also what would help is you take out 10 minutes daily from your schedule to mediate. If you know how to visualize, you can also visualize writing the test a few times in your mind and getting your dream score. Research often shows that visualization has helped in the final performance as it prepares and programs the brain and the mind in advance.
Following the above 5 Steps would ensure that you easily sail through the GRE and crack it with the highest score with ease.
Mr. Ankur Rupani
Head of Training and Sr. Counselor
Imperial Overseas Educational Consultants