The GRE is a mind game quite different from the other “Single-Player” games we play. Unfortunately, in this one, we do not have multiple lives. So there is no learning on the game. Why I call it a game is because it plays with your thought process and it is adaptive to your responses. And since you have to attempt the entire test in one go, you have to be well prepared with all your weapons before you start.
Coming to your weapons, GRE expects you to build on certain skills before you take the test. They are expertise in fundamental mathematical concepts like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, data analysis, a strong vocabulary, writing skills and logical reasoning. To be realistic, one can work on these aspects fairly well in around 3 months in regular times. Considering that we are fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic by being locked up in our homes right now, I, as a Verbal Trainer, believe that you can accomplish the same in half the amount of time if you start now. Also, I am quite hopeful that we will be able to get back to normalcy in a month or two. That will be the best time for test takers to book the earliest available dates. As per this timeline, one should be able to take the test around July/August, which is the best time to take the GRE for the next Fall intake.
Now, what should be the plan of action of an aspirant starting tomorrow?
Firstly, take a diagnostic test and gauge where you stand; what are your strengths and weaknesses. Addressing the strengths first, I would like to categorically mention that you ought not to take them for granted as it is imperative to attune oneself with the GRE way of thinking. About the weaknesses, you will have the coming 45 days to work on them. Usually, to run through the entire syllabus of the GRE, I suggest students to give a minimum of 6-9 hours a week. In current times, one can easily spare 12-15 hours a week which amounts to 2 hours a day for the preparation.
Keeping these facts in mind, make sure you apportion 60-70% of the time to the aspects which need some extra attention when you make your study plan. Before you get on with the rigor of the GRE prep, remember that you master this game only by learning the ways in which GRE executes its plan. Through the study, you will spot the patterns eventually. It will then be just about practice. You will be able to hit the score you aspire for your dream university. I hope this blog gives you some perspective for your GRE preparation. You can get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org should you have more questions or need some more hand-holding.
Trainer & Counselor
Imperial Overseas Education Consultants