By now you might have decided to explore the various options for higher education in an internationally reputed university. You have also figured that you will need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). As a GRE Verbal trainer, I have been able to make many observations, which I believe are valuable inputs to be shared with you all. You should keep the following things in mind before you grab the GRE bull by its horns.
- Work on your reading game
While most of you must have heard that vocabulary is the biggest challenge that one faces in the Verbal section, you will be able to hit the real spike in the score only if you can read quickly and effectively, and make the correct sense out of the question content. By that I mean that I have seen many GRE aspirants mugging up meanings of hundreds of words, but are still unable to get the right answer as they cannot comprehend the meaning of the sentence/paragraph in a short span of time. You must read about different topics extensively; start with topics that are of interest, and keep moving towards more challenging ones.
(Tip: You can explore Google Scholar for notching up.)
- Ensure that you have sufficient number of hours per day for the prep
While the best time to prepare for the test are semester breaks (It’s not too early as the scores are valid for 5 years), some of you might have decided to study further while being employed. In that case, you will have to ensure that you set aside 2-3 hours a day just for studying. Lack of regularity can impact the efficacy of the preparation majorly. You might think that you spent a couple of hours learning the meanings of 50 odd words successfully one day. When you revisit those a week later, they can all be a blur. Therefore, constant and cumulative revision/study is the key, and planning the next 3 months for preparation in a way that you have 2-3 hours daily is crucial.
- Take a diagnostic test
Always remember that the GRE tests your level of critical and analytical abilities; it does not compare yours with anyone else’s. So your aim is to better yourself at the game. For that, it is imperative to know where you stand before you dive deep into the preparations. Once you analyze your diagnostic test, that is, see which type of questions you get wrong mostly and why, you will know your pain points. With this approach, your preparation and results will have more precision.
- Drop that Ego
Now, this is something that not many people will tell you upfront. You will be surprised to know that the GRE does not care about your “common sense.” You should take the GRE the way GRE wants you to. In simpler words, there is a way to think/analyze the Verbal Reasoning questions, which will come to you with practice. But the reason I am telling this to you now is so that you do not underestimate yourself or get disheartened when you get the answers wrong in the diagnostic test. It doesn’t mean that you have a low IQ. It only means that you need to learn to approach the questions the GRE way.
I will be sharing more tips with you for your journey via the GRE Verbal section regularly.
Trainer & Counsellor
Imperial Overseas Education Consultants