GRE which stands for Graduate Aptitude Test is one of the most widely accepted scores in foreign institutions if you want to pursue higher studies in the field of MBA (Masters of Business Administration), MS (Master of Science) and more. GRE is administered by the ETS(Educational Testing Service). Strategic planning is a key requirement for all GRE aspirants to be in the top scorers. We shall further discuss the syllabus breakdown and make our preparation easy by following a very technical approach.
Understanding the GRE and its syllabus
The GRE might just be a tuff nut to crack and be very stressful at the same time. So we need to familiarize ourselves with the exam pattern and exam syllabus. It is of two types majorly:
- GRE General Test
- GRE Subject Test
The GRE General test is required by nearly every top tier graduate school or university across the world. Most colleges’ prefer this score as it gives a comprehensive idea of the candidate’s performance in verbal, math and critical thinking which are the major components of the exam. This score is combined with other parameters such as GPA, work experience, etc to produce a merit list. If the course applied by the candidate comprises math, science or is research-related then GRE scores near to mandatory in most cases.
The GRE Subject test is all about top tier colleges and course-specific requirements. The world’s best colleges such as Yale University, The New York University, Stanford University and many more are some of the colleges that require GRE Subject test score for admission into their graduate programs of Math, English, etc. The GRE subject test is allowed in almost six different subjects such as Biology, Literature, English, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.
The two formats in which the GRE is conducted are:
- Computer-based test
- Paper-based test
The candidates need to understand that the GRE is an adaptive test i.e. the way you perform determines the difficulty level of the next questions. Hence, a computer-based assessment provides a better understanding of the candidate’s ability than the paper-based assessment. In the computer-based test, the scores are displayed immediately after the exam but the candidates have to wait for some time after giving the exam i.e. between 7 to 10 days to get the results. The GRE is taken by thousands of students every year. So candidates need to fix their time before the exams so they at least have 3 months beforehand for best outcomes.
The English language, its concepts, correct grammar usage, learning vocabulary and tit-bits of the language is not something that anybody can remember. It only comes with usage and daily life inclusion which every GRE aspirant should take note of. Here are some pro tips for the verbal section.
- The reading comprehension section is certainly tricky because it comprises of both multiple-choice questions, more than more option correct type and all answers are correct types as well. Hence, we need to understand the basic concepts and daily reading comprehensions.
- Candidates should understand subject-verb agreement in-depth as it is one of the key concepts which can significantly improve marks in the verbal section. This concept will help you solve all questions coming from spotting the error type, text completion type questions, etc. It involves understanding tenses as well so by completing this section we can also cover tenses simultaneously.
- To ace the verbal section, the candidates have to be fluent in one other section apart from the above-mentioned points that being vocabulary. The traditional type of question which come in GRE is the sentence equivalence questions which comprise six options. Here vocabulary plays a role like none because the answer might not just be one of the six but more than one. Hence, the greater the vocabulary the more acquainted we shall be with the options and more probability of scoring marks.
- The first and foremost rule to solve quantitative aptitude is to understand the basics of mathematical calculations rather than formulae’s and shortcuts. For example, we know that Speed is equal to distance upon a time. This remains unchanged and all formulae’s are derived from this formula. There are formulae’s to calculate average speed, relative speed, race-based problems, track-based problems, etc but all of these types can be solved using the basic formula but all require different formulae’s. Hence, basic conceptual clarity matters significantly.
- GRE comprises of questions wherein we have to manually type the answer and if you can eliminate options and select the correct option which in most cases works as an efficient and method but can land you in trouble here. So, it is advisable to solve questions manually and achieve a higher question-solving rate.
- Owing to its high standards GRE has a unique combination of questions which also include comparison questions in the quantitative section which involve very few mathematical calculations and more understanding the questions by comparison and its theoretical structure which requires a lot of practice.
- This section can seriously give you some serious headaches if you are not sharp enough to draw quick and precise conclusions from events. There would be a completely unknown situation or argument provided and we have to work on it.
- One of the most simple and effective preparation tips is to read news blogs in newspapers, read journals and try to summarize them and form an opinion about them in the closest possible manner. Apart from this candidates should start reading summaries that would help them understand wrapping up long stuff into small.
Brush up tips
- Refer to multiple sources for preparation purpose. Especially GRE material and samples available on the official website.
- Don’t stress too much on calculations as a calculator is provided in both online and paper-based exams. So, focus more on understanding the core concepts of quantitative aptitude rather than practising fast calculations.
- Prepare for English every day and try to acquire more vocabulary or else it can result in bad consequences. At least 5-10 new words and 30-40 new words per week should be an ideal target for vocabulary. It is very much possible if consistency is maintained.
- Do not overdo anything strictly adhere to the syllabus and prepare for what is coming in the exam. We should intend to master any subject especially quantitative aptitude because GRE is different from other exams and the difficulty level is different. So, the exam-oriented approach is one of the major factors to crack the GRE.
- Don’t stop believing in yourself, GRE is something that can be done and a good score is inevitable if you maintain consistency for a few months.