Like the SAT and ACT, the Graduate Record Exam is your doorway to your next level of education. As far as standardized tests typically go, the GRE is fairly similar to the SAT that you took to get into college. However, if you did well on the SAT, it doesn't necessarily mean that will do well in the GRE. It is important to prepare for it as a new and unique challenge. Besides, the test is meant for someone who has or will soon earn a four year degree. Before you attempt to master the test, be sure to take a look at some of these tips:
Review the Basics
Do you remember the quadratic equation? How about the Pythagorean Theorem? If you these words sound more like science fiction than actual components of basic mathematics then you may have to go back and review. You are not the only one. Many who take the GRE haven't had general education classes for a while. Chances are that you have been focusing on a particular field of study for the past couple years which means you've neglected some subjects that may show up on the test.
Brush up on your geometry and algebra by dusting off old text books even from as far back as high school. Find a practice GRE test and make a note of any subject that you have forgotten.
Study Advanced Words
You may be able to prepare for the math related portions of the exam by reviewing old textbooks but the English and literature based portion is a different story. The GRE may include incredibly advanced words that you may not have seen during the course of your college career. Review common GRE words and make flashcards to help you memorize definitions. It also helps to read as much as possible. The more you emerge yourself in advanced language, the more likely you are to be comfortable with complicated words.
Consider Enrolling in a Prep Course
Although it will cost you some extra money, it may be a good option to enroll in a GRE prep course. Just like an SAT prep course, you can take practice tests, learn study skills and get one on one time with professional GRE tutors. Here are some of the best courses:
- Kaplan is a big name in test preparation and their GRE courses are just as prestigious. They have on-site courses in 41 states, feedback on practice tests and one on one tutoring. Visit the site.
- Another popular test preparation course is the Princeton Review, which offers online and offline courses, flexible tutoring and many practice tests.
- Manhattan Prep also has excellent courses and online tutoring options although they have a limited range of on-site classes.
It does cost a substantial amount of money but the expense may be worth it if it can help you get a better score.
Try all of these tips to see if it helps your score. Make sure to take a few practice tests before the exam day. Once you do take the exam, don't forget that you can take it again if you don't like your score. Schools typically only look at your best score.