As your GRE test approaches, it’s perfectly natural to feel jittery and anxious. This standardised test acts as a gateway to many master’s and PhD programmes, and the pressure to perform well can be immense. But conquering the GRE is absolutely achievable, and with the right approach, you can transform test-day anxiety into a confident focus.

This blog will bring together all the help you need while navigating the GRE. We’ll explore what Graduate Record Examination (GRE) actually is, delve into effective study strategies, and equip you with techniques to tame test-day nerves. So, grab a cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer!), settle in, and let’s conquer this academic hurdle together.

In this blog:

## What is the GRE and What Does it Measure?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a computer-based, multiple-choice test that assesses your Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and Critical Thinking Skills. These abilities are considered essential for success in postgraduate studies.

Here’s a breakdown of the GRE’s key components:

• Verbal Reasoning: This section evaluates your vocabulary, reading comprehension, and ability to analyse text.
• Quantitative Reasoning: This section assesses your problem-solving skills in various areas of mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and data analysis. Don’t worry, it doesn’t delve into advanced calculus!
• Analytical Writing: This section assesses your ability to analyse a complex issue, develop an argument, and support it with evidence.

## What Is The Total GRE Test Score and How Much Do You Need?

The GRE is scored on a scale of 260-340, with each section (verbal and quantitative reasoning) being scored between 130-170. The analytical writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6, with each half-point increment representing a distinct score level.

The score you need depends on the specific graduate programmes you’re applying to. Top-tier programmes might have higher score expectations, while others might value a well-rounded application package more. Research the average GRE scores of your target universities to identify a realistic benchmark.

## How Hard is GRE?

The difficulty level of GRE is subjective and depends on your comfort level with the tested areas. While some may find the vocabulary and reading comprehension challenging, others might find them manageable. The same applies to the quantitative reasoning section.

However, the good news is that the GRE is designed to be learnable. By familiarising yourself with the question formats, strengthening your weaknesses, and practising consistently, you can significantly improve your score.

The other most important aspect of GRE to remember is that it is section-wise adaptive; your performance in section one decides the difficulty level in section two. While a better accuracy in the first section will lead to a harder second section, if you perform poorly in the former, most questions in the latter will be very easy.

## How Much Time Do You Need to Prepare for the GRE?

The ideal study time for the GRE varies depending on your current skill level and the score you’re aiming for. Generally, students dedicate 2-4 months to prepare, with a study commitment of 10-20 hours per week.

Here’s what Jamboree recommended timeline is:

• 2 Months: This is a good timeframe for students with strong academic backgrounds who just need to brush up on their skills and test-taking strategies.
• 3 Months: This is a common timeframe that allows for focused practice on core concepts and building test-taking stamina.
• 4+ Months: This timeframe is ideal for students who require significant improvement in specific areas or who are juggling other commitments alongside studying.

At Jamboree, we generally advise weekday batch preparation for students who are good with both subjects. In that case, your classroom prep gets over in 6 weeks, after which you need around 45 days to complete the post class study plan. However, if you are working a full-time job, or are weak in verbal or quant, we recommend weekend batches. The classroom prep for these gets over in 12 weeks, and the same post class study plan follows.

Remember, consistency is key. Studying for shorter durations but more frequently is generally more effective than cramming in long sessions close to the test date.

## What Are Some Effective Study Strategies To Ace GRE?

Now that we’ve demystified the GRE, let’s get down to brass tacks – how do you conquer it? Here are some effective study strategies:

• Official GRE Resources: Start with the official source – the Educational Testing Service (ETS) which offers a wealth of free resources, including practice tests, sample questions, and a study guide. Jamboree also provides effective GRE test prep..
• Identify Your Weaknesses: Take a diagnostic test to identify your strengths and weaknesses in each section. Focus your initial efforts on areas that require more improvement. You can start with Jamboree’s FREE sample test that will give you a trailer version of GRE.
• Develop a Study Plan: Create a realistic study schedule that incorporates daily practice, full-length practice tests, and time for reviewing your mistakes. If you have signed up for any coaching, make sure you take into account the prep time for those. Your study plan must also be in tandem with your college deadlines.
• Utilise Quality Prep Materials: Invest in reputable GRE prep materials like textbooks, online courses, or mobile apps. These resources provide comprehensive explanations, practice questions, and strategies for tackling different question types.
• Practice Makes Perfect: Take advantage of practice tests offered by various prep providers. Simulate the actual test environment by taking timed practice tests under exam conditions. This will help you build stamina and boost your confidence.
• Learn from Your Mistakes: Don’t just take practice tests; meticulously review your mistakes to identify your weakness. Take them up one by one and improve.

Hope these pointers and strategies help you. GRE test is harder if your preparation is weak. However, it will seem much easier if you have prepared well and worked hard on it. The more you worry, the less you prepare; the less you prepare, the poorer you perform! So, the key is to stress less, and study more.

No peak is too high to climb and GRE is definitely not! If you need help in conquering this test, feel free to reach out to us and talk to an expert.