Are you planning to take GRE? Are you worried it is going to be difficult? Well, one thing is for sure, at the end of your test prep you will have the vocabulary to win the Spelling Bee!
As you might already know Graduate Record Examination or GRE is an advanced admission test meant for both business school programs as well as graduate school programs.
How hard is GRE vis-à-vis other exams?
GRE is said to be less competitive and easier to crack than other graduate-level exams such as GMAT or GATE. However, the challenging vocabulary, reading passages and tricky language of the GRE can make it seem tough if you are unfamiliar with these beforehand.
What are the sections in GRE?
GRE General Test is about 3 hours and 45 minutes long. There are three scored sections in the GRE. In addition to the three scored sections there are two other sections, scores of which do not count towards your final GRE score, these are:
- Unscored Section (Questions in this section are tried out for possible use in future tests) and,
- Research Section that appears at the end of the test.
Scored sections of GRE are given below:
|Section||No. of Questions||Time|
|Analytical writing (AWA)||2 Tasks||30 minutes each|
|Verbal Reasoning (VR)||20 Questions||30 minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning (QR)||20 Questions||35 minutes|
Each section tests a different skill set of the test taker, for example, the analytical writing section involves writing on an issue and an argument by evaluating the complexities of the task and developing a sound line of reasoning substantiated with logical points that support your answer.
While on the other hand, the verbal reasoning section includes 6 text completion questions, 10 reading comprehension questions, and 4 sentence equivalence questions. In the quantitative reasoning section, you would get 7-8 questions on the quantitative comparison, MCQ questions with 5 options on problem-solving, and around 3 of such questions are based on data interpretation.
What is the hardest part of GRE?
GRE has a reputation for throwing difficult words to faze the test takers. Vocabulary has to be one of the most difficult aspects of GRE, or should we say, gruelling facet of the GRE. The entire Verbal Reasoning section is a constant test of your vocabulary, be it through reading comprehension questions or sentence equivalence FIBs. Building a consistent reading habit and quizzing yourself using GRE Flashcards can be an effective strategy to tackle GRE’s challenging vocabulary.
Quantitative Reasoning Section
Many GRE test takers have their undergraduate major in Life Sciences and Social & Behavioural Sciences in which case they do not have a predominant math background. Although the quantitative section of GRE uses tricky language, it is still slightly easier than SAT Math and definitely easier than GMAT Quant.
This section especially troubles students who feel they have lost command over math. The good news is you’d be surprised how GRE strategies and their consistent practice can change things. Even if you perceive yourself as ‘terrible at math’, arithmetic, basic algebra, and basic geometry are manageable topics that can be perfected with dedicated preparation. At Jamboree, we teach our students unique time-saving methods to solve many kinds of GRE questions. After concept-building, the focus is on solving as many types of questions as possible with the aim that on your D-day all questions are familiar.
Time management is the foundation of most standardized tests and GRE is no different. Each question in the Verbal Reasoning section can only get a minute and a half of your time. The time crunch is especially evident in the Analytical Writing Section which, let’s just acknowledge, demands a lot in just 30 minutes for each answer.
On average students can spend only 1 minute 45 seconds on each question in the quantitative reasoning section which many find inadequate. It is only through mock tests and timed practice that you can pace yourself in such a way so as to root out and solve the easy questions first, leaving you with enough time to solve the advanced-level ones.
Section-Level Adaptive Test
GRE is an adaptive test but it is different from other standard adaptive tests as it is a section-level adaptive test. This means that your next section’s difficulty level will be based on the performance of your current section.
For a student who is very good at Verbal but not so much in quant or vice-versa, this is where it gets tricky. GRE preparation demands attention to all its aspects, especially your weaker areas. Even when your test is going well, you can count on the section-level adaptive arrangement to make it more challenging and mentally taxing. But like most things in life, there is a way out and that is through enough practice. Our GRE portal has 1000+ practice questions and their solutions. Consistently practicing these questions, for a minimum of 2 hours a day according to the GRE Study Plan, should set you on the right track for a good score.
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