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Competitive exams such as the GRE, TOEFL or the IELTS demand that you follow a systematic routine in order to excel and achieve your target score. The time required to prepare, your college deadlines and efficacy levels in different topic areas are key determiners of your preparation start date. With such exams, it is always better to work backwards, which would give you a perfect schedule to follow.

The GRE consists of two major sections: The Verbal and Quants. While talking about these sections, diagnostic tests are key analytic components. Once a diagnostic test is taken, proficiency levels can be estimated across different subject topic areas in both sections. Let us take a few pointers that might help you score well on the GRE:

  1. Reading is an important aspect of the GRE, and you, as a student, must get into the habit of reading different sentences and passages thoroughly. Most students are not used to reading and this can be detrimental.

    READING skills might take a few weeks to develop, and a few months to master; so give yourself enough time to get reading-ready.

  2. A good repository of vocabulary is essential, helping you eliminate options much quicker than you otherwise would. Questions need to be answered within a specific time duration.

    Remember that building your vocabulary requires sufficient time. Do not push this towards the last month, or the last few weeks. Cramping your schedule might affect you adversely.

  3. Consistency in preparation; however much you prepare, you need to give yourself sufficient time to solve multiple questions and get exam-ready.

  4. If the quantitative section is your weakness, work hard across the different topic areas.
    Mathematics takes time to understand, so please work on your sectional proficiency.

The TOEFL/ IELTS, on the other hand, is a test of your English language proficiency. There is no quantitative section on either of the tests. A few key pointers which should give you a time-estimate are as follows:

  1. How good are you at the English language, across READING, WRITING, SPEAKING, AND LISTENING?

    You must be consistent in these four sections to actually perform well on this test. Every student has his or her strengths; while some students might be very good writers, others might be poor ones. Practising your idea construction, and sentence creation will help you improve your writing skills and help you write essays easily.

  2. College admissions deadlines are critical. Be aware of the different requirements of the universities and know whether you are in time.

As you already know, the GRE, IELTS and the TOEFL require consistent effort, and only with a proper schedule and systematic preparation. All the best for your exams!

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