Taking a GRE Practice Test Before You Begin Studying is Imperative to Your Success!
The GRE can be a super stressful test. First of all, you’ve got time constraints, and second of all you need a good score for whatever program you are applying to that requires you to take the GRE. These tools, including free GRE practice tests, apps, and books can help ease the pain. They did for me!
When taking the GRE, you have 3 hours and 45 minutes for the entire test. The test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. During the test, you have the ability to skip questions, go back to unanswered ones, and change answers.
Start getting familiar with the test, the layout of the questions, and how they are worded. The more accustomed you are with the type of questions that are on the test the better off you will be when the day comes to take the test.
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- Free Tests
Take a free GRE practice test, before you start studying and implementing a strategy. By taking a free GRE practice test before starting your study strategy, you will get a general idea as to where you stand and what you should focus on. You can find the free ETS tests (the people in charge of devising the actual GRE) by creating an account with ETS and navigating to the section that says PowerPrep Online.
Another free GRE practice test is offered by Manhattan Prep. When you take the free GRE practice test, it will be timed, and simulate the real GRE, which can help you understand if you need help with speed. Try to replicate a real GRE test as best as you can. Set aside the 3 hours and 45 minutes and act as if you are really at the testing center. Don’t get up and get distracted by other things when doing the free GRE practice test. I cannot reiterate this enough: the only way to truly know where you need the most help is to use the practice exams as if they were a real exam.
- Apps for Vocabulary
Start memorizing words now. Verbal preparation and memorizing words will take a lot of time and dedication. Download the free GRE vocabulary builder by Magoosh, so you can study words whenever you have some downtime. This is a great tool to study any time you are waiting around for someone or something, instead of checking social media, you can go through some flash cards on this app. There are a number of other free and paid apps for GRE vocabulary prep. Just use whichever one works for you.
- Online course
After you have taken one of the free practice test listed above buy the Magoosh self-study course. Every single practice question has a video and text explanation, so you can understand the reasoning behind each problem. You must put the time and effort into doing as many practice questions as you can.
Magoosh is a one-time payment that gives you access to the course for 6 months. If you commit to 6 months of almost daily study time for the GRE you should have no problem acing it. Magoosh is phenomenally set up, the user interface makes it really easy to navigate around the site. Magoosh takes all the planning out of studying for the GRE, you can just do what they tell you to do, study what they tell you to study, and you should be able to improve your old score or get a great score on your first try. Magoosh has a score improvement guarantee or your money back.
- AWA Online Essay Grader
For the Analytical Writing Assignment use the ScoreItNow feature at ETS. They will grade 2 essays which can give you an idea as to how well you do writing an essay under timed conditions. ScoreItNow can provide you with a rough estimate of how you will do on the AWA portion of the GRE. The price to use the service is $20.
You will also need some books from ETS (the people giving the GRE) I recommend getting their Official GRE Superpack set of 3 books. The answer explanations in these books can sometimes be severely lacking, which is why you would definitely want to use these alongside the Magoosh GRE prep course.
If you need more help like I did on the math portion of the GRE then I highly suggest this Kaplan book, it is what helped me score 7 points higher my 2nd time taking the GRE.
If you take the GRE practice test before starting Magoosh, GRE study prep at Magoosh.com. Try the 7 Day Free Trial today! memorize vocabulary words while taking the Magoosh course, watch as many Magoosh videos as you can, and use the GRE books to help solidify any areas that you are struggling with, you should be good to go! Don’t forget to take the last two free GRE practice tests after going through the Magoosh prep. You can compare how you did before studying to after and focus on any areas that you feel you are lacking confidence in.
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