How Many GRE Practice Tests Should I Take?

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your GRE score goal and your current level of preparation.  For a general idea of how many practice tests to take, here are some guidelines.

If you are aiming for a score of 318 or higher, we recommend taking at least 7-10 practice tests. The GRE is scored by a computer. Depending on how you perform on the first element of verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, the computer will select the second element.  All questions in each section contribute equally to the overall score.

Of course, these are just general guidelines and you may need more or less practice depending on your individual strengths and weaknesses. If you have been studying diligently and feel that you would benefit from additional practice, then, by all means, take more tests.

Keeping in mind that the GRE has a “strict” policy on how many times you are allowed to take the test within a certain time frame is important. So if you don’t get the score you want then you will need to leave yourself time to take the test again.

How Many GRE Practice Tests Should I Take? – We Will Help You Figure That Out!

Ultimately, the sure-fire way to improve your score is to practice, practice, practice! The more tests you take, the better prepared you will be on test day. Good luck!

Make sure that you use the same GRE whiteboard size that you will use on the at-home GRE test. The whiteboard is instead of scratch paper. When you take the GRE at home, ETS wants you to use a whiteboard.

It is important to note that these GRE ideas are just general guidelines. You may need more or fewer practice tests depending on your specific situation. If you put a lot of study time into preparing for the GRE then you may not need as many practice tests. However, if you are struggling to improve your score then you may need to take more tests.

Magoosh allows you to take mock GRE tests. Taking a full GRE practice test is important to understand the layout and the pressure of the clock. Make yourself aware of all aspects of the GRE test, doing this will prepare you for test day. Do not try to wing it when studying for the GRE.

How Long Does It Take To Prepare For The GRE?

Learning the answer to “how many GRE practice tests should I take?” will help you figure out how long it takes to prepare for the GRE. If you take the first practice test (before you start studying), you may realize you need more help than you thought. Prepare for 3-6 months of solid study time.

Some people who excel at math, reading, and vocabulary will need less time to prepare. Most people have a good handle on one or the other. Figuring out which one you are better at allows you to focus on either the quantitative or the verbal reasoning.

In preparing for the GRE, you will figure out that wrong answers don’t count against you. More importantly, skipping GRE questions and going back to them later is a good strategy for success.

Take One Test Before You Begin A Study Routine

Taking that first test before you begin studying will allow you to familiarize yourself with the GRE layout. Learning the layout, the types of questions, and the time you have to answer them is important.

When you take the first test set aside the full 3 hours and 45 minutes. Act as if you are taking the real test. Your score on the first GRE full-length practice test will give you a good baseline as to where you need to focus your studies.

Take Another Test Every Few Weeks

Once you begin studying, space out the time between your tests. This will help with retention and allow you to see your progress.

Getting used to taking practice tests will also help calm your nerves on test day. Knowing that you are fully prepared for a major test like the GRE is a wonderful feeling.

Magoosh allows you to take mock GRE tests, taking a full GRE practice test is important to understand the layout and the pressure of the clock. If you sign up for the Magoosh course it is like having a GRE coach available 24/7.

When it comes to taking practice tests, stick to the computer-based GRE practice tests. The questions on the computer-based test are more similar to the questions on the actual GRE. Doing the test with a paper and a pen is different then completing the mock GRE exam on the computer.

Make sure that you time yourself when you are taking these tests. The timer is an important part of the GRE and you want to become familiar with timing on the computer based test.

Make sure that you are taking these tests in a quiet area. It may be helpful to take some of your practice tests at the library or another quiet place where there are not distractions.

The combination of studying diligently and practicing will help you improve your score. Ensure that you put in the time to get the most out of your GRE practice tests.

When it comes to taking GRE practice tests, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You may need more or fewer practice tests than the guidelines given here, depending on your specific situation. When it comes to the GRE, taking as many practice tests as possible is important.

Full Length GRE Practice Tests

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Lastly, Take 2-3 Tests Every Week For The Last Few Weeks Leading Up To Test Day

The last 2-3 weeks before test day you should begin seeing a big improvement on your confidence and score. You will be using these last few weeks to focus on any questions that you seem to be struggling with over and over. If there are certain quantitative questions that keep snagging you every time then make sure to focus on these within the GRE practice questions.

If you haven’t signed up for Magoosh then consider doing so, if you don’t see your score improving. You may need more help, most Magoosh students score 6 points higher by the end of the class.

How Many GRE Practice Tests Should I Take? Students studying in a library

Ideas for a Full Length GRE Practice Test and Problems

2 Power Prep ETS GRE Exams

ETS allows you to take 2 free full-length GRE practice tests. Utilize these free GRE mock tests to help you figure out where you need to focus your studying. Take one of these tests before you do any studying. Doing this will give you a baseline of where you are and where to focus your energy.

The Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems Full-length Tests

If you are looking for comprehensive GRE practice problems then the 5 lb book of GRE practice problems will not disappoint you. More importantly, the 5 lb book of GRE practice problems will complement the Magoosh study system. As you are taking the Magoosh course, you can use this 5 lb book of GRE practice problems to help you focus on any questions that are causing you problems.

The book covers every type of math problem you will encounter on the GRE, it goes into depth explaining the concepts. You can get a decent GRE score with this book if you’re on a budget.If you haven’t taken a math course in a while and need to brush up on your math skills then this book will break all of the concepts down for you in easy-to-understand sections.

It doesn’t matter which section you are struggling with, the 5 lb book of GRE practice problems will prepare you for test day.

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5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems Problems on All Subjects, Includes 1,800 Test Questions and Drills, Online Study Guide, Proven Strategies to Pass the Exam (Manhattan Prep 5 lb)
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  • Book - 5 lb. Book of gre practice problems: 1, 800+ practice problems in book and online (manhattan prep 5 lb series (2019 edition))
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7 Princeton Review GRE Practice Tests

The Princeton review book is great for reviewing material and taking more practice tests in between the free tests provided by ETS. The drills for each section are excellent at helping your solidify the topics.

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Princeton Review GRE Premium Prep, 2022: 7 Practice Tests + Review & Techniques + Online Tools (2022) (Graduate School Test Preparation)
  • The Princeton Review (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 768 Pages - 05/18/2021 (Publication Date) - Princeton Review (Publisher)

Kaplan GRE Complete 2022: 3-Book Set: 6 Practice Tests

The Kaplan practice tests and online quizzes are what helped me raise my GRE score to a 355. Getting a 355 was above average for the program that I was applying to, ultimately helping me get that acceptance letter. I like the way the Kaplan system lays out the quantitative explanations.

I studied the vocabulary book everywhere I went. Carrying it with me and just reviewing the vocabulary helped me feel confident about the verbal reasoning section.

GRE Complete 2022: 3-Book Set: 6 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online (Kaplan Test Prep)
  • Kaplan Test Prep (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1824 Pages - 05/04/2021 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Test Prep (Publisher)

How to Plan for the GRE Essay

How many GRE practice tests should I take? For the GRE you have to write two essays. During the “Analyze an Issue” part of the examination, you will demonstrate your ability to think critically about a topic and to exactly explain your responses to it in writing. For the “Analyze an Argument” part of the exam, you will demonstrate your ability to grasp, analyze and evaluate arguments.

You can plan for this by taking the Score IT Now online writing practice service. For $20 you are given the opportunity to write two essays and have them scored by ETS. Do not skip this part of your GRE planning. The essay is a big part of the test and you don’t want to get a low score because you didn’t plan ahead.

GRE Studying: When Should You Start?

You should start studying for the GRE at least 3 months prior to the test day. Ideally if you give yourself 4-6 months you will be able to prepare and go over any math sections that your are shaky on. Studying for the GRE in advance will also allow you to memorize more GRE vocabulary words.

Can You Finish The GRE Early?

You can finish each section early, which will allow you to move onto another section. However there is no advantage to finishing the GRE early. You do not get extra points for finishing early. If you want to do well, take your time and carefully consider each question. Do not rush through the GRE test.

Are the Practice Tests Harder than the GRE?

No most are similar to the type of questions you will experience on the GRE. The online version of the GRE presents you with a harder question as you advance through the test and answer more questions correctly. The first question level is moderate for both the verbal and math sections. Depending on how well you performed on this first section, you will encounter either a harder, medium, or an easier second question level.In other words, the questions in each part do not vary depending on whether you answer them correctly or incorrectly; only the second full set of 20 questions does.

To note the 5 lb book of GRE practice problems has a quantitative section that is much harder than the actual GRE questions. Working through every single problem in that book will set you up for success.

Magoosh has a system that allows you take full GRE online practice tests that simulate the exact way the GRE is given.

Which GRE Should I Take? General or Subject test?

The general test is the more widely taken of the two. It is given as a computer adaptive test (CAT) that adapts to your performance on questions in each section. The general test includes verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections. This is because it tests comprehension of words, numbers, formulas and other basic calculations required for any career.

The GRE Subject test is more specific to your program of study. This means it will focus less on quantitivie reasoning and critical thinking, but rather on one subject matter. The question types found on the subject test are quantitative comparison, data interpretation, mathematics problem solving, and analytical writing . It tests overall knowledge in that particular subject.

The subject GRE is for students who want to study a specific graduate program, such as biology, education, mathematics, psychology, chemistry, etc.

If I Take The GRE At Home Will Admissions Accept This?

Yes any program that accepts the GRE will have no problem accepting a score from a GRE home test. The program probably won’t even know where you took the test. The at home GRE test became more popular during the global pandemic. Be aware that the at home GRE test is subject to tight guidelines and standards. When you take the at home GRE test a live proctor watches online, and they record your session.

Do They Make The GRE At Home Harder Than The GRE At The Test Center?

No, if one test was purposefully made harder then the GRE ETS testing center would have to disclose this. No matter where you take the test, the difficulty level will be the same, whether you take it at home or at a testing center.   There is only one difference: if test taking normally stresses you, then taking a test at home might be an advantage since you can do it in the comfort of your own home.

Best of luck on your GRE journey!