How to Start GRE Preparation?

Graduate Record Exam is an exam conducted by the Educational Testing Service for students who wish to apply for admission into post-graduation and Ph.D., primarily in the United States of America. However, universities in some other countries also consider the exam for admission. Besides seeking admission, it is also used to avail of a merit-based fellowship in renowned institutions across the world. It will help you secure your admission in post-grad and Ph.D. courses if you have a low GPA score in your graduation or you have little or no work experience.

If you are planning to sit for GRE but are clueless about how to navigate further, then keep on reading. We have shared some tips on how you can start the GRE preparation.

  • Know The Exam

The first step to giving an exam is to know it. It is a standardized multiple-choice computer adaptive and computer-based test. The computer adaptive test adapts to the abilities of the examinee and produces questions based on the correctness of the previous question. It comprises three testing sections. The first section is quantitative reasoning where the examinee has to attempt 40 questions in 70 minutes. The next section is the verbal reasoning section where the examinee has to take 40 questions in 60 minutes. And the last section is the analytical writing section where the examinee needs to analyze an issue and an argument in 60 minutes. An individual can take it a  maximum of 5 times a year and the score is valid for 5 years.

  • Take A Practice Test

The first suggestion to start the GRE preparation will be to take a practice test. Taking a practice test will give you an idea about where you currently stand as a future applicant for the exam. The result of the first practice test will help you have a baseline score, which you need to better over the preparation time. There are three sections in the GRE: the verbal reasoning exam, the analytical reasoning exam, and the quantitative reasoning exam. Taking a test in an environment close to the real one will let you know your strengths and weaknesses. 

As you take the exam and sit for analysis of the same, you will be able to understand which section was an easy ride and which one needs more attention. Analysis should not just be inter-sectional but also intra-sectional. For example, in the quantitative reasoning section, you might be good at algebra but data interpretation might have been a difficult nut to crack. Take note of all such things and develop a strategy around your strengths and weaknesses. For better results, you may even take 2 to 3 practice tests with varying difficulties and then analyze them. It will give you a more wholesome picture of where you lie.

  • Determine A Target Score

You must be planning to give GRE to a selected few colleges in the USA. After all, it is impossible to apply to all the colleges. Hence, you need not prepare to top the GRE, rather you need to have a score that will get you admitted to your desired college or university. Hence, make a list of average GRE scores required by the colleges and universities you are planning to apply. Scores will also differ according to the different programs offered. Once that list is made you will be in great shape to calculate the target score you need to make to your institution of choice. You can even compare that score to the score of your practice test and come up with the perfect strategy.

  • The Schedule

GRE prep should not take more than 2 months provided you can dedicate 5 to 6 hours to the exam each day. You can start your preparation once your university exams are over. But these two months shall be ones where you are completely dedicated to the exam. No off days should be entertained, you need to maintain consistency. If on a certain day putting in 5 to 6 hours feels like a huge task, reduce it to only 3 to 4 hours.

It is suggested to register for the GRE right at the moment you plan to take the exam. Having a deadline can work wonders in keeping you motivated to study for it. Just book the GRE date at your convenience as well as the available slots. Booking a test on Monday appeals to most people because people mostly have their weekends off, so they can revise or relax, as per their needs.

  • GRE Resources

Resources for GRE prep are readily available on the internet. Multiple youtube channels have series covering the whole GRE syllabus. The concepts are explained in exhaustive and comprehensible ways. You just need to weed out unqualified channels and reach the one with the best quality. To do the same, compare the number of views, the kind of reviews, the number of likes, etc. of various youtube channels. It will be easy to locate the best channel. The next step is to practice the learned concept the very same day. You can order a set of GRE prep books online. Reviews and research is the best way to reach the perfect set. As one topic is covered, solve its questions.

If you do not wish to waste time on researching the resources and you have enough money, enroll in a good coaching institute. Online coaching should be the preferred mode as it is both time and cost-effective. Coaching institutes should serve as the perfect guide to a good GRE score.


The Graduate Record Exam is not difficult. You just need to narrow down what exactly you wish to study and where you wish to study it. This way you will be able to set a target score for yourself. Scoring high in the exam can also fetch you merit-based funding. This must help students who wish to study abroad but are not economically sound enough to avail of the education at full price. Follow the tips given above and you should be able to pass out with flying colors. Always remember, taking mock exams is the key.


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