Hello, hello, everyone, and happy Monday! This past Saturday, I spent four hours inside a tiny cubicle, taking the Graduate Record Examinations. It was a stressful experience, and I’m so glad it’s over and I can review what I did right and what I wish I’d done to prepare for this important exam.
Firstly, the GRE is required for nearly every graduate program in the USA, and it’s also accepted in most schools in Europe, Singapore, and Australia. The exam consists of a Quantitative Reasoning portion (math), a Verbal Reasoning portion (vocabulary), and an Analytical Writing portion(Essays). The QR and VR portions each have two sections, and the AW section has two essays, writing a position on the given issue, and then analyzing a given argument. So, in total you’ll spend about four hours on the entire test. Here are some of my most relevant tips to ace this exam:
1. Know exactly what will be on the test
Look up all the possible essay topics, search for a list of GRE vocabulary words, and memorize the necessary math formulas. You will be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run, because you’ll be less stressed on the big day, and you’ll have a better chance of getting the score you want to get.
2. Start studying at least four months in advance
You can’t cram for the GRE. I’m serious, it’s incredibly difficult and most likely won’t help in the slightest. So, just put in 10-20 minutes every day for a couple of months beforehand, and study in increments.
3. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR ID
This can’t be a student ID – it has to be government issued, like a passport or drivers license. When I went in for my test, a girl was barred from entering because she didn’t have sufficient identification, so PLEASE DO NOT FORGET YOUR ID.
4. Take care of your body
Eat a healthy breakfast, sleep at least 8+ hours the night before, and try not to get the common cold. Your body has a symbiotic relationship with your mind, so treat yourself with kindness and take care of your health.
5. Don’t stress too much!
Your GRE score is important, yes, but it’s not the only thing that admission officers are going to look at when you apply to your dream program. Study, of course, but don’t focus too much on the numbers. Remember, not everyone has the drive and ambition to apply to graduate school – you’re already amazing, and, as cheesy as it sounds, your grades don’t define you! At the end of the day, school is there so that you can learn new things and explore your passions, and if you keep do that, you’ll ultimately succeed in life. I believe in you!