General Strategies For the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)

The GRE is a challenging exam! Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you embark upon your preparation plan:

  1. Most of the questions, both Verbal and Quantitative, require a certain amount of “unpacking.” Very few are the type of direct questions you might find in a high school or college course. Most of them have twists and turns.

  2. Familiarize yourself with a conversion chart showing raw scores, scaled scores, and percentiles. This will give you a general idea about how many questions you need to do correctly in order to reach your goal score or percentile.

  3. Take the diagnostic test on the website.

  4. It’s better not to prepare completely on your own; Take a class, get help from a friend who has taken the GRE, or get private tutoring.

  5. Taking the test “cold” with no prep, is kind of a waste. Everyone needs some kind of preparation to achieve his or her highest score.

  6. Consistency is key! Taking an hour once per week is like going to the gym for an hour once a week; it’s better than nothing, but you probably will not see a lot of progress. How much time you will need in order to enjoy the benefits of consistency depends upon your current relationship to the material covered. If you just finished your undergraduate degree in Chemistry, for example, you might need only to work on strategies for the Quantitative section, since you are already current on much of the Math.

    However, if you received your graduate degree in History and haven’t looked much at Math in the last 5 years, you would need to block out regular times to get current on the material.