Eight Tips for Acing the GRE

So you’re taking the GRE but not sure where to begin or how to study? It can be a little overwhelming to prepare for a test like the GRE. Luckily, we’ve put together some tips to help you ace the test!

Before Test Day

1. Make time to study and prepare

We all know that life is busy, and it can be easy to let things slide. Don’t allow this to happen when it comes to preparing for your test. Block off time in your schedule to dedicate to test prep. You’ve registered and paid for the test already, so take the appropriate steps to follow through on your investment.

2. Make the best use of official or free test prep materials

Save yourself some search time and go directly to the test company website. They have helpful information about what to expect and will usually have a handful of practice questions for you, too. Additionally, our GRE test prep materials are carefully researched and prepared to provide you with the best possible study resources. We offer practice test questions, study guides, and flashcards that help focus your GRE study efforts. A bonus is that Union Test Prep materials are free!

3. Prepare the right way

Every test has a particular way in which questions are posed. Be sure you know what GRE questions are asking and how you can best respond. The test requires critical thinking in sentence structure, reading comprehension, and various forms of math including qualitative and quantitative reasoning, algebra, and geometry. Take as many practice tests as possible to expose yourself to the style of questions you will encounter and build your ability to respond correctly.

4. Define your goals and vision for the future

You will be asked where you want your test scores sent. Know this information and have a plan (and backup plan) for your future. Be sure to thoroughly research the universities in which you are interested and visit them, if possible. Make the right choices for yourself before test day so you can be sure your scores are sent to the appropriate places.

5. Know all the fine details

Make sure you know exactly when and where your test is before test day. Don’t leave anything to chance. Be sure to have all the materials you need set out in advance (ID, test registration, etc.) along with directions to the testing location so you aren’t late. Get to bed early the night before the test. You should be finished studying before that time so that you can be well-rested on test day and not tired from cramming the night before.

On Test Day

6. Wake up and smell the coffee

Get an early start on test day. Wake up and give yourself plenty of time in the morning. Your test will take several hours so you are going to need a good breakfast. Many people also find that showering and “putting yourself together” is helpful in providing purpose and focus when going in to test. Give yourself some extra time to account for unexpected traffic or delays on the way to your testing location. You should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your test.

7. Read and follow directions

Most people take the computer test. The testing software will walk you through very specific directions and sample materials prior to beginning the test. Be sure to take advantage of this introduction and read all directions carefully. The introduction tutorial will explain how to answer the questions on the computer, skip ahead or move back, as well as how to use special testing tools. Take your time and be sure you understand how everything works before you begin. You are not on the clock until the first official section of the test begins.

8. Pace yourself and take breaks

There are no points awarded for finishing early. Take your time and read each question carefully. All questions are worth the same number of points. Therefore, answer the questions about which you are most confident first, then go back and spend extra time on the harder questions later. Additionally, be sure to take advantage of the breaks provided. Get up, stretch, go to the bathroom, or have a snack. Taking a mental break can help you go back to the test a little more focused and with a fresh mind than if you just power through the entire 3 hours and 45 minutes. Finally, if you do finish early, take the extra time you have to look over your work and remedy any errors you see. Remember, you paid to take the test so make sure you get your money’s worth by using every minute possible!

There you have it— eight tips to help you ace the GRE. Follow these guidelines and you should have no problem passing the GRE. Good luck studying and testing!

Tips for Acing the GRE

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