Yocket Editorial Team
on 30 January, 2011

How to prepare for GRE

Even though the exam pattern has changed, most part of the preparation remains the same. Since Antonyms and Analogy aren't a part of the new syllabus, learning/memorising the word is NO MORE important. Inorder to crack the GRE it is advisable to practice vocabulary by referring to the GRE word list as sections like GRE sentence completion demand you to be spontaneous in your verbal section.

Getting started..

The GRE study plan varies with each and every individual. But in general, you need around 50 days, give or take a few. As per the old pattern it starts with learning GRE words with the help of vocabulary 'flashcards' . If you're pretty consistent with reading newspapers, you definitely have an edge, considering you’ve probably come across a handful of vocabulary words already.

In short, be quick with the meanings and its usage of the words.

A Month or so to the GRE..

Once you are done with a considerable number of words, start solving the BigBook. Get the book from one of your friends who have already taken the GRE. If you still don't get it, download it from the internet. It is advisable to solve the big book on the screen as you have to take the exam on the computer. It makes you familiar with it.

It has got two sample papers in every mock test which follows the oldest exam pattern of GRE (38 questions in 30 mins for verbal; 30 questions in 30 mins for quant). Try solving the paper with the old pattern (rather than adding your own touch-ups and increasing time or other such weird experiments). This will definitely improve your speed. Overall, there are 27 tests (54 papers). Try solving atleast 20 papers before you get bored (can’t blame you for that). Give a week to the GRE BigBook and solve minimum 2 sample tests a day. Of course, more wouldn’t hurt.

Along with the BigBook, solve GRE BARRONS. It's one of the best books for GRE & teaches you a lot. Solve the quant section completely. It's fun to solve and is useful. This book will help you improve your speed for the GRE Quantitative section. It has 5 test papers with the new test pattern. Solve them gradually.

Another fortnight to go..

In the last 20-22 days, start taking the online practice test for GRE. There are hundreds of free online tests if you search on the internet and one can't solve them all. Hence, there are some standard mock tests that one needs to solve. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Kaplan GRE Practice Test (very important)
  2. PowerPrep GRE (GRE level)
  3. Princeton GRE Test
  4. Cambridge GRE TestPrep

Kaplan GRE Practice Test: One of the most important tests - it has 6 sample tests each for verbal and quant and 3 Full Length GRE Test. Kaplan Quant is really important and helpful, so be serious with it. Make sure you evaluate all your tests properly. With these mock GRE scores, use the Profile Evaluator and see where you stand. Repeat the process with different scores. Taking a test is not a big deal; learning from it is definitely one.

PowerPrep GRE: You can download the PowerPrep software which will be of a great help in your GRE preperation.

Princeton GRE Test: Solve Princeton simultaneously along with Kaplan. Finish it off in a week or 10 days.

Cambridge GRE TestPrep: It's an elementary test and it helps you get acquainted with the adaptive exams on the screen. You need a maximum of two days.

Last week..

Study for your AWA (essay) 5-8 days prior to "the" day (though we suggest that reading and solving essays right from day one can help you get a very high score) Read some essays from Barron’s, the method to write it and take any topic from these tests and write it down. Exchange the essays amongst your friends so you'll get an idea how well they write. Solve the PowerPrep tests completely along with the essays to get an idea of your patience level. Take our word, full test is quite long!

Oh! Almost forgot about Quant..

Quant at the first glance might seem simple but it isn’t so simple as to be neglected. Engineers can give less time for math as they’ll be familiar with many of the topics, but remember that the split score matters a lot, so a minimum of 750 (old pattern) or 160 (new pattern) is like a 'must' for engineers. The rest are advised to solve as many questions as they can. Solve some renowned professors notes, Kaplan book (not the adaptive computer exam) and any other notes as and when you get time during your preparation.

It definitely varies with every student on how they got about Quant, but the one mentioned above is how it is generally followed.

Expert advice..

  • Flash cards (GRE words) needs to be revised thoroughly.
  • Revising the Quant formulae.
  • Read Newspapers for an hour everyday to stay in touch with long Reading Comprehensions (RC).
  • Keep your cool. It’s a test of nerves more than anything.

Login to recommend
36 recommended


Yocket Editorial Team

Yocket is the largest regional online community for students with a desire to pursue higher education abroad.

Published in:

GRE Preparation Guide


How to prepare for TOEFL
Yocket Editorial Team

How to prepare for GMAT
Yocket Editorial Team

How to prepare for university interview?
Collegepond Counsellors (Jimeet Sanghavi)