Get Prepped for the GRE
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) was initiated in 1949, and has sent college students' anxiety levels through the roof ever since. Thankfully, some of the changes that were introduced in 2011 may help to reduce those stress levels, such as the new test-taker friendly format that allows students to edit, change or even skip questions. They’ve also removed the antonyms and analogies from the verbal reasoning section, which is a welcome change for many students. Overall, the test focuses more on real-life scenarios, giving students a better opportunity to show their ability to do graduate-level work. Students, however, should not assume that the test is any easier than its previous installments. It still takes plenty of preparation and practice for students to earn a worthy score. Luckily, there are several free online GRE resources students can use to help prepare them for the exam.
Students should seriously consider creating a study plan to help them focus on the task at hand. This handy website not only gives students assistance with devising a detailed study guide, but also brain games to help memory, attention, focus and speed. StudyBeans also provides tips for improving across the various sections of the GRE. Cost: FREE
Students can find a wealth of information on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. Why? They actually administer the GRE. Students can view sample questions, scoring guides and even get tips to help with each section of the exam. ETS also offers a free software program that includes two full-length practice tests. It’s a good idea for students to check out their ‘Test Day’ tips, to learn what can and cannot be brought to the testing centers. Cost: FREE
This website provides over 3,000 vocabulary words with hints and definitions, and over 600 simulation practice questions that range from easy to difficult. In addition to these tools, MyGRETutor also provides over 100 tutorials and four practice exams. Students receive a complete analysis after each practice exam, which is useful in targeting areas that need the most work. Cost: FREE
For those seeking a more in-depth coaching experience, Magoosh.com might fit the bill. Although it is not free, they are currently offering a deep discount off their regular rates. Students can customize their practice sessions, track their progress and even compare their results against other students. Students will also receive guidance on which video lessons will best suit their needs and there’s even a score guarantee for those using the product to re-take the exam.
Unlike the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the GRE does not take away points for wrong questions, so students should try their best to answer each question on the exam. It is especially important that students also pay close attention to their responses in the first section, as these will determine the level of difficulty for subsequent sections and can dramatically improve their score. Students who use the various free resources available and take the time to prepare for the GRE should find that they are less anxious and more focused during the exam.