5 tested and effective tips to acing the GRE

Acing the GRE is the goal of students seeking for graduate admission in developed countries. The GRE is one of the many requirements for Graduate admission in the US, Canada and lots of other developed countries. And before you can be offered Graduate admission, you must be able to have a high score in the GRE. It is also important to check the admission requirements of the school you are applying to in order to know the score required to be offered admission.

The GRE is made up of three parts: Analytical writing, Verbal and Quantitative. Preparing for this test requires specific tips and techniques to get the score you need and deserve for you to ace it.

Below are the tested and effective tips to acing the GRE

(1) Don’t use a fire brigade approach during preparation

It should not be few weeks to the exam that you will start your preparation. You need time to internalize and completely master the GRE strategies. The GRE is not a test like the ones in high school where you can cram the week before. Instead, progress is made by studying over time and making last-minute attempts to pack in information can do more harm than good. Preparing early is still the best strategy to ace the GRE.

Recommended books for preparation are Grubber, Barron’s, Nova GRE Math Bible, and Mahanttan, Official GRE Topic List, and Kaplan.


(2) Practise, Practice, and Practice

“Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired”
Practice using the available topics from the GRE list in a timed mode – your practice should mimic the real test. You have to make sure your practice time is less than the required time for the real test. Why? It’s always better to practice with less time – It makes you stronger.

(3) Build a time budget

Cal Newport in one of his books suggests that “you take the time allotted for the exam and subtract ten minutes. Next, divide this amount by the number of questions. This provides a safety buffer since you want a few extra minutes available here and there to be able to double check your answers when you are finished.”

Moreover, before you go for the GRE exam, it is good for you to exercise your brain for conversions without the use of a calculator. A good percentage of the questions can be solved without the use of a calculator. By so doing, you save time.


(4) Guess your way through or rely on your instinct to avoid being stuck on a question

A guessing strategy is a useful tip in a multiple-choice test. Guessing on this test is allowed and there is no penalty for it. Instead of being stuck on a question, you can always guess when you’re unsure and move on. And guessing smartly will only improve your chances of being correct.

I will recommend a book by William Poundstone, author of “Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody,” to help you on ways to outsmart any multiple-choice test.


(5) Use back-solve approach

Sometimes getting the correct answer to a question requires that you take the answer one after the other and plug it back to the question. According to Poundstone, he found out that tests with four choices (say, A, B, C, and D), B was slightly more likely to be correct (28%). Remember, the expected likelihood of each option being correct is 25%. However, with five choices (say A, B, C, D, and E), E is more slightly to be correct. Therefore, it is advisable to plug in first with the answer that has the highest chance to be correct.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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