For many who hope to pursue advanced degrees, their performance on the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, will be one of the most important factors in determining their future opportunities. This test, designed and offered like many others by the non-profit Educational Testing Service, is composed of two basic sorts, these being the single GRE General Test, and a bevy of subject-specific ones. Fortunately, performance on all versions of the test can be boosted through careful, efficient GRE test prep, so that most prospective test-takers find it to be very much worthwhile to engage in this.
The GRE General Test seeks to measure basic skills of mathematical and verbal sorts. Similar in coverage to the SAT and ACT tests which are used in assessing college-level admission qualifications, this test therefore feels familiar to many takers. It is nonetheless helpful to prepare specifically for the test, as even cursory preparation can yield substantial, statistically-significant improvements in scores.
GRE test prep for the quantitative side of the General Test normally begins with a bit of review of the necessary mathematical background. Especially those who have focused on the humanities throughout their post-secondary education are likely to find this helpful, but even engineering and science graduates often benefit from brushing up in this way. Once these basics have been covered, most courses will proceed to the explanation of a variety of strategic and tactical techniques which have been shown to be useful in raising test scores. For example, even in cases where test-takers are unsure of the proper answer to a question, they can often benefit by ruling out obviously wrong alternatives.
Preparation for the verbal portion of the GRE General Test normally involves a fair amount of vocabulary review and building exercises, as well as thorough drilling in the types of questions that can be expected. Many of these take the form of fairly idiosyncratic logical puzzles that can put unprepared, first-time test-takers off balance, so that even the simple act of reviewing questions from past tests can be beneficial. Students are very likely to register score gains through study directed at improving performance on the writing sections of the test, too, as the criteria used by the GRE graders do not always jibe precisely with what they may have learned in their undergraduate courses.
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