Entrance exams have become a staple. Almost every college or university around the world requires you to clear them in order to proceed with your application.
If you are a person with high hopes of pursuing your studies abroad, GRE is for you. GRE expands to Graduate Record Examination which is a standard entrance test that most colleges prefer.
Countries like the US are pretty strict when it comes to their GRE policy. If you are an international student, the chances of you getting an admit are totally dependent on your GRE score.
Just like any other entrance exam, GRE has its own complex aspects which you need to be clear of. In this article, we'd cover everything there's to know about GRE making sure that you never feel confused again.
Instead of considering GRE like an exam, think of it as an unbiased uniform gateway. International students come from several countries around the globe.
Each of them is a product of a unique educational system. Without an exam like GRE, it is very difficult to grade and allocate seats to them.
No matter where you reside on the planet, the pattern of questions you receive in the GRE will stay the same. This makes it completely fair for the students and helps them put up a healthy fight for college seats.
Although the process of registering for the exam might have several changes based on where you live.
The syllabus and the exam pattern of GRE have remained constant for several years and will continue to be. GRE has two major categories which are the GRE general and the GRE academic.
The GRE general test is for the students who are just applying for a graduate college. Whereas, the GRE academic will test a very particular skill that a student possesses such as mathematics and physics.
ETS is the firm that regulates and conducts GRE exams all around the world. The pandemic is pushing both the students and the exam organizers into so much stress. The mode of taking up the GRE exam might have a few changes in the coming semester.
Analytical writing, verbal and quantitative reasoning are the three major sections in any given GRE general test. Each of these sections is totally different from one another.
Unlike what you might think, you cannot answer them in sequence. Each of these sections contains 2 or 3 parts which you will have to answer alternatively.
This will make it harder for you to focus and if you don't pay enough attention to this issue, you'll end up scoring less. Let's get into the details.
This section of the GRE exam will test your basic math ability in topics such as Profit or loss, statistics, linear equations and much more.
These topics might sound like your middle school syllabus but do not get carried away. Providing the right answers for them is just one part of your job.
The major task is to cover all the questions within the given time limit and this is where most students fail.
There are more than 20 math topics which you'll need to prepare. Most of these questions are MCQs and according to most test-takers, this is the easiest section in a GRE test.
TIP: Start from the basics such as algebra and linear equations as they lay the foundations for the rest of the topics.
As you can tell from the name, the verbal portion of the GRE is going to test your power over the English language.
You will encounter questions and scenarios for which you will have to arrive at a conclusion. You might have to select important points, or might get asked to summarise the text.
You will have to master the meanings of several English words in order to even understand the question. Knowledge over nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and idioms is a must when it comes to the verbal portion.
Most students have the meanings mugged up and still end up getting low marks. This is because you will have to have a fundamental English base to understand what the question is actually trying to say.
Analytical writing could leave you frustrated if you go unprepared which is what most students do. You will have to literally type your answers in detail while answering this section.
You will find a statement or a question that demands an answer or reasoning. Your band will depend on the accuracy of your English and grammar.
GRE will grade you for a total of 340 marks out of which 170 comes from the verbal section and the rest comes from the quantitative section. Do not confuse the marks with the number of questions the test contains.
There's no fixed distribution of marks for each question. Your only goal is to answer questions right as much as possible. Apart from the overall score, you'll receive a separate grading for your analytical writing.
The overall band is 6 and you won't get your results in decimals (apart from ".5"). Most colleges have individual expectations for each of these sections.
If you fail or score less than their lower limit, your admit might get rejected. Your analytical writing score is equally important as your overall score as you won't stand a chance if your score isn't satisfactory.
To put things in perspective, GRE is not that difficult to prepare for, provided that you have a few months left.
The trick is not to keep preparing but to practice the questions from reference papers as much as possible. As you submit each section, based on your answers, the level of difficulty of the following section will vary.
If you did well, the next section would be hard and if you answered a lot of questions wrong in one section, the next section will be easy. But the mark allocation for the easy section is low and you shouldn't get yourself into this situation.
A solid GRE score is your chance of landing in a really good college with an impressive scholarship. To narrow down the competition, the GRE score is the first thing a college would look for.
With a hefty score, you will have a really good chance of landing a scholarship. But you should also have an eye on the other factors that determine your eligibility for a scholarship.
The GRE fee is usually about $205 dollars globally but depending on your conversion rate, it might vary in your country. You will have to pay around 15,000 INR to register yourself for the exam.
You can do so by creating an account in the ETS's official site and booking yourself a slot. The slots usually get filled real soon so it is always best to book your exams far ahead.
Try your best not to reschedule your dates and end up paying more. You will have to carry your passport with you throughout the duration of your exam. If you don't own a passport yet, then this is the first thing you'll need to get sorted out.
The ETS has nodal centres all around the world from which you can choose the one that's close to your house. Each city has several equipped centres so there's nothing to worry about.
Your test score stays valid for about 5 years from your date of writing and you can retake your GRE exam every 21 days but not more than 5 times a year.
So make wise decisions while booking your test date. Students usually book their tests 5 to 7 months prior to their preferred admission term.
You will have to take advantage of the fact that GRE doesn't provide negative marks for wrong answers.
Even if you happen to lose track of time and couldn't arrive at a solution, test your luck but never leave the boxes empty. Math is more like muscle memory because the more you practise, the easier it will be for you to solve them.
You'll either have 2 verbal and 3 quantitative sections or 3 verbal and 2 quantitative sections. But the test requires only 4 out of those 5 sections, meaning one of those 5 sections is a dummy section. Pay equal attention to all of them to increase your marks.
If you're taking up the general test, you need to pour in all your attention to the quantitative part of it. This is a place where you can score more marks with considerably less effort.
Start preparing for the verbal and analytical section several months ahead as English is not a skill but more like a habit that you'll have to adapt to.
The ETS provides 2 free tests that you can use to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and not to confuse yourself during the date of the exam.
Most nodal centres are very well-established to provide you with the perfect writing environment. But if you are having a problem, the invigilators will be there to help you.
There are various resources available online to train your analytical and verbal reasoning ability. ETS has a really strict malpractice policy and if you're caught under such circumstances you'll have to leave the hall immediately.
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