What is it?

The GRE exists as both a paper-based and computer-based test – candidates can choose which form of the test to take depending on convenience. It is a prerequisite for acceptance into many Masters and PhD degree programs around the world. There are three parts to the test – the Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning (QR), and Verbal Reasoning (VR) – and the QR and VR are computer-adaptive – the level of difficulty of each subsequent section depends on the candidate’s performance on the previous section.

How is it scored?

The Analytical Writing is scored from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The QR and VR are each scored on a scale from 130 to 170. To achieve higher scores in QR and VR, test-takers must answer questions of higher difficulty.

What is a good score?

What is considered a good score usually varies from school to school. You can get an idea of what to aim for by checking out your prospective schools’ websites for information on the average GRE scores for the most recent matriculating class.

How to prepare for GRE?

1. Give yourself enough time to prepare.

Figure out how many hours you can set aside each week to study for the GRE. The more studying you’ve already put in, the harder it will be to raise your score. The first few hours of studying you do for any subject are always the most productive because you’ll get the “low-hanging fruit”. The better the prep materials you use, the faster you’ll improve.

2. Create Your GRE Study Schedule

Once you know when you need to begin studying and how long you’ll need to study, create a study schedule so you can track your progress and reach your score goals. Try to schedule your study times for the same times each day or week. This will help you plan the rest of your schedule, and you’ll be more likely to do the studying you need to if it’s always at the same time.

3. Set your Goal

When you study, remember to take regular practice tests, about every month or so, to track your progress. You’ll also want to set goals to achieve at the end of every study period. You could have daily, weekly, or monthly goals depending on your schedule and what works best for you. Developing a study schedule once you’ve figured out how long you need to study will help you track your progress and meet goals throughout your preparation.