Imagine that you wake up on a sunny day, you feel energized and positive about where your day is headed, and you have a plan in your head on how to organize your time efficiently so that you can begin preparing for your GRE exam. Then, suddenly, you realize that you only have a few days left before your GRE exam date. You start overthinking about what you know or don’t know about the exam, its procedure, the dos and don’ts, and you feel yourself getting stressed. This is a normal feeling for most people who have exams coming up and feel like they lost track of time. There are a few things you can do to help with the process.
1. Get yourself accustomed to the exam procedure
It is of utmost importance that you know the GRE exam procedure by heart before taking the test. This can help by making sure the exam goes smoothly and so that you are not worrying about making silly mistakes. So, how is the GRE structured and what are its procedures? The GRE has three sections:
- Quantitative Reasoning, two sections (35 minutes per section).
- Verbal Reasoning, two sections (30 minutes per section, 20 questions per section).
- Analytical Writing, one section with two separately timed tasks (30 minutes per task).
The total time it takes to complete the GRE, with breaks, is usually 3 hours and 45 minutes. If you’re interested in learning some test strategies to boost your score, check out our article “8 GRE test strategies to help you boost your score.”
2. Take the GRE practice exam during the same time as the real one
Having routines in life helps us manage our time efficiently. The same can be said for the GRE exam. It is crucial that you know what time your real exam is going to be so that you can start preparing and practicing during the same time of the day. Why is this important? Let’s say you usually wake up at 11 AM and start studying around 1 PM. If your exam starts at 10 AM, you’re going to have a hard time functioning to the best of your abilities. Thus, it is suggested that you create a routine around your exam time so that your brain and body can get used to it.
3. Revise your previous GRE mistakes, but don’t acquire new knowledge
Cramming in new information a few days before taking the GRE does not usually result in effective learning. It is a student’s habit to start learning new material at midnight, but this will not help you solidify your knowledge. GRE needs practice and time, and you simply cannot learn new things in a span of a few hours. That is why it is better to go over what you have learned thus far, which will help in remembering what you already know. If this makes you feel like you have to have a plan, that is great! You can start with study plans months or even a year beforehand. Take a look at these GRE prep tips to help you start with your GRE journey in an efficient way.
In conclusion, it is often easy to get stressed before the exam and lose track of time. To feel prepared to take the GRE, we that you get accustomed to the exam procedure, take the practice exam during the same time as the real one, and revise your previous mistakes, but don’t try to acquire new knowledge a day or two out. These are only a few tips to help you feel more confident about the big day! If you would like to read more about GRE and what to expect on the test day, we have answered some FAQs for you. Some people feel more assured about taking the exam when they have GRE tutors. If you can do it on your own, then good job! If you are thinking about having an instructor help you with the GRE, you can sign up for a complimentary consultation call.
Contributor: Sarin Sulahian