Posted on
Aug 2022

GRE Prep: Do’s and Don’ts

If you’re planning to take the GRE exam, getting a high score on it is definitely one of your goals that will lead you to your dream school. Nevertheless, it’s not the easiest task to do, especially when one doesn’t spend enough time studying and/or understanding what the do’s and don’ts are when it comes to the exam. In this article, you will be walked through what can help you succeed in your GRE prep and what will most likely distract you. Read on to find out more!

GRE Prep Do’s

1. Do Spend More Time Working on Your Weaknesses

Before you even start your GRE prep, it is a good idea to take a practice test to identify your weaknesses and strengths and have an understanding about what you need to work on more. Afterwards, you can go ahead and find materials about the specific section(s) you need more time with, and start mastering your skills. While it is important that you spend appropriate time on each and every section of the exam, you need to be able to differentiate between the ones you’re good at and the ones you’re not very familiar with yet. After some time, make sure you take another practice test to make sure you’re on the right track and you’re actually improving your skills.

2. Do Keep Track of Your Time

Time management is one of the most important skills you need to have when preparing for any kind of exam. During your GRE prep, you need to constantly keep an eye on the amount of time you’re spending on each section, practice tests, reading materials, etc. While it’s crucial not to rush and really deep dive into each concept of the exam, you don’t want to spend your valuable time on things that could have been done quicker. So, before you start preparing, be sure that you’ve chosen the right materials and that the time you’re spending on the GRE topics reflect your skills and knowledge in those. 

3. Do Take Breaks

For every test taker, taking breaks occasionally is helpful and necessary. Studying as much as needed and taking your exam seriously will always benefit you, but you need to make sure that you’re not over-doing anything. Your brain needs to rest to be able to serve you well, so take breaks as needed to improve your overall performance. Those breaks can be in the form of listening to music or watching a movie. Whatever it is, take the time to do what makes you feel relaxed and “escape” from the GRE prep for some little time!

GRE Prep Don’ts

1. Don’t Mess Up Your Sleep Schedule

Depending on one’s busyness and study schedule, they can study at different times during the day. Some prefer studying in the morning, others would like to read some materials in the evening. However, one thing you should never do is mess up your sleep schedule by staying up all night and studying. Not only is it not effective in terms of you understanding the concepts,  but it is also bad for you in terms of your health. Moreover, studying at night can easily become a habit, too, making you feel tired all the time and drastically affecting your whole preparation process. So, make sure you sleep properly to rest and make your GRE prep more effective. 

2. Don’t Take Practice Tests Too Often

As we mentioned earlier, taking practice tests will help you identify what you’re good at and help you design your study schedule accordingly. However, it is equally important for you to know that taking practice tests too often is not the right thing to do, as it will not show any progress, giving you biased information about your performance. There should be some time gap between your practice tests during which you will work on your weaknesses and spend appropriate time mastering your skills. Hence, taking practice exams too often will make you feel as if you’re making no progress. 


In conclusion, as you’re preparing for your GRE exam, there are some do’s and don’ts to it you might want to consider.  To begin with the do’s, first of all, make sure you spend relatively more time on your weaknesses to perform better on your test day.  Secondly, always keep track of your time and do your best to use it as optimally as possible. Finally, make sure you take breaks as often as you need it, in order for your mind to rest. When it comes to the don’ts, don’t stay up all night reading and writing, messing up your sleep schedule which can cause problems not only in terms of your exam, but also your overall health in general. Finally, do not take practice tests too often. Make sure you actually learn/revise topics for some time before you take your next practice test!

Finally, here at Apex, we are more than happy to support you on your GMAT journey and assist you in every step of the process. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors who can help you develop your personalized GMAT prep schedule!


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