GRE Stress
Posted on
24
Sep 2021

How To Keep Your Sanity While Preparing For The GRE

By: ApexGRE
Contributor: Nemrout Safarian
Date: September 24, 2021

The Hows:
1. Taking a GRE Preparation Course
2. Creating an Effective Study Schedule
3. Controlling Your Emotions
4. Maintaining Connection to Your Support Team
5. Resting and Getting Good Sleep
6. Celebrating Your Big and Little Achievements
7. Meditate
8. Doing Things You Love

Experiencing too much anxiety over the GRE Exam might cause a negative impact on your mental health and make it difficult for you to keep your sanity. Moreover, it might even make it more challenging to concentrate when studying and disrupt your sleep schedule. However, with the correct test stress and anxiety-busting tactics, as well as an effective studying schedule, your GRE exam preparation may become much simpler.

Here are 8 tips we recommend in order to make your GRE exam preparation stress-free and effective.

1. Take a GRE Preparation Course

Everyone’s GRE story is different. Some people can get a high score based on everything they already know, without opening a GRE book. But, for most students, a preparation course or one-on-one prep time with a GRE personal tutor is necessary for two reasons: first, it puts you in the right direction in terms of exam content, strategies, solution paths, and tactics to tackle problems, by helping you structure a concrete and designated studying plan; secondly, it makes you feel much more confident and emotionally calm, as you work with a trustworthy and an experienced professional who knows the ins and outs of the exam and preparation for it, and can assist you with anything necessary throughout the process. Apex GRE, for example, offers complimentary consultation calls for interested individuals, looking for structured and personalized GRE preparation. 

2. Create an Effective Study Schedule

Don’t wait for the perfect time to take the GRE. This moment may never reveal itself! Life will always throw you curveballs and can end up curtailing well-thought-out plans. Situations may arise which may interfere with your GRE preparation. During your GRE prep, you should take the extra effort to harmonize any unexpected situations with your study schedule. One effective method you could try is to divide your studying schedule into multiple time frames throughout the day so that you can concentrate in smaller doses rather than studying for 5-7 hours straight and losing your ever so vital focus. Study the materials during the weekdays and devote some part of your weekend to practice tests where necessary. Those, in turn, will help you to assess your progress and help you to understand your main strengths and weaknesses.

3. Control Your Emotions

At some point, the GRE will stress you out, making you feel disappointed and frustrated. This is natural! Whether it is an unsatisfactory score on a practice test or the feeling of giving up, the GRE can make it easy to have an emotional breakdown. However, it is important to be able to take control of your emotions, and have a “never a failure, always a lesson” attitude. Every time you make a mistake, try to dive deep into that specific concept and figure out why you made that particular mistake, and learn from it. This is exactly how you make progress. Whenever you feel like you can’t go on anymore, remember your goals and aspirations, and that this test is a key to the completion of those. With the proper frame of mind, you will find yourself studying again in no time.

4. Maintain a Connection to Your Support Team

The people you communicate with during your GRE preparation process are very important and can hugely affect your frame of mind. Try not to isolate yourself too much from them, spending your whole time in your room cracking all those GRE books and practice tests. Instead, spend time with the people whose presence is pleasing to you, who support and believe in you – whether it’s your family, your best friend, or the new acquaintance that has no idea what the GRE even is. Constant communication with the people you love will positively affect your overall mentality and help you stay positive when preparing for the test.

5. Get Some Rest and Good Sleep

Another essential thing to remember is to arrange your sleeping schedule. When you need to get up at a certain time, subtract half an hour from the number of hours you wish to sleep. This time becomes the designated moment for turning off the lights. The extra half-hour is crucial, as we frequently overlook the time it takes to get ready for bed, set the alarm clock, and so on. This being said, be cautious as to what you are eating or drinking as an unhealthy diet can negatively affect your sleep schedule. Although the effects of caffeine may differ from person to person, try to avoid all sources of caffeine after 3 p.m. and modify accordingly. Aside from coffee, caffeine is found in a variety of foods and drinks, including tea, chocolate, and carbonated beverages. However, there are benefits to caffeine products when consumed thoughtfully. 

6. Celebrate Your Big and Little Achievements

Your GRE preparation process aims to help you reach your goals! Reward yourself a little – take a moment and celebrate your achievements – whether it is seeing progress on practice test scores or a complicated Math concept that you finally mastered. It will help you feel more positive and confident about your overall knowledge and skills and be brave enough to challenge yourself with tougher concepts. As you progress down your GRE journey, be sure to celebrate your short- and long-term accomplishments.  These moments of celebration will undoubtedly assist you in keeping yourself on top of your game.

7. Meditate

Studying hard and spending time on your GRE study materials is very important. However, you need to keep in mind that during this process, your mind should be at ease as much as possible, and mediation can provide you with that!

The goal of a study done by Santa Barbara academics was to find an answer to the question of whether meditation can increase students’ test scores on a test. The researchers gave a group of students a two-week mindfulness training course to determine if effective mindfulness practices may help them perform better. Following the program, participants were required to take a GRE reading comprehension test. The test takers who followed the mindfulness training protocol fared better on their examinations, with considerably higher average marks, according to the researchers. So, you can be sure that by meditating you will definitely improve your overall performance on the test.

8. Doing Things You Love

Nothing can ever make you happier than doing what you love. Whether it’s singing, dancing to your new favorite pop song, or watching movies, you should devote some time to distracting yourself from studying by doing the things you enjoy. Not only will this help you not to feel pressured and overwhelmed by all those GRE materials, but it will also make you feel much more energetic, full of life, and HAPPY. These are absolutely necessary for you to perform as well as possible on your GRE test.

Good luck studying and remember to believe in yourself!

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10 things you should consider before you begin your GRE prep
Posted on
17
Sep 2021

10 Things You Should Consider Before You Begin Your GRE Exam Prep

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Simona Mkhitaryan
Date: September 17, 2021

The Structure of GRE Exam 

The GRE test is a 3-hour 45-minutes (10 minutes break, included) exam with 3 main sections:  Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and an unidentified/unscored section. The Analytical Writing section will always be the first section, then the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and unidentified/unscored sections may appear in any order. The unscored experimental section can be either quantitative or verbal.

The GRE can be taken in two formats: computer-based and paper test. The content for each type of test is the same, but there can be some differences between the timing and the number of questions. 

Scores: The official GRE scores for computer-based exams are available within 10-15 days after the test date and for paper-delivered tests within five weeks. The scores will also be sent to the particular institutions you want. 

Retaking process: When taking the paper-delivered test, you can retake the GRE as many times as you want. However, if you took the GRE test via computer, you can retake it once every 21 days and up to five times a year.

Cost: The standard fee for GRE is US$205. 

GRE Sections

2 GRE Sections are Section-Level Adaptive 

The GRE Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections are section-level adaptive. So, what does it mean? It means that an algorithm selects successive sections based on the previous sections’ performance. The final score is then composed of each section’s score equally. 

GRE Scores are Valid for Five Years

GRE test score is valid for five years. Hence, before taking or preparing for the GRE, it is essential to know the validity of the exam to plan when to take the GRE properly. If you already have a particular school or program you want to apply to, you have to schedule your test based on the deadlines the school has defined. Nonetheless, it would also be good if you keep in mind the validity time frame on the off chance that you are as yet uncertain about when you will apply to schools.

The Maximum Score of GRE Exam

The highest total GRE score is 340, a 170 both for Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. Unlike other tests, GRE scores are presented separately. So, when you send your GRE results you will probably send three separate scores for each section. Moreover, the Analytical Writing Section is scored on an independent scale from 0-6. If you already know which university you are going to apply to, pay attention to whether the university or program has any section preferences or not. 

Average GRE Scores

GRE Score Ranges

The GRE Calculator 

Unlike the GMAT, you can use a specific GRE calculator during the Quantitative Reasoning section. For paper-delivered GRE, the GRE calculator will be provided during the test, but you cannot bring your own to the exam. For computer-based GRE you can use the on-screen calculator. However, simple calculations are often quicker and safer to solve without a calculator, to avoid entry errors.

As mentioned not all calculators are allowed during the exam. So, what GRE calculator can be used for?  

  • Add, subtract, divide, multiply 
  • Parenthesize
  • Take the square root of
  • Add a decimal to 
  • Change signs
  • Store the answers via memory keys
  • Display up to eight digits at a time

The calculator doesn’t include exponents, constants like π or e, logarithmic (ln, log) or trigonometric (sine, cosine, tangent) functions, nested parentheses, or the ability to square or cube. 

GRE Exam Acceptance and Graduate Programs

The GRE as the GMAT is a common and widely accepted exam for graduate programs. It is common in the USA, Canada, Australia, etc. As GMAT usually serves for the MBA Program, the GRE is recognized by several business schools and has GRE Subject tests which are available in fields such as chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology, literature in English, and psychology. So, as a matter of fact, the GRE is used not only in business programs but also in various areas.

Defining Strengths and Weaknesses  

This analysis will help you know what you are good at and what you need to improve. First of all, plan your strategy about how you are going to analyze your weaknesses and strengths. It can be by taking the GRE practice test once and then figuring out which areas you felt particularly weak or strong in.

Another option is to maintain a notebook for a week and mark down the weaknesses and strengths you encounter during your initial studying. Via this analysis, you might get a sense of whether you are good at time management, what your speed is, and much more. During the analysis, try to identify which question types are the most challenging for you in each section. Figure out what soft skills you have that might help you during the exam and pinpoint the ones that need improvement. After that, conclude and start working on developing new skills and overcoming weaknesses. Always keep in mind having a realistically achievable goal for the final target as a score. Scoring a 300 + on the GRE exam isn’t an easy thing! 

Developing a Study Schedule 

After acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, design a personalized study plan to guide you throughout your preparation, decide what sources and courses you need, whether you are going to prepare only with tests, or go step by step through topics and sections. You should start preparing for the GRE at least three to six months before the test date, so try not to cram at the last minute! Schedule your learning format and decide which strategy fits the best with your prep level.

You might also consider taking courses with a GRE private tutor, from whom you will get a lot of help and guidance in your GRE preparation creed. This will make your prep easier since you will stick to your study schedule and know ahead of time when you should be studying. Hence, prioritizing your GRE study schedule and then fitting the rest of your day around it will be more effective.  

Using Flashcards and Other Study Methods to Prep for the GRE Exam 

During GRE preparation, it is vital to use practical and helpful materials that will guide your preparation process. It is essential to know which study method works best. Eventually, most of the time, GRE requires self-study mode. However, besides that, you can take online GRE classes, in-person GRE classes, and finally prepare with a private tutor/instructor who will help you with their knowledge and experience.

Flashcards are another great way to study and make quick notes on GRE sections. While preparing for the GRE, the Verbal Reasoning section tests the knowledge of advanced and sophisticated vocabulary. It is an excellent way to write the words on flashcards and start practicing. The GRE Quantitative Reasoning questions test your knowledge of four main subjects you need to concentrate on while preparing and practicing for the GRE: Algebra, Arithmetic, Data Analysis, and Geometry. Hence, make sure to use the right and most comfortable study methods that fit your schedule the most. 

The GRE Exam Timing 

 When preparing for the GRE, try to keep track of your time to allocate it equally to each section. However, do this step after identifying what concepts are complicated for you to allocate more time on those topics and train yourself to solve those problems. Practice pacing because, during the  GRE, time management is critical to complete the exam. The worst scenario in the GRE is that sometimes the test takers run out of time towards the end. This is because some of the test takers do not stick with the time and fall behind. Thus, set and stick to certain time milestones to finish the exam on time. Getting every question on the GRE right doesn’t do you much good if you can’t answer all the questions within the time limit. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, before preparing for the GRE, be sure to first familiarize yourself with the  GRE structure, the cost, maximum score, acceptance, GRE calculator, and format. Then define your weaknesses and strengths, develop a study plan, use different study methods and hit the green light! Finally, while practicing for the GRE, try to keep track of time and concentrate on learning rather than answering all the questions correctly. 

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GRE Guide
Posted on
10
Sep 2021

9 Daily Practices For GRE Success

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan
Date: September 10, 2021

Tips:

1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end
2. Review the GRE sections
3. Set a time limit for each day
4. Do not forget to reward yourself
5. Forget about the target score only focus on improvement
6. Give yourself a pep talk
7. Be your own critic
8. Strategy is important
9. Be confident and remember that everything is in your hands

                                                                                               

     Studying for the GRE exam can be an extensive burden on your shoulders, especially if you are a non-native English speaker. For making your time manageable, you definitely need to come up with a study plan. So how do you design one that works? The paramount thing that you should consider is keeping you on track and studying not less than intended. You need to have specific goals for each day to become more accountable for your daily actions. We offer 9 tips for GRE test preparation that will help you address your lowest and weakest points. Even though every individual taking the exam has different expectations, you should gain greater focus by prioritizing your day along with GRE preparation. Sticking to a daily routine is an integral part of life; the most difficult thing is adhering to it, avoiding procrastination, and maintaining motivation. Therefore, after learning all the exam basics, such as the timing, the sections, and the preparation materials, it is worth creating a checklist by using our recommended tips.

1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end

The thought of success can create happiness! Once we attain something that seemed hard initially, the suspense wears off, and the excitement rapidly comes in. By taking time every day to imagine achieving your goal you can stay motivated and on the right path. When we experience happiness our brain releases serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. By keeping the picture of accomplishment in our mind’s eye each time, the happiness never fades away. Hence, if every day contains even a tiny drop of happiness, even the most complex struggles seem to be a joy. Whether the GRE exam is a struggle or not, happiness and motivation are something that one undoubtedly always lacks. Do your best to look at the bigger picture and think of the steps that will expedite reaching the top.

2. Review the GRE sections

As GRE might imply struggles and confusion in your head because of your previous lack of math or verbal knowledge, by reviewing sections daily you need to make sure that the question types and the overall format are a piece of cake at the end. Whether you have a private GRE tutor or are studying on your own, be sure to review the format every day before going through your study materials. You may do short quizzes on analytical writing, verbal or quantitative reasonings to keep pace with timing and question types. You can consider this form of revision as stretching your brain muscles before the main exercise. Doing a simple GRE quiz each time will make you more cautious about time management and remind you about the type of questions that might pop up afterward. You can even shortly look into some question types from the unscored section to acquaint yourself with the question types.

3. Set a time limit for each day

As it is said, time is the only non-redeemable commodity, so proper allocation is a fundamental key to success. Hence, determining how much time you exactly need to allocate each day will foster productivity and make you avoid GRE burnout. Try to study every day at the same time by finding the right spot in the day when your brain picks up and retains the most out of the bunch of materials and information, which rapidly sinks in. You can even think of studying some time for weekday preparation and extending on the weekends. Just know that GRE preparation takes around from 4 to 20 weeks in general. As the hour allocation differs from person to person, it can range from 5-6 hours per week to 2-3 hours a day or even 120 hours studying ten hours a week. The answer here is that it depends. You may even do quizzes for testing your knowledge to define a daily hour limit. You can search for a large number of those quizzes on the internet. Besides, ensure the limit you set for yourself is reasonable because procrastinating one day and doubling the hours the next day does not seem plausible. It does not matter how many months you have on your hands; the significant thing is precise allocation. Remember that time is the most expensive investment you are making. Never forget that your study-life balance should be of utmost importance. 

4. Do not forget to reward yourself

It is no secret that the GRE, besides being burdensome and overwhelming, is also not considered to be an ordinary exam. This is why you cannot exhaust yourself by wasting time without scheduling mind gainful breaks. Sometimes your body just needs to do nothing for the sake of evading GRE scoring plateaus. Even though this might sound counter-intuitive, there are times when you need to prepare without studying. Therefore, not having small rewards in front of you every day will drain your energy. As GRE is mainly concept-focused and tests your understanding of certain structures and techniques, breaks ease your mind allowing better integration and memorization of concepts. Those rewards are things and rejuvenate your broken concentration. You can try something like the Pomodoro Technique. This technique helps break down time into intervals with short breaks. Instead of breaks, you can think of something ‘non-GRE related’ that will make you regain focus. For example, by grabbing a quick snack, meditating, or walking around the house. Even though small rewards are significant, the GRE strategy also involves a larger reward; a big break. As depleting yourself over some time is a grind on your body and mind, even leading to serious fatigue, taking a break for one or two days can sometimes be the best action. Whichever works best for you, make use of it; even those brief respites retain your stamina. Finally, never forget about the grandiose reward; your final score. During small daily rewards or even larger breaks, always remind yourself of the one thing you are putting arduous effort into. Remember possible competition; maybe your friends are also preparing, think about the bragging rights after you have a successful finish! 

5. Forget about the target score, only focus on improvement

GRE preparation practices do generate plight both in physical and mental states. It is crucial to remind oneself of the improvement phases. We agree that everything you are going through is for the final score, but focusing too much on it deteriorates the mental support you could get by concentrating on what you are gaining from that infuriating experience. All successful practices dictate that you should focus on one thing at a time, which improves every day until the exam day. When the exam day comes, you will utilize all the knowledge and effort to get the highest GRE score possible. Keeping daily track of your improvements relieves some of the weight. Even the tiniest advantage acquired can be a game-changer. For instance, finishing each section a minute earlier than before will eventually contribute to achieving more significant results on the exam day. 

6. Give yourself a pep talk 

I am sure you receive a lot of support from the people surrounding you. However, self-encouragement is of the utmost importance. Look around, see what others are doing at your age and inspire yourself. Choose wisely between the tradeoffs. Such as choosing to study instead of partying. Giving a short talk to yourself every day will make you more enthusiastic about reaching your objectives. A recent scientific study has shown that talking to yourself dwindles anxiety and stress while boosting performance. This is no less true for exam and test prep. Give yourself motivational and instructional speeches and reiterate the same order daily. Both methods promote positivity as motivational talks cheer you up and keep up the eagerness to study and strive for more, while self-instructional talk directs detail-orientation and accentuates what exactly you need to do for that particular day. For example, start every day by loudly stating what should be done for the day. It helps with thinking about the mechanisms of every individual task and visualizing methods to complete them correspondingly. 

7. Be your own critic

Of course, you need all the encouragement and self-support to reach your goals, but especially during GRE exam preparation, you need to criticize yourself. If you need a 330+ GRE score, you should be aware that it will not come effortlessly. Give yourself credit on what you are doing right, but also consider aspects of the GRE problems that you need to elaborate on and master additional skills. The GRE is not the only requirement in applying to an MBA program. Top graduate schools do not come easy, which is why learning to grow from the beginning will come in handy even after taking the GRE and being admitted to the desired university. The dominant thing is separating the action from the person because you are criticizing your actions and not you as a person; you should not humiliate yourself, detect the triggers of low performance and failure and make yourself accountable for such actions. Ultimately, the ability to discern your flaws and work on personal evolution is an inherent quality for capacitating your abilities and aptitudes and pulling it off in life. 

8. Strategy is important 

As you already might know from applying to an undergraduate program, preparing for a test that measures your critical, analytical, and problem-solving abilities is bothersome. Coming up with a plan puts you on a strategic path. Your organization efficiency and strategizing skills will be the first and foremost things to aid in your success and aim. You need to think like you are taking the test in 12 hours for example. Which sections would you work on the most? How fast can you adapt yourself to the exam pace? In order to have the answers to these questions, you must spend huge amounts of time on your strategy review and have a clear mindset on what you are working on.

9. Be confident and remember that everything is in your hands

Have you ever thought about the law of attraction? It is basically a belief that everything you imagine is accomplishable. As positive thoughts bring in positive outcomes you should believe in yourself. Of course, maintaining a solid focus on your weaknesses is important, but you should intuitively know that you are the one who is capable of transforming weaknesses into strengths. Sometimes during practice tests and even the exam, you can trust your gut feeling, because if you have studied enough your instincts may sometimes subconsciously rationalize your final decision. So whenever your consciousness hesitates, the subconscious mind comes into play by literally forcing you to choose the correct answer. Just make sure to dedicate enough of yourself to set up a study and practice plan for executing some of the most significant strategies. The thing is to never doubt confidence and face the situation with your head up. 

 

We do understand that you may be struggling with GRE preparation. However, make sure to follow our recommendations. Create a daily checklist and think of other tips that may be useful to you. GRE prep will help you use time more productively and make you become strategic. Of course, physical preparation is essential, but the mental direction is just as important, as you need to have the mental focus on your goal and the determination of how you will reach it. Whether you have a GRE private tutor or not, you are your tutor, and it is on you to maintain motivation during the entire process and ace the exam. We suggest you develop a GRE strategy along with these nine tips to attain greater productivity, address your weaker points, and eventually manifest superb performance. Make studying for the GRE a daily habit, and keep yourself posted on the GRE advice, techniques, and instructions APEX always provides you with as concentrating only on the score will not amplify the methods and techniques you use to approach each question. Building up more practice is something that will retain your track and focus.

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GRE Prep Calendar: How To Create Your Perfect GRE Prep Calendar?
Posted on
05
Sep 2021

GRE Prep Calendar: How to create your perfect GRE prep calendar

Introduction

Congratulations, you have decided to continue with your education! Deciding to attend graduate school is a big step. It will open up doors to further opportunities for you, both intellectually and professionally. Having a master’s degree under your belt can help you earn that promotion you have always wanted or allow you to pivot your post-undergrad career into an area you are super passionate about! Regardless of why you are deciding to attend graduate school, one large hurdle stands in your way: the Graduate Record Examination or GRE for short. 

For many, the GRE can seem like a daunting task. Especially for those individuals who are returning to school years after completing their undergrad. But the task of successfully studying for and taking the GRE is doable. As long as you are driven, determined, and willing to set a strict study schedule, your graduate school dreams are within your grasp. 

Here at ApexGRE, we have created the perfect GRE calendar preparation for future GRE test takers. By following the simple steps we have laid out, you can get the most out of your GRE preparation and ace your exam! 

Steps to your Perfect GRE Prep Calendar

First, grab a calendar, yearly planner, or your phone. You will need to mark the dates and times necessary for studying. 

1. Figure out when you want to take the GRE

Once you have figured out what you want to study, you need to find the perfect graduate school programs. For most graduate schools, a GRE entrance exam is required. Some schools offer GRE waivers, however, these are rare and are usually offered on a case-by-case basis. Once you have found the programs you are applying to, check out their application deadlines. Based on these deadlines, you can figure out when you need to take the GRE. It would be suggested to take the GRE well before the admissions deadlines. Often, your GRE scores last at least 5-years, meaning you could technically take the GRE a few years before you apply to graduate school. However, here at Apex, we suggest you take the GRE at least a couple of months before the admissions deadline. This is because, if you happen to get a score lower than expected, you will have time to retake the test and aim for a one.
Count back 3 months from the test date. THIS is the day you will begin your official GRE test prep.

2. Take a free practice test

Before you even begin studying for the GRE, you need to take a practice exam. By taking a practice exam, you will know right away where your strengths and weaknesses are. It will also give you a baseline to know how to study and which parts of the exam require the most effort and attention. By keeping track of your score, you will also see your progress as you go along your test prep journey. 

Determine Strengths and Weaknesses

3. Capitalizing on when you can best prep. 

Are you a morning bird? A night owl? Do you find your brain works best during the afternoon? Knowing this about yourself can help you set your daily study schedule. If you find that your brain works best bright and early, then try to carve out an hour or two each morning to study before heading off to work or going to class. If you enjoy studying late at night, then find time after work or after dinner where you can spend two hours preparing. Once you have decided what time of day you want to study, it is important to keep a daily schedule. It is best to find a rhythm that you work best with so that your mind and body are prepared to study each day. 

Are you a Morning Bird? A Night Owl? 

4. Week 1 – GRE Basics

Great. You have decided on your test date, you have counted backward by 3 months, and you have determined what time of day you wish to study. Pull out your calendar, yearly planner, or phone and mark out the first week. Putting aside 1 or 2 hours each day in either the morning or the night where you study for the GRE. During this first week, you will get acquainted with the GRE Test Basics.
– Become familiar with the GRE format and content. Prepare yourself for what you are about to encounter during the next 3 months and on the day of your GRE exam. A good start is reading articles that introduce you to GRE’s structure, sections, timing, and scoring. 
– Analyze the results from your practice test. As you are in the process of reviewing the results of your practice test, it would be helpful to ask yourself some questions to better understand the difficulties you encountered. When analyzing the solutions of some questions you got wrong or maybe you weren’t totally confident about, take note of any patterns. What section/s did you find most challenging? Which types of questions within each section were you struggling most with? Also, don’t forget to ask yourself questions about the “bigger picture” like: Were you able to finish every section? Did you feel anxious? How did you feel at the end of the test?

5. Week 2 – Quant Section

Great, it’s week two! During your first week, you have overviewed what to expect on the GRE overall. Now it is time to get a little bit more specific. Keeping your same daily schedule (whether you study in the AM or PM), change your study content to familiarize yourself with the GRE quant section. Read about which types of quantitative questions and content that you are most likely to come across during your 3 months of preparation, mock tests, and the GRE test.

Review GRE Math. Before diving deeper into preparing for this section, take some time to brush up on some of the formulas, definitions, and topics of the Maths section. Make flashcards with the necessary formulas so you can memorize which formula should be used for which problem(s). If you found that during the practice test the quantitative section was easy-breezy, consider studying exceptionally difficult problems. Since the GRE is a computer adaptive test,  your questions will get exceedingly harder the more right answers you give. The more questions you answer correctly, the more difficult they will become, and thus the more likely you are to receive a higher score. 

Learn the underlying concepts related to each topic (percents, ratios, exponents, statistics, etc). In this section, you will come across some specific wording that can be fundamental to finding the solution to the problems. In order to not get stuck during the exam and waste your precious time, learning about the most frequently used concepts is helpful.

6. Week 3 – Verbal Section

It’s week three! Bearing in mind how you have been studying for the past two weeks, be sure to maintain your same study schedule for this week. During this week it is time to get acquainted with the GRE verbal section. A great way to start working with the verbal section is to become familiar with the overall structure of this section. To learn more about this section, how it is scored, and some insights about its subsections click here.

Learn how to tackle each type of question. There are three types of questions in the verbal section (Reading Comprehension, Sentence Completion, and Sentence Equivalence) and their purpose is to test certain skills. This means that for each of them you have to use particular strategies. 

Tip. It’s more effective to concentrate on one area at a time. So, while preparing for this section, choose one subsection and stick with it for a couple of days. For example, your third week could look something like this: Monday & Tuesday Reading Comprehension, Wednesday & Thursday Sentence Completion, and Friday & Saturday Sentence Equivalence, with Sunday being a rest day.

7. Week 4 – Monthly check-in

It has been a month since you started studying. If you have stuck to your study schedule, you have most definitely made progress. Now it is time to put that progress to the test! 

Take your second practice test. As the saying goes “Practice makes perfect.” The more you get yourself exposed to GRE practice exams, the more likely you are to achieve your desired score.

Review your results. While looking at the answer explanations, pay attention to the solutions of the questions you got incorrectly.  

Practice the type of questions you are having difficulties with. Identify the questions where you are spending more time than you should. Read some articles that recommend tips, strategies, and tactics that can assist in solving them faster. 

8. Week 5 – Quant Review

It is week five, and you now have two practice tests under your belt. You should be seeing progress in your ability to take the exam. Time to refine your reviewing and fortify your strengths while strengthening your weaknesses in the Quant section. 

Practice and enhance your knowledge of data analysis, Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic questions. Now that you are familiar with these terms it’s a good time to start reading some strategies on how to tackle these types of questions. After doing that, practicing what you just learned by solving problems focused particularly on these types of questions is extremely beneficial to your progress. 

Practice and enhance your knowledge of quantitative question types. There are four types of quant questions. These are Quantitative Comparison Questions, Multiple Choice (one answer), Multiple Choice (one or more answers), and Numeric Entry Questions. Memorize how these question types look so that you are prepared for the official exam. 

9. Week 6 – Verbal Review

Practice and enhance your knowledge of Sentence Equivalence questions. You can find articles about tips specifically about these types of questions and while practicing you be sure to make use of them. Another practical thing to do is read about articles related to common mistakes and how to avoid them. 

Practice and enhance your knowledge of Sentence Correction questions. Additionally, as was mentioned above, these types of questions concentrate on reviewing a few basic grammar concepts and skills.

Practice and enhance your knowledge of Reading Comprehension questions. Besides reading articles related to tips and common mistakes, reading Reading Comprehension-like writing is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the style and content of Reading Comprehension passages.

10. Week 7 – Analytical Writing Section

Make yourself acquainted with the GRE Analytical Writing section. This is the step that, as you have seen so far, applies to every section. You can’t anticipate doing well on a task without knowing what is expected from you. 

Review sample Analytical Writing templates. This is something that might come in handy when you need to format your essays. With some modifications, these templates can be used on test day. 

Practice. Practice. Practice. Writing a couple of essays in a day will help you master your timing and get used to the structure you may use on your GRE essay.

11. Week 8 – Monthly Progress Check

Time for another practice test!  After studying for almost every section, taking some mock tests will assist in keeping track of your progress. 

Review your results. This time try to identify the topics you are still not comfortable with. Solely taking mock tests without analyzing the explanations to questions is not going to be much help. 

Practice the type of questions you are struggling with. After analyzing these practice tests and understanding the patterns of your weaknesses, working more on the questions you find challenging leads to score improvements.

12. Week 9 – Review your Weaknesses, solidify your strengths

You have been spending a lot of your time preparing for the GRE. It is an arduous journey, but you’re not alone! During week 9, it is best to spend time reviewing the parts of the exam that you are most struggling with. Whether it is quantitative or verbal, spend a few hours a day reviewing those parts of the exam that you are most worried about. 

At the same time solidify your strengths. If you are a powerhouse on the verbal section, that doesn’t mean you should no longer study that portion. Switch between your strengths and weaknesses during this week in both the verbal and quantitative sections. If you know of someone else who is taking the GRE, get together with them and swap tips and tricks on how they are tackling studying. Finding a study buddy is especially helpful as you can both be emotional support from one another! 

13. Week 10 – Time and Stress Management

Some other significant factors to consider while working on preparing for the GRE test are time and stress management. A good start is reading a handful of blogs and articles that suggest many tips and strategies that can help you improve your time and stress management skills.

14. Week 11 – Review and Relax 

During the last week don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. Instead, try to take care of your mind and body as much as you can. One last brief review focused primarily on the sections or type of questions you struggled most with is going to be enough.  Finally, the most important tip, don’t forget to enjoy your GRE preparation journey.

We at the Apex team hope that you find this GRE study plan helpful. If you want to discuss your progress and possibly have some one-on-one preparation sessions with us, we would be happy to help, set up a complimentary consultation call with a GRE instructor here

 

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GRE Test Day
Posted on
02
Mar 2021

GRE Test Day FAQ

Should I arrive early at the test center on test day?

Yes, you should arrive early at the test center as there is a check-in procedure that you have to go through before taking the exam. Make sure to be there at least 30 minutes early. If you are 15 minutes late on test day, the administrators may not allow you to take the exam.

What is the check-in procedure?

Once you show up at the test center, you have to present a valid GRE-approved photo ID to the administrators. They may ask you to raise your hands and leg pants above the ankles to be sure you are not bringing any unregulated test aids into the center with you . will take your picture, signature, and fingerprints and they will ask you to sign a GRE confidentiality statement to where you agree to the rules and regulations. 

What documents should I bring to the test center?

There are 2 things you’ll definitely need with you on exam day. Firstly, make sure to bring your GRE-approved photo ID which contains your name, your date of birth, a recent photograph, and your signature (a passport, a national ID card, or a driving’s license). You will not be allowed to take the GRE if you don’t present that document. Another thing to definitely bring with you on test day would be your appointment confirmation letter or email. It is not necessary that you bring that with you, however, it is good to have it on you in case of a misunderstanding or mistake in the system.

Pro tip: It is also a good idea to bring a list of your choice of graduate programs that you want your scores sent to. You don’t want to have to decide that on exam day.

What am I allowed to bring into the exam room?

You are not allowed to bring anything with you into the exam room, as everything will be provided for you. Electronic devices like phones, tablets, smartwatches, etc. are also not allowed. Even though you can bring snacks and water with you to the test center, you will not be allowed to take them with you into the exam room, as you’ll be asked to put them in a storage room or locker. However, you will be able to access those during your breaks.

Am I allowed to bring a calculator?

Personal calculators are not allowed when taking the GRE exam, so it is best to leave it at home. In fact, it is a good idea to leave any electronic device that you will not need at home.

Is there a dress code that I should follow?

There is no specific dress code for the test day, however, you should make sure that you dress comfortably and that you bring extra clothes in case it is cold in the exam room.

What do I do if my computer stops working while taking the GRE?

If that is the case, one thing that you should not do is try to fix the computer by yourself. The best way to handle that situation is to raise your hand and ask for the administrator’s help.

What is the best way to handle disruptions while taking the GRE?

According to the policies, any disruptive situation that deviates from normal testing procedures will be thoroughly examined and the decision will be made on a case-to-case basis. In that case, you might be allowed to retake the exam with no additional charge or you can ask for a refund of the initial test fee. Nevertheless, there will be noises such as coughing, shifting, and other small sounds that can distract you during the exam. In order to avoid this affecting your concentration drastically, spend some time practicing for the exam in an uncontrolled environment, such as a coffee shop to get yourself used to the movement and sounds of others while practice focusing on your prep.

Will I be given something to write on during the exam?

You will be provided with pens and scratch paper by the test administrators once you are seated. If you are taking the online GRE there is an on-screen scratchpad and recently introduced a pre-approved scratch paper option.

Do we get breaks during the exam?

As the GRE exam takes a lot of time to complete, you will be allowed to go on a 10-minute break after the 3rd portion of the test, and you will receive a 1-minute break between all other sections. Our instructors advise you to take advantage of this time for what it is meant for, a break. Clear your mind from exam activities and try to focus on relaxing. Eating a snack is always encouraged as this will give you an energy boost, just make sure that it is the right type of snack.

What do I do if I am not feeling well on test day?

Generally, it is not a good idea to take the GRE exam if you’re not feeling too well on test day, as the GRE is long and your health can potentially affect your progress and final score. Be careful, if you have to reschedule your test within four days of the exam, you will forfeit your registration fee and will need to pay the original registration costs all over again.

How many times can I take the GRE exam?

There is no limit on the number of times you can take the GRE exam (you can take the GRE exam up to 5 times in a 12-month period). However, it is not advised that you take it more than 3 times as it may give the wrong impression to graduate schools and it’s unlikely that your scores will improve that drastically in between exams.

How do I send my GRE scores to the schools I am applying to?

You will get a few options regarding when to send the GRE scores to the schools of your choice. Firstly, you can bring a list of graduate schools on test day and your scores will be sent to those programs free of charge. Another option would be waiting to get your official score and then sending them to the schools of your choice. In this case, you’ll have to pay $27 USD for each school that your scores are sent to.

Let us know if you have any additional questions regarding your GRE test day and one of our Top 1% Scored Instructors will be happy to answer them.

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GRE Studying
Posted on
01
Mar 2021

How to GRE: Efficient Learning

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Ivan Minchev
Date:  March 1, 2021

Studying can be a daunting task for many, especially when there is a limited amount of time, and when the exam – like the GRE – isn’t a standard standardized test. Lack of interest (it’s ok to admit it… not everyone is as excited as we are about the GRE), stress, and exhaustion can be distractions that hinder one’s concentration and progress. There are a myriad studying techniques out there to tackle these obstacles, with some more effective than others. This is why this list of 8 studying tips is aimed to assist you in preparing for the GRE in the most efficient manner possible.

1. Avoid Last-minute Cramming

Make sure you have enough prep time before the exam: our tutors recommend spending about 90-120 days on your GRE preparation from start to finish. Shorter time frames can work too, but if you can, give yourself the privilege of not having to rush.

Last-minute cramming is the most inefficient way of preparing for an exam, and can be counterproductive for the GRE, which tests your flexibility, not your knowledge. Cramming can result in added stress and anxiety, which can further detract from your performance. Moreover, the GRE doesn’t lend itself to cramming, meaning that you’ll need to dedicate some time to get used to its format, the types of questions, and most importantly the skills required to tackle the test to achieve a successful outcome.

2. Designate A “Study Spot”

Find a place where you feel relaxed, but alert – cozy but serious, without the presence of any stress-inducing or distracting factors. Be sure to keep your spot clean and tidy, and only use it for studying or similar mental work. The more you become accustomed to studying in your spot the easier it will be to transition into ‘study’ mode and you’ll be able to get the optimal yield of your GRE prep time.

3. Listen To Music (Optional)

Some people don’t fancy studying in silence, while others do. In fact, many people find it harder to concentrate due to the lack of background noise. The solution is simple – music. Play some calm background music to go with the study session. The genre depends solely on one’s musical tastes but typically jazz, lo-fi hip-hop, and classical music are go-to’s. Try to focus on instrumental music and avoid anything distracting.

Keep in mind that on the GRE itself no music is permitted, so your use of music is only to get into a flow state for studying. This means that on the GRE you’ll most certainly have to contend with annoying noises that you’d typically not notice. Especially when the testing room is silent and crowded, even the smallest of noises can become irritating. To counter this, also try studying in places that mimic the test environment in this negative sense. Total silence on test day is not a realistic expectation.

4. Don’t Forget To Rest

Taking a break is an essential component of progress. When somebody works out, they don’t train for 3 hours straight without any rest. Build a routine. Determine the best and most productive time of the day to study and take regular breaks to let your brain rest. For most people mid-morning and mid-evening are peak times for productivity in this regard. When preparing for the GRE try to spend 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15-minute units.

good night’s sleep is also crucial for a sharp mind, especially with mentally exhausting tasks such as the GRE. However tempting it might be to stay up late at night, not getting enough sleep will lower a person’s ability to concentrate and will greatly hinder your brain’s functionality when the time to study comes around. In fact, sleep has been shown in many scientific studies to be essential for long term retention of information and new ways of doing things, meaning that a good night’s sleep can actually be more valuable than a few more hours of studying.

5. Maintain A Healthy Diet

Food has an enormous impact on energy levels and focus; two things essential for success on the GRE. Keep your brain fueled by snacking on healthy and nutritious food.

Ideally, snacks should be slow energy release foods, such as nuts, some fruits like blueberries, green vegetables (avocados, broccoli, spinach, celery), yogurt, and even high protein foods like fish and eggs.

Avoid junk food, especially things that will cause fluctuations in your blood sugar. Also watch out for highly processed products (chocolate, cookies, doughnuts, and even fruit juice). Such food might give your body an energy surge for a while, but a crash will follow soon after.

6. Hydrate 

Just as eating the right way is of vital importance, staying hydrated is equally essential. Around 60% of the human body is water, with the brain being composed of almost 73% water. While this isn’t a scientific argument, numerous studies point out that in order to retain a higher level of focus and cognition, the brain, and the human connected to it, needs to be well hydrated. Make sure to drink enough water during study sessions and exam day. On test day, be sure to be hydrated, but don’t get stuck having to “go” in the middle of the test. There is nothing as distracting and hindering performance as being under pressure.

7. Try To Explain New Concepts Out Loud And In A Clear Way

As soon as a new strategy, concept, or technique is learned you should try to explain it out loud as if trying to teach it to someone else. Better yet, find someone to teach! And this doesn’t only apply to GRE prep but to efficient learning in general. This is a great way to make sure that it is thoroughly understood and can be successfully implemented. It also forces you to develop a vocabulary so that you can speak to yourself about a challenging problem in a productive way. Try doing this multiple times until you are able to explain it so effortlessly that another person can grasp it without much trouble. This is easier said than done but will accelerate your preparation immensely, even if imperfectly implemented.

8. Learn From Your Mistakes

Go over past GRE practice tests and redo them to see if there are still problematic sections that need extra focus. Keep track of past and current scores to measure progress more comfortably, and maintain an error log to track the types of problems that challenge you most frequently, as well as those that you understand but tend to sink a lot of time into due to inefficient solution paths.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it: 8 great techniques to enhance your study time. This isn’t a comprehensive list, though. Always actively try out new tactics to find what works best for you. At the end of the day, everybody has a unique way of learning, and your strategies should reflect your unique approach. If you have difficulty figuring out what works best for you and are in need of some guidance on your GRE prep journey you can schedule a complimentary call here

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GMAT vs GRE
Posted on
27
Feb 2021

GMAT vs GRE – The Most Competitive Jobs On The Market

By: Apex GMAT
Date: February 27, 2021

If you’re on the verge of pursuing a professional career in business administration, finance, marketing, marketing management, accounting, or law, etc. then taking the GMAT or GRE will be a detour along the way to the top. The type of exam you choose matters. There’s a positive correlation between test scores and future earnings; with higher test scores, you may qualify for a more competitive program, and ultimately, a more lucrative career. This article describes applications of the GMAT and the GRE in today’s labor market, as well as their similarities and differences, to help you determine which test is right for you.

GMAT vs GRE | Admissions Differences

By far the most important factor to consider is which exam your desired institution accepts and prefers.

Traditionally, the GMAT is the more common option when it comes to pursuing an MBA or a similar program at a business school. The test is specifically designed to evaluate skills that help MBA admission committees determine not only industry knowledge but also critical traits like risk and time management, problem-solving under pressure, and adaptability, all of which are essential for a successful business career.

The GRE’s most distinguishing feature is its suitability for a wider variety of graduate school programs in fields such as business, education, engineering, humanities and arts, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. If you’re targeting a non-MBA graduate discipline, pursuing a dual-degree, or you’re still unsure, then taking the GRE may allow you to kill two birds with one stone. It’s also worth noting that about 90% of MBA programs also accept GRE scores.

To determine which exam will make you the most competitive, ask the institution’s admissions counselors if they prefer the GMAT over the GRE. Despite many business schools’ claims that they don’t have a preference, around 90% of applicants decide to apply with a GMAT score. This discrepancy might be the result of test takers’ desire to show admissions committees that they have a clear understanding of their graduate program goals and career aspirations. If you aren’t sure which type of graduate program you’re interested in, then the GRE might be the better option. However, if you want to make sure you will be as competitive as possible for an MBA program, then pick the GMAT. In both cases, ranking among the top performers requires rigorous test preparation.

GMAT vs GRE | Structure, Timing, Scoring, Costs

gmat vs gre

GMAT vs GRE | Job Prospects

Also, consider each exam’s structure to determine which you’re more likely to perform well on.  GMAT prep will involve more focus on the quantitative section, which is more challenging than the GRE’s. MBA committees agree that an applicant’s performance in the quantitative section is one of the strongest indicators for a successful career. Conversely, with GRE prep, there is a strong focus on sentence equivalence and text completion sections which require a skilled command of highly sophisticated vocabulary. This may be particularly challenging to non-native English speakers.

The choice between the GMAT and the GRE may affect long-term career earnings beginning at the graduate level. Applicants with strong GMAT scores are more likely to receive MBA scholarships, which are usually not available for GRE applicants. Some companies even finance GMAT tutoring and exam fees for their employees or interns as an investment that will yield long-term results. When it comes down to actual labor market opportunities, however, the GMAT has an even stronger influence. Many firms, especially in consulting and finance, explicitly require a high GMAT score upon recruitment.

Lifetime Earnings Difference

Moreover, there is a high correlation between GMAT score and post-MBA salary. Over the course of 12 years working with applicants to the top 10 MBA programs, we at Apex have been able to track their progress from pre-GMAT to their post MBA careers. With data gathered from admission consultants who work with elite programs, as well as financial data from clients who have completed their MBAs, we conducted an internal analysis of the relationship between the exam score and post MBA financial gains. After correcting for other factors, our study suggested that each ten point increment in one’s GMAT score equates to $80,000 – $90,000 (NPV) of extra lifetime earnings.

An investment in GMAT preparation can result in a successful high-paying professional career in the most competitive fields that draw MBA graduates:

  • Finance – Financial Analysts, Financial Advisors, Investment Bankers, Investment Fund Executives
  • Management – Marketing Managers, Business Operation Managers, IS Managers
  • Business Consulting – Management Analysts, Marketing Managers, Business Operations Consultants, Information Technology Directors, Operation Research Analysts and all C-level positions

If you excel at test-taking and exam preparation, your GMAT or GRE journey can also lead you to secure a job as a GMAT instructor or GRE instructor. The concept of private, one-on-one GMAT or GRE prep that Apex’s GMAT tutors offer is built around a customized GRE curriculum and  GMAT curriculum. The goal of this approach is to work with both native and non-native English speakers to build cognitive skills that can be applied in and adapted to diverse working environments, resulting in career success.

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GRE Private Tutoring
Posted on
27
Feb 2021

One on one GRE Tutoring: Your Way to GRE Success

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Ilia Dobrev
Date: February 27, 2021
When it comes to GRE tutoring, we at Apex have learned that there are a set of core characteristics that all successful GRE test takers embody; no matter their industry, degree, personal traits, or prior levels of knowledge. In this article, we’ll:
  • explore each of these eight core characteristics
  • deconstruct a few of the faulty assumptions that test-takers bring to the process
  • distinguish one-on-one GRE tutoring as an efficient way for most people to achieve a competitive GRE score and build a solid foundation for a graduate program.

Many people preparing for the GRE believe that it’s the instructor’s responsibility to implement their own expertise and style to improve one’s current skill level and address one’s weaknesses. The reality, however, is more of a two-way street, where the important element is the compatibility between a tutor’s teaching style and a student’s learning style. A qualified instructor is one that first examines the way a client processes new information and perceives problems, and the techniques he or she uses to address those problems. Only after a tutor has understood one’s learning style can he/she match professional guidance with the needs of the client.

8 Ways One-On-One GRE Tutoring Gets You To A 328+ Score On The GRE

1. Creating a productive & efficient learning structure

Oftentimes, test takers seek GRE tutoring because they have stumbled upon enough types of challenging problems that they can’t tackle alone, or they’ve reached the peak of their self-preparation but still seek higher results. One-on-one GRE tutoring differs from self-prep and group work with a tutor in terms of the learning environment and having the benefit of external perception of your performance. With private GRE tutoring, communication dynamics are on a much more personal, and personalized, level – yielding stronger results much more quickly than alternative solutions.

The privacy and trust inherent in a One-on-one GRE tutoring setup permit test-takers to feel comfortable sharing their weaknesses in a safe environment and tackle those things that are challenging to them without worrying about how it will be interpreted by peers. The comfort afforded by this situation should not be underestimated. A private GRE tutor not only helps with improving one’s technique and self-knowledge but also strives to create a healthy and secure learning environment that is vital for:

  • reducing test anxiety
  • building GRE confidence
  • improving studying habits
  • avoiding distractions and disruptions of the learning process
  • encouraging freedom to ask questions
  • nurturing motivation
2. Constant two-way feedback

A fundamental rule of management states, “No feedback is bad feedback”. Another is “What gets measured gets managed.” When preparing alone or within a group, a future test taker will not have a clear indication about how effective they are performing until they take a practice exam, and even then the exam only focuses on specific metrics. A good private GRE tutor will know what to look for, what to measure, and what feedback to give to provide rapid and lasting results. They will guide you through questions that are matched to your current level of skill, meaning that you will be consistently receiving feedback on your methodology, time allocation, implementation of knowledge, and solution paths as you progress through your GRE preparation. This ongoing back and forth communication will allow you to identify your weak spots in self-prep as well, and revisit appropriate material to deepen your understanding of less comfortable concepts.

3. Learning at your own pace, and then speeding it up

Timing is the most crucial aspect of the GRE that you need to master to achieve a great score. Naturally, everyone excels at tackling some problems and needs more time to solve others. Tutoring can hone your timing decisions and your tutor can create a customized plan for timing allocation across a range of problems depending upon your relative strengths and weaknesses.

Studying with a private GRE tutor will also allow you to spend the right amount of time on each aspect of the exam according to your scoring needs. This lets you avoid inefficiencies and master only those techniques that will be most useful to you in order to fulfill your potential.

4. Developing specific skill sets to tackle each section of the GRE

The GRE test is a complex exam designed not to test high school knowledge, but rather core character traits like adaptability, time management, critical thinking, logical reasoning, and multitasking. You cannot achieve a high GRE score if there is a significant difference between your performance in each section of the exam. A private GRE tutor can give you the best insights on how to build, manage, and combine the different skills needed to get a great end result and achieve parity between your verbal and quantitative scores.

5. Realizing better use of your time

Flexibility and accessibility of learning are key to maximizing your potential. One-on-one GRE tutoring is:

  • Usually offered online. This means that you can schedule sessions at the most convenient time depending only on your flexibility. You can have lessons in your breaks from work, gaps between classes, during daily commutes, during holidays, in the park, etc.
  • Available at any time. This is not the case with group GRE tutoring as classes are scheduled depending on the instructor. Apex works globally and has tutoring available in every time zone around the globe. Private GRE tutoring should be designed to meet your lifestyle requirements and you should aim to schedule sessions when you are most productive. A technique that the best GRE instructors adopt is to schedule sessions at a time of the day when you are supposed to sit your actual exam. This can help you simulate conditions similar to those on test day and give you important insights on how to maximize your productivity at that specific time frame.
  • Offered with different options depending on duration and material covered in the program. Whether you are a beginner or someone who already has a strong understanding of the GRE, you can choose a specifically designed GRE curriculum depending on what you strive to achieve. This is reflected in the amount of hours you are going to spend with an instructor and in the price of the service. At Apex we offer a complimentary first call to help you determine what course of action will be the most suitable for you depending on your current level of preparation and your GRE aspirations.
6. Understanding where you excel and what you struggle with most

If you are aiming for an elite GRE score, you’ll need to leverage your strengths and recognize your weaknesses. Understanding the meaning behind each question, its structure and underlying testing purpose, and the methodologies the test writers use to construct the problems are essential for success. The best one-on-one GRE tutors are aware of the subtleties of the exam and can not only guide you around them but teach you how to leverage these subtleties for high-level insights into the hardest 330+ problems. This will predispose you to uncover features of the test that most preppers have never even considered.

7. Utilizing learning aids

Finding and gaining access to challenging GRE problems, authentic and reliable practice tests / mock exams, and appropriate study tools can take ages to hunt down (and cost a fortune). One-on-one GRE tutoring allows you to refocus your valuable time as experienced instructors will already have compiled a solid database of resources and questions and show you the ones that are most relevant to your success at your current level. That way, your instructor, and not you, will spend the time filtering them according to your needs and present the ones that will have the greatest positive impact on your GRE preparation.

8. The expertise and professional mentorship of a private GRE tutor

Working with an expert GRE tutor who has scored well into the top 1%, and who knows the exam inside and out will help you accelerate your learning and move the needle of your progress in ways you only read about on GRE blogs. Experienced instructors are trained to teach you how to overcome the different GRE scoring plateaus and meet your personal target. The goal of great tutors is not only to show you how to answer a question correctly, but also to help you extract a methodology that can be continuously applied to other questions across the GRE, and to problems beyond.

Apex’s tutors focus on teaching the higher-order strategies that are necessary for the achievement of a 328+ score and bringing out your optimal performance. Enlisting the help of a one-on-one GRE instructor is recommended for those who are short on time or those who already have a solid understanding of the exam and are scoring well (mid-200’s), but are looking to gain those extra points that will make them get into their dream graduate program and lay the groundwork for a challenging, engaging, and lucrative career.

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GRE test strategies
Posted on
25
Feb 2021

8 GRE Test Strategies To Help Boost Your Score

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Ivan Minchev
Date: February 25, 2021

More than 500,000 students take the GRE every year as a requirement to get into the thousands of different graduate and PhD programs worldwide. However, due to the complexity of the exam as well as its adaptive difficulty, only the top 10% of test-takers manage to score 328 or above. Here are 8 GRE test strategies you can utilize to achieve a higher score on the exam, no matter where you currently are on your GRE preparation journey.

1. Adopting the proper mindset

Perspective is everything. It is very important to understand that even though getting in the top 10% of test-takers might seem like a spectacular achievement (and don’t get me wrong, it certainly is) setting your goals on a certain score tends to be counterproductive. Instead, focus on attaining specific skills, knowledge, and command, and the score will follow. Goals lead to expectations and fear of failure, and fear of failure, in turn, results in stress, which can greatly hinder performance.

2. Overcoming stress!

Stress and fear can greatly influence your results, but there are ways to manage these very normal responses to a high-stakes situation. One of the ways to reduce stress and boost your confidence is by beginning your preparation process as early as possible – ideally 90-120 days before the exam. This provides enough time to fully grasp the complexities of the exam, and more importantly internalize a new set of skills to handle that complexity.

A test taker’s greatest enemy is test anxiety. Understand that anxiety happens to everyone. What sets top performers apart is how they handle that anxiety, and how they direct it back into their performance. Many people use a variety of relaxation techniques for dealing with test anxiety. The most common and easy to use method is to practice deep and controlled breathing in combination with visualization techniques.

3. For exam day…

Are you a coffee drinker? Surprisingly, caffeine can really help your performance on test day. Caffeine is a powerful nootropic that will help keep your senses sharp and will also boost the oxygenated blood flow to your brain, subsequently enhancing your performance. For more info on how coffee affects your performance click here.

Remember how we said that it’s important to begin your exam prep early? This “early bird” attitude can be applied in more ways than one. What this implies is that you must (not might, not should) prepare your GRE Test Day Survival Kit on the previous day and not leave this for the last moment. Everyone has waited for the last minute to do something, and chances are everyone has left something crucial behind. With the GRE being such an important exam such situations should be avoided as much as possible. Try having a mock exam day. Map out the whole test day and practice it as if it were real, including your trip to the testing center. This will help you normalize the process and alleviate anxiety on test day.

4. Value your time and manage it efficiently!

Since the GRE is a timed exam one’s planning and strategic skills are put to the test as they have to come up with an efficient time management strategy.

Use mental math tools whenever possible and also try getting used to reading and analyzing charts, graphs and tables efficiently for the data interpretation section.

Once you’re further along in your preparation and have mastered seeing multiple solution paths before engaging any of them, familiarize yourself with common problems, and built up test reading and perspective skills, then you can begin dedicating yourself to timed sets: working on a cluster of 10 consecutive questions for each section of the exam when on the clock. This helps you calibrate your timing decisions and more readily notice when they require adjustment.

Remember, just because the GRE is a timed exam, this doesn’t mean we must learn under a time constraint. Like good cooking, good learning takes time. Give yourself sufficient time to learn, while also making sure the learning time is spent as productively as possible.

5. The Data Interpretation section

A good way to rapidly identify information needed to solve a problem is knowing what to look for. Read the problems carefully (and this applies to all sections) and proactively determine what you want out of the information or solution path. This way, you will sift out most unnecessary information in advance, saving plenty of time along the way. However, this does NOT mean ignoring the text written around the tables/graphs/charts.

6. The Analytical Writing section 

Failing to plan is planning to fail! Always plan your essay! Set aside 4-5 minutes to plan what you are going to write and how you are going to structure your essay.

Create an essay template in advance! There are many ways you can go about making one but usually, the more you practice your essay writing skills the more used to a specific writing style you are going to get ultimately resulting in your own template.

7. Ask for help

There is nothing embarrassing about asking for help, especially when it comes to an exam that is so vital to one’s future. There are numerous GRE forums and courses on the web, where you can ask and get help from people who have already taken it.

However, if you would prefer a more personal and individualized approach you could consider hiring a private tutor. The benefit of not preparing alone but hiring a tutor is that it allows for direct feedback on what are an individual’s strengths and what needs improvement, while also receiving advice on how to achieve those improvements. As a result, when the exam day comes you will not only be well prepared but will also know it, having built up confidence in your abilities.

8. Practice, practice, practice!

No doubt you’re familiar with the phrase “practice makes perfect.” There is a reason why this is such a popular saying: it’s true! Not all practice is equal, though. Varied practice that aims at building on existing skills and knowledge is much more high yielding than repetition. No matter how clever you are, no matter how good of a student you’ve been or how proficient you are in math, if you do not put enough time and effort into your prep you are not likely to be happy with the end result. Even the top tutors and courses out there won’t be able to help you out if you don’t give your best. So remember, don’t just go through the motions, but practice by constantly looking at the same problems and concepts in new ways, and trying to use them in novel situations, and you’ll find your GRE prep vastly accelerated.

That was the list of 8 GRE Test strategies to help you score high on the exam. Keep in mind that what works for one person will not necessarily work for another as everybody learns differently. It is only through practice and proactive learning that you will be able to find what are the best methods for your success

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