Posted on
07
Jun 2022

How Does the GRE Scoring Work?

You’ve booked to take your GRE or you have already taken it, you have quite the number of questions that you would like to get the answer to. More specifically, you’re probably concerned about how GRE scoring works. 

If that is the case, then this article is just the one for you.

We will touch bases on the following topics: 

-The GRE Exam
-The GRE Scores
-The GRE Score Calculation
-The GRE Percentiles
-Top MBA Universities and their Average GRE Scores

1. What is the GRE

The GRE, also known as  the Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test created and is still administered by the Educational Testing Service (the ETS). Just like any exam needed for graduate school admissions, the GRE is there to test and assess the level of readiness, academically and intellectually, for grad school.

Along with undergraduate transcripts, recommendation letters, and other requirements, the admissions will be able to estimate whether or not you will be capable of doing well in the program you applied to. Your GRE score is used as a common tool to compare your application to the other applicants’ applying as well. 

Some of the GRE test takers are worldwide applicants that are looking to pursue a master’s in business, MBA JD, or doctoral degree. Your GRE test score is required in thousands of schools. Schools like

    • Business Schools
    • Law Schools
    • Institutions and fellowship sponsors. 

The GRE takes exactly three hours and 45 minutes to finalize. These three hours and 45 minutes are divided between 3 main sections. Between these different sections, you are given a 10-minute break. The different sections in your exam will appear in the following order:

Section Number of Questions Time Needed
Analytical Writing  “Analyze an Issue” task, and “Analyze an Argument” task. 30 Minutes/task
Verbal Reasoning 20 questions per section  30 minutes/section
Quantitative Reasoning  20 questions per section 35 minutes/section

2. GRE Score

The GRE total score ranges between a minimum of 260, a maximum of 340, and a midpoint score of  150. Let’s break it down even further. Each of these three different sections has a certain minimum and maximum score, which is as follows: 

Section  Score Scale
Verbal Section 130-170, 1-point increments*
Quantitative Section 130- 170, 1 point increments
Analytical Writing  0-6, in half-point increments**

* In one-point increments: This means that there are 41 possible scores. In other words, you are receiving one point for each question you get right in both the Verbal or Quant sections. These points will be added up to get your raw score (0-40) for each section.

** In half-point increments: Suppose you got a 4/6 on the Issues essay and a 5/9 on your Argument essay. This then means that your total GRE Analytical Writing score would be 4.5.

After 10-15 days from your test date, your GRE test scores should be available. These same test scores will still be reportable after five years following your test date. You have the choice to pick which test scores you want to send out to your desired institution(s). For that, you have two options:

    • On Test Day: You can either send your Most Recent GRE score or All your GRE scores. (For four FREE GRE score reports
    • After Test Day: In that case, you have three choices you can pick from 
      • Most Recent GRE score
      • All GRE Scores
      • Any GRE Score. (For a FEE of US$27 per score recipient)

3. GRE Score Calculation 

Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to look into the different sections of the GRE and their grading system. 

    • GRE Verbal and Quant Score System: The more questions you get right, the higher your raw score is. You will not be penalized for the questions you got wrong. This raw score you ended up getting will, later on, be converted into a scale score. This means that GRE uses equating. What is meant by this term is that the GRE ensures that the different versions of the exam and their difficulty level do not affect your score. The process of equating makes sure that your score isn’t lower than that of previous GRE test takers.
    • Analytical Writing Score System: Upon the quality of your writing, a trained reader and an e-rater (which is defined by ETS as a “computerized program developed by ETS that is capable of identifying essay features related to writing proficiency”) will be able to score your essays. You will have to focus on bettering your critical thinking and analytical writing skills to ensure a higher score in your AW Section.

In other words, your Total GRE Score is not the summation of all the scores you got on its three sections. Each section in the exam is scored separately.

4. GRE Percentile

The percentile is there to give you an overview of how well you’ve done. Through your percentile, you will be able to see the percentage of test-takers that scored lower or higher than you. The higher your total GRE score is, the higher your percentile is, which means the more impressive your score is. In the GRE however, there are different percentile ranks. Unlike the GMAT, the GRE is ranked upon its sections, and not its overall score. The percentiles are distributed on its three sections. 

For example, if your scaled score was that of a 152, then that means that you’re ranked at a 54 percentile on your verbal section and a 45 percentile on your quant section. In other words, this shows that your verbal section score was 54% higher than the other test-takers, and your quant section score was 45% higher than the other test-takers. 

Here is a list of officially published GRE Percentiles 2022:  

Scaled Score  Verbal Reasoning Percentile Ranks Quantitative Reasoning Percentile Ranks 
170 99 96
165 96 84
160 85 70
155 67 54
150 44 35
149 39 35

Here is a list of officially published GRE Percentiles 2018: 

Score Analytical Writing Percentile Ranking
6.0 99
5.0 93
4.0 60
3.0 18
2.0 2

5. Top MBA Universities and their average GRE Scores

The following table includes a list of Top MBA universities and the average GRE scores of their applicants. Get a glimpse of how the GRE scores range from one university to the other.

Business School  Verbal Score Quant Score Writing Score
Yale SOM 165 164 4.7
Stanford GSB 165 164 4.9
Harvard  164 164 NA
UCLA (Anderson) 164 164 4.5
UC-Berkeley (Haas)  164 161 5.0
NYU (Stern)  162 161 4.4

To Conclude

To ensure a groundbreaking GRE score, take your prep journey one day at a time. Make time to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and prepare the perfect study schedule tailored just for your needs. Once everything is set and ready, your prep journey starts with confidence and hard work and ends with victory and rejoice.  

ApexGMAT offers private one-on-one GRE tutoring with one of the top instructors. Reach out and book your complimentary 30 minutes assessment session, now!

Contributor: Lilas Al-Sammak

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Posted on
27
May 2022

How a Private Tutor Can Boost Your GRE Quant Confidence

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE can be overwhelming for many. Say you are trying to get into Grad School, but you studied History – you may not have taken a math class in years. In cases like this, the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE can seem like foreign territory. At the same time, even if you have studied math for years, testing may just be the bane of your existence, or you just may not know the quirks of the GRE. A Private Tutor is a great way to boost your GRE Quant confidence. Follow below to see some of the best reasons as to why getting a private tutor is your best course of action when approaching the GRE and its quantitative section.

A Tutor is a Guide 

A private GRE tutor is someone who will support you throughout the preparation process. Not only through giving tips but by being a resource to reach out to when you have questions about either specific problems or strategies for GRE test day. Remember, these tutors have taken the test as well. They know what it feels like to be nervous or even to feel lost. You may find them more helpful than you intended, they are people too, and their job is to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out. 

An Easily Accessible Resource 

A private GRE tutor will give you their undivided attention. Instead of being in a class with dozens of other students or scrolling through impersonal forums and blogs for advice, they are right there in front of you, and they are knowledgeable. Any question you may have, they can answer. It is a quick resource at the end of the day. While pricey, a proper private GRE tutor will be by your side during the entire study process. Your tutor’s job is to give you all the help you need, and here at Apex, our tutors are available online and in-person, giving you more options and flexibility. Especially if it has been a while since you have encountered math, a private tutor can really uplift your GRE quant confidence. 

Time Management with Quantitative Reasoning 

A private tutor will help you develop particular strategies and skills for each section. The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE is the longest portion of the exam, with two sections lasting 35 minutes. It may not be as long as some other notorious exams, but it is still a long time to stay focused. If you know what the exam is going to throw at you, navigating this portion of the exam is much easier. That is where a private GRE tutor comes in. They help you fine-tune your internal clock while giving you strategies for handling the quirks of the test. 

Helpful in Breaking your Quant Plateau 

Even if you are a math major, or you feel very confident with the exam, but you could score just a bit higher to stand out amongst the crowd. A private tutor can help you break your scoring plateau on the quant portion of the GRE. Especially since the GRE’s sections are adaptive. This means that if you do better on the first section of the quantitative portion then the second section becomes harder. So even if you are doing practice tests, these aren’t fully representative of the difficulty of the test. A private GRE tutor can help you prepare for this.

What You Will Be Missing 

It may seem like a  better option to not get a private tutor, but a lot will be missing. 

  • You will have to come up with your own study plan and method, unlike the carefully procured study plan created by a tutoring professional. 
  • It will be harder to know the ins and outs of not only the quantitative reasoning section, but the GRE as a whole.
  • You will be on this journey alone.

At the end of the day having a helping hand is never a bad thing. With a private tutor you will have a guide to help you not face the GRE quant section alone and give you the structure to have solid GRE quant confidence. 

To Review

The quantitative reasoning section of the GRE may be harder than you anticipated, or it could be completely overwhelming. It is more common than you may think for many taking the GRE to be a bit rusty with their math skills. Feeling intimidated is normal and a private GRE tutor is a great resource to help you get over the hump. At Apex we offer top-notch professional tutors who will be excellent guides on your journey to build GRE quant confidence.

 

Contributor: Lukas Duncan

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GRE Study Plan Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid When Drafting It
Posted on
29
Apr 2022

GRE Study Plan – Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid When Drafting It

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a very popular exam that thousands of students take every year. A large percentage of these students find the GRE extremely challenging, so don’t worry if you feel the same way. However, if you are determined to succeed in your exam, you should have a well-developed study plan. An important aspect to consider when drafting your GRE study plan could be some of the most common mistakes that test-takers make in the creation of their study plan or schedule. In this article, we’ll give you more information on some of the most common mistakes in drafting GRE study plans and tips on how to avoid them.  

1. Dedicate enough time to preparation in your GRE study plan

The GRE is not an exam for which you can prepare within a matter of days. Although some students may be lucky enough to pass the exam with only 2-3 weeks of studying, do not rely on that. Most of them probably won’t get a satisfactory grade that will help them get into their dream school. To avoid such unpleasant situations, we suggest spending sufficient time and attention on your GRE prep. Different people take a different amount of time to prepare, so there is really no ultimate rule that applies to how early you should begin your preparation. However, it may be a good idea to start at least 3-4 months before your planned exam day in order to have enough time both for the exam preparation and the documentation part.  

The most important thing to remember is that preparing for the GRE should be a methodical process. You can’t cram it all in two weeks and expect to achieve a satisfactory result. Give yourself the time you need to succeed. Start your preparation on time and go with the pace that fits your abilities. Eventually, your persistent gradual work will pay off.

2. Prepare equally for every section of the GRE exam

While drafting their GRE study plan, many students make the mistake of devoting too much time to the section they find the hardest. When they start preparing, they get carried away with this particular section and underestimate the others. Unfortunately, this mistake often hurts their overall score. No single section should be avoided or paid less attention to. Each section is equally important for your overall score and you have to spend as much time on it as you feel you need. 

For example, the Quant is often considered the most difficult section by many students who tend to spend an enormous portion of their GRE prep time on it. However, you should not forget that you also get a large portion of your points from, for instance, the Verbal section. This means that you cannot overlook this section because you risk losing valuable points from your final result. Try to balance the different sections and spend enough time and effort on each of them, so that you can make sure you will achieve the highest result possible.

3. Take time to destress 

We have already mentioned the importance of hard and consistent work while preparing for your GRE exam. It’s now time to turn our attention to something very important, which many students wrongly neglect. Many students are very ambitious and they want to achieve a high GRE score. They are ready to work for hours and hours to perfect their knowledge and skills. However, they often end up overworking themselves and forgetting to put their minds to rest and recharge. This is a major mistake. It doesn’t matter how skillful or knowledgeable you are when you can’t put into practice what you know because you are overworked. Pushing yourself too far will not only negatively affect your score but also your mental health.

You should learn to take care of your emotional and physical health because they are crucial for gaining knowledge and building long-lasting skills required for acing the GRE. Make sure to not underestimate the power of good rest and separate enough time for it when drafting your GRE study plan. By doing this, you will be able to improve your memory and learning skills in the GRE prep process.

Conclusion

Knowing the most common mistakes that test takers make when preparing and undertaking their GRE study plan can help you avoid or deal with them effectively. Here at Apex, we know that preparing for the GRE exam day may be a challenging task. For this reason, we are more than happy to support you on your GRE 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 with every stage of your GRE journey!

 

Contributor: Diana Materova

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5 GRE Memorization Technique
Posted on
14
Apr 2022

5 GRE Memorization Techniques

Preparing for the GRE exam requires dedication, constant effort, and determination in order for one to achieve a satisfactory score. While there is theoretical knowledge that should be acquired and cannot be neglected, there are a few tips and tricks that you can learn relatively easily. The latter can save you some precious time so that you can focus on what is more difficult for you on the exam. Our tutors at Apex are 700+ scoring professionals who tailor their approach according to the mental and cognitive abilities of each client. Through this method of Cognitive Empathy, they help our clients learn tips on how to deal with the GRE exam and find simple solution pathways. Here are four of these GRE memorization techniques that our clients are taught.

1. Memorize the answer layout.

Some question types have the same responses. On the GRE, answers to the Data Completion Questions are presented in the same way. These being: 

  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

As a test prepper, you can memorize these statements, given they remain the same throughout the entire GRE. We suggest memorizing a more simple form of these answer types. For example: 

  1. A is bigger
  2. B is bigger
  3. Both are equal
  4. Cannot know 

By using this as a memorization technique it will cut down on the time you spend on the test. You won’t need to reread the answer types each time you come in contact with them. 

2. Practice the vocabulary in everyday life.

Specialists argue that people can easily improve their English language skills if they broaden the size of their vocabulary by transferring words from their passive to active vocabulary. When a person knows what a certain word means but doesn’t ever use it in everyday life, this word is in their passive vocabulary. Once this word gets used when speaking or writing, it can be easily recalled from memory whenever it is needed. In this way, people can learn to use the word in a sentence while also considering the appropriate context and suitable collocations. This can be an immense benefit when preparing for the GRE, as the vocabulary section on the exam is quite challenging.

What many people do and what we would also suggest is using flashcards for memorizing the words and engraining them in your memory. Then commit to using a handful of them during the week. You can also keep a notebook with the most difficult terms, their dictionary definitions, and examples to revert back to them as your vocabulary grows.

3. Use Acronyms and Mnemonics.

If you are a couple of years out of school or if you are just having a hard time remembering mathematical concepts and formulas, the Quantitative portion on the GRE can seem like a daunting task. We understand this, which is why we avoid using math on the GRE all together! But sometimes, the best path is the most direct. Remember some basic math equations and formulas using the following tricks: 

  • Simple Interest Formula
    • Interest = principal x rate x time 
    • I = prt 
    • Remember the equation as: I am Pretty! 
  • Distance Formula 
    • Distance = rate x time
    • D = rt
    • This equation can be remembered as the word: dirt
  • Linear Equation
    • Y = mx + b 
    • B for begin / M for move 
    • To graph a line, begin at the B-value and move according to the m-value (slope) 
  • Multiplying Binomials 
    • (x – a)(x + b) 
    • Remember FOIL for the order: 
      • First
      • Outside
      • Inside
      • Last 
  • Order of Operations
    • When answering an equation which looks something like this: 7 x (4 / 6) + 2 = remember: PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally 
    • Parentheses 
    • Exponents 
    • Multiplication
    • Division
    • Addition
    • Subtraction

4. Apply a visual meaning to things.

It is a common fact that people’s brains process visual stimulation much faster than textual information. That is why some people who have superior visual memory can recall visual information easily. Their brains have established relations between visual objects and data. This type of memory is very important when it comes to many academic tasks including doing reading comprehension exercises and mathematical operations. Naturally, it can be used on the GRE as well. So, if you are one of these people, or if you have never consciously used your visual memory to your advantage, this is your sign to try.

While studying, look at what is around you and apply meaning to objects. For example, when you are working on a particular math problem, stare at the radiator in your room. Then, during the exam (if you are taking the GRE online), look at the radiator once you come in contact with a similar problem. This trick will help your brain in remembering what you learned beforehand. If you are taking the GRE onsite, consider pieces of clothes or jewelry which you will wear during your test. Perhaps fiddle with a ring on your finger while memorizing words, or wear a favorite sweater which you associate with certain mnemonic devices.

5. Apply the knowledge you are learning often.

Reading information out of a textbook and taking notes is the approach most people have when learning. Although this may seem useful, people seem to forget most of the information they read about. For this reason, applying what you just read about in real life can be very useful. One way to do this is to practice doing questions in different locations – at a restaurant, while riding into work, while cooking dinner, etc. This will challenge your brain to think strategically in various situations and prepare it for the dynamic environment of the testing facility. You can do this both with the quantitative and qualitative portions of the exam. Plus it would look extra cool if you are seen jotting math equations down on a napkin while waiting for your food at a restaurant. 

These GRE memorization techniques may seem straightforward, but they require work. However, hard work does pay off in the long run! The amount of work you put into your studying can dictate where you end up attending school, and thus the job you receive after graduating. While you are not your GRE, your test score does play a large role in your overall application to your dream school! If you are looking for extra help in preparing for the GRE, we offer extensive one-on-one tutoring with high-achieving clients. You can schedule a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call with one of our tutors to learn more! 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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5 Reasons You Should Get An Online GRE Tutor
Posted on
18
Mar 2022

Top 5 Reasons You Should Get An Online GRE Tutor

During the days of a global pandemic, it can seem overwhelming to even motivate yourself to get out of bed, let alone apply to grad school. The GRE can seem like just another obstacle to get through. You most likely have to prepare extensively for the test, in order to get into your desired program, and so you have to designate a lot of time and effort into this one test. Something that you shouldn’t be ashamed to do is ask for help whenever you need it.

A GRE tutor can be that thing to make your life just a bit easier. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, but even if we weren’t, an Online GRE Tutor can make access to these tutoring services easier. They can be a helping hand in your GRE prep from the comfort of your home.

Here are five reasons to get an Online GRE Tutor. 

1. GRE Prep from the Comfort of Your Home 

In our busy lives, it can be difficult to squeeze in the time to commute. Having an in-person tutor will save, potentially hours, off your day. Not only that but the money spent on gas to drive back and forth just adds to the already high price tag of a tutor. But with an Online GRE Tutor, you can have prep from the comfort of your home. Being outside of your own home can be nerve-wracking and not the most cost-efficient. Being at home also provides you with the luxury of online resources.

2. Access to Quality GRE Tutors 

In your area, it may be difficult to find a quality GRE tutor. An Online GRE tutor may be your only option, but that isn’t a bad thing. It is a blessing that we can have top-notch tutoring from almost anywhere in the world. Here at Apex GRE, our tutors work with students from all across the globe. No matter where you are, an Apex tutor can be accessed online. Our online services offer top-notch advice and guidance to any aspiring grad school student.

3. Focus and Motivation

GRE prep can be a hassle, but with an Online GRE Tutor, you will have your own personal motivator at the click of a button. An Online GRE tutor will be the person to help you get through that concept that you are struggling with and help keep you focused up until test day. The GRE being a long test can seem intimidating, but taking each question and each section one at a time is an easy way to help break it down.

4. Confidence 

You may be struggling in a certain area or subject of the GRE, as it is designed for a vast array of Grad school admissions. You may have spent the past four years studying statistics and haven’t spent much time focusing on your reading and writing skills. It may seem a daunting task to do well within the Verbal Reasoning section, but with an Online GRE tutor, you can bolster your skills and feel more confident. Also, an Online GRE tutor can help you realize your own strengths, which will help boost your confidence to get that desired score.

5. Lowering GRE Prep Stress 

Studying for the GRE is stressful. Going to an office, or test center, or to a tutor’s house may seem unwelcoming and may only add to that GRE prep anxiety. Having an Online GRE Tutor and studying at home can help mitigate a lot of that GRE prep anxiety. 

To Review

Achieving that desired score on the GRE can seem like an insurmountable task, but with an Online GRE Tutor, many of those goals can be achieved. You can prep from the comfort of your home, have a helping hand to build your confidence and keep you focused, and have access to quality tutors that you may otherwise not.

 

Contributor: Lukas Duncan

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GRE Tips
Posted on
25
Feb 2022

Top 5 GRE Tips For The Exam Day

If you are interested in attending graduate school, you may have already started considering taking the GRE exam. This is a standardized exam that not only tests your knowledge and skills but also reveals your potential when applying to graduate schools. If you want to earn a high score, you have to consider different aspects during your preparation, including useful strategies to use on the day of the test. Below you can find our top 5 GRE tips to keep in mind during the exam!

1. Answer every question

There is no negative marking on the GRE. This means that you will face no penalty if you guess on some of the questions. If you aren’t sure about a particular question, it would be better to guess what the correct answer is rather than leave the question unanswered. Try to make a quick, but also educated guess. Even though it may not be the correct answer, by trying you can only gain points. In comparison, leaving a question unanswered will definitely bring you no points. Try your chance, it may be your lucky day, and you may even get it right!

2. Starting with the easy questions

All GRE questions in one section are worth the same points. Thus, you should start answering the questions that you are sure of and collect the “easier” points first. Whenever you come across a hard question, skip it for the moment and go back to it later. You can always use the marking function during the GRE exam to indicate which questions aren’t answered yet. When you are done with the rest of the questions in the section and have earned “all the easy points”, complete your marked questions. Then, review the questions you were unable to answer since you may be able to answer them when you return to them a second time.

3. Use the process of elimination

When you are not sure of the correct answer to a particular question, use the process of elimination. When you eliminate the incorrect answers you are closer to getting the correct answer. This increases your odds of picking the correct answer and getting some extra points from the question.

4. Read every question carefully

Reading your questions carefully and understanding what you are expected to do is crucial for success on the GRE exam. Many students often make careless reading mistakes which result in awkward answer choices. Some of them include misreading a word like “not” or “except” or formatting an answer to a math problem in the wrong way. All this can be avoided if you adopt the essential GRE tip of reading closely! 

5. Keep your pace

You have to keep an eye on the time and have a clear plan on how to organize it while taking the GRE test. The Verbal and Quant sections have 20 questions each. The Verbal section is 30 minutes long, which means you have about 1:30 minutes per question. The Quant section is 35 minutes, meaning you have about 1:45 min per question. You may want to practice sticking to these time limits so that you can ensure that you will have enough time for every question. Some questions may take you longer, but still, this is a good general guideline to follow in order to organize your time effectively.

 

To Review

Learning useful GRE tips and tricks for solving the exam can become a game-changer and help you skyrocket your score. Here at Apex, we know that preparing for the GRE exam day may be a challenging task. For this reason, we are more than happy to support you on your GRE 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 ace your GRE exam!

 

Contributor: Diana Materova

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Successful GRE Prep
Posted on
18
Feb 2022

Successful GRE Prep – The Dos and Don’ts

Studying for the GRE can be nerve-racking and pressuring. Preparing for something that important can be anxiety-ridden. But this feeling is normal. With proper help and planning, your GRE prep can be easier than you think. Before doing anything, getting introduced to the GRE can be very beneficial. Here we let you in on the major Dos and Don’ts of Successful GRE Prep.

1. Do take GRE practice tests

Practice tests give GRE takers a full overview of what to expect during the exam. This includes the types of questions you’ll encounter, time management, or even tricks hidden in certain questions. Taking practice tests while preparing for the GRE has a lot of benefits, but one of its main benefits is identifying certain techniques and gaining an eye to the GRE’s exam questions. After taking mock tests, you will familiarize yourself and your brain with the exam’s style. You will understand the pattern of particular question types and learn how to answer them. This can save you time during the actual GRE.

2. Don’t concentrate on certain sections on the GRE while prepping

Make sure you give every section its well-deserved time. Concentrating and giving your full energy and time on one section of the exam while studying can be meaningless and wasteful. While taking the practice exams, make sure the questions you are answering are diverse and different. That way, you are getting all that you need to ace your GRE. 

3. Do know your weaknesses and strengths

By reviewing your answers and results, your weak and strong points will be revealed. What is great about that is that you can know what you should be focusing on early on in your successful GRE prep. Daily practice of questions which challenge your weak areas, will help you reach the end of your GRE prep ready to tackle almost anything! That way too, you can construct a tailored GRE study plan. 

4. Don’t underestimate the vocabulary in the GRE

Vocabulary on the GRE verbal section is like the charger to your phone. And your phone without the charger is pretty much useless, right? And that is the case here too. The more vocabulary you know, the more points are guaranteed. However, memorizing the words and their definitions, simply extracted from the dictionary, is not enough. GRE takers should be able to know how to use and understand the words in certain contexts. It is about understanding and benefiting from the usage of the words learned, not just memorizing their meanings without being able to effectively use the words later on.

5. Do know what you are working for

Setting goals is scientifically proven to keep us, humans, on track. Having a solid target will remind you of why you are going through this process when things get tough! The power of goal setting is underestimated. When you have a vision, you will have the power and motivation to go through anything to get to it. All the long hours of studying can be sweetened with the help of a vision.

6. Don’t stress

The last and most important Don’t is, Do. Not. Over Stress. Regardless of the situation, stressing will do more harm than benefit. Stressing to the point of hair loss, sleepless nights, and restricting your personal life will make you underperform on the GRE. Successful GRE prep means you have a healthy work-study-life balance. Always remember, whatever you are stressing about, is probably not as bad as you think it is.

Closing Thoughts

Your GRE prep is the foundation of your performance for the actual GRE. Having a solid start is crucial. You need to know what you should focus on first, then divide your time and be able to manage all the tasks at hand. Your successful GRE prep can be simple and easy if you make it so. 

 

Contributor: Lilas Al-Sammak

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GRE Verbal Reasoning Section
Posted on
11
Feb 2022

How To Crack The GRE Verbal Reasoning Section?

If you are interested in attending graduate school, you are probably considering taking the GRE. This is a standardized exam that not only tests your knowledge and skills but also reveals your potential when applying to graduate schools. The GRE is divided into several sections: Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing. Many test-takers tend to focus on the Quantitative Section because quant skills are considered more difficult to develop than verbal skills. However, you should be careful not to overlook the benefits of spending enough time preparing for the Verbal Section of the exam. If you want to crack the GRE Verbal Reasoning section, here are some pro tips on how to do so.

What should you expect on the GRE Verbal Reasoning section?

Before we jump into the tips, let’s briefly go through the types of questions you should expect on this section. The Verbal section of the GRE has three questions types – Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence questions. These three sections are designed to evaluate your skills of analyzing written data and finding the essence of the given information. Showing prospective graduate schools that you can score high on the verbal section of the GRE exam proves that you can handle a challenge as tough as the graduate school workload. Since the GRE tests your English language and analytical reasoning skills, it is important that you can think outside of the box, interpret information and draw conclusions from any written material that you are given. 

 

1. Work on improving your vocabulary constantly

If you want to ace the GRE Verbal Reasoning section, it is important to make constant efforts to improve your vocabulary. Sometimes, it may be overwhelming to see many unfamiliar words in a text. You may not know where to start. That is why you have to come up with a specific approach for learning new words. For example, while you are reading a book or an article, look out for new words in the text. Whenever you come across a new word, highlight it and write it down in a list. Then check its meaning in a dictionary that provides a border context of the meaning and use of this word. Top dictionaries for learning new words are the Oxford Learning Dictionary and the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

When you are finished with the list of new words you found in a text, start memorizing the first few words of this list for the first few days. You should progressively increase the number of words you aim to learn per week. Another interesting approach for learning vocabulary is to use flashcards or apps that in the form of a game will help you expand your vocabulary unconsciously.

2. Read English literature 

The GRE Verbal section will test your ability to understand vocabulary in context. You should learn to focus your attention while reading on how certain words are used and how sentences are constructed. This exercise will help you gain a deeper understanding of how English grammar works. There’s no better way to understand and learn how to use new vocabulary. If English is not your first language, we suggest reading your favorite books in English. You have already read them once, so it would be easier for you to focus on the vocabulary and learn new words.

Another effective alternative is reading the news in English from newspaper articles or magazines. While reading, try to understand how a word has been used in a sentence. This can help you crack the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence sections on the GRE exam. Once you know how a word can be used in the context of a sentence, you can analyze every paragraph easily and find the word that would be the best fit for it.

3. Regularly study for the Verbal Reasoning section while preparing for GRE

Studying regularly is very important if you want to crack the Verbal section. Preparing for this section is a long-term journey which takes more time than just a few days or weeks before the exam. Try improving your English language skills on a daily basis by expanding your vocabulary, reading more, and listening to English speech. Spend a sufficient amount of time on your GRE preparation and you’ll ace this exam!

 

To Review 

Understanding the importance of regular and systematic studying for the GRE Verbal Reasoning section is the key to success that will help you deal with any verbal task on the exam day.  Improving your vocabulary and developing your reading skills is crucial for scoring high on the GRE. Here at Apex, we know that this may be a challenging task. Hence, we are more than happy to support you on your GRE 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 crack any section of the GRE exam!

 

Contributor: Diana Materova

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Three Pitfalls of GRE Prep
Posted on
21
Jan 2022

Three Pitfalls Of GRE Prep – How To Avoid Them?

The GRE is the do-it-all of graduate school admissions tests, the closest thing to the SAT or ACT when it comes to your postgraduate education. It is the most commonly used standardized test for grad schools in the United States and has been implemented for over 85 years. The GRE is used as a part of the admissions process for a variety of programs, from STEM to the humanities. For some, it may even be difficult to choose between the GRE and other types of standardized tests, like the GMAT. Once you finally decide on the GRE, the next thing to think about is how to start with your GRE prep. Here are some simple GRE prep pitfalls to avoid.

1. Don’t Underestimate or Overestimate The GRE 

This test is meant for anyone and everyone. From engineers to artists, this is a test that is supposed to be comprehensive, so the skill sets of applicants will vary. With the GRE being split into Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical sections, you may find some sections more comforting than others. Let’s say you’re an English major, you’ve been writing your entire life, you are a genuine wordsmith. You may take a few practice tests and you find the verbal section is a breeze. You are hitting high above the required score for the programs you’re interested in. On the other hand, in the quantitative section, you may be barely hitting the mark. 

A terrible GRE prep pitfall is thinking that you simply cannot do it. Thinking, “I wasn’t a math major in college” is not going to help you get a good GRE score. The GRE is a test meant for a wide range of fields, you are surely not the first – or last – of your respective field to take it. It’s important to keep in mind that the GRE is not a test which you can fail. 

Despite that, do not overestimate yourself from your GRE prep. Test day is a completely different story. And it is important to keep your nerves in check, even when the test may be more difficult than you expected. Even though the GRE is a more comprehensive test, it is not meant to be easy, you may even need help in places you wouldn’t expect.

2. Everyone Prepares Differently 

Seeking resources to help yourself with GRE prep can be downright confusing with so many sites telling you what strategies will work. It may be easy to take what one person says works for them and run with it, but it is crucial to remember that everyone studies differently. What works for one other person may not work for you. Here are three things to keep in mind for GRE prep.

    • Experiment: It is okay to try different things. If you are struggling, never be ashamed of trying a different route, who knows it may be what gets you to that desired GRE score.
    • If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It: There is no doubt that the GRE is not your first rodeo. Most likely, you have been taking some form of standardized tests your entire life, and you certainly have developed some study habits over the years. Trust yourself and implement your own study strategies into your prep.
    • Seek a Tutor: A one-on-one GRE tutor may be just the spark you need. A tutor can help personalize your studying experience and may also be helpful in keeping you on track. Looking into an online GRE tutor can be especially helpful in regards to flexibility, especially in our increasingly complex lives.

3. Your GRE Score does not Define You

It is important to remember that the GRE does not determine your intelligence, it does not fully determine the potential you have, and is not the ultimate indicator of your grad school success. A GRE pitfall to avoid is thinking when taking a prep test or even when taking the GRE multiple times, that your score is not personal, so don’t make it such. It is just a number. The last thing you want to do is take this number to heart. Thinking of yourself as a failure will do nothing but hurt you.

The GRE can be overwhelming especially when it’s something that could drastically change your future, but it’s important to keep a cool head and keep these GRE prep pitfalls in mind. Don’t oversell or undersell yourself and make sure you find the strategies which work for you.

 

Contributor: Lukas Duncan 

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Mistakes in GRE prep
Posted on
07
Jan 2022

5 Rookie Mistakes To Avoid In GRE Prep

If you are reading this you are probably an ambitious high achiever, firmly determined to pursue a graduate degree. In order to achieve your goal, however, you’ll need to face and conquer the GRE. Many people find this “battle” daunting until they realize that the right study plan and strategy can turn the GRE into their friend rather than an opponent.

The process of “befriending” the GRE is not a straightforward one. There are inevitable mistakes in GRE prep that every test-taker makes. The good thing is, mistakes exist to teach us how to perform better.

In this article, we’ll give you hints on how to overcome the 5 most common mistakes in GRE prep.  

1. Preparing without a GRE study plan

As you may already know, the GRE is not a test you simply sit and study for. It’s rather a test that requires constant improvement of the necessary skills. Meaning, the GRE is not concerned with one’s knowledge but rather with their individual and creative approach to completing the exercises. That said, memorizing a bunch of textbooks and doing as many practice tests as possible, wouldn’t develop the needed skills to conquer the GRE.

Therefore, no matter what you do right during your GRE prep process, if you don’t have a study plan, all efforts will be in vain. The reason is that a clear GRE study plan ensures that future test-takers maintain focus and coherence throughout their entire prep process. Having a focused study plan helps you follow your progress much easier. What’s more, you can detect what your shortcomings are with plenty of time to better them. Having a proper prep plan will work with you to improve your overall performance.

That being said, a clear study plan ensures that your GRE prep will be tied to your personal needs and capabilities and thus, help you excel on exam day.

2. Avoiding weak spots

As in every other test prep process, test-takers do a great job on some sections while not so much on others. That’s also the case with the GRE and this is absolutely okay. What is not okay, however, is merely focusing on strengths and neglecting your weaknesses. Many people take this approach in order to become even better on the sections where they perform well and potentially compensate for the lost points on sections they struggle with. While this strategy might work with other tests, in the GRE’s case, just focusing on the parts you excel in, is not sufficient for achieving a satisfying score.

The GRE is a section adaptive test designed to assess a candidate’s intelligence by asking questions that adapt to his or her own answers – if they are doing well on a given section, the next becomes more challenging and vice versa. Therefore, your GRE score depends on your complete skill set and overall performance on the exam.

That said, to achieve a score that would put you in the shoes of a high achiever, it’s important that you pay the required attention to your weak spots, work on them, and become as well-rounded skill-wise as possible. After all, you never know which “small leak” can “sink the whole ship.”

3. Procrastinating

One of the very common mistakes in GRE prep is putting off your preparation with the excuse that “there is still enough time until the exam, I’ll practice tomorrow/next week.” While there’s nothing wrong with having a rest for two or three days, this attitude, if repeated, could impair your performance and respectively, your score on the GRE.

To lower the risk of failing on the GRE, and feeling guilty about not having put enough effort, we’d advise you to do the following things:

  •   Create a GRE study plan with clear goals for each period of your prep process.
  •   Decide which days of the week you are going to study and how many hours.
  •   Distribute your efforts evenly throughout the prep process e.g., don’t exhaust yourself one week and then be forced to rest for the next two.
  •   Track your progress and adjust your study plan accordingly.
  •   Don’t forget – “Many a little, makes a mickle,” or in other words, it’s better to study less per study session but do it regularly, rather than to study many hours over a short span of time.
  •   Stick to the aforementioned mindset and follow your study plan!

4. Last minute cramming

Another very common mistake test-takers make is underestimating the GRE to such an extent that they start preparing for it at the last possible minute. While this practice might have worked during college years, it could easily prevent you from reaching your desired GRE score.

As already mentioned, the GRE requires putting consistent effort to develop analytical and critical skills rather than cramming a textbook’s worth of content. Thus, rushing through textbook pages wouldn’t do you any good in reaching your desired score. What’s more, a typical GRE preparation takes from a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 24 weeks. So, even if you had to just memorize a bunch of terms and definitions, it wouldn’t be possible to do it on the night before the exam.

5. Compromising rest

Having spoken much about how important hard and consistent work is, it’s time to turn our attention to something as important and as neglected. Many test-takers are so obsessed with acquiring their desired GRE score, that they forget to put their minds to rest and recharge. Taking care of your emotional and physical health is as important as building the skill sets required for conquering the GRE. What’s more, no matter how skillful you’ve become, if you feel exhausted, this will affect your mental health negatively and also affect your score.

Therefore, to prevent yourself from failing the exam due to increased tiredness and anxiety levels, make sure to not underestimate the power of good rest. This will not only keep you away from burnout but will also improve your memory and learning skills in the GRE prep process.

 

These five rookie mistakes in GRE prep are some which all test preppers make. BUT, these ‘mistakes’ are easy to correct. All you have to do is check your work, your study plan, and your focus. By consistently checking in with your progress you can catch mistakes in your GRE prep early. If you are looking for support in your GRE prep, our Apex Tutors are here to help. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls where we can chat with you to discuss your GRE and graduate school goals!

 

Contributor:  Bilhen Sali

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