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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Before taking the GRE
Posted on
03
Dec 2021

Before Taking the GRE, You Should Do These 3 Things

Imagine that you wake up on a sunny day, you feel energized and positive about where your day is headed, and you have a plan in your head on how to organize your time efficiently so that you can begin preparing for your GRE exam. Then, suddenly, you realize that you only have a few days left before your GRE exam date. You start overthinking about what you know or don’t know about the exam, its procedure, the dos and don’ts, and you feel yourself getting stressed. This is a normal feeling for most people who have exams coming up and feel like they lost track of time. There are a few things you can do to help with the process.

1. Get yourself accustomed to the exam procedure

It is of utmost importance that you know the GRE exam procedure by heart before taking the test. This can help by making sure the exam goes smoothly and so that you are not worrying about making silly mistakes. So, how is the GRE structured and what are its procedures? The GRE has three sections:

    • Quantitative Reasoning, two sections (35 minutes per section).
    • Verbal Reasoning, two sections (30 minutes per section, 20 questions per section).
    • Analytical Writing, one section with two separately timed tasks (30 minutes per task).

The total time it takes to complete the GRE, with breaks, is usually 3 hours and 45 minutes. If you’re interested in learning some test strategies to boost your score, check out our article 8 GRE test strategies to help you boost your score.” 

2. Take the GRE practice exam during the same time as the real one

Having routines in life helps us manage our time efficiently. The same can be said for the GRE exam. It is crucial that you know what time your real exam is going to be so that you can start preparing and practicing during the same time of the day. Why is this important? Let’s say you usually wake up at 11 AM and start studying around 1 PM. If your exam starts at 10 AM, you’re going to have a hard time functioning to the best of your abilities. Thus, it is suggested that you create a routine around your exam time so that your brain and body can get used to it.

3. Revise your previous GRE mistakes, but don’t acquire new knowledge

Cramming in new information a few days before taking the GRE does not usually result in effective learning. It is a student’s habit to start learning new material at midnight, but this will not help you solidify your knowledge. GRE needs practice and time, and you simply cannot learn new things in a span of a few hours. That is why it is better to go over what you have learned thus far, which will help in remembering what you already know. If this makes you feel like you have to have a plan, that is great! You can start with study plans months or even a year beforehand. Take a look at these GRE prep tips to help you start with your GRE journey in an efficient way. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, it is often easy to get stressed before the exam and lose track of time. To feel prepared to take the GRE, we that you get accustomed to the exam procedure, take the practice exam during the same time as the real one, and revise your previous mistakes, but don’t try to acquire new knowledge a day or two out. These are only a few tips to help you feel more confident about the big day! If you would like to read more about GRE and what to expect on the test day, we have answered some FAQs for you. Some people feel more assured about taking the exam when they have GRE tutors. If you can do it on your own, then good job! If you are thinking about having an instructor help you with the GRE, you can sign up for a complimentary consultation call.

 

Contributor: Sarin Sulahian

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GRE Private Tutor
Posted on
26
Nov 2021

Why You Should Get A GRE Private Tutor

Achieving a great score on the GRE is necessary to be considered for a spot in a top graduate school program. So it is in your best interests to prepare for the test in the best manner possible. When it comes to GRE prep, there are a variety of options on the market, from GRE self-prep to online classes and GRE private tutors. The method you select is a personal choice and is based on factors such as your needs, budget, and learning style.

Benefits of having a GRE Private Tutor

One-on-one GRE tutoring is undoubtedly the best way to prepare for the GRE if you are aiming to achieve an elite score and obtain acceptance to a top graduate program. There are various factors that make this prep option integral to not only attaining a high score on the test but also achieving in graduate school.

1. Customized Learning

With a one-on-one GRE tutor, instructors focus on teaching you what you don’t know or might find challenging rather than what you already know. Often in larger settings, tutors will have to go over materials that you are already confident in, resulting in periods of times where you have nothing to do and are bored in your prep. This can also derail your GRE prep goals and in some cases confuse you about the skills that you already know.

Furthermore, your brain works differently from someone else’s, therefore, your go-to problem solving methods will be different. When tackling a test like the GRE, which involves utilizing creative thinking and unique problem solving skills it is beneficial to have a tutor to help you identify new approaches that might be easier for you, as well as to heighten the skills that you already possess. Having the versatility and focus to go over different explanations and methods to tackle specific problems in a group setting is often overlooked due to time constraints and the rigidity of the course material.

The main benefit of having a GRE private tutor is that the lessons, self-prep, schedule, and infrastructure for successful studying are customized around you and your needs in order to achieve GRE success.

 2. Pace

Preparing for the exam can take between 90-120 days, but with a GRE private tutor, prep goals can be achieved in a shorter amount of time. Albeit, this is dependent on your starting skills and dedication. With personalized instruction, your time will be used more efficiently and effectively. Lessons can be targeted to topics you need improvement on and can be changed according to your style of learning. Go as slow or as fast as you need, and spend as much time improving whichever section of the GRE you require assistance with. With the guidance of an instructor, you can accomplish all this while avoiding the typical GRE prep traps.

3. Flexibility

Private tutoring gives you the flexibility to study on your own schedule. So if you are a full-time employee, student, or have other responsibilities to work around, one-on-one instruction can be tailored to those needs. This is why Apex has tutors across the globe who can fulfill your tutoring needs in any time zone.

 4. GRE Intangibles

Great test performance does not just encompass the material that you have to learn, but also entails intangibles such as test anxiety, sleeping habits, and more. Making sure that you eat right and get enough sleep may seem like a trivial matter but they can have effects on your focus and hinder the time in which you achieve your GRE prep goals. 

Apex Instructors know the ins and outs of the GRE and this includes covering all these intangibles. If you already know all the material to achieve a great GRE score, you don’t want to get to the test and sabotage your score by bringing your stress along. This is another key way that one on one tutoring can help you be certain that when test day comes around, nothing stands in the way of you and your dream GRE score.

 5. GRE Scoring Plateaus

Each level of scoring on the GRE requires you to have certain skills. Therefore, if you want to score in the 325 range instead of the 300s, you will have to do things differently. GRE preppers often find themselves hitting a plateau around the higher 315s, failing to break the 325 mark. This is mainly due to a limited understanding of the GRE and its requirements to score at this high level. 

Working with an instructor will give you the opportunity to add new skills to your toolbox to help you think like a GRE test writer and not a test taker. That way you can understand what each question is really asking you to do. With these new techniques and mind frame, you can cut down on solving time and quickly identify what is needed to answer each question. This is where GRE self-prep often fails and the best way to overcome this hindrance is to seek the help of someone who is an expert on the test.  

 Apex instructors have all scored elite scores on the GRE and have extensive teaching backgrounds. Due to this, they have successfully shepherded countless clients from middling scores to 325 and above on the GRE. 

 To take advantage of our free 30 minute GRE consultation call with an elite scoring instructor visit: Inquire Now. 

 

Contributor: Natalie Mathews

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GRE, GMAT, or EA - Which Test Should You Take For Business School?
Posted on
29
Oct 2021

GRE, GMAT, or EA – Which Test Should You Take For Business School?

So you’re dreaming of getting your MBA. Part of the hurdle of applying to business school is taking a standardized test to fulfill application requirements. With so many different standardized tests being offered, and with numerous schools allowing applicants to take different exams, it is often hard to know which exam best aligns with your goals. We have broken down the top three standardized testing options for MBA programs so that future MBAs can have a better grasp on their application process.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, allows prospective graduates with varying educational backgrounds to apply for master’s, MBA, or doctoral degrees to “show off” their skills to prospective schools. The GRE is accepted by thousands of graduate schools, including business and law schools.

Why do you need GRE?

Besides being accepted at graduate schools with a variety of backgrounds, in recent years the GRE exam is also accepted by many prestigious MBA programs too. However, be mindful that the GMAT is still the most relevant exam which you can take to show off your skills.  Especially when it comes to the field of business. One of the reasons behind this is that the GMAT was specifically designed for MBA programs and business school admissions. Also, unlike the GRE, the GMAT has an additional section – the integrated reasoning section – which will give you the possibility to prove your data analytical skills. We aren’t trying to scare you away from taking the GRE. You must decide on the right path for you. For example, if you believe you will perform better on the GRE than on the GMAT then deciding to take the GRE is the best decision for you.

What is the content of the GRE exam made of?

The content of the GRE is divided into three sections, these being: analytical writing section, quantitative section, and verbal section. The first section measures your ability to communicate complex ideas and use standard written English to prove an argument. The second section is to measure your ability to solve math, algebra, and geometry problems. The last section is to measure your ability to analyze sentences and writing passages.

GRE Scores Explained

The GRE score range is from 130 to 170; 130 is the lowest possible score, whereas 170 is the highest. The verbal and quantitative sections are scored from 130 to 170 and the analytical writing section is scored from 0 to 6 points.

Where to begin?

Similar to GMAT, once you decide on taking the GRE you need to plan your future steps: how to prepare? With whom to prepare? In-person or online? Etc. If you are interested in working with an experienced GRE tutor to help you prepare, we offer individualized and specialized tutoring for motivated students.

The Graduate Admission Management Test (GMAT)

What is the GMAT?

If you are aiming for your dream MBA school, the GMAT is an important part of the application process. The test is developed and administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Your final GMAT scores can help bolster your chances of getting into your dream MBA program. While scores are not an exclusive part of the admissions committee’s decision, the GMAT is still taken into consideration during the admission’s process as it evaluates the necessary skills needed to succeed in business school. Additionally, the process of studying for the GMAT emphasizes the qualities necessary to advance your future business career.

Why do you need the GMAT?

Once you go through the GMAT preparation phase and you are ready to reach your GMAT goal, you will get the opportunity to stand out among other applicants and raise your chances of getting in. A high score on the GMAT will have a positive impact on your business school application.

What is the content of the GMAT exam made of?

The GMAT exam has four sections: analytical writing assessment which aims to measure your ability to think critically, integrated reasoning is for measuring your ability to analyze data and evaluate information that is presented in multiple formats, quantitative reasoning is used for measuring your ability to analyze data, and lastly, verbal reasoning measures your skills to read and understand written materials to conform to standard written English.

Good to know: before the test begins, you can determine the order you wish to take each section of the exam in.

GMAT Scores Explained

The score that many business schools and MBA programs pay the most attention to is the combined 200-800 score scale. Each section of GMAT has a separate scoring system: the analytical written assessment is scored from 0 to 6, whereas the integrated reasoning is scored on a 1 to 8 scale. In addition, the quantitative and verbal sections each have a scale score of 0 to 60. In the end, they are all combined to generate a score on the 200 to 800 scale which is the one you are most familiar with.

Where to begin?

Let’s say that you decided to take the GMAT, what are the steps that you need in order to reach your GMAT high score? First, you need to decide if you are going to start this journey on your own or you need a tutor to help you out. First of all, we suggest deciding on how you structure your GMAT studying. Are you hoping to find a premier GMAT tutor? Are you planning on doing it solo? Will you study with friends? Do you want to be part of a GMAT prep group? Figuring out how you want to study is vital to begin the process of GMAT preparation on the right foot.

If you need a 700+ GMAT score, check out our tutors here at Apex GMAT who are ready to help you from anywhere in the world! 

Executive Assessment Test (EA)

What is the EA?

The Executive Assessment, or EA, is an admission exam designed for Executive MBA programs. Just like the GMAT, the EA is also administered by the GMAC.

Why do you need EA?

Besides being an indicator of your skills for your admission process towards an EMBA program, the EA mainly helps already experienced managers, who want to advance their careers, get to even higher levels by attending an Executive MBA program. Most MBA programs and EMBA programs accept the EA as an admissions exam from applicants who have a certain number of years of professional work experience under their belt.

What is the content of the EA exam made of?

The EA test is composed of three sections: integrated reasoning, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning with a total of 40 questions. These sections test similar qualities to that of the GMAT exam.

EA Scores Explained

The scale for each section is from 0 to 20 with a total scale range from 100 to 200. All three sections are equally weighted in determining your final score. 

Where to begin?

You guessed it: the same as for GMAT and GRE, there are a few decisions to make before starting your EA journey. Look for a platform, a tutor, and plenty of other tools that can be beneficial for you to reach your EA high score.

Which one is the best for you?

After familiarizing yourself with the above-mentioned standardized tests you might wonder which one to go for. This all depends on what you are aiming for. From business school admissions to advancing your career, each of these tests can help you prove specific and required skills in different fields. Once you decide what your goal is, it will be easier to decide which test is the best way to show your strength and skills and to get into the program of your dreams!

Contributor: Arin Agich 

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GRE Quantitative
Posted on
15
Oct 2021

Everything about the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Simona Mkhitaryan
Date: October 15, 2021

As mentioned in the previous Article, GRE consists of 3 main sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. There is also one unscored section which can be either quantitative or verbal. This article concentrates on the Quantitative Reasoning section of GRE. 

How long is the Quantitative Reasoning section? 

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE has 20 questions with a total of 35 minutes, 1.5 to 2 minutes to answer each question. It is helpful to know that the number of question types included in the exam is different. The Quantitative Comparison questions come first, then Problem Solving questions and Data Interpretation questions, presented as a set at the end of the section. 

What does Quantitative Reasoning measure, and why is it important?

The quantitative reasoning section of GRE measures the ability to solve different types of mathematical problems, interpret and analyze quantitative data, demonstrate basic knowledge of algebra, geometry, data analysis, and arithmetic. The test does not cover trigonometry, calculus, or higher-level math; it will be enough to have the level of Algebra 2. 

  • Arithmetic: This section includes problems connected with divisibility, factorization, working with prime numbers, remainders, odd/even integers. It also touches upon topics such as arithmetic operations, exponents, roots, and other topics such as estimation, percent, ratio, rate, absolute value, number line, decimal representation, as well as sequences of numbers. An example can be ‘What are the factors of 13’, or ‘Which of the following is closest to the square root of 10.5’?
  • Algebra: This part mostly concentrates on equations and functions such as factoring and simplifying functions, and working with inequalities. It also includes coordinate geometry that is working with graphs of functions, intercepts, and slopes of lines. Examples include find the distance between the points (-4 , -6) and (-1 , -2) or solve the equation |- 2 x + 2| – 3 = -3 or find the x-intercept of the equation 2x – 4y = 9.
  • Geometry: This area covers topics related to 2-dimensional figures and three-dimensional figures: parallel and perpendicular lines, circles, triangles, quadrilaterals, other polygons, congruent and similar figures, area, perimeter, volume, and concepts such as the Pythagorean theorem and angle measurement in degrees. For instance, find the hypotenuse of the triangle using the Pythagorean theorem, or triangles ABC and A’B’C’ are similar figures; find the length AB if you know the ratio between the triangles.
  • Data analysis: This part is mainly focused on interpreting data from graphs such as bar and circle graphs; box plots, and scatter plots; finding the mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, interquartile range, quartiles, and percentiles, analyzing frequency distributions, probability types of questions as well as counting methods such as combinations, permutations, and Venn diagrams. Examples include when a number x is added to the data set 4, 8, 20, 25, 32, the new mean is 15. Find the value of x. Another one is on a six-sided die; each side has a number between 1 and 6. What is the probability of throwing a three or a 4?
What types of questions does the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section include? 

There are four types of questions in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section:

  • Quantitative Comparison Questions – These types of questions are similar to the “Data Sufficiency” questions on the GMAT. 2 values will be given and four options to choose from such as 1) quantity X is bigger, 2) quantity Y is bigger, 3) the quantities are equal, 4) there’s not enough information to know which is bigger.
  • Multiple-choice Questions with one correct answer – usually Problem solving questions or data interpretation.
  • Multiple-choice Questions with more than one answer. – usually, Problem-solving questions, which are much like quantitative questions on the SAT or data interpretation.
  • Numeric Entry Questions – Problem-solving or data interpretation. 

The questions can appear independently or as a group of questions usually associated with a “Data interpretation” set. The data is generally displayed in graphs, tables, charts, or other informational displays. Some of the questions on the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE are purely mathematical. However, there are also real-life problems and word problems that must be interpreted and solved mathematically. 

Is a calculator allowed on the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE?

Unlike the GMAT, using a specific GRE calculator during the Quantitative Reasoning section is permitted. For paper-delivered GRE, the GRE calculator will be provided during the test, but the examinees cannot bring their own to the exam. For computer-based GRE, one 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 can the GRE calculator 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. 

What is the maximum score for the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE? 

Each QR and VR are scored on a range of 130-170 points, making the highest possible score on the GRE a 340. Additionally, it is essential to know that the GRE is a section-adaptive test. Within each section, all questions are in the same level of complexity and are contributed equally to the final score. Unlike GMAT, GRE is adaptive at the level of the section. This means that the questions will not change within each section, yet the second complete set of 20 questions in the next section will.

How to prepare for the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GRE

First of all, it is vital to learn the structure of the questions: In order to get familiar with the types of questions, the easiest way is to take various practice tests to become familiar with the format and then concentrate on actually solving the problems and getting the highest score possible. Find out practice problems can be found in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Problems. 

Thus, it is also essential to set a target score: Taking a practice test is an excellent starting point. This determines the level of your initial score. It also helps to identify how much time one has to allocate to the preparation to improve their score and achieve their goal target. 

Make a study plan and stick with the schedule: It is vital to design a personalized study plan to guide throughout the preparation, decide what sources and courses one needs, whether they are going to prepare only with tests, or go step by step through topics and types of quant questions moreover considering to take courses with a GRE private tutor, with whom one will get a lot of help and guidance in their GRE preparation creed. For more information about the Quant GRE tutoring and preparation, visit https://apexgre.com/inquire-now/.

Also, sticking to the study schedule is critical since one has to continue studying consistently in order to see progress, especially when the talk is about mathematics. 

Conclusion:

In conclusion, as mentioned above, the quant section of GRE has four types of questions that measure the ability to understand and solve the basic problems of mathematics, which also include data interpretation. A calculator will be provided during the QR section. Additionally, the QR section of the GRE required comprehensive studies and preparation; that is why it is useful to schedule and start preparing for the exam a few months earlier.

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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 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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6 GRE Tips
Posted on
02
Mar 2021

6 Tips To Improve Your GRE Quant Score

By: Apex GMAT
Date: March 2, 2021

If you’ve experienced the GRE, you may have noticed that your score is higher on some sections than others. Some otherwise strong graduate school candidates struggle with their score on the quantitative section. The problem might derive from preparation style, in which case, you might consider professional GRE tutoring, a service offered by a number of organizations including Apex GRE. Until then, these tips will help kick start your prep process so you’re ready to ace the quant section.

What’s on the GRE Quantitative section?

First, let’s talk about what exactly the GRE quant section consists of. Test takers have 70 minutes to answer 40 math problems. This means that on average, each question should take about two minutes. However, this isn’t a hard rule, so there’s no need to get nervous if one problem takes longer than others.

The GRE focuses on numerous types of math skills, the majority of which have been learned and taught in your high school courses. Most likely, when studying for the GRE, you will have to brush up on and study these concepts.

Why is the GRE Quantitative section so difficult?

Based on the above description, you might think that the quant section won’t be too difficult. That isn’t exactly true. The GRE is designed to confuse and restrict test-takers in various ways. For example, each problem has a time limit and calculators aren’t allowed. Furthermore, the two sections don’t differentiate between the various types of questions, so test-takers must alternate between the question types. These factors can cause stress.

6 Tips To Improve Your GRE Quant Score

The following tips will help you remain calm and collected as you prepare for the quant section.

Tip 1: Don’t overthink the math

First and foremost, don’t forget that the GRE quant section consists of simple math problems. Use this to your advantage. Don’t do all of the calculations; rather, determine what makes a problem look more difficult than it actually is.

Tip 2: Start managing your time before the test

You can start saving time before you even pick up your pencil by practicing arithmetic. Limiting the time it takes to do simple equations means you can spend more time on the problems. Be sure to review exponent rules and brush up on decimals with fractions. And don’t forget about higher powers!

Tip 3: Use alternative strategies to find solutions

If you can’t solve a problem with simple math, try using an alternative path to the solution. There’s usually an easier way to solve quant problems –the GRE is designed to test for efficient problem-solving. Sometimes, straightforward logic or plugging in numbers will solve a problem faster. Keep in mind that a traditional approach might not be necessary for every problem.

Tip 4: Analyze each sentence step by step

During the GRE preparation process, learn how to simplify each question. Some problems might seem daunting, but they can be broken into smaller steps that you can solve one-by-one. Trying to solve the whole problem at once can lead test takers to answer the wrong question. The more you break down the problem, the easier it will become. Don’t worry–you’ll actually save time by (re-)reading the questions.

Tip 5: Scratch paper is a mustAlthough scratch paper may seem unnecessary for quant problems, it can help you keep track of calculations and clarify your thought process. It might take a little extra time, but ultimately, avoidable mistakes are even more time-consuming.

Tip 6: Plug in the answer choices 

Another way to save time with alternative solution paths is to start by reading all of the answer choices and plugging them into the problem. If you don’t know which answer choices to start with, start from the middle.

Bonus tip

The most important tip of all is practice, practice, and practice! There are many different ways to prepare: memorizing rules and formulas, watching GRE problem-solving videos (don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel), and enrolling in professional GRE courses.

 

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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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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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