How To Study For Your GRE Retake
Posted on
05
Nov 2021

How To Study For Your GRE Retake

You’ve studied countless hours, canceled plans with numerous friends, and even changed your diet and caffeine consumption to fuel your brain as best as possible. And yet, after all that, your final combined score result is just a 320. Not bad, but also not perfect. This score can get you into most graduate school programs, but can it get you into that elite ‘top’ school you are aiming for? If you have the resume and top-notch essay responses to back up your GRE score, then you may feel comfortable applying to your dream graduate school with that score.

But what if you are still unsure? Is it worth spending the hundreds of dollars, and continuing the stringent study plan you had just spent months trudging through to try again? Perhaps a second attempt means you will bump up your score to a 324, or maybe your second attempt will land you with a score of equal or – gulp – lesser value! After going through the cost-benefit analysis of such an undertaking, you may have decided on the undertaking of retaking the GRE.

But how do you study for the GRE the second time to guarantee a higher score?

You are not alone in asking this question, and, unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer or study plan that can guarantee a higher score and make the retake worthwhile financially and timewise. However, there are some things you can begin doing now which can help you embark on your GRE retake journey.

1. Book the GRE retake sooner rather than later

Deciding on ‘when’ to retake the GRE can have a huge effect on your ability to succeed in the test. We suggest booking the retake sooner rather than later. This will help set a definite timeline of how long you must study and how you can expect to structure the coming weeks. Additionally, don’t wait months to retake the GRE. Once you have decided that you will retake the exam, be sure to schedule it a couple of weeks after the last test you took. While it may seem to be a time crunch, this is because you are not starting from scratch when studying for your retake. You already have a whole host of wealth stuck in your head! It will hang around for a few weeks, requiring only brief reviews and refreshers to keep the knowledge up to date.

2. Focus on your weaknesses

So, you have taken your first GRE test. You now know how you test under time pressure, and you can adjust your studying accordingly. Did you find that you struggled with the time constraints? We suggest focusing on different studying methods which will help you feel more comfortable under the time constraints. During the test you may realize that you did not study enough for certain quantitative-type questions, or your GRE vocabulary was lacking. In this case, spend time before your retake focusing on the areas you found most challenging. By no means does this mean ‘ignoring’ your strengths, rather, spend the most time on your weakness, being sure to set aside a few hours a week to review and rehash the parts of the exam you feel most comfortable with.

3. Consult with your network

Whether you recognize it or not, the people around you are important to your mental health and wellbeing. Because studying for the GRE is a mentally draining venture, relying on your network can help you get through the most difficult aspects of studying for the GRE. As you already experienced over the last few months of studying, an effective student may opt for moments of quiet study rather than social events with friends and family. This doesn’t change your second time around taking the test.

However, your friends and family may be disappointed to hear that you are extending your absences from events further to study for your second round. It is important, then, to confer with them. Let them know what you are doing and why. Perhaps someone in your network had a similar experience and they can offer you advice and tips on how to rock your second round. Additionally, do not be shy to let them know how you are feeling and how they can best support you during your studying. This can help alleviate any further stress you may accumulate during the time you sequester away over the books.

4. Get a private tutor

It may seem obvious but hiring a private tutor who specializes in the GRE can help push you to the next level. Often, your struggles with the GRE can be alleviated by the unique perspectives and solution paths a private tutor can give you. Our GRE tutors at ApexGRE specialize in working with students who want to achieve an elite score and are looking to develop the skills to do just that. We invite all interested potential clients to sign-up HERE for a complimentary consultation call where we can discuss your GRE and graduate school goals. Our tutors are happy to work with an array of clients. Whether it is their first or fifth time taking the GRE and whether they have 6 months to prepare or just a few weeks, we can work within your time frame and skill level to help you achieve your goals.

Finally, deciding to retake the GRE means countless more hours of hard work. Deciding whether it is worth it is up to you, however, being prepared for the process of retaking the GRE can help alleviate the stress of the decision.


Contributor: Dana Coggio

Read more
Retake the GRE
Posted on
22
Feb 2021

Should You Retake the GRE? All you need to consider

By: Apex GMAT
Date: February 22, 2021

There it is. A 163 Verbal and a 165 Quantitative. Not what you wanted, but pretty damn good. Should you keep the score or cancel it? Do you take the exam again, after all the agony, or hope that it will be enough?

GRE test takers face these questions each time they sit the exam, and there is no one size fits all answer. There are many factors to consider, from your personal situation, available time, career and graduate school goals, and the draw of being done with the GRE.

You Are Not Your GRE Score

Let’s begin with a more general premise: YOU ARE NOT YOUR GRE SCORE. As much as some might have you believe so, your GRE score is not the be-all-end-all of your life, self-worth, or graduate school candidacy. It’s important to keep this fact in mind, and what follows from it – while a strong GRE score is necessary to demonstrate academic skill and preparedness for a graduate program, a strong score is not enough, especially if you’re applying to a top-ranked program.

Something that almost no one will tell you – nearly everyone struggles on the GRE and spends months preparing. We often see clients from top consulting and banking firms who insist on not recommending us to others because they don’t want anyone they work with to know that they needed help!

How The Admissions Committees View Your Score

An admissions committee is looking at your entire profile – your resume, recommendations, accomplishments, and presentation in an interview setting. While they use the GRE to determine how well they believe you’ll thrive in the academic parts of the graduate school program, they’re really looking at the individual when making a decision.

Admissions committees want to see you at your best, so having a second score on your score report, or even speaking about your struggles on the GRE and how you overcame them can work as a positive to your application. Many programs are also willing to “super score” – taking the best subsections and combining them into the best possible score, and, especially on the quantitative, want to make sure that you’ll be able to handle the rigors of the program. Having an inferior score on your score report is a lot like running a race slowly… no one cares about your worst time, they only care about your best. You might be tired, ill, have a nail in your shoe, or some other calamity, so only your best time represents your capability, and admissions committees know this. So when should you retake the GRE? Well ask yourself the following question before you make that decision:

What Does This Increase Really Mean To You?

Another factor to consider is how much an incremental increase in your GRE score will be compared with spending the time elsewhere – adding another activity to your resume, spending more time on crafting your essays, or even feeling better by going out and seeing friends more regularly so you don’t absolutely freaking lose it!

These are real considerations, and being well rounded in fact, not just on paper, will provide a notable enhancement to your ability to market yourself effectively and accomplish your goals – career, romantic, and otherwise. Are you really prepared to give so much up for a number on a piece of paper?

Why Should You Retake The GRE?

On the other hand, perhaps you had an off day, or perhaps it is really important to you to crack that top score because your brother/partner/boss got there and you want to be in that same rarefied air. There’s nothing wrong with that, and that drive can be a healthy one. Retaking the exam, especially after significant preparation, represents an extra $205 GRE retake fee and an afternoon. Additional retakes are “free” relative to the time and commitment you’ve spent to get to the first exam, so to the extent, it’s not damaging to your mental health, relationships, and lifestyle, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t take the exam one or more additional times. Admissions committees can’t see that you’ve canceled your scores, so don’t worry about looking try-hard. Besides, like everything in life, you’re doing it for you, right?

GRE Retake Strategy

In the end, there is no right or wrong answer, just the answer that is right or wrong for you. Consult with your family, partner, friends, and colleagues. If you’re working with a professional tutor, they should be able to provide you perspective as well, especially since they’ve seen this many times before, and maybe have gone through it personally. If you would like to talk about your GRE prep or retaking the GRE with an Apex instructor leave us your details.

 

Read more