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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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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GRE percentiles
Posted on
31
Dec 2021

GRE Percentiles – Understanding Your GRE Score

ETS, the official makers of the GRE, compile and publish statistics on the GRE. We have reviewed the statistics and organized them for you to peruse below. If you are in the middle of studying for your GRE exam and are looking for expert help, our professional tutors at Apex GRE are available anywhere in the world. You can set up a 30-minute, complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors if you are considering a private GRE tutor. 

The following data has been collected by ETS between July 1st, 2017, and June 30th, 2020. 

Performance Statistics on the GRE

When applying to graduate school, the GRE is often an inevitability. Most top-tier business schools require students to take the exam. While many programs claim that they do not have a GRE minimum for admissions, it is important to aim for a score that lands you in a top percentile. Achieving a top score may not guarantee admission, however, it will offer you a better shot at getting into the school of your dreams. 

GRE Quant & Verbal Reasoning Percentiles 

Below is a chart of recent GRE percentiles (Collected between 2017-2020). When looking at potential graduate programs, take a look at previous admissions statistics.

GRE Quant Reasoning Percentiles

Knowing the average GRE score of previously admitted students can give you a baseline to aim for. Striving for the average, means you have a better likelihood of getting a score above or around this. Giving you a higher chance at admissions. 

Interpreting the GRE percentiles requires knowing how the GRE is scored. The total score comprises the Verbal and Quantitative sections plus a third analytical writing portion. These scores show the admissions committee your higher-order reasoning skills. These scores are able to predict a student’s success in graduate school.

The scores range from 130-170, with the analytical writing portion being scored from 0-6. When comparing your score to other test-takers, it is important to look at percentile rankings. When reading a percentile ranking chart, find your score on the chart.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Percentiles

Let us assume you scored 156 on the verbal portion. This lands you in the 72nd percentile. Meaning your score is higher than 72% of test-takers. Those scoring a 170, for example, are in the 99th percentile. This means that they achieved a score higher than 99% of all test takers. Important to remember is that percentile rankings change each year. This is because as more and more students take the exam, the total scores achieved change, and your percentile ranking changes with it. 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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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 Guide
Posted on
10
Sep 2021

9 Daily Practices For GRE Success

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

Tips:

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

                                                                                               

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

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

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

2. Review the GRE sections

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

3. Set a time limit for each day

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

4. Do not forget to reward yourself

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

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

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

6. Give yourself a pep talk 

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

7. Be your own critic

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

8. Strategy is important 

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

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

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

 

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

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GRE Tutoring Success
Posted on
01
Mar 2021

Can GRE Tutoring Help You Succeed?

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Altea Sulollari
Date: March 1, 2021

As a seasoned professional hoping to gain admission to a respected graduate school program, you’ll probably opt to sit for the GRE exam.

The GRE exam has the power to determine your future. It’s important to focus on proper preparation if you want to get into a top graduate program. A GRE tutor can help. This article explains the benefits of GRE tutoring and helps you decide if private tutoring is right for you.

The GRE: Overview

To begin with, the GRE includes 3 main sections: Quantitative Reasoning (40 questions), Verbal (40 questions), and Analytical Writing (30 minutes per 2 sections).

It’s good to keep in mind that the GRE Verbal and Quantitative sections of the exam are section-adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level changes after test-takers complete specific groups of questions.

How Can GRE Tutoring Help You Succeed?

Let’s discuss the 3 main reasons to consider GRE tutoring:

Find the Study Methods that Work for You

An adept instructor will teach you the best strategies to get the score you’re aiming for. Years of experience, both with students and in the field, provide elite instructors with the expertise necessary to customize a preparation approach that maximizes your natural strengths and meets your needs.

Get the Most out of Your Time

Above all, hiring a private GRE tutor can save you time. Your tutor will keep you focused on mastering what’s most important. They’ll tackle your weaknesses head-on with personalized strategies, rather than relying on a “one-size-fits-all” approach to learning. With the help of a high-quality private tutor, you can make significant progress without wasting significant time.

A Private GRE Tutor Can Help You Land a Spot in a Top Graduate Program

An excellent GRE performance can score you a spot in many top graduate programs out there, opening countless doors along the way. The right instructor will get you there with training that sets you up to achieve your personal best, assuring that your time and effort pay off. Top GRE tutors know what these programs are looking for when it comes to scores, skills, and qualifications. Use their expertise to polish your application and resume!

Still deciding? Schedule a free consultation with one of Apex’s GRE instructors to discuss your options and career goals today.

Visit our GRE tutoring page for more information.

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GRE test strategies
Posted on
25
Feb 2021

8 GRE Test Strategies To Help Boost Your Score

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

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

1. Adopting the proper mindset

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

2. Overcoming stress!

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

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

3. For exam day…

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

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

4. Value your time and manage it efficiently!

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

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

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

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

5. The Data Interpretation section

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

6. The Analytical Writing section 

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

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

7. Ask for help

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

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

8. Practice, practice, practice!

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

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

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Private Tutoring GRE
Posted on
24
Feb 2021

How Can Private Tutoring Help You Score 328+ on the GRE?

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Irena Georgieva
Date: February 24, 2021

Achieving a 328+ score on the GRE is not a simple task – it requires significant preparation, excellent organization, and continuous motivation to learn. Studying for an exam can be overwhelming, especially when there is no one by your side to keep you motivated. Perhaps you’re struggling with quant problems or you’re not sure how to apply the strategies that you have learned. Well, don’t worry… This is where private GRE tutoring comes into play.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should start working with a tutor in order to ace the GRE.

Index:

1.     Individualized Learning Experience

Although the GRE is a standardized exam, there is no “one size fits all” approach to success. While some students favor graphical solution paths, others are more analytical or methodical in their approach to answering GRE questions. Some struggle with geometry, others with algebra, yet others with critical reasoning. There are learners who have excellent writing skills, while others, particularly ESL students, require practice to achieve a good score on the analytical writing assessment. The existence of these differences indicates that there is not only a singular path to studying for such a nuanced exam and that preparation should be customized to maximize one’s strengths and abilities.

Unlike classroom teaching where the teacher rarely deviates from the prescribed syllabus, a competent private tutor will tailor your learning plan based on the knowledge and skills you currently possess and their expertise. By identifying your learning style and framing your entire prep program around it, a skilled GRE tutor will ensure that you are not only progressing through your prep but enjoying it as well.

What’s more, a perceptive private GRE tutor will also focus your attention on the areas where you experience difficulties or need improvement, especially those areas that you can’t see for yourself. Due to this guidance and direction, you will be able to spend more time on improving, and less time repeating the same mistakes or going over content that you’ve already mastered. You’ll develop new skills that were previously lacking and adopt more favorable methods to solve difficult problems. Additionally, you will learn how to organize your time more effectively which is essential for you on the exam.

2.     Personalized Attention

Although classroom teaching can prove beneficial for mastering the fundamental knowledge needed for higher-level approaches, one disadvantage of learning with others is the lack of personalized attention and focus on the lowest common denominator type construal of the concepts being taught. Teachers in any classroom cannot pay attention to all of their students’ needs, especially those who struggle differently than most, or who have higher goals than their classmates. While one student might be struggling with the clustering principle that defines standard deviation as it applies to comparing different sets, another might require a refresh on calculating variance and how the underlying concept operates. Whatever your specific case may be, the help of a private tutor can address it.

By working with a top-notch tutor outside of the classroom, you’ll be able to rapidly progress and draw on personalized mental models to confidently approach GRE problems of the highest complexity. A skilled GRE tutor will not only help you acquire new knowledge but s/he is also going to teach you valuable meta-strategies that can be useful for you when you study for the exam. At Apex we focus on solution paths, problem forming, and many other innovative techniques that make for high-yield self-preparation, and top-level scores.

Moreover, a highly qualified private tutor will have a team behind him/her and copious amounts of materials and drills, while drawing upon a flexible curriculum so that your preparation can be as personalized and efficient as possible and result in the score you are striving to achieve. You shouldn’t be afraid to speak openly with your GRE tutor about any concerns you have regarding your preparation, and your tutor should always be open to your feedback and input, rather than trying to “run the show”. Recall that the purpose of engaging a tutor is not only the acquisition of knowledge but also the attention and support you will be given.

3.     Improved Confidence

Working with a proficient private tutor will definitely boost your confidence, and confidence is essential to exemplary GRE performance. After a few sessions, you should expect to see how much your tutor has helped you learn and adopt fresh skills and additional perspective – about the GRE and about yourself as a test taker  – and address the problems you thought impossible just a few short weeks prior. Almost imperceptibly you will become more proficient in your execution and more sensitive to the different ways the GRE modulates complexity and delivers hints about the most viable and efficient solution paths (here at Apex we call these “Test Reads”). Thorough preparation will marginalize your fear of failure and help you combat latent (or not so latent) test anxiety so that you can manifest the high expectations that you’ve likely set at the outset of this process.

In addition, a capable private tutor will ensure that you address your anxiety about the exam in a healthy way. Aside from designing a study plan customized to your learning style, your GRE tutor will focus on other salient, but less popular factors that affect GRE performance; the amount of sleep you get, and overstudying, to name just two. While you might not have considered these factors, or believe them to be unimportant, they drastically influence productivity and affect test day performance. That is why an experienced GRE tutor will do everything s/he can to make you ready, and make you feel ready, for your exam.

4.     Greater Motivation

Constant preparation can be exhausting and without the proper support and encouragement, it’s normal to lose your motivation along the way. A tutor, however, can provide that motivation and understanding of what you’re going through – something well-meaning friends and family cannot – so that your goals become reality.

Apart from ensuring your efficient preparation for the GRE, a personal GRE tutor will also be your greatest mentor, motivator, and cheerleader. S/he will be the person who will check in, see how you’re doing midweek, and encourage you the most because he/she will be personally invested in you and will have a professional stake in the outcome of your preparation. The best tutors take their clients’ successes personally, and this informs their attentiveness and personal pride. The faith that your tutor has in you should inspire you so that you can achieve your dream score and satisfy your collective expectations. Thus, you will be even more motivated than before and you will perceive the exam as an opportunity to demonstrate all the novel skills you have developed and trained throughout your preparation.

5.     Higher GRE Score

Last, but certainly not least, preparation with the help of a private tutor will result in a higher score on test day when compared to classroom learning or self-preparation alone or in combination. As we have already mentioned, lessons from a devoted private tutor will provide you with an individualized learning experience and more personalized attention which will lead to an increase in your confidence and motivation for the exam. Finally, you will learn more than just GRE strategies from your tutor. You will learn critical and creative thinking skills, heuristics, mental models, and other thinking tools that will help you make the most of all future learning opportunities. The best tutors, like the ones here at Apex, teach you how to better learn, and become mentors and trusted advisors as you progress through your graduate school and further career.

Final Notes 

To sum things up: private GRE tutoring can be expensive but the value it will deliver will be more than worth the money. The best tutoring stays with you and will add color and perspective to your future learning, whether in your graduate program, on the job, or as you progress through your career. If you want to embark on your GRE journey with a private tutor, make sure you:

  • speak to several instructors at first. Apex offers a complimentary consultation call and you can schedule one HERE
  • hear the opinions of others who have already tried private GRE tutoring HERE.

Thanks for reading this article and good luck with your GRE preparation!

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