What Kind of Math is on the GRE? A breakdown of the quant section
Posted on
04
Jan 2023

What Kind of Math is on the GRE?

Unless you’re a math major, chances are that when you start preparing for the GRE, it’s been a while since you took a math class. Your algebra skills, once sharp and shiny, are rusty. Formulas you once knew are getting mixed up and mixed around. Your times tables have been tabled indefinitely. If you are to regain your mathematical form, you must begin by surveying the range of content to be (re)learned.

Thankfully, the GRE quantitative sections are built entirely from concepts and topics that you probably learned in high school at some point, even if your exposure to them was brief. Very few, if any, of the concepts will be completely new.

Below is a categorized list of topics you should expect to encounter. Think of this as the table of contents to a rather thorough GRE math syllabus.

GRE Math Topics

Arithmetic

Basic operations/order of operations

Exponents and radicals/powers and roots

Units digit cycles

Fractions, decimals, percents, ratios

Absolute Value

Place value

Estimation/approximation

Number Properties

Even and odd properties

Integers

Factors/Divisors

Divisibility

Least Common Multiple (LCM) and Greatest Common Factor (GCF)

Remainders

Prime numbers/prime factors/prime factorization

Arithmetic series properties

Algebra

Linear (first-degree) equations

Quadratic (second-degree) equations

Foiling and factoring quadratics

Inequalities

Functions

Sequences and series

Applied Problems

Probability

Combinatorics (combinations and permutations)

Percentage change and profit/loss

Interest

Age problems

Averages/mixtures

Rate/work /time

Speed/distance/time

Geometry

Polygons and sum of interior angles: 180(n – 2)

Quadrilateral types (parallelogram, trapezoid, rectangle, square) and area formulas

Triangles types (equilateral, isosceles, scalene, right) and area formulas

Pythagorean theorem

Special right triangles and Pythagorean triples

Circles and formulas for area and circumference

Arcs and sectors

Cylinders

Rectangular prisms

Area and perimeter

Volume and surface area

Similarity and congruence

Angles at intersections of lines

Coordinate Geometry

Slope

X and Y intercepts

Line equations and slope-intercept form (y = mx + b)

Graphs of functions

Midpoint and distance between points

Statistics

Mean, median, and mode

Standard deviation

Range

Quartiles and interquartile range

Normal distributions

You can use this list as a starting point to gauge how much learning (and relearning) you’ll have to do on the quantitative side of your GRE preparation. If any of these topics are only half-remembered or only vaguely familiar, you’ll have to do a fair bit of studying. If you are still well-versed in the majority of these topics, you may have a good head start on GRE quant. But note that this is simply a list of topics, not an exhaustive list of terms and formulas you must know.

A cheat sheet of formulas – without accompanying explanations – is actually less helpful than you might think, and the explanations of all the formulas you should know for GRE quant are too lengthy for these articles. We provide you with a handy glossary of terms to know as you begin your preparation for the GRE quantitative sections.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE private tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute free consultation callYou can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Anatomy of GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section
Posted on
21
Dec 2022

Anatomy of GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section

Unlike GMAT quant, each GRE quantitative reasoning section is non-adaptive and can be navigated – you can visit and revisit any of the twenty questions for the duration of the thirty-five minute time limit. Each GRE quantitative section is also predictable in terms of the locations of different question types. This opens the door for a high level of strategizing. When the section isn’t adapting to you, you can adapt to the section.

First, let’s get familiar with the question types. There are five types of questions on the GRE quantitative section:

Types of questions on the GRE quantitative section:

Quantitative Comparisons (QC): The test-taker must identify the greater of two expressions, labeled “Quantity A” and “Quantity B.” Each QC question has the same answer choice set:

(A) Quantity A is greater

(B) Quantity B is greater

(C) The quantities are equal

(D) The relationship cannot be determined

Answer choice D means that either quantity may be greater depending on the scenario, or the value supplied to a variable. In some cases, quantity A is greater, and in other cases, Quantity B is greater.

Multiple Choice (MC): These are standard, five-answer-choice problems.

Select All (SA): A twist on multiple choice questions where there may be more than five answer choices in the set, with one or more (and potentially even all) choices being correct. These have square boxes instead of round bubbles and are always preceded by the instruction to “select all that apply.”

Numeric Entry (NE): Non-multiple choice questions that require the calculation of a precise value, to be typed into a text entry box. Sometimes these have specific instructions to “enter your answer as a fraction” or to “round your answer to the nearest tenth.” 

Data Interpretation (DI): The four question types mentioned so far differ in terms of answer choice format, but Data Interpretation questions do not represent a fifth such format. They may be multiple choice, select all, or numeric entry (never quantitative comparisons) but are distinct from these question types because of the difference in the tasks required to answer them. On a GRE quant section, there are always three consecutive DI questions that ask about the same set of text, graphs, and tables. Hence the name “Data Interpretation.”

Now that we’ve overviewed the five question types, let’s take a look at how they work together to form a complete GRE quantitative reasoning section:

Question Number Question Type
1 – 7 or 1 – 8 QC
8 – 13 or 9 – 13 MC, SA, and NE (jumbled)
14 – 16 DI
17 – 20 MC, SA, and NE (jumbled)

There are 7 or 8 QC questions per section and a total of 15 QC questions between the two scored quantitative sections on the GRE. If one quantitative section has 7 of them, the other section will have 8, and vice versa. If you’re a by-the-book kind of test-taker, you can do these questions first. But if you tend to be more confident on the traditional multiple choice questions, you can start with those and come back to the QC questions later.

For what it’s worth, the DI questions are always numbers 14 through 16. If you want to start here, just use the “review” screen to navigate right to question 14.

The standard MC questions are much more heavily represented than the SA and NE questions. There is a kind of balance between QC and MC questions so that each quantitative section contains a total of 14 questions between these two types. If a section has 8 QC questions, it will have 6 MC questions (for a total of 14). And if a section has 7 QC questions, it will have 7 MC questions (again, for a total of 14). If you’ve been keeping track, this leaves only 3 questions per section for SA and NE.

The SA and NE questions also maintain a balance. You won’t get 3 SA questions on one section and then 3 NE questions on the other section; you’ll get one section with 2 SA and 1 NE and another section with 1 SA and 2 NE.

Question Types by Section:

QC: 7 or 8

MC: 6 or 7

DI: 3

SA: 1 or 2

NE: 1 or 2

Total: 20

Question Types for both Sections:

QC: 15

MC: 13

DI: 6

SA: 3

NE: 3

Total: 40

Knowing all this helps you know what to expect on test day. Familiarity tends to increase comfort. And most importantly, you can use your practice tests to try out different approaches to the quantitative sections.

Are open-ended QC questions giving you a headache? Flag them and go take a break with the more concrete DI questions.

Struggling to finish the section on time? Prioritize the question types you’re most comfortable with, and use the remaining time on the harder ones.

You can develop a personalized approach to the GRE quantitative section that plays to your strengths.

Now that we know how the GRE quantitative section is put together, we’ll turn to overviewing the actual math content of the questions in our next article.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE private tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Posted on
07
Dec 2022

GRE Analytical Writing Measure: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Before you begin your battery of Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections on the GRE, you will have to complete the GRE Analytical Writing measure. Read on to learn about this important section of the test and for useful preparation tips.

The GRE Analytical Writing measure has two tasks timed at thirty minutes each. The first task asks you to “analyze an issue” by taking a position on a brief statement. For this task, you will have to construct your own argument in support of your position. Here is a sample Analyze an Issue task:

As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.

Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

While the instructions following the prompt provide a general direction for your essay, this task is very open-ended. You can probably imagine many ways to address the issue and many points on both sides. The best way to sort through all this is to be authentic about your opinion. Don’t search for what you are supposed to write; write your actual thoughts and views about the issue, and then explain and defend them. Remember, you will not be scored on whether you have a certain “correct” opinion or analysis – you will be scored on how well you explain and defend your position. So take the position you actually believe and for which you can make the best case.

Some writers fall into the trap of remaining ambivalent about the issue. You should never simply discuss the points on both sides as an impartial observer. The instructions in this sample did tell you to “consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true,” but they began by telling you to “discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement.” You will have to come down on one side or the other, even if the extent to which you agree (or disagree) is not especially far from the “center” of neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Take a side. Remember, you won’t be penalized for doing so. You will be penalized if you fail to do so.

The second task of the GRE Analytical Writing measure asks you to “analyze an argument,” providing you with a short paragraph in which an author supports their own position on an issue. For this task, you will not construct your own argument but critique the argument in the prompt, identifying the assumptions and facts upon which it relies for strength and validity. Here is a sample Analyze an Argument task:

In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports (swimming, boating, and fishing) among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. For years there have been complaints from residents about the quality of the river’s water and the river’s smell. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is, therefore, sure to increase. The city government should for that reason devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

You can probably see some of the assumptions behind this argument’s assertion that use of the river for water sports is “sure to increase” (“sure” is such a strong word!) and its recommendation that the city government “devote more money in this year’s budget to riverside recreational facilities.” This argument is plagued by “what ifs.” First of all, what if the state doesn’t follow through on its plans to “clean up” Mason River? Anyone who assumes that state governments always follow through on their plans probably doesn’t live in the real world. What if the state follows through on its plans, but the “clean up” project improves neither the river’s water quality nor its smell? What if these things improve, but the residents of Mason City don’t increase their use of the river for water sports because they prefer to swim, boat, and fish in a more rural setting? What if the residents increase their use of the river for water sports but do so without increasing their use of the riverside recreational facilities? Are the facilities in question even connected to water sports? Or are they parks or amphitheaters or walking/cycling paths? Even if these facilities are connected to water sports, what if an increase in the use of these facilities doesn’t lead to an increase in the cost of maintaining them?

A list of “what ifs” like this one is not a good essay, but it’s a good demonstration of the assumptions that the instructions asked you to identify. You would want to write an essay about how the argument simply assumes that all of these loosely-connected logical dominoes will fall, explaining the consequences in the event that one of them doesn’t fall (or, as the instructions put it, “the implications if the assumptions prove unwarranted”).

Official prompts available as practice/prep material for the GRE Analytical Writing measure are few and far between, but don’t despair – you can practice by writing essays on any issue or any argument you come across! The exact nature of the prompts and instructions is less important than the core skills of clearly expressing your well-reasoned view (Analyze an Issue) and clearly discussing the assumptions or weaknesses of an argument (Analyze an Argument). In the age of media and social media, arguments are everywhere. You can’t avoid them. If you are watching a show or reading an article about sports, politics, entertainment, food, or virtually anything else, you will encounter opinions backed up, with varying degrees of skill and success, by arguments. Superhero movies are canned experiences that have long since passed their sell-by date. Sushi is the best food. The Jacksonville Jaguars will be a top-five team in the NFL within five years. That one candidate representing that one party should not be running for office again. For one or more of these statements, you can probably say immediately whether you agree or disagree with it, and to what extent. If you clearly express the reasons why you agree or disagree, you’re analyzing an issue. If you critique the points and premises used by the speaker or writer in support of the statement, you’re analyzing an argument. You will never run out of practice material.

Each writing task will be scored on a range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments, both by a person and by a program, with the two scores being averaged. If the scores given by the person and by the program are significantly different, another person will take the place of the program, and the two human-generated scores will be averaged. (This person/program scoring approach is the same as on the GMAT). Once each of the two tasks has its averaged score, those two scores are in turn averaged into your final Analytical Writing score.

If you are uncertain about your writing skills and concerned about how your essays would be scored, the official GRE prep platform on the ETS website offers services for having your Analytical Writing essays scored by the program used in the scoring process described above. You can purchase this service a la carte or along with a full official practice test. Don’t write essays before purchasing this service, either alone or as part of a practice test; you will be provided with prompts and timed as you write essays responding to them.

Your goal should be to become so skilled in writing these essays that the act doesn’t tire you out mentally. You still have five sections of Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning (the “real” GRE) after your one-hour Analytical Writing measure! Even if the Analytical Writing score is less important than the quant and verbal scores, you should practice writing enough to still be at your sharpest for the more important sections of the test.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE private tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Posted on
09
Nov 2022

GRE Structure, Scoring, and Strategy Tips

If you are at the beginning of your GRE prep journey, it’s important to understand the structure of the test and to be equipped with the right strategies for navigating each section. In this article, we’ll overview the delivery structure of the exam and provide powerful GRE tips to help you earn your best possible score on test day.

GRE Structure and Scoring

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) comprises six sections.

Analytical Writing

The first section, the Analytical Writing measure, has two tasks timed at thirty minutes each. The first task asks you to “analyze and issue” by taking a position on a brief statement. For this task, you will have to construct your own argument in support of your position. The second task asks you to “analyze an argument,” providing you with a short paragraph in which an author supports their own position on an issue. For this task, you will not construct your own argument but critique the argument in the prompt, identifying the assumptions and facts upon which it relies for strength and validity.

Each writing task will be scored on a range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments, both by a person and by a program, with the two scores being averaged. If the scores given by the person and by the program are significantly different, another person will take the place of the program, and the two human-generated scores will be averaged. (This person/program scoring approach is the same as on the GMAT). Once each of the two tasks has its averaged score, those two scores are in turn averaged into your final Analytical Writing score.

Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning

Sections two through six are the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning measures. Each section has twenty questions, but the Quant sections are timed at thirty-five minutes each, while the Verbal sections are timed at just thirty minutes each.

While ETS (Educational Testing Service, the administrators of the GRE) maintains that the sections can appear in any order, the official practice tests on their website and the experience of thousands of test-takers indicate that these sections will always alternate types (Q-V-Q-V-Q or V-Q-V-Q-V). Only two sections of each type (two Quant and two Verbal) count towards your score.

For whichever type has three sections, one of those sections is experimental and unscored. This section exists for ETS to check the validity of new content for future administrations of the GRE. There is no safe way to recognize or distinguish the experimental section from its scored counterparts; you need to treat every section as if it counts.

Like the GMAT, the GRE is adaptive, but on a much lower-resolution scale. While the GMAT adapts on a question-by-question basis, the GRE only adapts the difficulty of the second (scored) section of each type (Quant and Verbal) based on your performance on the first (scored) section of that type, which is always of medium difficulty. ETS has not released information on how many different degrees of difficulty exist for the second sections, but the official practice tests provided on the ETS website have three possibilities for each second section: an easier one, a medium one, and a harder one.

Both the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning measures are scored on a scale from 130 to 170. Unlike the GMAT, the GRE does not combine the Quant and Verbal scores into some overall score or report percentiles for test-takers’ combined scores out of 340 (the sum of the scores for the Quant and Verbal sections). Percentiles are only provided for the independent Quant and Verbal scores out of 170, as well as for the Analytical Writing measure.

GRE scoring percentiles:

Here are up-to-date GRE scoring percentiles:

GRE Score Percentiles for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning

Scaled Score Verbal Reasoning Quantitative Reasoning
170 99 96
169 99 93
168 98 90
167 98 87
166 97 84
165 95 81
164 94 78
163 92 76
162 90 73
161 87 70
160 85 67
159 81 64
158 78 61
157 74 57
156 66 54
155 67 51
154 58 47
153 58 43
152 52 40
151 48 37
150 43 33
149 38 30
148 34 27
147 30 23
146 27 20
145 24 17

GRE Score Percentiles for Analytical Writing

Score Percentile Rank
6.0 99
5.5 97
5.0 91
4.5 79
4.0 54
3.5 37
3.0 13
2.5 6
2.0 2
1.5 1
1.0
0.5
0.0

GRE Strategy Tips

A main structural difference between the GMAT and the GRE is the GRE’s feature of section navigation. While the GMAT does not allow test-takers to navigate a section or return to any previously-encountered questions on the section, the GRE has a navigation screen for each Quant and Verbal section, accessible via a “review” button in the top-right corner of the test.

This screen shows you the status of each question in the section. If you haven’t seen a question yet, it will be labeled “not encountered.” If you have seen a question but not answered it, it will be labeled “not answered.” As you can see on question 4 of this section (highlighted above), a question may also be labeled “incomplete” if it has multiple parts and only some of these parts are completed (this is possible on most of the vocabulary-based questions on Verbal sections).

You should never actually leave a question “incomplete” or altogether “unanswered” before moving on, even if you mark it for review. When you toggle the “mark” button (right next to the “review” button in the top right), always fully answer the question before moving on. Even a random answer is better than no answer at all.

[Note: the label “Section 2 of 5” indicates a total of five sections rather than six because the practice tests do not include an experimental section. Also, you can toggle between showing and hiding the time remaining for the section. This feature is on the real GRE as well.]

The navigation feature represents an exploitable opportunity for GRE-takers. Since both the Quant and Verbal sections have consistent internal structures, you can choose which questions to work through first and which questions to leave until the end. For more info on these “internal structures,” stay tuned for upcoming articles.

On the Verbal sections, you can choose whether to do reading comprehension questions or vocabulary questions first. In the Quant sections, you can begin with all the quantitative comparison questions or leave them until the end. You can also specifically target the data interpretation questions early on if that suits you.

Some test-takers will benefit from getting their least favorite questions out of the way and then speeding through the easy stuff. Other test-takers might like to knock out the easy questions first in order to know exactly how much time they’ll have to complete the harder ones. You can figure out what’s best for you personally on your way through the GRE prep process, and the insights of a private GRE tutor can be of great value here.

Thanks for reading our GRE tips regarding structure, scoring, and strategy. As this series of articles continues, we’ll break down the Quant and Verbal sections independently to help you understand the structure and content of each section type.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GRE tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute, consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their cumulative 325+ score with us!

Contributor: Elijah Mize (Apex GRE Instructor)

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Taking the GRE in New York: Everything You Need to Know
Posted on
26
Oct 2022

Taking the GRE in New York: Everything You Need to Know

About ¾ of the way through your extensive GRE prep you should begin to start planning your test day, including scheduling the test, preparing your trip to the test center, and even pre-visiting the test center so that you know exactly where it is. This guide is here to offer you all the required information related to taking the GRE in New York.

Who administers the GRE in New York?

The GRE is administered by Prometric. They have many test centers located throughout New York, so you should have no problem finding a convenient location.

What does the GRE test center look like in New York?

The GRE is a computer-based test, so you will be taking the test on a computer. The test center will include individual testing areas for each test taker with a separation screen between each taker.

Where are the GRE test centers located in New York?

Center 1:

1250 Broadway, #2500

New York, NY 10001

+1 646-690-0303

Directions to the test center

Center 2:

80 Broad St #3400

New York, NY 10004

+1 212-785-0359

Directions to the test center

Center 3:

384 Bridge St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

+1 718-797-4061

Directions to the test center

Top MBA programs in New York

There are many top MBA programs in New York. Some of the most popular programs include: 

Tips

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the GRE: 

  • Get started early – give yourself time to prepare and increase your chances of success.
  • Create a study plan and stick to it for the most effective preparation.
  • Familiarize yourself with the GRE format.
  • Hire a personal GRE tutor who will guide you through the exam. You will get one-on-one attention and they can help guide your studies according to what’s needed for success.

GRE test Day FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions about taking the GRE

How long is the GRE?

The GRE is a 3-hour 45-minute computer adaptive test that has three sections: an analytical writing assessment, a quantitative section, and a verbal one.

Am I allowed to bring a calculator?

You will not be able to bring your personal calculator to the GRE exam. You should also leave any unnecessary electronic devices at home.

If you are looking for professional help to boost your GRE performance, head to our official website and book your 30 minutes complimentary assessment session now.

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Posted on
10
Aug 2022

Tips to Skyrocket Your GRE Performance

Hundreds of thousands of hopeful students take the GRE exam every year. Getting an excellent score on the test is one of the biggest reasons students get into top ranked b-schools.  Moreover, boosting someone’s GRE performance is about more than just the quantity of study time, and more about studying and preparing effectively. Getting a high GRE score may seem like something reserved for those Ivy league type students, but it’s something that anyone has the capability of doing. We’ve prepared some tips for you that we think will help skyrocket your GRE performance!

Pace Yourself 

This is one of the largest factors when earning a great GRE score. Absolutely pace yourself, both studying for the GRE and while taking the GRE itself. Give yourself months beforehand to study, and space out your studying for a short time everyday. Do not cram in the last few days for the exam, giving yourself time will let your brain absorb more information, while also relieving much of the stress that will be put on you right before the exam. You want to go into the GRE relaxed, prepared, and confident. 

However, it is equally important not to rush through the exam and try to remain focused and consistent in your pacing. If a question is taking you too long, skip over it. If a question seems way too easy, make sure you take a moment to read it once more. The last thing you want to do is make a simple mistake just because you weren’t paying enough attention. 

Performing Under Pressure 

Being prepared and taking your time are very good ways at reducing stress during the GRE exam. But it is important to be able to think on your feet. No matter how much you study, you cannot predict and know every single question on the test . In this sense, it becomes paramount to try and develop strategies and skills for dealing with the pressure of GRE. 

Make sure that your GRE prep involves materials that you are unfamiliar with, make sure you are studying a variety of questions. Address reading, writing, and quantitative materials. If you feel weak in one area, spend more time with it, but do not completely ignore the other ones. Read complex texts that will help train your brain to essentially think critically, analyze, and problem solve, as you try and decipher some of these more difficult readings. Choose math problems that challenge you, that you struggle to comprehend. If you need help, turn to a colleague or friend, or even better, a private tutor.

Get a Private Tutor 

Here at Apex GRE we believe private tutoring sets many applicants apart during the GRE exam, and any other standardized tests. What we at Apex offer is a highly personalized approach to tutoring, in which a tutor essentially acts as a personal guide and mentor for testing success. Private tutoring has helped boost the scores of many, and it’s a great advantage over others who are studying alone or in a group setting.

Also it is important to not be afraid of the price point. Hiring an expensive private tutor is a worthy investment, and is an investment for the long run. Trusting and buying into your tutors philosophy and time can really benefit you, as your private tutor will embrace you, your education, and your potential. Here at Apex  GREwe offer top of the line private tutoring. Don’t hesitate to sign up for a free 30 minute consultation with one of our tutors!

In Review 

A GRE score can become something that can define you, the stress and anxiety caused by the ever looming test day can become a cripple for many. While it may be a crucial test, something that could change your life, it is best to approach it in a calm and composed manner. With proper preparation, anyone can boost their potential on the exam and their score.

 

Contributor: Lukas Duncan

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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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