GRE Test Prep

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As with all standardized tests, it's important to prepare in advance for the GRE. After all, a single test can have a big impact on your career path! Particularly with that knowledge in mind, achieving successful results on the test may seem daunting; however, knowing the structure of the test in advance may help you get the most out of your studies and help you obtain a good score. Here, we've laid out the best tips to help you make the most of each section of the test:

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The Verbal Section

There are four types of questions in the verbal section of this test: analogies, antonyms, sentence completion and reading comprehension.

Analogies

In the analogies section, each question consists of two pairs of words and you'll be required to recognize their relationship. Relationships can be of kind, of size or of spatial relation. A good strategy is to take each of the words and put them in a sentence - try to see the words in a different light than your first impression of them. At times, more than one of the answers given will seem to apply. In these instances, you need to pinpoint the answer that most closely expresses the relationship. Watch for synonyms and words that have several different meanings, and be sure to read over all the choices before making your decision.

Antonyms

The GRE uses an antonym (opposite words) test to evaluate your vocabulary. Read each question closely, and keep in mind that many words don't have an exact opposite. In many cases, there will be two answers that are both nearly the opposite and you'll need to decide which is the most accurate of the two. Test the two words against each other, and look for root words, suffixes and prefixes to help you. Trying practice tests in advance is particularly beneficial in this category and will help you get comfortable with the task.

Sentence Completion

Sentence completions require you to recognize cues in the opening part of a sentence in order to find the answer that best completes it. These cues are the key, and knowing which ones to pay attention to is very important. Make sure that you understand every word in the sentence and its context. Look at each word carefully and find its logical relations.

If you have difficulty with the English language, you may want to look into websites that provide practice tests, so you can prepare yourself well in advance for the test.

Reading Comprehension

This section measures your ability to read and understand text. You'll be required to draw out important concepts and express inherent implications. More specifically, you may be asked to identify:

  • the primary objective of the passage
  • information that's directly stated in the passage
  • information or ideas that are implied by statements within the passage
  • potential applications of the passage
  • the author's use of rhetoric (techniques of persuasion) and logic
  • the tone of the passage - is it humorous, serious, descriptive, etc

Be prepared to encounter material on subjects that you're unfamiliar with. Your ability to understand new material will indicate your level of reading comprehension.

The Quantitative Section

This test really only requires a high school understanding of math, including algebra, geometry and conventional symbolic understanding (i.e. letter representation, angle representations, units of measurement, symbols for relations such as equals, plus, etc.).

Here, the best preparation is to review high school mathematics books or take some refresher courses. One of the best ways to learn is to take practice tests, such as those available online.

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