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    GRE Self-Preparation: Top Time Management and Test Day Tips

    GRE Self Study

    Are you planning to appear for the GRE and confused about how to begin with your preparation? Well, GRE preparation no longer requires external help or coaching. With so many books and other resources readily available, most students opt for GRE self preparation nowadays. Apart from being cost-effective, GRE self study along with time management is a great way to discover your abilities and weaknesses.

    If you are reading this article, either you have decided to do GRE self preparation or want to get time management tips for GRE. So let us tell you that these tips can help you learn at your own pace, develop ownership, provide meticulous insights, use innovative learning models, increase awareness, and hone new skills. Whatever the case is, let’s get an in-depth understanding of it.

    GRE Overview and Preparation

    Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test is a standardised admission requirement for many graduate schools in the US and Canada. It examines a candidate’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. It consists of 82 questions that need to be answered in 3 hours and 45 minutes. 

    The questions asked in GRE are difficult and require immense preparation. Therefore, to deliver exceptional scores, the students can either enrol themselves on the most prestigious online/offline GRE coaching institutes in India for tutoring or indulge in GRE self preparation. 

    If you want to pick the affordable and convenient method of self preparation, there is no turning back. You will have to be constant and persistent in your study efforts. 

    Suggested: Best Time to Take GRE Exam

    But how to make your GRE self preparation journey fruitful? 

    Let’s check out these beneficial tips, to begin:

    8 Tips for GRE Self Preparation

    If you don’t want to spend extra money on coaching or have 4-12 weeks left in your GRE exam, get motivated with the following best self paced GRE prep tips. 

    Find Your Current Score

    You must know your baseline score by taking a full-length GRE practice test before beginning the preparation. This test will help you focus on the shortcomings and weaker content areas. At the end of it, you will know what topics, questions, or sections need extra work. 

    Determine the Target GRE Score

    By now, you must have decided on the university or course you want to pursue. You must compare your baseline score with the cutoff of all the universities to set a target GRE score. It is essential to know the admission requirement of your dream university/program. This analysis will give you an idea of the required effort. 

    A Plan is Must

    Whether you select an online prep course or GRE preparation book, a smart study plan is significant. It will keep you on track and accountable for your efforts. Later in the article, we will know in detail how a GRE self study plan can be created. 

    Practice New Techniques/Strategies

    There is always a better way to accomplish a particular GRE task, goal, or question. Rather than focusing just on the results, follow different techniques or strategies to attempt a particular question/section. With each GRE practice test, your hold on the techniques will improve. 

    Create GRE Environment

    Paper and pencil tests might improve your knowledge but they are quite different from the computerised GRE experience. Therefore, ensure to invest your maximum time in solving online GRE practice tests. They will hone your time management skills, and give an idea about the visual experience and adaptive features of the GRE. 

    Build Your Vocabulary

    Vocabulary is a critical aspect of the GRE verbal test. Therefore, learn new words by reading academic journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. Besides, if you come across new words while attempting GRE practice tests, note them as well. As they have been asked/used once and can be again. 

    Review the Results

    It is beneficial to review your GRE practice test attempt. Know the questions that go wrong, are tricky to understand, or get missed in haste. This examination will help you work on your pace and test-taking abilities. Besides, to check the progress, you can also compare each test score with the previous ones. 

    Is Calculator Required?

    Even though a calculator is provided in the GRE quantitative exam, whether to use it or not is a big question. You must be well-versed in using the calculator; else, it can waste your time and become a liability. So perform your tests with and without a calculator to determine what works best.

    Suggested: Best GRE Verbal Books 2022

    How to make a GRE Self Study Plan? 

    You can only achieve the desired GRE score by creating a to-the-point study plan. All the GRE study materials usually have a pre-built plan layout. However, it may vary as per a student’s weaknesses. Gain an idea of a GRE self study plan layout, with this 2-month sample. 

    Month 1 

    Week 1

    • Take a GRE Diagnostic Test
    • Review the included concepts

    Week 2

    • Learn the exam pattern and syllabus
    • Go through the fundamentals and intermediate concepts

    Week 3

    • Study 2 GRE prep classes of 2 hours (GRE quant) + 3 days studying of 1.5 hours (question-solving)

    Week 4

    • Study 2 GRE prep classes of 2.5 hours (GRE verbal) + 3 days studying of 1.5 hours (question-solving)


    Month 2

    Week 1

    • Take PowerPrep tests and work on the mistakes. 

    Week 2

    • Learn GRE vocabulary
    • Practice AWA essays
    • Watch GRE quant + verbal videos

    Week 3

    • Take GRE Practice Tests
    • Watch videos of difficult concepts
    • Take Rest

    Week 4

    • Take full-length GRE practice test and work on the mistakes

    This GRE study plan will slightly change for every student according to their target GRE score, the diagnostic GRE test score, and preparation duration. Additionally, note to take rest before exam day, keep calm, and have healthy meals. 

    Suggested: How to tackle low GPA /GRE scores? 

    Gre preparation

    Tips for Managing Time in GRE Exam

    Let us now have a look at some tips for the GRE exam that you should keep in mind for performing accurately and quickly on the GRE.

    • Candidates make the common mistake of taking the simple questions lightly and simply skimming through them. It is advised to verify every answer for maximum accuracy. It is harmful to be quick without preciseness. 
    • Never leave a question unanswered. If you run out of time, it is safe to randomly guess an answer since there is no negative marking in the GRE. Something is better than nothing.
    • Use a timer while practising questions. Timing and testing yourself will increase your GRE time management. 
    • While it is recommended to verify easy questions and not move too quickly, you should also avoid wasting time on challenging problems. Flag the difficult questions and go back to them later. 
    • Do not waste time on any question if it takes you more than 20-30 seconds to comprehend the question. This is how to manage time in GRE Verbal Reasoning section. 
    • Focus more on performing within the time limit than hard work while practising. Make it a rule. You will only get your desired score by solving problems within the time limit. Hence it is important to know how to manage time in GRE exam.

    Take a 30-minutes Diagnostic test with Yocket GRE Prep to know how you fare well in your GRE preparations! Yocket GRE Prep will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and even give you a very personalised GRE Test strategy. Sounds fun? Book now!

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    Tips for GRE Test Day for International Students

    Many grad programs ask international students to submit GRE scores, including master's, PhD and professional degree programs in various disciplines, extending from liberal arts subjects to technical fields. So, to make sure you follow the best GRE exam day tips, we have listed below some pointers that students can go through:

    Manage Your Time Properly

    The important GRE test day tips is to manage your time properly. If you’ve practised spending one-and-a-half minutes per quantitative question, don’t unexpectedly start spending five minutes or more on a given question. If you can’t answer a question in the allotted amount of time, quickly select any answers, take your best-educated guess from the enduring answer choices, mark the question for review, and move on.

    Spend Time Oiling Your Brain

    Your brain, too, needs to unwind just as your body does. This helps in enhancing your focus, attention span and information retention. Taking a mock test a day before the exam can be counterproductive. Also, the last 48 hours are not suitable for gathering new information; rather, it is time to consolidate the information already gathered.

    Do Easy Questions First

    All the sub-section in GRE are worth the same number of points. So, when you encounter a question on test day that seems confusing or hard, skip it. Use the marking function to indicate that you didn’t answer it, and move on to the next question. Then, after you’ve made your first pass through the subsection and gotten all the easy points, complete your marked questions.

    Refresh Information on Exam Format

    You might have already acquainted yourself with GRE structure and pattern, but it is always a good idea to refresh your information so that you can easily anticipate test patterns, be mentally prepared and anticipate probable test comprehension glitches.

    Study the Essays Before Test Day

    The two essays in the analytical writing section can be one of the most intimidating parts of the GRE, but they’re also one of the easiest parts to prepare for. There is a possibility that all the topics you could see in GRE AWA sample essay are available online.

    No Eleventh Hour Cramming Up

    The worst mistake one makes is engaging in crazy cramming sessions a day prior to the exam. It is a time to organise your thoughts and mentally catalogue everything you have learned so far. The last-minute study does you more harm than good as your brain needs some time to assimilate fresh information and reproduce it at the right time.

    Suggested: List of GRE Test Centers In India 2023

    Prepare for GRE with Yocket Prep 

    Be it helping you with self-study, time management or helping you with GRE test-day jitters, we can help you ace all of it!! 

    With Yocket’s GRE Prep platform you can get hold of a whole lot of things - FREE practice & diagnostic tests, FREE resources, more than 40 personalised difficulty-level subject practice tests with instant performance report and detailed solutions, and much much more! 

    And well, not just that, Yocket Prep will offer you: 

    • Instant solutions and performance analysis based on your diagnostic tests
    • Focussed and prioritised GRE learning and practice schedule, to keep you ahead of time 
    • Custom priority-based study planner, which focuses on the most important & marks-fetching topics practice by volume
    • 7 GRE style tests (which are very difficult to get tbh), 40+ topic-wise tests, access to Priority Dashboard and much more than you can imagine through Yocket Prep+

    Frequently Asked Questions about GRE Preparation

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