GRE Preparation: Eligibility, Exam, Syllabus, Subjects and Registration Process

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GRE Prep courses are designed to give a basic refresher on relevant subject matter material but also prepare a test taker to use strategies to optimize their GRE effort. GRE is the standardized exam that is taken by thousands of graduates every year for admissions into masters & Ph. D. programs at top universities located all over the world. Cracking the GRE can be rigorous task for any candidate, but with the right mentorship & able guidance, you can be able to ace the GRE quite effortlessly. The GRE General Test is one of the world՚s largest assessment programs for graduate admissions & the exam is conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS) .

GRE Eligibility Criteria

The Graduate Record Examination or some commonly referred to as GRE are the largest assessment programs for admission to graduate courses to worldwide. Students are planning to pursue admissions to graduate programs abroad are required to undertake the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) . There is no prescribed age limit or qualification required for candidates to appear for GRE 2020. However, since GRE is an assessment test for admission to graduate the courses, candidates are expected to have successfully completed their undergraduate program. Candidates have to note that not all the programs & universities require candidates to have a GRE score for admission to graduate programs. Whether a candidate requires appearing for their GRE is entirely at the discretion of the university & the course that they are pursuing.

GRE Exam Pattern

Writing an exam of GRE can be stressful in given the duration & length of the question paper. The most significant learning here is time management that only comes through the arduous practice of sample papers & mock tests. This is where the importance of being familiar with the GRE Exam pattern is of utmost importance.

The GRE question paper is divided into three main sections, namely, Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, & Quantitative Reasoning. The total time given to complete the exam is three hours & thirty minutes (3 hours 30 minutes = 210 minutes) & for computer-based, it is three hours & forty minutes (3 hours 40 minutes = 220 minutes) . Here is the GRE exam pattern for both computer-delivered & paper-delivered tests:

Illustration 2 for GRE_Exam_Pattern

GRE Syllabus

The GRE tests the skills of a candidate in areas like Analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, & verbal reasoning. Here are the various topics asked in the three sections of the GRE exam:

Illustration 3 for GRE_Exam_Pattern

Quantitative Reasoning

This section can be further divided into four major topics namely: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry & Data Analysis. The sub-topics are the noting point for scoring well in your exams. The sub-topics asked under these major topics are as follow:-

1) Arithmetic:-

a) Integers

b) Fractions

c) Exponents & Roots

d) Decimals

e) Real Numbers

f) Ratio

g) Percentages

2) Algebra:

a) Operations with Algebraic Expressions

b) Rules of Exponents

c) Solving Linear Equations

d) Solving Quadratic Equations

e) Solving Linear Inequalities

f) Functions

g) Applications

h) Coordinate Geometry

i) Graphs of Functions

3) Geometry:

a) Lines & Angles

b) Polygons

c) Triangles

d) Quadrilaterals

e) Circles

f) 3-D Figures

4) Data Analysis:

a) Graphical Methods for Describing Data

b) Numerical Methods for Describing Data

c) Counting Methods

d) Probability

e) Distributions of Data, Random Variables, & Probability Distributions

f) Data Interpretation Examples

Click here to know about GRE Quantitative Syllabus

Verbal Reasoning

The three types of questions that make up this section are reading comprehension, text completion & sentence equivalence. This section requires candidates to possess knowledge related to the following topics:

  • Basic sentence: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism

Also read about GRE Verbal Syllabus

Analytical Writing

This section tests the writing skills of a candidate. Candidates are given topics on which they have to write. They may also be given passages, on the basis of which they have to come up with the answers. The passages could be related to any topic, so the syllabus of this section is quite vast. ETS has provided topic pools for both issue & argument-related tasks. You can go through them to develop a clear idea of the type of questions that are asked in this section.

Click to know more about Analytical Writing

GRE Subject Tests

The GRE Subject Tests are achievement tests that measure your knowledge of a particular field of study. Show what you know about a specific subject & graduate schools will take notice. The Subject Tests can help you stand out from other applicants by emphasizing your knowledge and skill level in a specific area And Subject tests can act as an excellent medium to prove your excellence in a particular subject & distinguish yourself from another candid. GRE subject tests are intended for students who have an undergraduate major or extensive background in one of these six disciplines:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

GRE Registration

The registration process for the GRE is quite straightforward. To appear for the GRE General Test 2020, a candidate has to first create the ‘My GRE Account’ . The ‘My GRE Account’ will be used to complete the application & check the exam score upon the declaration of the results. There are three ways to register for the GRE general test, namely online, phone & e-mail registration. Candidates can opt for either online or mail methods for registration in the case they want to appear for the GRE 2020 subject test.

Here are 5 major steps that candidates should follow to register for GRE 2020:

  • Create an ETS account for GRE registration 2020.
  • Select the GRE test type – GRE General or GRE Subject test.
  • Set location & date for the exam.
  • Fill the required academic background information.
  • Make the payment.

The global registration fee for the GRE General Test & GRE Subject Test is 205&150 respectively.

GRE Preparation Strategy

Devising a proper preparation plan is most important part of the GRE preparation process. Similar to the other exam preparations, you can choose to study on your own or join a coaching center to prepare for the GRE exams. It takes a lot of brainstorming to come up with a strategy that is completely in sync with your goals & also in accordance with your current skill set. Given below is the basic guideline that you should follow for devising a flawless preparation strategy:

1) Figure Out Your Shortcomings

Take a mock test in the initial stage of your preparation to figure out your strengths & weaknesses. Because, it will help you to presume the proper preparation plan that will be best suited to your individual needs. Make sure that you come up with a plan that helps you to improve upon your shortcomings & build on your strengths at the same time.

2) Conceptualize

The best way to improve upon the weak areas is to develop strong grip over the underlying concepts. Regular practice of questions from easy to medium level will help you in the retention of the learned concepts. Find out the sections (such as Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction) & the question types (Arguments, Idioms) that trouble you the most. Devote more time to get better in these areas & don՚t let any chapter to be dead weight on your score.

3) Build on the Conceptual Knowledge

Once you feel confident about your hold over the vital concepts, you should start practicing high difficulty level questions. The complex questions will put your application ability to test. If you still face any difficulty while solving questions of a particular type (like sentence correction) then you can again work on the basics (such as grammar rules) to develop a better understanding of that topic.

4) Learn Tricks for Faster Problem-Solving

Time will be a crucial factor that will decide how you fare in the GRE exam. In order to optimize your performance, you should learn new tricks that will help you to solve the questions faster than how you would do normally using conventional methods. You will be able to use the saved time to solve difficult questions, which can be very positive for your overall performance in the exam. Just learning these tricks will not be sufficient. You will need to follow these methods while practicing questions on a regular basis so that their usage becomes second nature for you.

5) Practice & Review

Take back to back mock tests in the final phase of your GRE prep. The mock tests will allow you to practice questions related to different sections simultaneously. You might come across some difficult questions while taking the mock tests, solving them in a limited time can be difficult. Even if you get them wrong the first time, make sure that you again attempt those questions after the completion of the test. You should also go through the solution to learn faster methods of solving the same question.

The preparation strategy will largely vary depending upon your current understanding of the fundamental concepts & time in hand. Just make sure that you allow yourself enough time to cover all the areas of the GRE exam & do not rush through the preparation. Here are the detailed one month, two-month, & three-month study plans that you can follow for an effective GRE preparation. With complete dedication & proper guidance, you will be able to crack the GRE & achieve the desired score to get into the college of your dreams.