Graduate Record Examinations
Graduate Record Examinations

GRE Preparation 2023: Section-wise GRE Prep Tips and Effective Strategies

GRE preparation is crucial to maximize results in the GRE exam. Check prep tips and effective strategies for both GRE General and Subject tests. Also, check tips on how working professionals can prepare for the test.
GRE Preparation 2023

GRE Preparation 2023

GRE Prep Tips 2023: To get a strong score in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) students must conduct an effective preparation strategy. The GRE exam tests applicants on their Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and Critical Thinking skills. These skills are needed to excel in top graduate schools all across the world. Hence, it is essential to master these skills by constructively preparing for GRE. Getting a GRE score above 320 is important to get enrolled in one’s dream college, and such a score can be achieved by building a helpful GRE preparation strategy. 

Also Check: GRE Books

GRE is one of the most widely recognized exams by many prominent graduate schools. Candidates planning to pursue higher education abroad should effectively prepare for GRE to maximize their results. Educational Testing Service (ETS), the test-makers and exam-conducting body has laid down the GRE syllabus and pattern, and the preparation should be aligned with it. Apart from that, candidates should build strategies while preparing for the GRE test and should know some useful GRE prep tips. Continue reading to know how to prepare for GRE and section-wise prep tips & strategies. 

GRE Prep Tips 2023

As discussed earlier, effectively preparing for the GRE exam is the key to acing it. Students should know how to logically tackle different types of questions in the exam, how to manage their time properly, how to minimize exam anxiety, etc. These skills will be mastered when applicants prepare for the exam. Experts have advised that preparation of 2 to 3 months is essential before actually appearing for the exam. 

Some common prep tips that should be followed in order to effectively prepare for the GRE exam include:

  • Understanding the GRE pattern and syllabus
  • Attempting practice tests
  • Tracking Progress
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • Building a study plan
  • Solving Sample Papers

Moreover, GRE offers two testing options, which are: GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. Knowing the tips on how to prepare for each section of the chosen testing option will help applicants to obtain the desired GRE score. Read on to know the GRE prep tips for the different sections of both general and subject tests. 

GRE General Test Prep Tips

The General test contains three sections that applicants are required to prepare for. These sections are GRE Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Each section calls for critical thinking, but the preparation for each section should be done by keeping different tips in mind. 

GRE Verbal Reasoning Prep Tips

This is a language-based section of the exam that requires applicants to think logically while answering verbal questions. The section tests students’ critical thinking and language fluency skills by asking questions that revolve around the topics of Text Completion, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Equivalence. Most of the questions ask students to interpret passages and then solve problems based on the passages in question. Students must complete and analyze incomplete sentences, elaborated sentences, or paragraphs for the other half of the section. 

In the Verbal Reasoning section, applicants are evaluated on their ability to:

  • Analyze and interpret the given content 
  • Combine information from the given material
  • Examine the connections between sentence elements
  • identify connections between words and concepts

Some prep tips that applicants are advised to follow while preparing for this section include:

Reading Comprehension- This segment tests the abilities of candidates to summarize, interpret, analyze, and develop alternative explanations of the given paragraph. These tasks can be mastered if applicants ask questions, and formulate hypotheses while preparing. Additionally, increasing reading and writing speed, knowing the meaning of various complex words, solving reading comprehension questions, and practicing sample texts are recommended.

Text Completion- This segment mainly asks students to complete given phrases and sentences. This can be done by carefully interpreting and analyzing the given text. Put simply, This skill is put to the test in text completion exercises, which ask students to pick words or short phrases to fill in the blanks and come to a logical, meaningful conclusion. To efficiently prepare for this segment, students should participate in vocabulary-building activities, learn synonyms of different words, read blogs, magazines, and newspapers, and solve as many sample questions as possible.

Sentence Equivalence-  This segment requires students to complete a given passage with just partial information that has been provided to them. Candidates will be asked to complete the sentence by picking out an answer from six answer choices. While preparing for this, students should learn the application of various words, solve the previous year’s sentence equivalence problems, and get a hold of situation-based words and phrases.

The general tips to tackle this section include- pacing up on reading speed, building up vocabulary, referring to the official verbal reasoning guide provided by ETS, and solving as many GRE question papers as possible. 

GRE Quantitative Reasoning Prep Tips

This section seeks to challenge word problems that must be modelled and solved mathematically. Students will be asked questions on different UG-level topics such as Arithmetic, Algebra, Data Analysis, and Geometry topics.

The Quantitative Reasoning section examines students’ quantitative skillset and assesses them on the following:

  • Elementary mathematical concepts
  • Ability to solve problems using quantitative methods
  • Basic mathematical skills

To prepare for this section, candidates must do the following:

  • Clear mathematical basics if not already cleared
  • Thoroughly comprehend mathematical formulas
  • Use the calculator only when it's necessary, do not get too comfortable with its usage
  • Solve as many mathematical problems as possible
  • Align the preparation with the GRE quantitative reasoning syllabus 
  • Understand the pattern and accordingly strategize answers
  • Take time to solve word problems, do not rush
  • Dedicate a certain amount of time to solve questions in this section and do not exceed it 
  • Stick to your methods
  • Analyze tables and graphs thoroughly 

Moreover, even though quant questions can be challenging to many, try not to spend more than 2 minutes in solving the asked questions in this particular section. There are roughly 20 questions in each quantitative section, and students have 35 minutes to answer them. One can answer some questions in one minute and others in two. If a question has taken longer than two minutes to answer, make a calculated guess and move on to solving the next question. 

GRE Analytical Writing Prep Tips

This is the only descriptive section of the GRE exam. In this particular section, students are required to write answers to two detailed questions in an essay format. 

Students must complete an argumentative essay and an issue-resolution essay with 30 minutes dedicated to each essay.  The AWA section evaluates a candidate's aptitude for logical reasoning, writing style, and level of familiarity with current events. Good grades can be obtained through well-organized factual essays and argumentative writing.

GRE AWA assesses students’ communication skills and tests their ability to:

  • Evaluate and construct arguments
  • articulate complex ideas
  • sustain a coherent discussion

While preparing for this section, candidates must:

  • Be updated with current events
  • Practice essay writing
  • Get familiar with sample GRE AWA essay topics
  • Time the essays while writing them
  • Compose arguments with both “for” and “against” the given topic
  • Solve AWA sample papers

GRE Subject Test Prep Tips

The GRE subject tests are different from the general test since they are more specialized and assess students' knowledge in a particular subject or field. Students who want to pursue master's degrees in particular disciplines including psychology, physics, chemistry, and math should take this exam. Since there are no independently timed sections, the test syllabus and the pattern is also distinctive and more detailed.

The four subject tests that are offered by ETS are:

GRE Psychology Subject Test

GRE Physics Subject Test

GRE Chemistry Subject Test

GRE Maths Subject Test

The simplest way for a candidate to prepare for the GRE subject test is to practice with different GRE practice tests from the official website, which include strategies, tips, and tests. Here is a summary of some tips for preparing for the GRE subject tests that can be used for all four GRE subject tests:

  • Revise the undergraduate-level content for specific subjects as the pattern of the subject test is mostly based on it
  • Build a study plan that aligns with the syllabus and pattern of the chosen subject test
  • Solve as many sample questions and papers as possible
  • Skim old UG-level books and notes 
  • Take practice subject tests offered by ETS
  • Familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will be asked in the exam
  • Work on time management skills

Also Check: GRE Question Papers

GRE Prep Tips for Working Professionals 

Many candidates who appear for the GRE exam are actually professionals working in the industry. It may sometimes get difficult and challenging for them to balance work and preparation for the exam together. Hence, here are some tips and strategies to help industry professionals conduct a fruitful GRE preparation while also maintaining productivity in work life. 

  • Start Early- The most vital step for working professionals is to start early. This will give them a proper window for the exam preparation process and will make balancing work and preparation easier.
  • Make a Schedule-  Taking time out to study and following that routine is essential to conduct a consistent preparation process. After work hours, applicants are advised to at least take out 3 hours for preparation every day.
  • Make time to solve sample papers- Apart from the 3 hours of study time, a separate time should be allotted to solving mock tests and sample papers. This will make the preparation more effective.
  • Make use of offs and vacation time- Using one's offs to concentrate on GRE preparation is a wise move. Utilizing off days for preparation can help applicants get the best results because it gives candidates more time to get ready for the exam. Keep in mind that the break should be productive if students want to take time off on a workday. Utilize the day off to boost the GRE preparation.
  • Develop skills- some skills that are needed to ace the exam, like critical thinking skills, can be mastered even from the office. Solve complex problems to enhance such skills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can working professionals effectively prepare for GRE?

Yes, working professionals can easily prepare themselves for the GRE test, given that they are consistent with their preparation. Taking out study time and balancing work life with preparation is the key to achieving the desired GRE score.

How does one start GRE preparation?

The first step to begin the GRE preparation is to carefully understand the exam format. Align the preparation with the prescribed syllabus and pattern.

Is self-study enough for GRE?

Although coaching is a great alternative for performing well on the exam, it might not be enough. One can achieve the desired scores by adhering to a thorough self-study schedule with commitment and focus.

Will preparation be different for GRE general and subject tests?

Yes, both testing options are different in nature so the preparation strategy will be different for them too. Check this article to know the prep tips for both tests.


How long does it take to prepare for GRE?

Experts have advised to at least devote 2 to 3 months for GRE preparation. Although, this is subjective as different candidates may require more or less time for preparation according to their level of knowledge. 

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