The GRE test, or Graduate Record Examination, is very simply a test to review the basic knowledge you have acquired during the course of your studies, up through the last four years of college, and to determine your academic strengths and weak areas. The GRE test is divided into four sections, and measures your quantitative and verbal reasoning skills, your aptitude in analytical writing, and your ability to think critically. There is usually an extra section thrown in as well, to test new questions for future updates of the GRE test; you're not going to be told which section is the experimental one, and it will not have any bearing on your test scores.
As with any test, the important thing when preparing for the GRE test is to know what to expect, and prepare for it accordingly. It is not known for being particularly difficult or confusing, but nevertheless it can be a challenge to overcome, and your best efforts might only be lacking a bit of extra test prep to help you pass theGRE test with high scores.
The Educational Testing Service (ETS), the creator of the GRE test, provides prep courses and review, but many other websites and companies also offer non-official assistance, coaching, and prep courses for future examinees.
Kaplan is probably the best known source for test preparation help. However, most people don’t realize that you do not have to attend a Kaplan classroom course to reap the benefits of their tips and tricks to pass the GRE with a high score. The Kaplan course is not only expensive ($500 and up), but it also takes a few weeks out of your time. Kaplan actually publishes a great test prep book and CD with sample tests that is just as good, and can be purchased for less than $20. The book teaches you the same tricks that you would have learned from the classroom, but you can read it at your own pace. And definitely take advantage of taking as many sample tests as you can! If you take the sample tests seriously as you would the normal GRE test, they will not only help you familiarize and learn to properly allocate your time during test taking, but going over the problems you missed on the sample tests will help you learn from your mistakes. When you see yourself getting higher and higher scores on the sample tests, this will build your confidence for when you take the actual GRE test.
It cannot be stressed enough that, besides learning what sort of questions to expect, familiarizing yourself with the presentation and style of the test form, and studying accordingly, you must train your mind and body to resist the temptation to worry and fret. Instead, take enough time to relax, do things you enjoy, and occasionally get your mind away from the upcoming test. If you balance your time wisely between smart study and recreation, while living a healthy life, you'll find that your efforts will be rewarded with the joy of passing your GRE test with a high score.
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