GRE prep is absolutely necessary if you are planning to admit yourself to one of the top business schools, law schools, or graduate schools in the US, Canada, and other countries.

However, preparing for the exam is a challenging task. On top of that, there are many complicated tasks that you need to undertake to successfully utilize your GRE score. Hence, we bring you an easy-to-understand article to know everything about the GRE and GRE preparation.    

What Is the GRE Examination?

What Is the GRE Examination

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a globally recognized and standardized test most reputed US universities request from their students. Candidates who wish to enroll in programs like Master’s, business school graduation, professional courses, and Ph.D. need to secure a good GRE score.   

It is a versatile exam for academic skills testing since you can quote your GRE score for enrollment in MBA, Science, and other Master’s degree courses. In addition, most developed countries that are the hot spot for academic education for global students accept GRE scores.

For example, if you want to study graduate-level courses in the UK, USA, Australia, Singapore, Canada, and European Union, you shall need a good GRE score.

An important note is that individual graduate schools, business schools, and universities do not conduct GRE. There is an independent organization, the Education Testing Service (ETS), which administers and conducts the test on a global scale. Hence, institutions can expect high-quality candidates from several countries screened through one gold standard of skill testing.   

Academic Skills Covered by the GRE Test

The GRE test mainly covers three academic skills: verbal, mathematics, and analytical writing.

#1. GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

The verbal and reasoning section of the GRE is highly equivalent to SAT’s reasoning section. It consists of some fill-in-the-blank questions, sentence equivalence, and critical reading. 

Sentence equivalence is a unique approach only found in GRE test that tests advanced language and vocabulary skills. The questions instruct you to fill the blank space of a sentence using two different words. The ultimate aim of the question is to produce two sentences of similar meaning.   

To crack sentence equivalence questions, you will need advanced skills in English grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning.

GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

#2. GRE Math or Quant Section

This section is all about mathematics. ETS prepares the question in a way to test your quantitative reasoning skills. Hence, you need to focus on the basics of high school mathematics like algebra, data analysis, arithmetic, geometry, etc. 

#3. GRE Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) 

This section will measure your ability to deliver focused responses to the questions. You should brush up on your skills of explaining complex ideas in easy language, scrutinizing claims and evidence, sustaining a coherent discussion, control over written English, etc. 

An Overview of GRE Test 

Exam Fees

Find below an itemized list of GRE fees: 

  • GRE General Test costs $231.30 in China, $213.00 in India, and $205.00 in the rest of the world.
  • The Rescheduling Fee varies between $50.00 and $53.90.
  • You have to pay $50.00 if you want to change the default test center.

Duration

Overview of GRE test Duration

The overall duration of the GRE General Test is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The testing time includes breaks, unscored, and research questions.  

Sections and Number of Questions

The GRE General Test consists of seven sections of questions as mentioned below:

  • Analytical Writing: one section; two questions; 30 minutes each
  • Quantitative Reasoning: two sections; 35 minutes per section; a total of 40 questions
  • Verbal Reasoning: two sections; 30 minutes per section; a total of 40 questions
  • Variable numbers of unscored questions
  • Variable number of research questions

Everyone will get the Analytical Writing section at the beginning of the test. Then the test algorithm will shuffle the sections and section-wise questions to remove chances of fraud and bias.

Average Scores Needed

The average score needed depends on the graduate, Master’s, or doctoral program and the institution. However, the following is considered a raw average of GRE scores:

  • 149.97 score in the Verbal Section
  • 153 – 158 in the Quantitative Section
  • 4.0 in the Analytical Writing Section

Score Validity Period

Your GRE score will remain valid for a period of 5 years from the date of exam commencement. 

GRE Test Dates 

GRE at Home and GRE at the Test Centers have multiple exam dates in a calendar year. You need to take the test 3 months prior to the deadline of the program enrollment application. You can retake the test if required about a month before.  

Result Announcement Dates

You will get an email from ETS about scores’ availability. Normally, you can expect the score sheet within 10 to 15 days after the test date. 

Let’s now look at some of the best online GRE prep courses.

Magoosh GRE Prep

Magoosh GRE

The GRE training course from Magoosh is simply value for money. It is the most affordable online course you can look into. When comparing it with other courses, you will find that Magoosh charges you a fraction, but the course content is elaborate.

You get months of access to the following premium study material for GRE from Magoosh:

  • Three full-length mock exam papers.
  • 1,400+ problems for practice.
  • More than 100 video lectures for regular consumption.

The strategy of this GRE prep platform is to offer candidates flexibility, value, and focused practice materials for ultimate success. Hence, if you are looking for concise study material, you must check out this resource.  

Though you may find more practice questions and mock test papers elsewhere, Magoosh’s questions are the actual GRE papers from previous years. Also, there is a sleek digital medium for content delivery that you can personalize according to number, type, timing, difficulty, etc.    

GRE Prep Courses on Udemy

GRE Complete Prep

GRE Complete

Another one-stop solution for preparation before the GRE is this Udemy course. It brings all the sections like verbal, writing, and quant and their course content into one platform. Additionally, the author of this study material periodically updates the course content to keep the syllabus in synch with ETS.

Key course highlights are: 

  • High-yield lectures for quick mastering of GRE topics.
  • Math principles.
  • Quantitative comparison.
  • Statistics and algebra.
  • Text completion.
  • Data interpretation.
  • Self-paced study materials like 28.5 hours of on-demand video and 150 lectures.

According to some user reviews and the course author, many candidates have received 320+ scores on GRE by signing up and diligently following the course content. Thus, if you are also aspiring to study Master’s or Graduate level courses from top-tier institutions in the US, you can check out the course content.  

GRE Quantitative

GRE Quantitative

If you are looking for a GRE prep course that will start the learning sessions from scratch, check out this Udemy course. There are no mandatory prerequisites for this course, and anyone who wants to get a good GRE grade can attend, provided you follow the curriculum diligently.

Important course features are: 

  • All quantitative topics suggested by ETS are covered.
  • Solved problems for all the quant topics for several years.
  • Calculation tricks without using a calculator.
  • Tailored algebra tests.
  • Classroom-like teaching.
  • Solved GRE practice test offered by ETS.
  • Comprehensive 6-hour session on quadratics for the uninitiated.

From a close look at the course content, this training material is equally beneficial for both beginner and expert candidates of GRE quant. Because the course covers both basic and advanced GRE quant topics in 457 lectures. The overall content length is of 41 hours and 9 minutes.   

The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review

It is not difficult for The Princeton Review to be a part of our list of best GRE prep courses. Its thorough and engaging video lessons perfectly blend lecture and interaction. Apart from the instructional videos, it also offers full-length practice tests. All of its 8 practice exams are realistic as they provide you with the original GRE interface and difficulty.

Key features of this program include:

  • Online-based self-paced course.
  • A core curriculum consists of 4 sections of the exam.
  • Drill Smart Program based on difficulty.
  • Best-in-class video lessons with fantastic instruction.

The course curriculum of The Princeton Review boasts various interactive learning modules.

The structure of the units is also simple — first, there is a short video discussing the essentials, followed by a lesson. Finally, you get a series of drills.

Kaplan

Kaplan GRE

When it comes to GRE prep courses, Kaplan is the name you have to count in. This reputed platform offers a tried and tested formula for preparing students for the tough GRE tests. 

High-quality video lessons are at the heart of Kaplan’s online curriculum. 

Here, seasoned instructors take you through the problems using a digital whiteboard. Based on the videos, there are some well-designed quizzes, each of which comes with an explanatory text that discusses the problems with great clarity.

Other highlighted features of this course are:

  • Over 5,000 practice questions
  • 7 full-length practice tests
  • A personalized set of problems for practicing

Using the Kaplan QBank tool, users can create customized quizzes based on various factors such as problem type, timing, and difficulty. Additionally, you can take assistance from the hardcopy prep books of Kaplan if you prefer offline learning.

GradPrep

GradPrep for GRE

Those looking for a guaranteed high score on GRE should go for GradPrep. Revered LearningExpress subject matter experts prepared this course that contains some unique practice tests. Moreover, you can access this program from Windows Mac, Android, and iOS.

This ADA 508 compliant self-paced test program assists you in improving your overall score. As a user, you need to enter your exam date and study hours per week. The program will add the information to your study plan and generate lessons and practice tests, prioritizing your weakest areas first. 

Its other features are as follows:

  • 3 test modes: learner, practice, and simulation.
  • A diagnostic report after practice tests to locate strengths and weaknesses
  • 50+ micro lessons for complete GRE coverage
  • Lessons to develop Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning
  • Prediction tool for assessment score
  • 500+ questions for Quantitative Comparison and Sentence Completion individually

Economist GRE Tutor

Economist GRE Tutor

Economist GRE Tutor is considered the ultimate prep tool for the GRE test. With the help of this online learning program, you can seamlessly reach your target score by utilizing your full potential. This personalized GRE prep platform can pinpoint your learning patterns and habits using state-of-the-art technology.

The comprehensive and customizable course curriculum will prepare you for all sections of the GRE according to your personal learning style. Economist GRE Tutor has a wide collection of video tutorials and targeted practice questions, along with possible solution strategies.

The tutoring platform uses the learning software Crowd Wisdom and Machine Learning algorithms to determine how you can solve every question in the best way. Furthermore, its expert team of tutors provides 1-on-1 tutoring sessions, AWA essay marking, progress review, and additional support throughout the week.

examPAL

examPAL GRE

examPAL online GRE prep focuses on the most vital part of your practice, which matters most for your dream score. You can study for GRE at your own speed. Hence, there is no need to manage your time to attend an offline class. 

Besides letting you study from the comfort of your home or anywhere else, it offers a truly personalized learning experience. Here, you will learn how to solve more questions in less time. Also, this adaptive course will come up with a bespoke study plan based on the time you have before the test.

These are the additional benefits of joining examPAL’s prep course:

  • Ensure higher score while spending less time
  • Receive real-time feedback on ways to improve
  • Learn the best possible solution for the best results
  • Interactive videos and animations with real-time stats
  • Learn to find the quickest way to resolve each question

Final Words

More than 3,50,000 candidates appeared for the GRE test between July 2020 and June 2021. The mean for Verbal Reasoning, Quantitive Reasoning, and Analytical Writing was respectively 151.4, 155.8, and 3.6. 

The above data shows that it is a highly competitive exam since you compete with global students for better scholarships and placement in premiere graduate schools in North America.

You need to start GRE preparation diligently if you want to secure a good GRE score for the upcoming admissions season.

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