How to Prepare for the GRE

The Graduate Records Examination (GRE®) is taken by students who wish to apply to graduate school. GRE® is used by most graduate schools to determine students’ readiness. Some schools even require students to take the GRE® subject tests. 

The examination is composed of three sections that test different skills needed to be successful in grad school. The three sections are: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. 

How much does it cost?

The cost for this exam varies depending on which country you plan to take it and which exam you plan to take (subject test or standard). The Standard Test Administration – GRE® General Test costs approximately $205 but it might be a little higher if you reside in Australia, China, Nigeria or Turkey. 

The Standard Test Administration – GRE® Subject Tests are a bit cheaper than the general test and costs $150 worldwide. 

Paying for higher education can be very expensive from covering the cost of attendance to buying a new computer or paying for transportation.

Thankfully those with financial needs have an option to help get some fees waived or reduced: GRE® Fee Reduction Program. 

The Fee Reduction program consists of a voucher that can reduce up to 50% of the GRE General Test and/or one GRE Subject Test fee. Along with the fee reduction, as of July 2019, students can also enjoy FREE access to three GRE practice tests: POWERPREP PLUS® Online Practice Test 1 & 2, and ScoreItNow!™ Online Writing Practice. 

To find out if you qualify, click here. If you think you qualify for the GRE Fee Reduction Voucher based on the eligibility requirements, then your next step is to complete the request form.

The registration process for the GRE consists of three steps:

  1. Creating your own GRE account 
  2. Choose a Test Center Location and Test Date
  3. Complete GRE Registration

To make your life a bit easier the official site for GRA offers two videos:

To register, click here.

After registering it’s time to get prepared. Follow these helpful tips to help you score your personal best!

Don’t Cram, studying takes time

This is by far the most important tip. There’s a common misconception among students that cramming – in better terms (pulling an all-nighter) – is an effective way to learn and absorb test materials. When in reality it’s not. The GRE requires the same focus, dedication, and effort as the SAT and ACT.

Having a strict study schedule is a very wise decision. Not only will it keep your stress level down but it will also make you more ready for the day of the exam. For instance, if you registered for your test day to be 6 months from now, you should start thinking about your studying strategy. Another thing that might help is starting a habit of writing your daily routines down. Doing so will make it more comfortable to stick to a studying schedule.

Do you constantly find yourself on your phone checking out profiles on Instagram? You will eventually need to part ways with this bad habit. To help you spend less time on your phone, read the 5 Inspirational Instagram Accounts That Will Motivate You To Study.

If you’re struggling to get into your study mode, don’t freak out! There are a ton of resources out there for students like you who struggle to focus and get into study mode. Many tech companies want to help you get into your study mode. To find out which companies are looking after you, check out the Tech to Help You Get Into Study Mode blog.

Good night’s sleep + breakfast = The best possible outcome 

Yeah, I know I said studying is the most important (and it is), but this tip doesn’t fall too far behind. Getting a good night’s sleep before the day you plan to take the test can make a HUGE difference in your test performance. 

Be sure to sleep at least 8 hours, drink plenty of water and eat a good breakfast before test time. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep maybe consider listening to a podcast, exercising or consider meditating before going to bed. 

Pretend practices tests are real

A major part of success on the GRE is developing better critical thinking and test-taking skills. The questions on the practice tests won’t be the same as the questions on the real thing, but taking those practice tests can help you figure out how you’ll react in specific situations.

Developing better critical thinking skills will also help you succeed since you can act quickly and reason better before answering the questions on the test.

While a paper and pencil might feel more natural to take a test, it’s important to mimic real test conditions. Try to take at least one of your practice tests on a computer since that’s how you’ll take the real one.

Buy the cheapest books 

Buy or rent the cheapest books. Studying for the GRE test can be super expensive. From Kaplan’s in-person or online GRE prep charging students between $400-$2,000 and Princeton Review offering the same services from $700-$1,300. 

On the positive side, we have good news for you. You can find cheap books or even FREE book/practice options! Consider Magoosh for cheap practice resources. 

Below are the many options out there that provide can choose from:

Note: The full list of GRE practice tests is not limited to the list above. By conducting your own research you can find other options.

Start preparing for the GRE early, so you can achieve the score you want and get into your ideal graduate school program.