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Last Updated: March 08, 2021

GRE General Test Prep

Among the different competitive exams that are prevalent for gaining admission in post-graduate courses, the GRE stands to have an important position for Professional Schools, Graduate Schools, and Business and Law Schools. The exam is not always mandatory for procuring admission in universities but at the same time, presenting a GRE score report along with the recommendation letter and other qualifying certificates can offer the student a better chance at gaining admission to colleges of their choosing.

Once the student has decided to take the GRE test, it is important to learn the format of the exam and the types of questions asked in order to create an effective study plan for the test. Following this study plan or schedule until the test and giving oneself 3-4 months for preparation can make most students ace the test without a lot of trouble.

The three different sections of the test are Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Understand the Question-Type for GRE

The three sections in GRE offer 3 different approaches in their questions which makes attempting the exam without prior preparation tough. Preparing for the exam then requires a very specific understanding of the types of questions they ask and finding materials that can aid the student ace the test not by having a general idea of the content but by having a general idea of the exam. The question types that are asked in general have been provided here for easy access.

Analytical Writing

  1. Issue Task
    • Respond to the given statement. The student is required to develop and support the position that they take and explain the reasons for choosing the same.
    • Respond to the given recommendation. The student is required to describe circumstances in which following the recommendation will have a positive response or negative response accordingly.
    • Respond to the given claim. The student is required to acknowledge the reasons that can challenge the position they have taken.
    • Respond to a policy. The student should focus on the problems and benefits of implementing the policy and use this to defend their position.
  2. Argument Task
    • Evaluate argument with evidence. Focus on how the evidence weakens or strengthens the argument.
    • Examine the assumptions made in the text and their implications.
    • Discuss the questions that have not been addressed in the text to make it more reasonable. Then provide answers to these very questions.
    • Discuss alternate explanations that can convey the subject-matter better than the author.
Verbal Reasoning
  1. Multiple-choice questions with multiple-answers- The student is required to choose all the correct answers (can be up to 3).
  2. Multiple-choice questions with one answer- The student should choose the one correct answer amongst the five options provided.
  3. Select-in passage questions- The student must choose a sentence in the passage that meets the description in the question.
Quantitative Reasoning
  1. Multiple-choice questions with multiple-answers- The student is required to choose all the correct answers (can be up to 3).
  2. Multiple-choice questions with one answer- The student should choose the one correct answer amongst the five options provided.
  3. Numeric entry questions- The student is required to enter the answer as an integer or decimal in the slot provided.

General Tips to Crack GRE

The trick in cracking the GRE is in following directions and instructions provided in the questions to the word. Students have the option of going back and forth in the question paper which allows them to sort out the questions according to the difficulty level and to deal with the difficult ones after they are done with the easy ones.

Retaking the GRE test

Students can choose to retake the GRE test if the grades they have received are not satisfactory or enough to enter the college of their choice. One can apply for retaking the test every 21 days after taking the test but this is restricted to an overall count of five times in a year. This 21-day period is applicable even if the student has canceled their previous score right after the test.

Registering for a retest follows the same procedure as registering for the GRE test for the first time with the exception of already having an ETS account. But while applying for the retest, one must take college admission deadlines into account. It is probable that one may be able to secure admission without even including the GRE score report as long as their undergrad score and college application are exemplary.

The student will have the option of sending select scores from different exams they have taken which implies that students have the option of focusing on one particular section they need to improve while giving the retest.

When to Retake the GRE Test?

Retaking the test is recommended if the student is 1-3 points away from their score goal. The score goal of any student will be the score required in the college they are applying to. Sometimes, if the student has missed the required score by one or two points, it is possible that they can still get the admission they require which will nullify the need for the retest in the first place.

If the student is almost 15 points or more away from the score goal, it is recommended that they do not take the retest. Even if they do, they will have to prepare for the test months in advance finding new methods and formulating new study plans. It isn’t easy to make a 15-point difference to achieve the score goal. But this is not impossible either.

The ideal range between which a student can aspire to improve is between 5 and 14 points above the score they received during their last attempt.

About GRE - Complete Information


GRE Quantitative

GRE Verbal

GRE Analytical Writing