GRE Test: Need-to-Know Tips & Strategies

By Peterson's Staff updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Important Note: The GRE Test is going to change on August 1st, 2011. To read more about those changes, visit the revised test information page.

GRE preparation: General

  • Get to know the directions for GRE test
    You won't get any extra time to read the directions during the GRE exam, so make sure you're familiar with them before you take it.
  • Relax the night before the GRE examination
    Don't cram. Studying at the last minute will only stress you out. Go to a movie or hang out with a friend - anything to get your mind off of GRE practice and the test!


GRE preparation: Specific strategies

  • Antonyms
    Keep in mind that many words have more than one meaning. If no choice seems to have the opposite meaning, think of other meanings for the question word.
  • Analogies
    Because the questions are so short, use analogies as a time saver. If you can do them quickly (and correctly!) you will have more time to spend on the lengthier reading comprehension questions. If you are having trouble determining the relationship of the first pair of words, try examining them in reverse order. But remember, you must then look at the answer choices the same way!
  • Sentence completion
    Don't look at the choices until you've read the sentence and tried to guess what the missing word or words should be. Then scan the answers, looking for the one that means the same as your guess.
  • Reading comprehension
    Read the questions first; that way, you'll quickly recognize important information when you read the passage.
  • Multiple-choice math
    If the answer choices are close together, like 267, 369, 270, 272, and 273, you will need a fairly precise answer. If, however, they are far apart, like 110, 282, 468, 687, and 792, feel free to work with approximate numbers. You'll probably come up with an answer that is close enough to pick the right answer.
  • Quantitative comparison
    If both columns of a quantitative comparison contain the same variable, like x, try plugging in a few values for the unknown.
  • Analytical writing
    Concentrate on the elements on which you'll be scored: your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. Grammar and mechanics are not emphasized.


Approach the GRE test with adequate GRE preparation and these strategies in mind, and you are sure to maximize your score!

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