How hard is the GRE and how can you prepare?

How hard is the gre? Can you take a guess? Oh well, we’ll find out as we proceed.

Truth is, compared to the ACT and the SAT, the GRE is thought to be more difficult because, even though the math on the GRE is easier than the math on the SAT and the ACT, the GRE has more difficult vocabulary and reading passages, and the math problems on the GRE are more difficult to read or solve.

But what exactly makes the GRE difficult? This and more you’ll find out below.

Come with me.

What is GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination, also known as the GRE, is an advanced test that is used for both graduate school and business school programs. It is a computer-based multiple-choice exam with standard exam questions designed to assess various types of quantitative reasoning.

In the same way that the ACT or SAT are used for undergraduate college applicants, the GRE is used for many graduate or business school applications. Getting a high GRE score is an excellent way to distinguish yourself from the competition.

What does the GRE look like?

To some extent, the GRE is like the SAT and ACT exams, though the emphasis is on quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning. Most GRE tests assess algebra, fundamental arithmetic, geometry, data analysis, and college-level vocabulary. Many of the questions will be designed to assess your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The GRE has three possible scores:

  • Analytical writing
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative reasoning

Each GRE score corresponds to a specific section of the exam. Other GRE tests, depending on the exam and your program, may include an unscored or research section.

The analytical writing section includes one argument essay and one issue essay, with students having 30 minutes to complete each piece for a total of 60 minutes. It is worth noting that many programs do not even consider the GRE writing section. Students should still strive to do well in this section, but failing to achieve a high score is not the end of the world.

Six text completion questions, four-sentence equivalence questions, and ten reading comprehension questions are included in the verbal reasoning section. This test has a total of 20 questions and is administered in 60 minutes, divided into two 30 minute sections.

Finally, there are 7 to 8 quantitative comparison questions and 12 to 13 problem-solving questions in the quantitative reasoning section, for a total of 20 questions. This section lasts 70 minutes, divided into two 35-minute sessions.

How hard is the GRE?

The GRE is generally thought to be more difficult than the ACT or SAT. The GRE’s secret is that it includes more difficult vocabulary and reading sections.

Furthermore, the majority of the math problems require higher-level reasoning or have more complicated wording – the GRE math problems test your critical thinking skills more than your arithmetic abilities.

The GRE, on the other hand, is less difficult than specialized exams such as the MCAT. Students must have more specific knowledge than they may have learned in undergrads, such as chemistry or biology, to pass the MCAT.

If you’re looking for some resources to help you prepare for the GRE, check out our list of the best GRE prep courses to find the one that’s right for you.

Why is GRE hard?

In a nutshell, the GRE is difficult because it requires students to think critically and isn’t as straightforward as other tests you’ve taken.

In the end, average students will find the GRE to be more difficult than the SAT or ACT, but it may be more manageable once they figure out how to solve its problems. Whether it’s more difficult or not is determined by your current vocabulary and critical thinking abilities. Let’s go over the specific challenges you might face while taking the GRE.

The advanced vocabulary on the GRE is a big part of the test’s difficulty. Sophisticated words are used throughout the test, not just in the language-focused sections, but also in all the problems and essay prompts. Furthermore, many questions require test takers to fill in blanks with words or groups of words, putting their sentence construction and critical thinking skills, as well as their raw knowledge of higher vocabulary, to the test.

This will necessitate students brushing up on their advanced English vocabulary, and it may prove to be a particularly difficult challenge for ESL students.

While the vocabulary choices are challenging in and of themselves, the wording of many of the questions makes them even more challenging. Many GRE questions require you to use your logical analysis skills to locate the correct answer, unraveling the question before solving it, rather than speaking plainly. This not only slows you down, but also forces you to use multiple parts of your brain at the same time.

It’s easy to get tripped up or tricked by the wording of certain questions, resulting in a wrong answer even if you have all the necessary knowledge. To overcome this challenge, students must extensively practice the GRE. Eventually, you’ll be able to train your brain to recognize the GRE’s tricks and decipher the questions quickly.

Each section of the GRE is timed, which causes students a lot of problems. Because understanding the questions before answering them accounts for so much of the GRE’s difficulty, many first-timers will waste a lot of time on specific questions. As a result, students may receive lower grades and believe they were unprepared for the exam.

The key to getting a high GRE score is to practice the exam and learn how to quickly digest and answer each question.

The GRE is unique among other standardized tests because it requires you to write two essays in one hour. Furthermore, you may not “bank” time between essays; you are allotted 30 minutes per essay, regardless of how quickly you complete the first one.

Many people find this intimidating, especially if they are naturally slow writers. GRE test-takers will need to improve their writing skills as well as learn to develop and express an opinion in a matter of minutes. Practice makes perfect, as they say.

What can be considered a good GRE score?

It takes 130 to 170 points to get a good score on the quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning parts of the test. The mean scores for both sections are 151 and 153.

There is a separate analytical writing section that is scored from 0 to 6, with 0.5 point changes. This part has a mean score of 4.0.

Good GRE scores could be any score that is above these averages. Scores higher than 151, 153, and 4.0 mean that you’ve done better than most people who take the GRE. This makes it more likely that you’ll get into the college program that you want to go to.

If you want to go to a graduate or business school, you have to meet certain GRE score requirements. In most cases, this minimum score threshold is close to the average, but it could be higher or lower depending on the level of the class.

Here, the goal is to get a GRE score higher than the minimum score needed for your program. If you want to get into a good graduate school, you need to make yourself stand out from your peers. A high score is one of the best ways to make your application more appealing to college admissions teams.

Read this article to know what a good GRE Writing score is.

How Can You Prepare For The GRE?

A lot of people find the GRE hard. There are ways to prepare for the exam and make it less intimidating when you finally take it. Let’s talk about how to best prepare for the GRE.

Make Out Time for Yourself
Within 12 months, you can take the GRE five times. When you first take the exam, that time frame starts to run from there. This gives you a lot of time to practice for the test, both before you take your first test and between your next tests.

Give yourself plenty of time to study for this test. If you can spend most of your time studying, you might be able to study for a month.

If you’re still in school or have a full-time job, you might need to plan for more time to study for this test.

Study with GRE Sample Tests and Practice Tests
Preparing for the GRE is best done with a lot of practice. As a good thing, there are a lot of GRE practice tests you can find on the internet.

Take a general practice test that covers all the sections, or you can take a more specific practice test that only covers one of the sections. How many skills do you need to improve?

A baseline score is what you need-Give yourself one.
Full-length GRE practice tests should be taken, anyway. You should also try to re-create the test’s environment as best you can, and take the full-length practice tests. This can give you an idea of your baseline score and a goal number to work toward.

A GRE practice test, for example, might show you that you have trouble with the quantitative reasoning section. If you want to spend more time studying for that section, you might spend more time on that section. A practice test is a great way to figure out what you know and what you don’t know.

Practice with the computer
Finally, the GRE isn’t taken with a pencil and paper like most other tests. It’s all done on the computer. You should practice the GRE in the same way that you do when you take the real test. Get used to using a calculator for your arithmetic needs and learn how to type quickly for the essay sections, where time will be of the essence.

Take the GRE Prep Course
If you don’t like to study on your own, you should think about taking a GRE prep class. Make sure you have all the materials you need to get a good score by taking a prep course. Most prep courses come with a guarantee of a good score and practice questions, practice exams, lecture materials, and more, but not all.

Some of the best GRE prep courses are on this list. You can see which course is best for you.

All in all, the GRE is a hard task for many people. However, it isn’t impossible to get over or master, and the right practice and preparation can help. Study this to learn How To Structure The GRE Argument Essay.

How often is the GRE offered?

If you want to take the GRE General Test once every 21 days, you can do so up to five times a year. Read this to learn How many times you can take the GRE exam.

Final words

While the GRE is said to be a difficult exam, these few tips listed here can sure get you on the right path and ultimately help you scale over the rafter. We wish you huge luck in your exams. Cheers.


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