ExecutiveChronicles | How To Develop A GRE Study Plan | High school and now college has flown by in a blur, and now you’ve finally decided how you want to pursue your future career: you’re going to graduate school.
Just like you took the SAT to get into undergrad, you have to take the GRE to get into grad school. You thought taking the SAT and almost four years of undergrad exams had prepared you for this next step. However, you find yourself hitting the first major roadblock of exam prep. It may be a tough exam, but having a robust study plan combined with clear goals is more effective than you can imagine.
How The GRE Works
The Graduate Record Examination, or the GRE, is a computer-delivered test. It helps to reflect the way you think and the skills you need to succeed in the demanding graduate school programs.
The GRE tests your verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. Besides assessing your skills, the GRE is a marathon. It stretches into four hours with a short break in between and tests your endurance and your focus. You cannot afford to lose your concentration during those four hours.
When to Get Started
You may have numerous friends, family, and well-wishers advising you on when to start. Their advice usually ranges from 90 days to 100 hours to six months. When taking a preparation of any sort, the rule of thumb says it can never start too soon. Once you have zeroed in on your end date, start your preparations immediately.
You need not dive into the study materials right away. However, you need to familiarise yourself with the test structure, brushing up on sections that you already know and finding out more about the unfamiliar parts.
Taking a prep test will give you a realistic assessment of where you stand and help you formulate your study plan. Finding out your baseline gives you a measurable starting point.
Scheduling Your Preparation
As the date starts to get closer, it is a good idea to move onto a bit of a rigorous routine. As you get closer to the end of your theoretical preparation, your time should be devoted more towards taking practice tests and speeding up your time. Students say that a 10 to 15-hour study week gives a comprehensive study plan as your test date approaches.
The best advice is to take the prep tests on the same day and time as your actual exam. It helps you plan your day efficiently. Mimicking actual GRE conditions is a great way to get into the proper headspace that you need.
It is also encouraged to practice with as well as without calculators.
You will also need to space out your schedule. Cramming everything will only confuse later on, especially on the math were missing out on one basic principle snowballs into a bigger problem later on. Make your contingency plans keeping in mind that you would need to rest as well as have the flexibility to negotiate any roadblocks that may pop up along the way.
The Right Resources
What might have worked for someone else might not work for you. A self-made study plan might have helped your relative immensely, while a bevy of online courses supported a friend.
Accepting that fact, you need to be prudent when setting up your own personalized study plan. Understand what works for you. Your strengths and weaknesses should assist in building. You may realize that a private tutor might be the best option for you. Alternatively, a couple of hyper-focused sessions might be what you need.
The GRE prep plus 2020 guide is a great way to review how you should set up your schedule. Research what makes you the most comfortable. Use the tools available to you to explore your options. A private tutor might be a bit out of budget, while the hyper-focused sessions might have been too fast.
Proceed with Confidence
The GRE isn’t one of the most straightforward exams to crack. It’s a demanding test that requires consistent dedication and focus. Keep yourself motivated and engaged in this process. Avoid burnouts by spacing your study schedule out to allow for some much-needed downtime. Build on the concepts and principles you have already learned through your high school and college. Use the knowledge that you already have to ace the GRE on the day of the exam.