Top 14 tips and tricks to prepare for the GRE exam

Preparing for the GRE or the Graduate Record Examinations can be a daunting task for several aspirants like any other competitive exam. However, through a proper dissection, one can determine the strengths and weaknesses associated with the GRE’s segment. Practice papers, books, coaching, online courses are available online to aid in GRE preparation. In this blog, the most effective GRE tricks to secure the desired scores in the final exam are explained in detail. 

  1. Figure out the GRE section that is most important for you

One of the key points to note when preparing for GRE is the weightage you need to give to each section. It depends on the target Grad school and the final program. For instance, if you target a science or math centric field and program, you need to focus more on the Quant section. It is imperative because the Grad school will pay extra attention to the Quantitative section score. However, you need to ensure that you don’t neglect the other sections, which will play an equal part in your overall GRE score.

  1. Take regular GRE mock tests

Something that has been propagated time and again is the importance of practice/mock tests. These practice tests help you get familiar with different crucial GRE test aspects. Most importantly, these practice tests contain near to similar question patterns, which will give you an idea of the type of questions asked in the GRE. There are various practice test preparation resources available online that can be utilized successfully. 

  1. The process of elimination

The process of elimination is the method when a test taker is unsure about the correct answer. Thus, if you cannot identify the correct answer, you can use the reverse process of identifying the wrong answers first, which will bring you closer to the correct answer. It is important to understand that this tip must be implemented as a last option while preparing and attempting the mock tests and final exam. 

  1. Make sure to answer every question

The best part about the GRE test is the no negative marking rule. It means you can answer as many questions as possible without the fear of losing out on your score due to guesswork. 

  1. Target easy questions first

Since each subsection contains questions allotted the same points, it is better to answer the easy ones first to collect as many points as possible. The main reason to utilize this strategy is to avoid losing time on difficult questions. Besides, you will have enough time in your hand to tackle the difficult questions after you have confidently marked the other questions correct.

  1. Keep track of time

The most important thing that a test taker needs to keep in mind is the time allotted to each section of the GRE test. Staying at a constant fast pace is key when answering tests of such formats. Thus, for the verbal section, which carries 20 questions for a total time limit of 30 minutes, you need to answer each question within 1 minute 30 seconds. Similarly, for the quant section, which carries 20 questions for a total time limit of 35 minutes, you need to answer each question within 1 minute 30 seconds. 

  1. Check for errors

After completing your test, if you still have time, make a quick run through your answers to check for any mistakes or errors. It will avoid silly mistakes in the best possible manner. 

  1. Review the incorrect answers

When preparing for your GRE test through a mock test, review each incorrect answer you got after the mock results. With the help of this step, you will understand where exactly you went wrong or what methods you can apply to reach the correct answer.

GRE Preparation Tips for the Analytical Writing Section

  1. Study real AWA prompts

The good news for GRE test-takers is that ETS has now released the complete set of question banks for Analytical Writing. Therefore, you aren’t required to analyze each essay topic first to create its outline. However, it is best to practice few essay topics and arrange its outline to handle the essay topic on the actual test day. 

  1. Grade your essays with official rubrics

When practising your AWAs, it is suggested that you go through your essay once and grade it objectively based on the various factors and pointers that the official AWA standards use. This way, you will identify your weaknesses, thus prompting you to work on them. 

GRE Preparation Tips for the Verbal Reasoning Section

  1. Use flashcards to memorize vocab

One of the most difficult aspects of the GRE verbal section is the amount of vocabulary they use in their questions. Therefore, the best way to tackle this problem is through the usage of flashcards. These flashcards will not only help you learn multiple vocabs in a more fun way, but they will also aid in your memorization.

  1. Don’t try to absorb every minute detail

When reading passage-based questions, the best way to answer this type of question is not to dedicate your full attention to each minor detail. It will help you save more time and encourages you to focus on the more relevant and important parts of the passage.

GRE Preparation Tips for the Quantitative Reasoning Section

  1. Learn how to plug in numbers to solve problems

This strategy of plugging each answer choice into the question to see which one works correctly is the best way to get closer to a correct answer if doubt surfaces. Moreover, if the choice does not work as you had anticipated, you could then figure out the answer by either increasing or decreasing the values.

  1. Draw diagrams

Most of the quant questions may contain abstract information, which might be a little difficult to decipher. In such cases, you should take the help of your own intellect by translating the question into a diagram or table format that will give a clear picture of the problem at hand.


All in all, if you are one of the aspiring GRE test-takers, then this blog will provide you with the notes that will benefit you in your GRE preparation in the long term. Implementing these tips and tricks will upscale your GRE preparation to the next level.

Author Bio: Abhyank Srinet is a passionate digital entrepreneur who holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe. He started his first company while he was still studying at ESCP, and managed to scale it up by 400% in just 2 years. 

Being a B-School Alumni, he recognized the need for a one-stop solution for B-School to get in touch with schools and get their application queries resolved. This prompted him to create MiM-Essay, a one-of-a-kind portal with cutting edge profile evaluation and school selection algorithms, along with several avenues to stay informed about the latest B-School Updates