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Thursday, January 08, 2009

How to Prepare for GRE

Loads of people ask me this question - How do I start my preparation for the GRE exam? I normally just point them to this blog. But even people who visit ask this question in the comments section. So i decided to write a short guide on preparing for the Graduate Record Examination.

Firstly, make sure that when you register for the test, you have at least 3 months to study! Anything less than that is educational suicide - unless you're in the IIT...

Secondly, there is no such strategy which says that you should start studying from the Verbal section and then move on to Quants or vice-versa. Start with whatever you are comfortable with! I started preparing with the verbal section because my language skills are far better than my mathematical skills. Starting your preparation with something you find easy helps defuse stress and arouse interest in what you're studying.
GRE preparation books
The GRE preparation study is never can't have enough practice in maths and almost nobody can memorize the meanings of all those thousands of words. So these 2 things - Quants and Words - should be universal in your preparation, i.e. you should study them every day even as you set up targets for the more particular sections.

Those who are good with English should not get overconfident. The reading comprehension section can be quite tricky. Its not like those simple comprehension passages that you get in your 10th and 12th standard board exams.

Some of the books I recommend for GRE preparation you will find on the right sidebar of this blog. Quite a few are available on this blog for free download if you know where to look (just click in the right places!) make your preparation a mixture of online and offline study. I always recommend for their short mock tests.

Finally, dont procrastinate (if you don't know the meaning of this word, your GRE preparation is lagging!). Laziness never did you any good and never will. If you find it difficult to study in the morning, then be a night bird and work hard.

Once you think you have studied enough, start giving the mock test in the ETS powerprep CD. That test will give you a good indication of where you stand. Identify your weak areas from the result of the test and try to strengthen them with practice. As the Bhagwad Gita says, "karma kar, Fal ki Chinta Mat kar" . May the force be with you!

Those who have already given their GRE are most welcome to share their experiences and provide tips in the comments section.