Come Up with a Test Strategy
As we discussed previously, you'll want to move through the exam as quickly and confidently as possible to receive higher-scoring questions and still finish on time. This means that you'll need strategies for dealing with questions that you're unsure about.
For the writing section, the best strategy is to have a set routine for collecting your thoughts so you won't become flustered or disorganized during the exam. For the quantitative and verbal sections, where every question is multiple choice, you'll want strategies that will help you eliminate answer choices as fast as possible so that you can at least make a confident guess.
For quantitative questions, you can plug in the answers provided rather than try to develop the answer on your own. For verbal questions, where answers can be less concrete, consider the opposite strategy of formulating an answer in your head and then selecting the option that's the best match. That way you can use key word characterizations such as parts of speech and verb tenses to narrow down your choices.
In the end, the best way to cope with each section and question will be whatever feels most comfortable for you, which is why practicing the exam is so important.
Learn more about the GRE, graduate school and how you can prepare for them by visiting the links below.
- 800Score. "What is the GRE and What Does it Test?" (Dec. 20, 2011) http://www.800score.com/gre-c1p1.html
- Clark, Kim. "How Much is that College Degree Really Worth?" Oct. 30, 2008. (Dec. 17, 2011) U.S. News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2008/10/30/how-much-is-that-college-degree-really-worth
- Educational Testing Service (ETS). "About the GRE Revised General Test." (Dec. 20, 2011). http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/
- Educational Testing Service (ETS). "Prepare for the Test." (Dec. 20, 2011). http://www.ets.org/gre/general/prepare/index.html
- Educational Testing Service (ETS). "Test Content and Structure." (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/content/
- Gardner, John. "Your College Experience." St. Martin's. (Dec. 20, 2011) http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/Catalog/product/yourcollegeexperience-ninthedition-gardner
- The Graduate Educational Information Service. "GRE Test Prep." (Dec. 20, 2011). http://www.greprepinfo.com/
- Green, Sharon Weiner and Ira K. Wolf. "Barron's GRE." Barron's Educational Series. August 1, 2009.
- GREexplorer. "GRE Preparation Tips." (Dec. 20, 2011). http://www.greexplorer.com/Preparation-Tips.html
- Kaplan. "Kaplan GRE Exam 2010: Strategies, Practice, and Review." Kaplan Publishing. June 2, 2009. (Dec. 20, 2011)
- Kuszewski, Andrea. "You Can Increase Your Intelligence: 5 Ways to Maximize Cognitive Potential." March 7, 2011. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/03/07/you-can-increase-your-intelligence-5-ways-to-maximize-your-cognitive-potential/
- Mayo Clinic. "Sleep Tips: 7 Steps to Better Sleep." (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387
- Mendelson, Brandon. "How to Ace the Graduate School Entrance Exam." Nov. 17, 2011. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-to-ace-graduate-school-entrance-exams.html
- Take the GRE. "Common Questions Answered." April 2011. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.takethegre.com/email/eupdate/newsletterPDF_April_042111.pdf
- The Princeton Review. "Cracking the GRE, 2010 Edition." The Princeton Review. June 9, 2009. (Dec. 20, 2011)
- Sparacino, Alyssa. "11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep." Fox News. Jan. 28, 2011. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.foxnews.com/imag/Wellness/11+Surprising+Health+Benefits+of+Sleep
- Srivastava, Shipra. "How to Memorize Barron's GRE Wordlsit." (Dec. 15, 2011) http://learnwordlist.com/blog/how-to-memorize-barron's-gre-wordlist/2010/10/gre-word-list-test-blog-barrons-vocabulary
- Stenson, Jacqueline. "Exercise Makes Your Brain Brighter at any Age." MSNBC. Jan. 6, 2010. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34644422/ns/health-fitness/t/exercise-makes-your-brain-brighter-any-age/#.Tu5ICphrWS1
Your whole future balances on acing one test -- but no pressure. We have 10 tips on how to stay calm, make a plan and study effectively for the MCAT.