8 GRE Test Tips to Keep in Mind

Few quick test tips can significantly boost your GRE score. Keeping in mind the different learning styles, and after a lot of research, we have zeroed down on some crucial points to remember during the course of the exam.

These 8 core mantras will help you take the GRE without any hassles and will also increase you confidence levels.
Go ahead and make a note of them!

1. Answer every question.

GRE test is one exam where you are not penalized for making random guesses. In other words, there is no negative marking for answering incorrectly. So it’s in your best interest to answer every single question given to you, even the ones you don’t like or the ones you don’t know the solution to. 

Answer every question - GRE Test

Answer every question – GRE Test

2. Use the scratch paper.

ETS doesn’t allow you to carry your own stuff inside the GRE test centers. Your passport and email confirmation letter are the only two things you will be allowed to carry inside. However, you will be provided with a scratch paper. Use it to solve math problems, write down formulas, or outline your essay for the Analytical Writing section. Make the best use of the scratch paper they provide.

use scratch paper -GRE Test

Use Scratch Paper GRE Test

3. Plan your time appropriately.

Since the GRE test is adaptive in nature, the score for each question will differ according to its difficulty level. So, it is very important to plan your time accordingly during the exam. Planning here means spending the right amount of time on each question. If you are confident of getting the correct answer, go for it. Similarly, if you are unsure of a particular question, leave it and hop on to the next one. You can come back to it later, if you have the time.

Plan your time - GRE Test

Plan Tour Time GRE Test

4. Pace yourself.

In the Verbal section of the GRE test, you will be given half an hour to answer 20 questions.
For the Quant section, on the other hand, you will have 35 minutes to answer 20 questions. In short, you’ll hardly have about a minute and a half for each question. Needless to say, you must be quick in answering the questions, besides making sure you don’t leave any questions unanswered. Doing that will also enable you to come back and review the questions you have already answered.

Pace yourself - GRE Test

Pace Yourself GRE Test


5. Mentally manage your stress.

There is always a tendency to get stressed while taking the GRE test. You can avoid this by keeping yourself positive. Try chanting a positive phrase or an inspiring quote in mind. You can even try envisioning the end result of the GRE exam. Something like reaching your target score. It helps.

manage stress - GRE Test

Manage Stress GRE Test

6. Read the Questions First in the RC Passages.

In the Reading Comprehension section, read the questions first. When starting with Reading Comprehension, the best idea is to read the questions first and then plunge into the passage. It will help you focus on what exactly you need to find out from the passage, instead of reading the whole passage for nothing. Doing that will save considerable amount of time in the GRE.

RC passage - GRE Test

RC Passage GRE Test

7. Outline your essays.

While attempting the Analytical Writing section, before you write, make sure you take a few minutes to outline what you’re going to write. Collect your thoughts, think of a logical sequence to put forth your point, and draw a rough outline / flowchart of your essay. This will give a skeleton to your essay and help you write it better.

Analytical Writing - GRE Test

Analytical Writing GRE Test

8. Use the process of elimination.

If you can rule out even one wrong answer, you’ll be in a much better chance of guessing the correct answer, if it comes to that. Whenever you are not sure, instead of looking for the “right” answer, look for the “least wrong” answer. Most of the time, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices to two, which obviously gives you much better odds of getting the answers right. Consider the fact that the GRE doesn’t have negative marking; this process is very helpful when you are not sure of the correct answer.

MultipleChoice- GRE Test

Multiple Choice GRE Test



A combination of sufficient practice, right temperament and basic smart learning processes will help you score significantly higher in the GRE.
The only way you can master all these techniques is by applying them through real-time GRE test style practice. Hope these tips help find the solution for the query, How to prepare for GRE.

If you have any questions on GRE Preparation Online or techniques, just leave a comment below.


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4 Responses

  1. Lakshmi Prasad says:

    I’m novice for Quants, zero exposure to maths in the last 35 yes. I’m fifty how do I start preparing for Quants and how can you help me, I want to book slot for Feb 2017. I have not started preparation yet.
    Please guide.

    • Shruti Ganesh says:

      Hi Dr. Lakshmi Prasad,

      Thanks for writing to us. We can definitely guide you towards preparing for GRE.

      Before you start thinking about preparation, you should know that the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section tests your high school mathematical concepts, mostly from the syllabus of 8th to 10th standard in the Indian Education System.

      So, you’ll be tested on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Data Interpretation, Applied Mathematics & Data Analysis.

      Since you’ve taken a long break from this curriculum, it’s best to start by revising these concepts and re-establishing your basics. For example, you could start off by revising the formulae & rules for topics like Circles, Algebra, Permutations & Combinations etc. You may find that it’s easier now to tackle those concepts than it was back in school.

      Our advise to you is don’t start with mock tests immediately. Revisit your conceptual understanding & build on it by taking sectional topic-wise tests. This will increase your expertise on a particular topic + build confidence. Once you are thorough with 60% of the topics, try your hand at a GRE-style test to see where you stand.

      If you’re looking for training & assistance to become ready for GRE, we can definitely guide you to a better score because we not only provide extensive training materials & question banks, we also assign two expert personal trainers – one for Quant & one for Verbal. They oversee your preparation individually and guide you exclusively. If you want to know more about preparing for GRE this way, just schedule a call with us & we’ll get back to you at your preferred time.

      Looking forward to hearing from you!

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  3. Aryan Smith says:

    Hello there.

    This blog is really useful to guide on GRE Preparation tips. Plus you all need is hard work and dedication.
    And there are many online resources available to prepare and practice for GRE.

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