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It’s Better When You Have A Plan: Study Advice for the GRE® General Test

So, you are getting ready to take the GRE® General Test for business, graduate, or law school — where do you even begin? It can feel overwhelming at the start, and procrastination is tempting. However, if you create a plan and give yourself the time you need, preparing for the test can actually go well and even be rewarding. These planning steps can help your work pay off on test day and beyond.

How much time do you have? How do you like to learn? Your plan and the types of prep work it includes will depend on some personal factors. According to ETS research, most test takers prepare for one to three months, so try to give yourself at least that amount of time. Here’s how to make the most of it.

Take a practice test.

Start by taking a free POWERPREP® Online practice test, because it is the best way to get a clear picture of where you stand — you’ll be able to see what skills you have already mastered and identify the areas where you need to improve. If you are considering a quant-heavy business school program, such as an MBA or other master’s in business, taking a practice test can help you assess your verbal vs. quantitative performance with more precision.

The free practice test simulates the actual GRE® General Test and it’s a great opportunity to experience the test format and helpful features. And, if you set yourself up to take it like it’s the real thing (timed mode, proper scratch paper or white board, no interruptions), you will get a good idea of the section timing.

Having all of this information gives you a solid starting point to help you be more efficient with your studying. If you have taken the test before, the free GRE® Diagnostic Service can also give you insights into where to focus your preparation to better your Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores.

A strong study plan will also include the following:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the test content and format.
  • Setting milestones.
  • Downloading official prep materials.
  • Taking advantage of online resources.

When you reach the end of your study plan schedule, take the second of two free POWERPREP® Online practice tests to where you have improved and, most importantly, if you need to continue to work in specific areas. Taking the time to walk through an experience just like the real thing can never hurt!

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