We know The GRE could make or mar your chances of going to graduate school. It’s only normal to be concerned about how difficult it will be. It’s beneficial.
That’s why we spent hours looking into what students had to say about the GRE and how difficult it is. We’ll go over our findings in detail below.
How Difficult is the GRE?
Most exam takers agree that the GRE isn’t difficult if you did your homework in high school. Let’s compare the GRE to other standardized tests to get a more accurate response.
The GRE is more difficult than the ACT in comparison.
The fact that the questions are worded in such a way that they are tough to answer adds to the difficulty. In a moment, we’ll go through this in further detail.
However, we can compare the GRE to the MCAT or GMAT in terms of difficulty. The GRE, on the other hand, turns out to be the easier test overall.
This is primarily due to the fact that the GRE is a more general test that does not necessitate specialist expertise. Again, if you studied during school and prepared for the exam, you should have no trouble passing it.
What Makes It So Difficult?
The GRE is more difficult than other standardized tests due to a few key characteristics.
These criteria frequently have little to do with the test’s content, but rather with how it’s structured and organized.
The hard wording of the questions, especially in the quantitative reasoning section of the test, is a common complaint among test takers. While arithmetic is difficult enough on its own, adding intricate language and sentence structure makes it considerably more difficult.
Each question is designed to catch you off guard and lead you to the incorrect answer. As a result, you should carefully consider each question before responding.
The second reason that makes the GRE difficult is the time limit. You must be a mental runner who can complete the race in under 3 hours and 45 minutes, according to the ETS.
You will not have much time to think about the exam questions. Most of the time, you’ll have to know the correct answer right away.
The good news is that this time constraint may be beneficial to some test takers! You’d probably lose focus and start making mistakes if you had more time.
Difficult Vocabulary Part
The GRE’s verbal reasoning section will put your vocabulary to the test. Approximately half of this section is devoted to words that may seem unusual or unfamiliar.
The two last types of questions will reveal your language abilities the most. Fill in the blanks with the most acceptable word or phrase. When it comes to sentence equivalency, you’ll need to look for terms that have similar meanings.
Review example questions provided by the ETS or practice questions found in prep materials to prepare for this section. This is recommended because the GRE test usually contains the same collection of most prevalent GRE words. You’ll ultimately become comfortable with all of the questions if you go through them multiple times.
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Challenging Math Section
The quantitative reasoning component is usually the most difficult for test takers. The reason for this is that you will be required to complete both advanced and elementary math questions.
The test questions will cover everything covered in high school math, but in a more advanced manner.
How to Make the GRE Less Difficult
You don’t have to give up your favorite programs or grades just yet. There are three elements that compensate for the ones we just stated and help you pass the test. Use them to your advantage while taking the test.
The GRE, like other standardized examinations, is made up completely of multiple-choice questions that allow for some guessing; however, should you take the GRE and guess?
There are multiple right answers to GRE questions. To gain the most points, you must check all of the boxes. But, if you don’t actually know the answer, even getting one right is a tremendous advantage, right?
What this means for you is that if you’re stumped on a question, don’t give up.
Instead, go with the one that makes the most sense, and you might just get a bonus point. There’s also no penalty for incorrect answers, so your GRE score isn’t jeopardized.
Search for the Proof in the Text
Reading comprehension questions must be objectively true, which means that the solution is usually found in the text.
What this means to you is that: Reread the material a couple of times.You have to read it and reflect on it. You might be able to come up with a sentence that directly answers a question.
You Don’t Have to Pass the Exam in Its Entirety
Most graduate programs are only interested in one or two portions of the GRE that are directly related to your study, which is fortunate for you. They’ll usually look at your results in either the verbal or quantitative thinking parts. Many graduate programs are beginning to place less emphasis on writing.
What this means for you is that you should focus less on writing and more on the other two exam portions throughout your GRE preparation. And don’t stress about acing the full exam.
How to Prepare for the Exam and Achieve Success
Take the time to go over all of the necessary preparations before taking the GRE.
Prior to taking the GRE, work on the analytical writing component.
If you’re like most applicants, the essay will be the most difficult part of the exam. You’ll have to write two independent essays on the exam, each based on a different essay question.
Instead of writing the essay for the first time on your exam, when you’re stressed, look for sample essays online and practice writing.
Make sure you have a good command of the English language.
No, we’re not making fun of your linguistic abilities. We’re simply stating that practicing complicated English language is a good idea because this is exactly what the GRE will assess.
Make use of additional materials and resources.
You are not required to study from your GRE preparation materials. Most students find that solving practice tests, internet quizzes, or even studying with a friend is a superior way to study. Choose a method that is most effective for you.
Develop your ability to think critically.
While the quantitative component will test your critical thinking skills more directly, these abilities will be useful throughout the entire test. In phrase equivalence challenges, for example, they’ll assist you in selecting the appropriate synonym.
Take a few practice exams.
Last but not least, take practice examinations to familiarize yourself with the GRE. Find the best GRE practice exams that, if at all feasible, mirror real-life settings, such as tests that adjust your questions and time you.
How to De-stress for the GRE
Now that you know how difficult the GRE is, use these three strategies during your preparations to feel confident and prepared to ace the exam on test day, no matter how difficult the GRE is.
Familiarize yourself with the exam.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: studying the GRE and becoming familiar with its format will be extremely beneficial. Read up on the GRE’s format, practice questions, and obtain a general understanding of the test.
The more you know about the examination, the more at ease you’ll be on exam day, and the easier it will be to recognize any gimmicks aimed to trick you into selecting the incorrect answer.
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Practice with Practice Tests
You must take full-length practice GREs as part of your exam preparation in order to become more familiar with the test and track your progress. Try to fit in at least 2-3 practice GREs during your studying, spread out on a regular basis, so you can see where you’ve improved and where you still need to improve.
Make sure to time these exams and keep distractions to a minimum so they’re as near to the real GRE as possible. You’ll get the most accurate score and a better picture of where you need to improve if you do it this way.
Computer-based practice GREs are ideal since they simulate the experience of taking the real GRE on a computer. GRE prep books frequently include one or two unofficial paper or computer-based GREs, and you can download software with two official practice tests.
Before the test, review the essays.
One of the scariest portions of the GRE is the Analytical Writing section’s two essays, but they’re also one of the easiest to prepare for. Refresh your memory on how to create a normal five-paragraph essay if it’s been a long since you’ve done much writing. There are numerous materials available on the internet that explain what it is and how to write one.
As previously stated, all of the possible essay topics listed in the prompts are available online. Examine all of the subjects for the Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument essays so you’ll be ready for the test.
Look for recurring themes in the types of issues provided, as well as typical mistakes in logic and structure in the arguments, as you study the prompts so you may start to recognize patterns and get used to answering those types of questions. If you desire extra practice, you can compose whole practice essays or merely outlines for different questions.