GRE Preparation Tips
Updated on Apr 19, 2018 - 6:17 p.m. IST by Ranjini Basu

GRE Preparation Tips: The aspiring GRE candidates should be well-versed with the GRE preparation tips along with intense preparation for one of the most popular entrance examinations taken to pursue graduate studies abroad, especially the USA. Preparation tips are useful for the prospective test takers as well as the candidates who are planning to take GRE in near future. 


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With the help of this article on GRE Preparation Tips, candidates can not only meet their score requirements required by respective institutions but also improve their analytical, verbal as well as mathematical skills.

The GRE 2018 General Test evaluates an aspirant's verbal, quantitative, critical thinking and analytical writing skills which are compiled in three sections- Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The GRE Subject Test, on the other hand, measures a candidate’s knowledge in specific fields. They are: Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.


Some of the common questions for GRE aspirants before an exam would be:

  • How difficult is the Test?

  • How to prepare for GRE?

  • How to maximize my GRE performance?

  • What kind of resources should I refer to?

 Confused? Don't know where to start? Check here to know which GRE study materials to prepare from!


Test Pattern GRE 2018 General test:


Number of Questions

Allotted Time

Verbal Reasoning

(Two sections)

20 questions per section

30 minutes per section

Quantitative Reasoning

(Two sections)

20 questions per section

35 minutes per section

Analytical Writing

(One section with two separately timed tasks)

One task each on

1. Analyse an Issue task

2. Analyse an Argument

30 minutes per task

Here we bring before aspirants the GRE preparation tips, where we have considered each component for a detailed discussion; Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing separately and provided tips to help your performance in the exam.


The first and foremost tip for GRE (General and Subject tests) would be to practice with as many GRE Sample papers, a candidate can lay their hands on. The more aspirants practice, the more confidence they gain which helps in securing GRE scores above the average.


GRE Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates a candidate's skills to analyse and draw conclusions, understand and add value to data. Candidates are required to understand and summarise the structure of a text as well. The Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE Test Pattern 2018 assesses the three following areas:

  1. Content information analysis and evaluation

  2. Analysis of relationships between different parts of sentences

  3. Differentiate between concepts and words and the relationships between them

GRE Preparation Tips for Verbal Reasoning:


  • Learn new words: Candidates should learn new words regularly. It is the most important GRE preparation tip. Along with learning new words, learn and practice the usage of the words as well. It is always interesting to play with words and their formations. This exercise introduces new words and improves your vocabulary to a great extent as well. Candidates on the look-out for new words may find websites like OALD and Webster to be extremely helpful. Try playing scrabble during the leisure time; it will help in learning new words easily.

  • Practice Reading Comprehension: Reading Comprehension forms a big part of the GRE paper. Hence, aspirants should practice as many reading comprehensions as possible. It should be treated as Mathematics. The practice of at least two to three reading comprehensions in a day would be helpful for the test takers to fare decent scores in GRE test.

  • Check Grammar: Another major GRE preparation tip is to practice Grammar extensively. It is not an easy task to learn all the rules of grammar. The simplest way here would be to understand the basic usages and very importantly learn tenses and other particulars of English grammar.

Download GRE Verbal Reasoning sample paper here!

Quantitative Reasoning:

The quantitative reasoning section evaluates the basic mathematical skills of the test taker. Candidates need to possess knowledge of the standard mathematical concepts and their application in solving problems.

The Quantitative section has two tasks with 20 questions in each and the time allotted to complete each section is 35 minutes.


GRE Preparation Tips for Quantitative Reasoning


A. Practice elementary mathematics: It is imperative for candidates appearing for GRE to make sure their concepts of elementary mathematics are clear. The main topics in this section includes Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data analysis. However, instead of direct questions relating to the topics, candidates would be asked questions where they need to apply the mathematical concepts. It means the exam checks the confidence of the test taker in the respective topics. So, candidates should ensure that basic concepts are clear before taking up the GRE test.


B. Solve sample paper: One of the effective GRE preparation tips is to solve as many sample papers as possible. Quant is one of the trickier sections of GRE and it is always preferable to be prepared for the kind of expected questions.


Download GRE quantitative reasoning sample paper here!


C. Plan, Prepare and Practice: This is the only technique that can help candidates ace the Quantitative section of GRE. The more one plans and practices, the more his/her concepts will be cleared.


GRE Analytical Writing

This section measures two important skills of the test-taker. First, their critical thinking ability and second, analytical writing skills. There are two tasks in this section: Analyse an Issue and Analyse an Argument. The issue task requires to analyse an issue and develop opinion around it. In the argument task, the candidates have to analyse an argument and present their position regarding it.


GRE Preparation Tips for Analytical Writing:


A. Read and Analyse: Yes, the trick is simple. Reading is the key to success. Candidates should first read and then analyse the content. They should try forming well-read opinions and try to provide reasons for the framed opinions. An analysis should be done from every point of view with substantiation. There is always a way of directing an argument in a manner that is convincing and that only comes from having knowledge on any given topic.


B. Practice writing: Candidates should choose any topic and start writing on it. They should focus on using better vocabulary for expressing the views and arguments. Candidates are suggested to look up at current topics and brainstorm with a peer group to get more ideas and improving on articulation. Also, prospective test takers should practice citing pertinent examples for their line of argument. Candidates might consider the below mentioned GRE preparation tips while writing:

  • The direction of the argument i.e., for or against

  • Listing all the points for or against the issue.

  • Filtering points based on reason and importance.

  • Dividing argument into well-defined sections to clarify their stand.

Download GRE Analytical writing sample paper here!

Some other Important GRE Preparation Tips:

  • Practice: Practice is an unending task and cannot be compensated any other alternative method. There is no shortcut to practice. Candidates should be thorough with the GRE test pattern, rules, and format.

  • Mark and Review: GRE allows students to mark the question for later review. In case one has a doubt regarding any answer, he/she should mark the question to revisit later to review it.

  • No negative marking: As the GRE test does not penalise candidates for wrong answers, they should not waste time trying to solve answers which are difficult to solve. Candidates should ideally mark them for later review. But candidates should go back and try answering the difficult questions. Leaving a problem will do no good.

  • Tracking time: Candidates may be capable of writing an incredible answer at leisure, but they do not have the leisure during the exam. So, tracking the time is very important to finish GRE exam on time. It is advisable that candidates should complete the test 5-10 before the scheduled end-time.

  • Review: Test takers should review their answers for mistakes. While occasional mistakes may not affect the overall score, repeated typos along with spelling and grammatical errors may prove to be fatal.


Also Read:


GRE Syllabus 2018

GRE Sample Paper

GRE Score 2018


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Questions related to GRE

Showing 432 out of 432 Questions

hi I always want to crack GRE is that possible

Fareeha 17th Feb, 2020

Hi aspirant!
Yes, you may be able to crack the GRE exam easily with hard work and determination.

Please check the link below which has the much needed information about the exam, pattern and syllabus. Hope it helps. Good luck!


I am a student of galgotias university and my gre score is 310 and having 8+ cgpa in mechanical engineering. I done two intenships one from DRDO and other one from Indian railway. Also i had done two research paper. What are my chances of getting technical university of Munich or Berlin.?

dheeraj reddy 14th Feb, 2020

Hi sajal

As far as CGPA is considered, you meet the minimum requirement stated by both the TUs. Also as you know, for selection, your overall profiles matters. I see you have mentioned 2 research papers. They would add a great value to your application if they are relevant to the Masters you are applying.

GRE is not mandatory for TU Berlin and most of the programs in TUM too.

You would need an IELTS score of minimum 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 88 for clearing language requirements.

You would need German language proficiency of atleast C1 level ( only if you are applying for a course with German taught modules). Also even for english taught programs, having a basic German proficiency of A2 level would greatly help in your application.

For TUM, they might conduct a further aptitude assessment depending on the strength of your application.

Your internships would add value only if they are relevant to your field of study (the Masters you are applying).

Apart from the above mentioned, Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) / Letter of Motivation and Letters of Recommendation would also have a key impact on your application. Make sure you describe well how your past experiences ( internships, research exp, any work exp) and the masters program you are going to undertake would help in your future goals.

I hope I was helpful to you. Remember again , your overall profile matters. Don't be discouraged if you fall short in any one of the aspects.

With research papers, internships, you are already ahead of several applicants. You have a good chance for any Masters degree relevant to Mechanical Engineering. Goodluck!


Sir, I would like to do my masters in biotechnology for that what type of GRE test should I apply I mean like GRE general test or GRE subject test (biology)

Swatika Sharma 24th Jan, 2020

Hello Greeshma,

As you didn't mention anything so I'm expecting you to be an undergraduate or you are pursuing it. First of all, I recommend you choose what you want to accomplish in future: Do you want to do your postgraduate, Abroad or in India itself?

GRE (Graduation Record Examination) is a universally comprehended exam which is supervised by ETS ( Education Testing Services). GRE examination is taken by future aspirants for postgraduate programs in foreign universities and its score are approved in over 160 countries colleges and universities across the world. GRE exam is conducted in two types such as- GRE general test and GRE subject test.

GRE general test is the primary requirements for most of the postgraduate programs in Abroad or in India which consists of verbal perception, analytical writing and quantitative reasoning while GRE subject test is specifically for subjects which you are looking for like biology.

In India, there are very few technical colleges which are accepting GRE scores but for not the same course you are opting for, while there are so many colleges or universities in Abroad which approved or accepted GRE scores.

In my opinion, the GRE general test should be given for admission in Postgraduate programs.  Along with the GRE general test, it's best for you to give the subject test (in biology ) which give extra weightage to your academic record either it's your choice.

Hope its help!!


Graduation in dental surgery(5yr)+3 yr work ex. Masters in hopsital admin(2 yr) + 3 yr of work ex. Wish to pursue PhD in health allied course in USA. Am i eligible to apply also how much GRE score would be required to apply for a good university?

Fareeha 17th Feb, 2020

Hi aspirant!
Yes, you are definitely eligible to pursue PhD from USA.

Kindly look up for edibility criteria for the colleges where you wish to apply. Some colleges do not require GRE scores for admissions in PhD. The criteria differs in each college.

However, you may have to appear for TOEFL/IELTS. Usually scores between 98-120 is accepted in most of the colleges.

Good Luck!


What is GRE? What is its use? What is its qualifications?

Kanupriya Gupta 19th Jan, 2020

Dear Aspirant,

GRE is also called Graduate Record Examination and it tests your verbal reasoning skills, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. It is a 3 hour and 45 minutes test and it is mandatory if you are applying for a Masters or Doctorate in the US. It is computer-based. You also have the option of taking it multiple times and there is a limit of taking it the maximum five times in a year. You can attempt it only once in 21 days. These scores are valid for 5 years. For the verbal and quantitative section, GRE score falls around 150 to 152. If you get 165 you are have secured close to 95%. In the section of analytical writing, an average score would be 3.5, 6 being the highest.

The paper is as follows:

You will have to write two essays for the analytical writing section within the time limit of 30 minutes where you will have to analyse one argument and one issue.

You will face 20 questions in verbal and quantitative learning each.

There is an unsecured section at the end of the exam which is a dummy and does not carry marks but is to be filled so that the conducting body can get information about the candidate.

Countries like USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia and UK accept GRE scores. Other than determining your eligibility, GRE seems to enhance a candidates profile. Taking subject tests in GRE seems to be an additional advantage for specific courses abroad.

Hope this helps. All the best!

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