Right time to take the GRE: A Comprehensive Guide to Timing and Preparation

GRE preparation and timing

As you prepare to show off your reading, math, and writing skills on the GRE, it is important to know that this decision depends on a few things, like your school background, what you want to do in your career, and how ready you feel for the test. This blog will guide you through everything you need about the GRE preparation timeline.

Understanding the GRE:

The GRE General Test checks your skills in three main areas: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. These skills indicate your ability to do well in college and at work. Let’s break down what each of these skills means:

Verbal Reasoning:

This part of the GRE looks at how well you know high-level English vocabulary, analyze written information and understand relationships among ideas. For example, you might be asked to read a passage and answer questions about its main idea or the author’s point of view.

Quantitative Reasoning:

This part of the test checks how good you are at math. It looks at elementary concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. It also looks at your ability to interpret quantitative information and solve complex problems using mathematical models. For instance, you might have to solve equations or analyze graphs to answer questions in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section.

Why GRE Preparation is Important:

The GRE test can still be tough even if you are good at English, math, and writing because there is limited time to solve each question, and the level of language and vocabulary is high. That’s why studying and preparing for the test is important.

How long should you study for the GRE?

When it comes to the GRE, preparation is key to achieving success on the exam. So, it is best to give yourself about four months to prepare for the GRE. Let’s break this down further:

Practice Makes Perfect:

While individual study habits and schedules may vary from person to person, you will become more familiar with the test format and improve your performance by dedicating time to study and practice.

Identify Weaknesses:

Practice tests can help you identify areas where you need improvement, allowing you to focus your studying where it is needed most.

Boost Confidence:

The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel on test day, which can positively impact your performance.

Avoid Cramming:

Don’t try to cram all your studying into just two weeks, as that can lead to burnout, and you might not remember everything well. Instead, spread your study sessions over a longer time to help you remember things better.

Also read our blog on Financing your master’s program in the USA.

When should you take the GRE?

Choosing your GRE preparation timeline depends on your goals and deadlines. If you plan to go to grad school right after graduation in India, taking the GRE in the pre-final year of your graduation is a good idea. This gives you time to prepare without worrying about your final-year projects or internships. Plus, your GRE score is good for five years, so you can use it even if you wait a bit before applying to school.

However, that may not always be possible. So, let’s break down some scenarios:

Pre-Final Year Student:

If you are currently a pre-final year student thinking about studying in the USA in August (Fall) 2025, it is best to take your GRE test before the end of September 2024. This gives you about 8-10 weeks to write a Statement of Purpose, get recommendation letters, and take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. This will also give you time to retake the GRE if you want to improve your GRE score. Please note that you can take the GRE only once every 21 days and up to five times a year. Your official GRE score will come about 8 to 10 days after the test.

Final-Year Student:

For final-year students graduating around June 2024 and planning to start their master’s program in the USA in August (Fall) 2025, you should start preparing for the GRE in May/June 2024. Depending on when you feel ready, you can take the test anytime between September and November 2024. This will help you to still meet the deadlines by December 31, 2024.

Working Professionals:

If you are a working professional or want to work for a few years after graduation before studying abroad, it is best to start preparing 8 to 10 months before the deadline. This gives you enough time to balance work and study commitments. Joining a weekend class at Dilip Oak’s Academy one of the best GRE preparation classes in Pune and practicing during the week would be a good way to get GRE-ready.

Ultimately, deciding when to take the GRE depends on your circumstances and goals. By breaking down the preparation process and using examples, this guide aims to make it easier for you to plan and prepare effectively for the exam. Good luck!

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of admission counseling services that can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. We also offer classroom and online coaching for GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS, as well as GRE Self Prep. To explore our services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

Maximizing GRE Success: 7 Tips for Choosing the Best GRE Online Coaching Classes

In this digital age, online coaching classes have become a popular choice for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation. The convenience of studying from the comfort of your home and the flexibility of online learning make it an attractive option for many GRE aspirants. However, with so many online coaching options, selecting the best one can be daunting. In this blog, we’ll explore seven crucial tips to guide you in choosing the best GRE online coaching classes that align with your goals and learning preferences.

1. Research the Reputation:

Start your journey by looking into the reputation of online coaching classes. Conduct thorough research, read reviews, and explore testimonials from students who have undergone the program. Reputable platforms often have a track record of success, and their alumni can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the online coaching experience. Also, ask for feedback from your college seniors and consider their experiences in making an informed decision.

2. Online Instruction Expertise

The quality of instruction plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness of an online coaching program. Look for platforms with experienced instructors with a proven track record in online GRE preparation. Online instruction requires a unique skill set, and instructors who can effectively convey complex concepts through digital mediums enhance the overall learning experience.

3. Engaging Learning Environment:

Effective online coaching classes should foster an interactive and engaging learning environment. Features such as live sessions, discussion forums, and interactive quizzes can enhance your understanding of GRE concepts. Assess the platform’s commitment to creating an interactive space that simulates the engagement of a physical classroom.

4. Comprehensive Study Materials:

Evaluate the availability and quality of study materials offered by the online coaching platform. A comprehensive set of materials, including books, online question banks, practice tests, and video lectures, is essential for a well-rounded GRE preparation. Ensure the materials align with the latest GRE format and cover all relevant content areas.

5. Interactive Doubt-solving Sessions:

Choose platforms that prioritize regular doubt-solving sessions. This will allow you to get clarification on challenging topics that can significantly enhance your understanding of GRE concepts. So, look for coaching classes that schedule interactive doubt-solving sessions to cater to individual learning needs.

6. Adaptive Mock Tests:

Practice tests are a crucial component of GRE preparation, and online coaching classes should offer a robust set of good-quality mock tests. Also, ensure the mock tests align with the latest GRE format. Regularly taking simulated GRE tests and analyzing your performance can help identify areas for improvement and refine your test-taking strategies.

7. Free Demo Classes:

Opt for platforms that offer free trials or sample classes. This allows you to experience the teaching style, platform interface, and overall learning environment before committing to the full program. Free trials help you make an informed decision based on firsthand experience.

Selecting the best GRE online coaching classes requires careful consideration and research. By focusing on factors such as the platform’s reputation, instructor expertise in online instruction, interactive learning features, comprehensive study materials, doubt-solving sessions, mock tests, and free demo classes, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your learning style and preferences.

Remember that the right online coaching class can significantly impact your GRE preparation journey. It’s not just about the content but the overall learning experience. Invest time in exploring your options, and choose an online coaching class that not only equips you with the knowledge needed to ace the GRE but also enhances your skills and confidence in navigating the digital realm of education. Your success in the GRE is within reach with the right online coaching platform.

As India’s leading Study Abroad Consultant, Dilip Oak’s Academy offers a comprehensive suite of services, including GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, as well as GRE Self Prep. Furthermore, our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. To enroll in our comprehensive overseas education consultancy services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-20-67444222.

Understanding the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section

GRE Quantitative Reasoning section

When preparing for an exam, it is important for us to understand the format, structure and syllabus of that exam. So, in this blog, we will try to understand every aspect of the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section, which will help us develop a very focused approach to ace this section. It will also answer the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that students ask while preparing for this section. So, let’s begin!

Assessing the Content of the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section

The GRE Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE mainly evaluates:

  • Your basic understanding of the mathematical concepts
  • Your ability to interpret and analyze quantitative information
  • Your application skills in solving the questions within the given time limit

Understanding the scope of the syllabus for the Quantitative Reasoning Section

  • The GRE broadly tests you on four main topics: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis. The Math Review (PDF) file provides detailed information about the scope of the syllabus.
  • To summarize, it tests you on all your high school math concepts.
  • Good news: No trigonometry, no calculus!

Exploring the Structure of the Quantitative Reasoning Section

  • The Test comprises two Quantitative Reasoning sections with 27 questions to be completed in 47 minutes.
  • The section-wise break-up is as follows:
    • Section I: 12 questions to be completed in 21 minutes
    • Section II: 15 questions to be completed in 26 minutes
  • The following question types are asked:
    • Multiple Choice (Single Correct):
    • Multiple Choice (One or more correct)
    • Numeric Entry Questions
    • Quantitative Comparison Questions
  • An on-screen calculator is available for the Quantitative Reasoning Section. (It is not a scientific calculator.)

Identifying Resources for Preparation

GRE Quantitative Reasoning section - Preparation

The following ETS GRE Resources would be the most authentic prep material as they include practice questions straight from the source.

A myriad of publications is available in the market, and a vast resource of material is on the net. But while choosing material, it would be wise to choose GRE-oriented material as it would cater to the format of the exam. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, our books and online practice material have been designed keeping the Test in mind, thus ensuring your focused preparation.

Achieving Success in the Quantitative Reasoning Section: Top Strategies

To get a good score in the Quantitative section of the GRE, ensure that your preparation involves the following steps:

Concept building:

  • Get a good grasp of the fundamental concepts
  • Memorize your formulae and computational tables to quickly and accurately solve questions.
  • Get familiar with the Question Types.

Practice, practice, practice:

  • Strengthen your concepts by solving a large number of practice questions specifically designed for the GRE.
  • Practice using tricks, shortcuts and time-saving strategies
  • Focus on increasing your accuracy and time management.

Testing:

  • Testing yourself at regular intervals will familiarize you with the format of the exam.
  • Review/feedback will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, which can be worked upon.
  • Taking at least two tests under simulated testing conditions would be a good approach as it would make you comfortable with the testing environment with time restrictions.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s discuss some other questions you may have.

What if I have ‘Math Phobia’?

Many students are always scared of math and thus experience ‘math phobia’, which probably has no cure. Maybe you are not good at math naturally, but don’t give up. Remember, the GRE covers only the basic mathematical concepts studied at your school level, so your math skills are not being tested in this exam. Your application skills are put to the test, along with your logical and analytical thinking. Focus on your strong areas, not the troubled areas that haunt you. Lingering on these may only increase your anxiety and thus affect your preparation and, consequently, your performance.

What should be my approach if I have a strong Math background?

If that is the case, you may find the questions on this exam very simple. But beware! You may be caught off guard! Instead of becoming complacent, a good strategy would be to brush up on your concepts and use the simplicity of this exam to your advantage. Overdependence on your mathematical abilities may affect your score adversely, narrowing your chances of securing admission to a good university. 

What Next?

GRE Quantitative Reasoning section - what next?
  • Now that you have understood the focus of the exam and its format, start preparing according to the three steps mentioned above.
  • Ensure that you have a very good understanding of the fundamental concepts.
  • Completing 12 and 15 questions in 21 and 26 minutes respectively is one of the main challenges you will face while answering the Math section. Remember, your speed and accuracy should go hand in hand. You cannot afford to compromise one at the cost of the other.

To summarize, a dedicated and focused approach will surely enhance your test-taking skills, which will guarantee a good score. It’s not necessary to study hard; study smart. Wishing you all the BEST!!!

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we understand the significance of this journey. Thus, we offer comprehensive GRE coaching in Pune, both online and classroom, to support you in this crucial aspect of your academic journey. Further, our admission counseling services can guide you through the entire process from Shortlisting Universities to Visa Counseling. With our expertise, we have successfully sent 32,000 students to various prestigious American universities like MIT, Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. To enroll in our comprehensive services, book a free consultation or call us at 91-020-67444222.

We offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and Canada.  

Explaining the New Shorter GRE and Its Implications for Test-Takers

For many years, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has served as a crucial first step for students planning to pursue graduate study in the United States. This year, the GRE will be shorter thanks to a series of reforms. The test will have shorter versions of each section, but will still accurately assess test takers’ verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. If you plan to take the GRE General Test after September 2023, you should familiarize yourself with these changes and prepare accordingly. The following is a comprehensive summary of all the key modifications to the new, shorter GRE:

Change 1: Reduced Number of Questions and Shorter Testing Period

The length of the GRE General Test has been reduced from 4 hours to 1 hour and 58 minutes. This is a significant change aimed at improving test-takers’ concentration and decreasing test fatigue. The reduced time has been achieved by implementing the following changes in the test.

Reduced number of questions: The number of questions in the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning tests will be reduced. The number of questions in each section will drop from 40 to 27. These 27 questions will be broken up into 12 and 15 for for Section 1 and 2 respectively. This change applies to both quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning. Despite the reduction in total number of questions, the average time allotted for each question has remained unchanged.

Removal of ‘argument’ section: “Analyze an argument” task has been removed from the analytical writing section. Moving forward, the AWM section will only have the “analyze an issue” task. As a result, you’ll only have to write only one essay.

Removal of the Unscored section: The GRE currently has an unscored section that is used for evaluation of questions by ETS. This section will be removed from the new, shorter GRE, as it does not affect the test taker’s final score.

No Scheduled Breaks: The current 10-minute break after the two hours of the test will be eliminated because the new test time will be less than 2 hours.  Those taking the GRE at a testing center can still take unscheduled breaks; however, the clock will not stop. Exemptions to this policy will be made for test takers with disabilities or health-related needs.Online examinees are not permitted to take unscheduled breaks during the exam.

Change 2: faster Reporting of Test Results

Official GRE scores will be reported to test takers within 8-10 days after the exam. This is a significant improvement over the previous time frame of ten and fifteen calendar days. In the long run, this will save time for those filling out applications.

What won’t change as the GRE moves from its current format to a shorter one?

Despite the fact that the GRE General Test will be shorter, many features will remain unchanged. Given below are the important aspects of the test that won’t be changing:

  • The basic structure of the GRE, including the presence of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning sections, will remain unchanged.
  • Scoring: All three sections will use the same scoring procedure, and the shorter test will use the same performance scales as the current test.
  • The shorter GRE will still be section adaptive I. e., the difficulty level of the second section will be based on your performance in the first section.
  • Although the GRE has been shortened, testing fees have not changed.
  • Graduate and professional schools will use scores from the GRE General Test similarly, regardless of the length.
  • As before, you can retake the GRE General Test up to five times in any rolling 12-month period (365 days), with a maximum of one attempt every 21 days.
  • Your GRE scores will be considered valid for five years after your test date.

Why the ETS is changing the test format

These changes are based on feedback from previous test takers and are the result of expert analysis about how a better experience could be introduced for test takers while retaining the strong validity and reliability that universities expect.

Applying to graduate and professional programs is time-consuming. While you want to show your potential in a comprehensive way, you also want to get through your application checklist ASAP. Shortening the test will help students to stay focused and reduce fatigue. The shorter test will also allow ETS to deliver GRE scores faster. Students can complete their applications sooner as well.

What is yet to be announced?

Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning have had their total number of questions cut down to 27, but how those questions will be distributed among the subsections such as sentence equivalence, text completion and  reading comprehension in verbal section, remains to be seen.

We also don’t yet have details on how the scoring algorithm might adapt to the reduced number of questions.

Which version of the test should you take- Shorter GRE vs. Current GRE

You should weigh your application deadlines against your personal preferences when deciding between the shorter GRE and the current GRE. The current GRE will be phased out on September 22, 2023, in favor of the shorter GRE. If your application deadline is early October or earlier, you should probably take the current GRE. However, if you have more time and your application deadlines are not pressing, you may want to take the shorter GRE because of its streamlined format.

At Dilip Oak’s Academy, We also provide detailed guidance on these processes under our Admission Counseling Services, including a selection of universities, documentation process and visa counseling, and mock visa interviews. In addition, as India’s leading Study Abroad Consultants, we have helped more than 33,000 students to secure their dream admits for various universities in America including MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and other top-ranked universities.

We also offer GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS coaching, GRE Self Prep and guide students with university selection, application essays, and visa counseling under our Admission Counseling Services for USA, Germany and UK.  To enroll, call us on 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495

Time Management Tips for GRE Quant

Wondering how to manage time efficiently on the Quant section of your GRE? Don’t worry! Here are our important techniques that will help you to master time management in the Quant section. So, let’s get started!!

As you are aware, each section on GRE Quant has 20 questions, and the time allotted is 35 minutes. So, unless an effective time management plan is in place, getting a good score is slightly difficult. The following proven techniques will certainly help you in the same regard:

Don’t solve the questions sequentially

Remember, it is not necessary to solve the questions in the same sequence as they appear in the section. If you want to save time, it is always better to solve the easy questions – the ones which you are confident about; in the beginning and attempt the difficult questions afterwards. This will allow you to save a few seconds on every question solved, which could be utilized for attempting difficult questions.

Attempt lengthy questions at the end

Questions based on some topics, such as Data Interpretation (DI), are usually lengthy. Instead of solving such questions when they appear, it is a good technique to try them at the end. This will allow you to utilize the extra time saved on the previous questions.  

Use a calculator only when it is absolutely necessary

Sounds strange, right? Some of you might be wondering if the calculator is provided on GRE; why not use it every time? But here is the catch- using the on-screen calculator every time will eat up a lot of your time and would affect time management severely. Thus, as long as possible, do the calculations manually and use the calculator only when it is utmost necessary.  

Seek the balance between speed and accuracy

This perhaps is the most important point of all! Solving the questions quickly is very different from solving them hurriedly! If you rush to answer the questions without paying attention to the accuracy, it is of no use. Thus, maintain the balance between speed and accuracy so as to get a good score on the section.     

Wish you all the very best for your preparation!!

Last-minute tips to master the Quant section on the GRE

Preparing for a competitive exam like GRE is always a daunting task. Nonetheless, summing up the preparation is also equally important to perform better on the exam. In this blog, we will share some of the tips with you on how to brush up on the Math section in the last week before your GRE. So, let’s get started!

Revise all the theory concepts well

Don’t forget that the GRE is more about conceptual clarity than heavy calculation. So, make sure that you have understood all the concepts well. In case you come across a point where some clarity is required, refer to your lecture notes and practice it again but don’t panic.

Check your error log

In the last week of preparation, instead of revising all the problems that you have solved, it is advisable to concentrate only on those questions that you have got incorrect while practicing. So, refer to your error log and revise only the difficult questions.

Solve only a limited number of questions

Don’t get exhausted by solving too many of the questions in the last week. Instead, select only a limited number of questions for practice.

Revise formulae sheet

Please remember that the required formulae should be on the tip of your tongue! Thus, revise all the formulae at least once daily without fail.

Revise tables daily

This is yet another important technique to give a boost to your Quant score on the GRE. In spite of the fact that the use of a calculator is permitted on GRE, it is better to do the calculations manually as much as possible. Thus, revise the tables at least twice a day.

If you ensure that these aspects are taken care of, you will feel more confident as you attempt the exam.

Wish you all the very best in your preparation!!

Question of the Week

GRE aspirants, it’s time to rack your brain and crack this question of the week! Our expert GRE faculty will drop in interesting questions for you every week to help you think logically and get closer to acing the GRE! Type your answers in the comments section below!

We will publish the correct answers and explanations in the comments section every Friday! STAY TUNED!

Question of the Week

GRE aspirants, it’s time to rack your brain and crack this question of the week! Our expert GRE faculty will drop in interesting questions for you every week to help you think logically and get closer to acing the GRE! Type your answers in the comments section below!

We will publish the correct answers and explanations in the comments section every Friday! STAY TUNED!

Start your GRE Prep with us! New batches starting 27th & 28th March! Enroll here: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/gre-coaching

Question of the Week

GRE aspirants, it’s time to rack your brain and crack this question of the week! Our expert GRE faculty will drop in interesting questions for you every week to help you think logically and get closer to acing the GRE! Solve and post your answers in the comments section!

We will publish the correct answers and explanations in the comments section every Friday! STAY TUNED!

Quantitative Comparison Questions: Doubtful D!

~ by our Maths Faculty

Now, here’s a tip about the weird GRE question type called Quantitative Comparison or simply QC. As we know, in QC questions there are two columns, ‘A’ and ‘B’, containing some quantities. Our job is to evaluate the quantities and compare their magnitudes. In QC questions, the options are always as follows:

 

 

(A) Quantity under Column A is GREATER THAN quantity under Column B

(B) Quantity under Column A is LESS THAN quantity under Column B

(C) Quantity under Column A is EQUAL TO quantity under Column B

(D) RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED using the given information.

Now look at this example:

 

x2 – 2x – 24 = 0

y2 – 3y + 2 = 0

 

Column A Column B

x y

 

The question asks us to compare ‘x’ and ‘y’. In order to get the answer, we need to solve both the quadratic equations. When we do this, we get the following values: x (4, -6) and y (2, 1)

Thus, if we pick 4 as the value of ‘x’, it is greater than both values of ‘y’. Hence, option (B) and option (C) can be rejected outright.

Now, we are left with only two options, (A) and (D). But if we pick -6 as the value of ‘x’, it is less than both the values of ‘y’ so, we have to eliminate option (A) and thus, we have option (D) as the final answer!

Why was this example given? To show you that is that the only time we need to be extra cautious when solving QC questions is when we think that the answer is probably option D!

Now, try this one:

 

X < (1/X)

 

Column A Column B

X X2

 

 

see answer here

Did You Know these Facts about GRE Math?

 

~ By our Quantitative Reasoning Faculty

 

April is almost over and the countdown to the exam has already begun. You want a good overall score and if you’re an engineer, you are most probably thinking that getting 165 on Quant shouldn’t be too much of a problem (the typical engineer approaches maths questions with a raw “Just bring ‘em on” kind of arrogance and usually gets most questions right). But here’s the problem: sometimes even those with a strong background in maths may not cross the 160 mark – and when that happens, dreams of a score in the 325+ range come crashing down. To prevent that unhappy outcome, here are some basic insights about the way the math works on GRE.

One fundamental reason why some students don’t get the scores they should, is that they simply don’t understand the way the exam ‘TALKS’ maths. What this means is that the GRE test has its own way of defining mathematical terms. If you don’t understand the definitions used in the GRE exam, then time and time again you are going to end up making errors on questions you should have got right – and you are likely to end up feeling frustrated and demoralized. So, let’s have a look at a few basic differences between Indian maths and American math.

Continue reading

Answers to Practice GRE Test Quant Questions

Post: Did You Know these Facts about GRE Math?

Question: How many positive integers, less than 20, are either an even multiple of 2 or, a multiple of 9 or, the sum of a positive multiple of 2 and a positive multiple of 9?

Answer: There are 11 such integers:

  • Multiples of 2 – 4, 8, 12, 16 (total 4)
  • Multiples of 9 – 9, 18 (total 2)
  • Sums of a positive multiple of 2 and a positive multiple of 9 – 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 (total 5)

 

Post: Quantitative Comparison Questions: Doubtful D!

 

Question:

X < (1/X)

Column A Column B

X X2

 

Answer:: (D)

The given inequality is X< (1/X).

This is possible only in two cases:

(1) If 0 < X < 1 OR

(2) X < -2

Now, you need to compare ‘X’ with ‘X2’

If you pick the value of ‘X’ from 1st range, let’s say ‘X’ = ½, then X > X2, thus the possible answer is option (A) and hence, options (B) and (C) can be eliminated.

But if you pick up the value of ‘X’ from the second range of values, lets say X = -3, then X < X2.

That means we are not able to reach to any unique conclusion using the information given, thus the answer is option (D)