Know the Exam -- The first step in preparing yourself is to learn what to expect from the exam's format and structure. The GRE has three types of sections, and each has a time limit in which it must be completed
Prepare for the right test -- The GRE revised General Test replaced the GRE General Test on Aug. 1, 2011. Online and print study guides are still available for the old test, but it's important to select a recently updated guide or program so that you can study for the most recent version of the test.
Develop a study program -- Whether it means attending a class twice a week or picking up a review book at the library, you'll want some help in studying for the GRE. Experts suggest starting preparation anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks before the exam so that you can master the material without forgetting anything.
Try physical and mental workouts -- There's more to improving your GRE scores than practicing with a study guide. If you really want to do your best on the GRE, add physical and mental workouts to your study routine, too.
Practice -- Another crucial element of preparing for the GRE is getting lots of practice with the types of questions on the exam. Again, it's important to mimic the conditions of the exam as much as possible when you practice.
Steady your sleep habits -- College students who don't get adequate sleep on weekends have been found to forget up to 30 percent of the material they've learned during the previous week, even if they spent plenty of time hitting the books. Positive sleep habits can help improve memory and sharpen focus, especially if you're learning something new.
Learn to balance your time -- Because you'll be taking an exam under rigid time constraints, it will be important to strategically manage your time -- even during practice sessions.
Focus on your weaknesses -- Start by reviewing your performance on your latest practice test and identifying your lowest scores by section, and focus first on the questions you answered incorrectly.
Come up with a test strategy -- You'll want to move through the exam as quickly and confidently as possible to receive higher-scoring questions and still finish on time. This means that you'll need strategies for dealing with questions that you're unsure about.
Practice with scratch paper -- The GRE is computer-based, so you can't write directly on the problems. You will, however, be provided with scratch paper and a pencil. Make sure to practice using these when taking your practice GRE.
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