GRE Preparation Tips: Resources and Practice Tests

A detailed guide on GRE preparation tips and practice

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test conducted by Educational Testing Council (ETS) and is a mandatory requirement for most of the graduate programs in the United States and Canada. For the Fulbright scholarship application, GRE should be given or at least be registered before submitting the application. Applications for the Fulbright scholarship are open and the deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020, due to COVID-19 lockdown. This extension in the application is a chance for all the aspiring applicants to polish their application essays, improve on GRE preparation if you haven’t taken yet, and write your application prompts perfectly. Here in this guide, we present you with some useful tips to improve your GRE score. We’ll give you useful tips and tricks from successful students. So without further ado, lets head towards our GRE guide.

Should I give GRE?

It’s a very common question to ask if GRE is compulsory for US admissions or not. Here are some points to answer that.

GRE is compulsory for almost all universities and scholarships (including Fulbright and HEC). There may be a few schools that don’t require GRE for admission but they still prefer those who have it. Even outside of US and Canada, a large number of universities in Saudi Arabia (King Fahd University and King Abdulla University of Science and Technology), UAE universities, Korean institutes also prefer applicants who have taken the GRE.

Check also: A comprehensive guide and resources to score high in the GRE

Benefits of Having a Valid GRE

1. You will have a better chance with contacting potential advisors for funding, Professors don’t even respond if you don’t have GRE

2. You will learn analytical skills which are very important in research

3. Mostly low ranked universities don’t require GRE which means you will have trouble while getting Visa. US Visa interview should not be taken lightly. Some high ranked schools waive GRE for some programs (e.g. Computer Engineering at MIT), but these programs are ranked too high and are highly competitive. Without GRE, you might not have a good chance.

4. GRE is your chance to compensate for low grades if you have a low CGPA. Take it as an opportunity

Read: Apply for the Fulbright Scholarship 2021 to study MS/Ph.D. in the United States

GRE Preparation Process (How to take and Prepare)

The GRE process would make you learn something which would be very helpful in your Ph.D. You would know what to expect. If you don’t work hard now, you will have to learn it later the harder way. The choice is yours, take advantage of your time in Pakistan and learn now or spend more money, time, and effort later in the US (if you manage to get admission and visa).

Lastly, There’s no shortcut to success. You need to work hard if you want to achieve something.

Here’s a complete Sample Application for Fulbright Application

Register for the GRE

To register for GRE, please visit USEFP and ETS websites. Please google if you don’t know about these two.

GRE Preparation Tips

To prepare for GRE, there’s no single answer to what’s the best resource. ETS is the test maker and any material from them is absolutely recommended. Then comes manhattan which is recommended for the Quantitative portion, and Princeton review books got really handy tips for the Verbal and Analytical section.

To get more practice, magoosh paid account and practice tests can be a good investment. Recently, a lot of online websites have also started offering practice tests similar to magoosh but a lot cheaper. However, there’s a caveat that not all the practice tests are equal. Only credible sources and services should be used in which the practice test is similar to the actual GRE.

GRE PowerPrep Software for GRE Practice Tests

The most authentic GRE practice tests are the ones provided in the GRE PowerPrep software by ETS. GRE PowerPrep offers two practice tests. Use these two practice tests wisely. Attempt one of the tests when you are about to start your GRE preparation journey. This test will give you an idea of your previous knowledge and will let you know how much you need to prepare to score your desired score in GRE. The start your prep regime and at the end attempt the second GRE PowerPrep practice test. This second test will tell you how much you have improved in your GRE test preparation and whether you are ready to take the actual GRE.

For further GRE preparation and practice, you can buy two more practice tests from ETS at $20 each. These tests are called PowerPrep Plus. Though they might not be a good value for the bucks, their quality is comparable with the actual GRE test. So, they are good for the students who want to score perfectly in the GRE and have complete confidence in their GRE preparation.

The practice during GRE Preparation

The practice is key to success in the GRE. The more practice you do, the better you would get on problem-solving as well as time management. Don’t underestimate the test, invest time and effort as much as you can. You can use Manhattan 5lb book for GRE preparations and practice once you’ve gone through all the key concepts of the verbal and quantitative section.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions, comment here.


Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad Sarwar is an Electrical Engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to teach and share knowledge. He's a Fulbright scholarship awardee. He reads books, play games, blogs and program in his spare time.

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