10 Last Minute GRE Tips before the GRE Exam
If you’re reading this, chances are that your GRE is fast approaching. You’re prepared or maybe not, and your stress levels are making you nervous and ardently looking for the last minute GRE Tips for GRE Prep.
We, at GREedge, understand what you’re going through right now.
To help you through this we have come up with a list of things to do before the D-day so that you enter the test center confident and ready.
Sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and read on.
15 Days before your D-Day – GRE Tips:
#1: Have a plan!
How you use your last couple of days can make or break your chances of achieving your dream score. By now, after thorough practice, you know your strengths and your weaknesses very clearly. Design a plan that accommodates your problem areas without neglecting your strengths. For example, if you’re extremely good at Geometry but struggle with RC, dedicate 2-3 hours everyday to practice RC specifically.
#2: Remember to shortlist universities before GRE
Did you know that you can send your GRE scores to four universities for FREE?
If you wish to send your scores afterwards, you must spend an additional $27 per report. So, be smart and start researching universities. You must narrow them down on the basis of your field of interest and your expected GRE scores. Also, when you have a goal, you tend to perform better.
For example, New York University requires you to get 155 in Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning with a 4.0 in Analytical Writing. Once you know the benchmark you can strive towards prescribed score and keep practicing tests till you achieve such a score on a consistent basis.
#3: Know the format well.
Yes. This is necessary. More than you can imagine!
1 out of 5 students appearing for GRE does not know explicitly the number of sections and time limit for the same. Use the format to your advantage. If you notice you’re spending way too much time on one question, mark it and move on immediately. You can utilize that time to answer other questions that you’re confident about. Get back to these questions once you’ve solved them so that time does not stress you all that much.
Learning to use the resources provided by ETS would also feature in this category. While the jury is still out on the Online Calculator, at GREedge, after training 33,000 students, we can safely say that the Online Calculator helps you tackle many questions. For long division, BODMAS based questions etc, save valuable seconds by familiarizing yourself with the calculator.
#4: Let’s not get overconfident!
While over practicing can stress you out, not practicing enough could rob you of your best chance to achieve your scores. It is important to get the right balance. Also, by this point, the tests you do take should be fully adaptive and timed. This will help you recreate the environment of the final day and also give you a feel of how you perform under pressure. But, excessive practice tests a day or two before your GRE is an absolute no-go because it will just stress you out.
#5: Set up your biological clock in accordance to test timings.
Let’s assume you have your scheduled final GRE test on Friday at 3.30pm. You need to prepare your body for such test timings.
Our suggestion, take full-time GRE online practice test starting at 3.30, a week or two before the test. This would alter your biological clock and ensure you are at your attentive best during the test.
#6: Practice AWA’s!
Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is an integral component of GRE. It consists of two tasks:-
- Analyze an Issue Essay – The Issue task presents an opinion on an issue of general interest followed by specific instructions on how to respond to that issue. [How to write an Issue
- The Argument task – Evaluating a given argument according to specific instructions.
Most students tend to ignore the complexity and importance of the AWA’s. We suggest you practice some sample AWA’s and while taking GRE practice test, do not ignore this section.
Practicing AWA along with your GRE mock test helps you get the feel of the actual GRE and will help you gauge how much time you take to write, your general knowledge, your presence of mind and ability to think under pressure.
If you have any doubts regarding what your AWA score is worth, read this Score Level Description from ETS.
GRE Tips for The Day Before Your GRE:
#7: Pocketbook for Revision!
Yes. Do make some notes. Once you’ve relaxed for a while, go over your notes. Notes should include mistakes you’ve maybe repeated more than once. Go over them and remind yourself of your strengths and weaknesses. A practice test is not just to find out your probable projected score. It is also to help you realize what you’re doing wrong and what’s working.
Additionally, have a pocketbook for important formulas and high-frequency GRE words for quick revision.
#8: Sleep well and revisit some of your hobbies!
We cannot stress enough on how important a good night’s sleep before the test is. It helps you relax on the final day and keeps you focused and attentive.
So yes, you need to stop worrying and get some rest!
Clear your mind. One of our own students shared how revisiting some of her hobbies, a day before the test helped her calm down.
Did you know that, GREedge Alumnus, Mayank Shrivastava, used to listen to the same song right before his mock tests and also played the same one before his actual GRE to help calm his exam nerves?
#9: What to carry with you?
Make sure you have a valid photo identification, a confirmation email and a bottle of water. You could carry even your favourite snack bar if you get hungry by the time you reach the break. Also, the test centers are often cold so do dress appropriately. We do not want you to freeze to death while giving the test!
Leave early. You never know what you might come across in traffic. So, it’s always a good idea to leave on time so you can get to the test centre with enough time to spare so that you can calm and collect yourself.
GREedge Pro Tip: Additionally, it is important to remember that you’re not allowed to carry a watch with you into the exam hall. So, make it a habit to practice keeping a track of time using the Timer and not your watch or mobile. This way, even if you feel nervous about a ticking timer on the screen, you’ll accustom yourself to it by continuous practice.
#10: Lastly, it’s not the end of the world!
This point is probably the most important of all. If you didn’t already know, GRE tests can be retaken. So thinking that you need to absolutely ace this test is essentially putting too much pressure on yourself.
Instead be calm and confident. It’s always important to plan ahead. Understand that if you put too much pressure on yourself you will end up making mistakes that you’d generally not make.
In summation, have confidence in what you know. Know your strengths and weaknesses and improve on them.
You’ve got this.
All the very best on your journey to your dream admit!