Preparing to take the GRE may be as simple as picking up an official exam bulletin with sample questions to enrolling in a course. Generally, GRE test prep tools consist of the following:
- Test bulletins
- GRE Practice tests
- Guide books
Do not rely on just one book or a piece of software to help you prepare for the GRE. More sources will increase the likelihood that you are sufficiently prepared.
Bulletins & GRE Test Prep Publications
Available directly from testing services, free bulletins outline all rules, regulations and procedures, but also offer sample GRE practice questions. Bulletins also include official test registration forms and related GRE publications you may purchase.
You can visit most testing services to learn more on their Web sites, which offer downloadable bulletins as well as practice tests and ordering information for GRE test prep publications.
GRE Practice Tests
Practice tests, often actual past exams, may be the most practical means of preparing for the GRE and the best place to start. They provide examples of the types of questions you'll face as well as the format and testing conditions if you time yourself. Most guidebooks and test prep software contain some sort of GRE practice test. The best dry-run exams do more than simply supply the correct answer; they explain it.
Most testing services sell past tests complete with instructions, answer sheets, score conversion tables and a self evaluation.
Guidebooks for the GRE
Test prep guidebooks offer titles such as GRE for Dummies, GRE Supercourse, Strategies to Help You Score Higher, or the more low-key Practicing to Take the GRE Education Test. Costs generally run from under $10 to almost $50 for thicker books, and some also come with companion software. Multiple sources are better than limiting your study to one book.
GRE Test Prep Software
Many official testing service Web sites offer programs you may download or purchase. These programs simulate Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) conditions. Some guidebooks include companion software.
The best software presents GRE tests in either tutorial or test modes. The tutorial mode uses the test as a study aid, supplying correct answers and explanations. The test mode simulates actual CAT exams. Software may also include test-taking strategies.
When selecting software, choose programs that resemble the GRE and provide clear explanations rather than lure you with extras. Find a program that's easy for you to use.
GRE Prep Courses
If you're not as self disciplined as you'd like or really want to immerse yourself in studying, you should consider enrolling in a GRE test prep course. The most expensive way to prepare, course centers boast improved results, but for hundreds of dollars.
Full-scale courses offer books, diagnostic tests, time-management tips and hands-on instruction. Typically, you may choose from small classes or individual tutoring.
GRE prep courses are offered by a number of different companies, and they differ in style. Some are more academic, while others follow a strategic, systematic philosophy. Select the method you 're comfortable with and inquire about the instructor. An experienced teacher can make the course valuable.