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10 Mistakes you must avoid while preparing for your GREs

26 Jul 2022 Author : Alice Andrews

Graduate Record Exam GRE is a standardised test intended to measure a student's overall academic readiness for a graduate institution. GRE test is created and administered by the Educational Testing Service or ETS. Certain graduate programs will ask the students to do both general tests as well as GRE Subject Tests. Students should undergo enough preparation to do GREs as it is usually difficult to score good grades.

GRE general test assesses a student's competence in math, reading, and writing skills. Whereas GRE Subject tests assess a person's mastery of a particular field of study like maths, physics, biology, etc.

GRE Subject Tests include:

● Biology

● Chemistry

● English Literature

● Mathematics

● Physics

● Psychology

Here are 10 crucial mistakes you should avoid while preparing for GREs:

1. Procrastination

'An idle mind is a devil's workshop' is a quote you must keep in your mind. Do not waste time before your exams. Every minute, every second can contribute to your preparation process. GRE exam is held throughout the year and students get the liberty to schedule anytime. But this shouldn't become an excuse for procrastination.

2. Avoiding mock tests

The mock tests can serve as a great platform to help you prepare for the exams. They can provide you with the actual exam experience. In that way, you can pay attention to the kind of questions that might come, where more time is needed, and understand your weaknesses.

3. Choosing the wrong materials

This is a stupid mistake one can make. Imagine spending all the time and energy on the wrong type of exam materials. You can find plenty of books and other materials online. You might even come across advertisements that try to sell these materials to you. You must choose carefully the right and the most authentic material to prepare for the exams. Candidates can find mock tests, guides, old questions, practice tests, and sample papers.

You can check the official website of ETS to access more materials.

4. Absence of a proper study plan

Just because you are preparing for a tough exam, doesn't mean that you must spend all your time and energy on preparations alone. You must take your physical and mental health into account. Eat a balanced diet. Avoid consuming too much junk food. Sleep for 8-9 hours a day minimum. Sleep for eight hours at one stretch instead of splitting them. Try studying early in the morning since your brain will be fresh then.

5. Focussing too much on one type of question

This is a common mistake made by many candidates makes. They tend to spend a lot of time with certain questions that might seem tough or confusing. You should keep track of the amount of time spend while solving each question. If a question seems hard to solve, leave it and attempt other questions. Come back after attempting all the easy ones.

6. Not double-checking your answer

Candidates are often in a rush to solve the questions. During this process of rushing, you might end up giving a wrong answer that might seem right. If you get enough time after answering all the questions, then you must spend some time double-checking the answers they have already made. Chances are that there might be a mistake that can be reversed.

7. Panicking overtime loss

Candidates tend to panic when things go out of the way. This can affect the overall performance. When you can't solve a question leave it. Ensure that you attempt all the questions given to you. It doesn't matter at the first glance how easy or tough the paper is.

Then take an ample amount of time to cross-check the answers. You need to practice staying calm and believe that you can do it. Take deep breaths in and out if you feel like panicking. Remember, doing mock tests can help a great deal in the exam writing process.

8. Avoiding the content of the question

Read all the questions carefully. Candidates often tend to misread or misunderstand a question that is given to them. If you are assigned some time to read the question papers then utilize all that well to read all the questions. Mark the answers only if you are sure about it.

9. Last-minute preparations

Last-minute preparation is the last thing you should do while attempting something as important as GREs. You should be well-prepared by accessing as many study materials as you can find, online and offline. Do enough mock tests to understand the exams. Last-minute preparations can add stress, anxiety, and lack of confidence.

As a candidate, you should use the day before the exams to ensure that things like ID cards, hall tickets, and other necessary materials are ready. If you have been preparing well for weeks, then it is better to avoid studying on the day before the exams altogether.

10. Not paying attention to weaker section

Merely identifying the weaker sections are not enough. You must work hard to overcome these weaknesses. You can identify them while attempting the mock tests. A detailed analysis after the mock tests can help you identify those sections that require less attention.

Planning to attempt GREs?

If you are planning to attempt GREs, here are some things you need to keep in mind:

● Read a lot of supplementary analytical non-fiction along with other materials.

● Prepare a well-streamlined study plan.

● After understanding your weaknesses through a mock test, write down how well you have progressed over time.

● Narrowed down two options? Go with your gut instinct because you can still get a 50% chance there.

● Review your result after all the preparations. Sit down with a friend or a peer for the same.

● For mathematics, practice without a calculator. Use calculators only to cross-check the answers.

Remember, what matters at the end is hard work and self-confidence. You will become a smarter and more adaptable person towards the end of an effective GRE preparation.