10 Steps to Earn a High GRE Score

The following is a guide to scoring high on the GRE test. If you follow these steps, your GRE score will improve.

1. Relax:

Preparing for the GRE can be stressful. Try to focus on the task at hand and not so much on everything else you have to do. If you take GRE test prep step-by-step, day-by-day, and give yourself breaks when your body needs them, you’ll be able to concentrate on GRE studies a lot better.

2. GRE Diagnostic Test:

Begin GRE test prep with a GRE practice test ¬†to find out what you’re good at, and more importantly, what you’re not good at. Correct your completed practice test and evaluate the questions you missed. What kind of questions did you miss? Are they mostly Quantitative or mostly Verbal? What score would you give yourself on Analytical Writing? Did you miss a lot of analogies but do well on reading comprehension? With this information you’ll be able to focus your GRE test prep studies on your weaknesses.

3. GRE Study Plan:

With your GRE weaknesses in mind, make a very specific study plan for yourself. You should know what, how, and when you are going to study for the GRE test. Put your study plan somewhere in plain view, and make sure you stick to your plan.

Try to keep GRE test prep interesting by planning to study different things in different ways. For example, study GRE vocabulary from flash cards one day, from a list the second day, and by reading and learning words in context the third day.

4. GRE Vocabulary:

The single-most effective way to improve GRE Verbal score is with GRE vocabulary. Start studying GRE vocabulary now. Study a word list, use flash cards, learn with software, or learn words in context with The Wall Street Journal. Do whatever it takes to learn new words. Improve your vocabulary skills and watch your GRE score improve.

5. Active Reading:

Practice reading every day, but don’t read like you would your favorite book. Read actively. Ask yourself, “What is the main theme?”, “Report or opinion?”, and “What is the author’s purpose?” You’ll see these questions on the GRE, so you should be on the lookout for the answers. You should also use GRE-level material, such as The Wall Street Journal, to practice your GRE reading comprehension. You might not like the articles, but most likely you won’t like the passages on the GRE either, so you should get used to it.

6. Math Language:

Learning GRE math is like learning a new language. To improve your GRE Quantitative score you have to practice, and the more you practice the more fluent you will become. If you don’t practice, you’ll never improve.

Hence, do as many practice Quantitative problems as you can and learn from your mistakes. When examining your wrong answers, don’t move on to the next question until you understand the current one. The whole point of math practice is so that you can learn from mistakes during practice and not on the real GRE.

7. Essay:

Get used to writing an outline before you actually start an essay. You’ll save time and know exactly what to write about if you have an outlined plan. Your paper will flow better and surely, you will score higher on the GRE Analytical Writing section.

8. GRE Practice Tests:

A GRE practice test is one of your most useful tools during GRE test prep. It’s an excellent indicator of what you need to work on. Take GRE practice tests every couple of weeks to find out your weak areas, and focus your GRE study plan on those things. Also, remember to learn from your mistakes on each practice test.

9. Do Not Procrastinate:

Start preparing for the GRE now. If you start GRE prep early enough, you’ll have the luxury of being able to study just an hour or so per day. When your time is limited, you have to study more hours per day, which will get tiring fast. Cramming for the GRE doesn’t work, so don’t procrastinate. I repeat, if you want to improve your GRE score, do not procrastinate.

10. Mentally Prepare:

Time yourself during GRE practice tests to get a feel for the length of the test and the pace you need to be answering questions at. Act like the practice test is the real GRE. The last thing you want on test day is to feel tired when you’re only half-way through.

If you follow these 10 steps, your GRE score will improve. If you don’t follow these 10 steps, you still might score high on the GRE, but I wouldn’t risk it. Happy preparing.