Get Your GRE Practice Test
Taking a free GRE practice test is essential if you’re applying to graduate school. Most graduate schools require the GRE, the GMAT, or your choice of either test as part of the application process. As much as we may disagree, standardized tests are an important part of the application process and the way in which colleges and universities can assess hundreds or even thousands of candidates from different backgrounds. The test provides them with a consistent, common benchmark regardless of the candidate’s background.
What’s on the GRE?
There are three sections on the GRE:
- Analytical Writing: The Analytical Writing sections tests your writing abilities. This section has two parts: Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument. You’ll be given one question in each section. You’ll have 30 minutes to respond in writing based on the sample materials and questions provided. Each question is timed separately, so you can’t take time from one section and apply it to another.
- Verbal Reasoning:
The Verbal Reasoning section measures how well you can read materials and then form reasoned judgments based on these materials. You may be given incomplete data and asked to draw conclusions. Other items tested include understanding the author’s intent, literal and figurative speech, and other aspects of reading and reasoning from written materials that is important for your graduate education. This section is broken into two parts. Each part contains 20 questions. You have 30 minutes to complete each section.
- Quantitative Reasoning: The Quantitative Reasoning section measures how well you can read, understand and interpret mathematical or quantitative data. This isn’t limited to solving equations but also includes graphs, charts and other information commonly encountered in your graduate programs. You’ll be given all of the information that you need to solve the problem, and then you’ll be asked to reason or form conclusions based on the available data. This section contains 20 questions. You will have 35 minutes to complete them.
There is also a fourth section in the test that you will take on the testing day, but it doesn’t count towards your score. Educational Testing Services (ETS), the test maker, uses this section to try out new test questions.
Tips for the GRE
The GRE can be nerve-wracking. At some schools, the scores from your GRE count heavily towards your admission consideration. At others, it counts less. It’s helpful to look into the schools to which you are applying to understand how heavily the GRE is weighted in the admissions process.
The questions on the GRE can be challenging. The intention is to test how you think, not what you know. You cannot study for the GRE the way that you studied for your science or math classes back in college. Instead, taking practice tests is what sets the high-scorers apart from the rest.
How to Practice for the GRE
Good news, we’ve come up with a week-by-week schedule to practice for the GRE. In addition to this schedule, there are several tips we can share to help you practice effectively and efficiently for the GRE.
- Take full-length practice tests. The more practice you can get, the better.
- Each time you take a practice test, note your scores per section. You’ll tend to score well on some sections and not as well on others. Concentrate future practice sessions on the sections in which you did not score as well.
- Find and use free GRE practice tests online. Look for more questions in challenging areas so that you have a good bank of questions to choose from.
- Time yourself as you take sample tests. The actual test itself is strictly times, and you’ll need to get used to answering questions against the clock. This isn’t a skill that comes naturally to many people, so the more you can practice it, the better.
Register for the GRE
You can register for the GRE online at the ETS website. The registration fee is $205.00 and can be paid by credit card online.
The test is given at test centers on a continual basis. It’s a good idea to register for the GRE at least four, if not eight, weeks in advance. This gives you plenty of time to study and practice for the test. Testing centers offer proctored, computerized tests.
We’ve put together a free GRE practice test just for you. You can practice each of the sections independently or use the entire test to assess your current skill level before test day.
Remember to stay focused during your practice sessions and work at the problems that are challenging. With practice and diligence, you can score well on the GRE and improve your graduate application.