GRE stands for Graduate Record Exam. It is taken by students aspiring for a business school or a graduate school. Every year, more than 700,000 students appear for the exam from all over the world.

And today,you are one of them. There are hundreds of people giving you different advice and different learning strategies and it might be getting all entangled and confusing out there.When should you begin? How should you begin? Is three months a good time to prepare? Should I actually be studying for five months if I am weak in one of the sections? Or will that be too long?

All of these questions are relatable and I really appreciate that you are digging your sanity and making efforts to crack this test.

I am here to guide your way through it. Here are a few tips which will help you get a steady start for acing GRE. Of Course, it takes more than just a head start to win a race but the beginning is always the hardest. I really hope these tips motivate and guide you to start burning the midnight oil.

1. Start planning ASAP :

Champ, I don’t know you personally but as far as I can tell, you will be having a plethora of stuff going on in your life besides GRE. College, relationships, work, family, volunteering, internships, exams and what not. Nobody sets aside three months only to sit at home and study GRE. So how about you play safe and START EARLY?  Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to give out a cheque of thousands of money and enroll in coaching right away, but start taking the small steps. Start researching the universities you are aiming for and their GRE cutoffs.Set yourself a target score. And let that target score inspire you to work harder each day.

Ask your friends and cousins about the good universities but don’t let their judgements cloud your opinions. You want to expand the horizons of your GRE knowledge without being biased by a third party.This is your time to tighten your nerves to get ready for a mentally challenging roller-coaster ride. We generally recommend a full on GRE focused preparation timeframe of 2-4 months based on personal strengths and weakness but how would you know which timeframe is the best for you ? Well, keep reading and you’ll know.

2. Take a practice test:

This is the most important of all and I know it sounds redundant because you are going to end up studying for GRE eventually whether you take the test or not. But don’t let that fool you. Overconfidence will brutally murder your GRE score. You might be having pristine English vocabulary and might even be an English honors graduate but GRE will hunt down your weaknesses through its unconventional format and you might end up getting a score you might have not expected in your wildest dreams. Take the FREE mock GRE test at!

Neill Seltzer, national GRE content director for the Princeton Review said “To walk into this test unprepared, to sit down [and take it] having never done it before is suicide”

You cannot risk your dream college. Take the test.  Don’t sweat yourself on the score. It’s a raw score and you have to climb your way upwards by stepping on the rungs of math techniques and RC strategies.

3. Reality check :

There are different kinds of people. Some prefer studying a few minutes every day over a long stretch of time and some like it being compressed over a span of one or two months. Some join coaching classes, some don’t. Some are born to follow Shakespeare’s footsteps while still others have different talents. There is no point fretting about which is better and which is worse. Because, there is no “right” answer to that. GRE is specialised to respect the ability of students all over the globe and test them despite their financial and social standing in the society. The best way to gauge the best answer for you is to trust your instincts. If online tutoring services seems to fit your schedule the best, go with that even if you have no trail left behind for you to follow.

No one knows you better than yourself. And no one has achieved anything extraordinary by following others footsteps.

4. Practice,Practice,Practice :

Hey champ, GRE is war and practice is your weapon of attack as well as self defense. I remember, nearly a month and a half before my test date I had started studying for almost twenty hours a week. It was one hell of a gruelling timetable of revising vocabulary, solving practice tests and writing essays ( hardly 4-5, I didnt give a damn about the essays :p). It became so mind boggling that I started to have dreams about the RC questions, exponents, ratios variables, etc. I used to get up in the morning with answers to questions of the previous day and jump with joy at 5.00 am because I had finally got the shortest technique.

This might sound absurd, but it’s very normal. Yes, you are mentally fatigued and you don’t want to be thinking of GRE while sleeping but that’s the right way to go about it. Get the GRE into your blood.

The more you practice, higher the score. It is directly proportional.  No exceptions!

5. Focus on your weaknesses :

You don’t have to be an English major student or a die hard fan of Robert Frost to ace the verbal GRE but it would be really lame to jump into the water without being able to tackle its currents. You might be weak in English and/or Maths and it’s okay. Everyone has weaknesses and you would realise yours too, once you take your practice tests.

So, get to sharpening those skills! Put a little extra effort in those subjects.  Many universities and coaching classes offer high level English and Math classes which will help you for your GRE or rather spend your time on it, start with the fundamental concepts using the available books (Manhattan Prep guides) and then take it on next level step by step. There are plenty of crash courses as well as online tutorials available if you do not have other opportunities in your vicinity. I would recommend to use the online learning services of Anannt, as the artificially intelligent platform would make sure you are ready with the fundamentals before increasing your level. If you have started early, and have a semester or two in hand before you start preparing for GRE, then this might be a great way to make the learning of verbal and analytical section easier.

Think big- but start from the small is all I am saying.

6. Dictionary is your best friend :

Memorise the high frequency vocabulary ( you can check the list of high frequency GRE words in our “Resources” tab) like your memorised the alphabets. Make flashcards. Make songs. Make poems. Make notes. Decorate your room. Engrave the words in your veins like you plan to take them to your deathbed.

Yes, I emphasised it a little bit more than it deserves. But you get the feel, right? You really need to familiarise yourself with the basic fundamental of English- WORDS. This is the most important aspect ( there are ways to nail the Text completion with just reasoning skills- we will write soon about that 🙂 ). It will help you in the analytical as well as verbal section.

These are some of the very important tips which you should keep in mind before plunging into the books for GRE preparation. These key points, if followed with utmost dedication will definitely help you get a noteworthy score in GRE as it did for me.One last thing champ, never overstress yourself. Breathe and relax. Take a good night’s sleep. If you are not understanding a few techniques today; you might be mentally drained. Have a good time today, sleep tight and restart tomorrow with renewed vigor. It always gets better, you just need to never give up!

You’ve got this, champ! Good luck.