Studying for the Gre

How to study for the GRE depends on your learning skills, on your command over English and Mathematics, on your prior experience with tests of similar formats. For example, the quantitative section will seem very easy to a mathematics major while a student of political science might need more time to master it. It is important to figure out your learning style before you start preparing for the test. Here are few things from my experience to help you along.

Blindly joining preparatory classes may not prove beneficial. Many people I knew were enrolling themselves at the numerous institutions that guarantee you a top score. I was worried about missing out the tricks that these institutions claimed to teach. So I decided to investigate.
Discovery Number 1: The preparatory courses are expensive.

Discovery Number 2: I visited one famous institute. There I saw a list of their highest scoring students. The scores were lower than my target level! (Your target score should depend on the subject you wish to apply for. Any standard GRE book begins with a diagnostic test to help you analyze where you stand before you begin preparing)

Discovery Number 3: Study materials provided by several institutes are often available without enrolling (try asking friends). Joining an institute isn’t worthless. However, research carefully and choose the one best suited to you. Do not be misled by friends or advertisements.I had initially decided not to enroll for any class. But I soon realized that I was not making much progress. I knew the topics I had to concentrate on, I had more than enough books and practice materials; yet I was not proceeding in a systematic manner. Finally, I joined an institute that offered classes through the Internet and on the phone. I opted for a 45 day package that was cheap and I could take the sessions from home and at any time I wanted.  The main contribution of the classes was to help me focus but I had to do a lot of studying on my own.

Take as many practice tests as you can. Devote the first few days to learning the concepts and tactics of answering from any standard book. Then start taking mocks tests.The resources freely available on-line are excellent. Even as you go through the monstrous word lists, spend  time  playing with words than just memorizing them. Practice for the analytical section from the exhaustive list of topics provided in the GRE website; chance of getting a common topic is high. As you get closer to the test date, begin to time yourself as time becomes the most crucial factor on the test day. Learn from your mistakes. As you work through the tests, you will understand your strengths and weakness and be able to develop your own strategies to ace the GRE.