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Tips for Studying for the GREs

These days, it may be difficult to get a job post-graduation, but your starting salary will be that much higher if you push yourself the extra mile, putting yourself on the path for an advanced degree. Even if you are unsure whether or not you need one, want one, or can afford one, it can be worth a shot to just see how you do on the GREs, and then decide whether or not you want to apply to a graduate program. Here are some tips:

  1. The GREs are nearly four hours long. Remember those days not so long ago when you had to sit in a room of your peers and take the SATs? It’s pretty similar, as this arduous exam assesses your verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing skills.
  2. Some people are unaware of what the actual exam looks like. Before entering the room, take review tests online or in a practice exam booklet that you can conveniently buy on amazon or in the BU bookstore. To give you an advantage, here is a description of the exam:
  • Two 30-minute verbal sections (vocab, grammar, comprehension)
  • Two 35-minute sections on arithmetic, algebra, and geometry
  • Two 30-minute essays assessing an issue and an argument, respectively.
  1. Practice your vocabulary with flashcards– this will help you for the verbal section, and it will provide you with a leg up for the writing skill portion.
  2. The exam takes place on a computer, rather than on paper, so be sure that you have quick typing skills for the writing section, and that you are comfortable using an online calculator.
  3. Do NOT practice your essays using autocorrect (there will be none!)
  4. DO study the roots of words when you don’t have time to study vocab.
  5. Make a routine, setting aside a certain number of hours a day, at the same time of day to study.
  6. Know what time of day you study best, whether you are a morning person, a night owl, or your peak of attention span is at 3:30pm.
  7. Study for at least a month, without the distractions of school work or a summer academic class, if possible.
  8. On the day of the exam, remember to have breakfast and pack a snack. Food is fuel for your body to remain satiated, and thus, to keep your brain from getting distracted.

Good luck!

Shannon Stocks is a Junior at Boston University in the Sargent School for Health Sciences, majoring in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences. She has always loved to write and focuses this passion on her poetry. In her free time, you can find her at spin class on Newbury Street, working on a project in the community service center, or at the Hillel House. She loves being a part of the Her Campus Team!
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