How To Prepare For GRE in 2024 (Complete Strategy)


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Shireen Parhee

Lead, Content Marketing

Are you gearing up for the GRE in 2024?


You might be bombarded with questions like “How to prepare for the GRE,” “What are the best books for GRE preparation”, and “How much GRE preparation time is ideal?”


Even though you have answers to their questions, not everyone can develop the right strategy to ace this exam. 


You don’t just need hard work; it’s about smart work too.


That’s why you need our guide to crack the GRE with flying colors.


We’ve collected proven strategies and top-rated prep books you’ll love and prepared a realistic GRE preparation timeline – to maximize your score effortlessly.


Let’s turn that GRE stress into a confidence boost and pave the way for your grad school acceptance party.


Buckle up, and let’s get started.

What is the GRE exam?

Before you address the ‘how to prepare for GRE’ question, you must understand what the GRE stands for. 


The GRE, also known as the Graduate Record Examination, is a multiple-choice test that is both secure and dependable. It’s widely recognized by numerous universities globally for admission into graduate programs.


The exam is also accepted by businesses and law schools worldwide.


The GRE general test asks questions to measure how well you understand basic arithmetic, algebra, data analysis, geometry, and advanced vocabulary. 


The GRE can be finished in two hours or less, establishing it as the world’s most valid and reliable test for graduate studies in a shorter time frame.


There are three total sections of the GRE:

  • Analytical writing
  • Verbal reasoning (verbal)
  • Quantitative reasoning (quant)


Exam Component Query Count Time Per Section or Task
Essay Composition 2 Tasks 30 minutes for each task
Linguistic Analysis 20 per part 30 minutes for each part
Numerical Analysis 20 per part 35 minutes for each part
Experimental Section Different Different
Pilot Study Different Different


Many universities look at your GRE score percentile, academic record, and supporting materials to compare you to other test-takers.


A high GRE score will directly impact your graduate, business, or law school applications and loan applications. Your score will also influence your eligibility for securing scholarships and finances for foreign education.


For more understanding of the right university to select based on the GRE, trust SelectRight.

GRE exam preparation strategy 2024

If you’re wondering how to start preparing for GRE, you’re at the right place.


With 4 to 5 hours of daily practice, a student can easily crack the GRE in 8 to 12 weeks. 


But the problem lies in kick-starting the preparation.


That is why we’ve enlisted a few ways that can help you kickstart your GRE preparation right from scratch.

1. Establish your baseline


First, take a GRE preparation online free practice test under similar conditions to the actual exam. 


A baseline score will help you find your strengths and weaknesses in the GRE exam. 


This test replicates the same sections as the original GRE test. 


It is to familiarize you with the question types, test features, and help tools available during the actual test.

2. Set your cut-off score

The next step is to set your GRE test cut-off score. You need this score to apply to the university you want. 


But here’s a catch: your GRE target score must be above the average score of the university for the same exam. It will increase your chances of getting into the desired university. 


3. Develop a study plan

Based on your baseline and target scores, create a study plan for GRE preparation that addresses your weaknesses. 


For those wondering how to prepare for the GRE on their own, utilizing online forums and study groups can provide additional support in developing a study plan.


Start by collecting GRE preparation materials like prep courses, online programs, or test prep books and fixing certain hours of the day for practice.

4. Focus on technique

Practice is as important as mastering the content. 


When preparing for the GRE at home, it’s helpful to simulate test conditions by taking timed practice tests in a quiet environment and building effective test-taking strategies. 


Candidates can opt for these tests online as well.  


Many online forums and review sites can help you identify the best books for GRE preparation online based on feedback from past test-takers.

5. Practice with and without a calculator

Familiarize yourself with the on-screen calculator provided in the GRE. 


Additionally, practice solving problems without the calculator to strengthen your mental math skills.

6. Review and adjust

Regularly review your practice test results to identify patterns and areas that need more focus. 


Complement your study with the GRE preparation material. This ensures a well-rounded understanding of all test sections.


If you’re searching for advice on how to start preparing for the GRE, don’t overlook the value of taking regular breaks to keep your mind fresh and avoid burnout.

7. Enhance your vocabulary

A strong vocabulary is crucial for the GRE verbal sections. Read widely and make a list of new words to study. 


Use resources like GRE power vocab and other GRE preparation materials to build your vocabulary.


Following these steps and dedicating sufficient GRE preparation time can help you develop a solid strategy for acing the GRE in 2024.

Advantages of taking a GRE Exam

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, offers numerous benefits beyond just gaining admission to graduate programs. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Study in top-notch graduate programs

Scoring well on the GRE can be your gateway to prestigious Master’s or Doctoral programs worldwide. It’s as important as showcasing your academic potential and readiness for advanced studies.


  1. Improved intellectual aptitude

The GRE is a platform to demonstrate your critical thinking, analytical skills, and verbal abilities. High scores can give you a competitive edge, portraying you as a driven individual capable of thriving in a challenging academic environment.


  1. Top-notch career opportunities

Impressive GRE scores can also enhance your job prospects. It showcases your problem-solving and cognitive abilities, which most universities look for in a capable student. 


  1. Flexibility to pursue different career paths

A strong GRE score allows you to explore specialized fields or even change career paths by pursuing higher education in a different domain from your undergraduate degree.


  1. Globally recognized exam

The GRE exam is recognized globally. It simplifies the application process for international universities, providing a standardized measure of your academic aptitude.


  1. Access to research opportunities

A high GRE score can also open doors to research assistantships and other research-based roles in graduate school, setting the stage for a successful career in academia or industry.


By investing time and effort in GRE exam preparation and GRE verbal preparation, you can reap the rewards of this standardized test and set yourself up for success in your academic and professional endeavors.

How to prepare for the GRE exam?

One common question among prospective graduate students is “how do I start preparing for the GRE?” The answer often lies in developing a structured study plan.


For effective GRE preparation, creating a structured study plan that covers all sections becomes crucial. 


Here is a section-by-study plan.


Preparing for the GRE analytical writing section


1. Task pool selection


First of all, you should know that the majority of the themes for analytical writing will come from the list of assignments that ETS publishes. As you complete the practice exams, jot down every answer you provide and go over it later.



2. Official guide instructions

Each Analytical writing section will come with a copy of the official guide, which contains the detailed instructions.

3. Create a response template

As you practice your AWA responses, you can get through this portion faster. As you keep on practicing, you can also develop a template in mind.

4. Utilize free resources

Taking advantage of GRE preparation online free resources can help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and question types.

5. Understand the argument task approach

In this section, you don’t have to debate or provide commentary on the veracity of the arguments’ assertions. Just make sure the argument follows the guidelines of the instructions that are provided with it.


Preparing for the GRE verbal reasoning section


1. Start slow


During the initial phases of your GRE verbal studies, complete practice questions without adhering to a timer.



2. Keep revising the words


Keep learning vocabulary and different words until you actually take the GRE exam. Bonus tip: You can search different GRE words and learn synonyms for the same. 


3. Use flashcards


Avoid relying solely on one method to learn words. You can apply other creative ways like using flashcards, etymologies, mnemonics, or playing vocabulary games on the internet to learn new words and their meanings every day.


4. Check sentence framing


Sentence framing is another important part of excelling in the GRE verbal test. There are many techniques like writing in the active voice or avoiding the overuse of subordinate clauses to check the sentence framing and perfecting it.


Preparing for the GRE quantitative section


1. Pay attention to math fundamentals


Although very few questions are completely based on the fundamentals of math, solving multiple math questions based on mathematical fundamentals is a good idea. Don’t move to any other part unless you have completely grasped the fundamentals of this section.


2. Review official guide topics


Refer to and review all the topics in math. You can refer to previous years’ questions that have appeared on the GRE and then you can practice each topic.  



3. Beware of tricky questions


While the GRE doesn’t evaluate your mastery of esoteric math concepts, its questions are frequently challenging. This is where your ability to think critically and select the correct answers becomes crucial.


4. Use the calculator wisely


In the quant portion, you will be able to use a calculator, but it will only perform the most fundamental operations like square root, addition, subtraction, and multiplication.  


5. Practice calculator wisely


The calculator is a little tricky to use, but make sure you use it whenever you think it’s necessary. You will have access to it from the very start of the test. 


By following these tips, you can create an effective study plan that maximizes your GRE preparation time and helps you achieve your target score. 


Remember, consistency and dedication are key to success in the GRE.


What does the GRE registration cost?

Indian nationals who wish to take the GRE must spend US $213 for registration. Special requests, including late registrations and rescheduling, come with an extra charge, as stated in the item above.


How many attempts are there for the GRE exam?

Candidates can attempt the GRE 5 times in a rolling year. But you should be aware that the consecutive attempts must have a gap of 21 days. 


How to prepare for the GRE exam at home?

First, check the complete syllabus and test pattern to start the GRE preparation. Analyze the topics and gather relevant information about the exam. The next step is to decide on the exam preparation mode, whether you want to proceed with self-study or get help from any coaching institute. 


How much time does the GRE preparation take?

The GRE requires between four and twelve weeks to be prepared.


How much time does GRE preparation take for an average student?

The time it takes to prepare for the GRE can vary depending on starting point, target score, and study habits. On average, it can take anywhere, for an average student, from 2 to 4 months of dedicated study, with around 2 to 3 hours of study per day. 


How to prepare for GRE verbal?

To prepare for GRE Verbal, focus on building vocabulary, practicing reading comprehension, learning test-taking strategies, and regularly reviewing and analyzing practice questions and answers.

Picture of Shireen Parhee

Shireen Parhee

A creative producer turned content marketeer, Shireen has a flair for weaving words into compelling stories and bringing them to life through captivating videos. A vivacious leader, she naturally inspires her team, driving them to surpass expectations with her positive energy and insightful feedback. Boasting over a decade of experience across different forms of media, she is on a mission to create memorable content that will leave a lasting impact for years to come.

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