Friday, March 18, 2016

3 GRE Myths and 3 Helpful GRE Tips

By Vince Kotchian
Contributing Writer

Are you planning to attend graduate school in the U.S. or Canada? You may need to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), a standardized test that many schools use to inform admissions decisions. As a GRE tutor, I receive many questions about the test and I see a lot of information on the internet that is not true. In this article, I will debunk three common GRE myths and give you tips for each.

Myth 1: The GRE is the only factor schools consider for admissions

Fact 1: Schools consider many factors for admissions; the GRE is just one of them. It is true that certain schools are looking for higher GRE scores than others, but I often see questions online similar to this: “I have a GRE score of 319, so what are my chances of getting into X school?”

The answer is it depends on the school. Many consider grades, work, research, volunteer experience, personal statement, and other factors in addition to test scores. While the GRE is important, it is not the only factor schools take into consideration. Communicate with the programs you are interested in to discover more about the factors they use. Also, do not hesitate to contact people who attended those programs.

Myth 2: GRE Verbal is mostly about memorizing vocabulary

Fact 2: Knowing English is important for doing well on the GRE, as well as knowing GRE-style vocabulary. However, simply memorizing words is not enough. The GRE will test your vocabulary within the context of a phrase or sentence, so you have to think carefully and determine which words are supported by the context of the questions. You also need to work on your reading comprehension and logic skills, which you can develop by completing practice tests and reading academic journals on various subjects.

Myth 3: It’s easy to score high on the GRE.

Fact 3: Some can score well on the GRE no matter how they prepare, but for most people, scoring high takes a lot of work. You will need strong vocabulary, good reading comprehension skills, background knowledge on a variety of subjects (to help with reading comprehension), strong arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis and writing skills. 

More importantly, the GRE is a reasoning test. You have to think logically to find ways to prove your verbal answers are right and to figure creatively portrayed math questions. For this reason, it is important to practice with official GRE questions written by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the company that writes the GRE.

Overall, it is important to find a balance when preparing for the GRE. Take the GRE seriously and leave time to study for it, but also make sure not to over-stress about the test and forget other elements of your application. Keep learning about the GRE and how to prepare for it until you are confident that you understand the process of studying for the test.

Vince Kotchian is the owner of Vince Kotchian Test Prep. Check out his website for more GRE preparation tips.


  1. Nice tips,friends, decide your Aspired university and aim a Score work for atleast 7 hours a day tho Crack the GRE Test.
    You can find Online GRE Preparation classes as well.

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  3. Very Nice, Informative and Helpful. Thanks For Sharing such kind of GRE tips.


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