Friday, March 18, 2016

3 GRE Prep Myths And 3 Helpful GRE Tips

By Vince Kotchian
Contributing Writer

Planning to attend graduate school in the U.S.? You may need to take the GRE exam, a standardized test that many schools use to help with admissions decisions. As a GRE tutor, I get a lot of questions about the test and see a lot of information on the internet that isn’t true. In this article, I’ll debunk three GRE myths and give you a tip to replace each one.

Myth 1: The GRE is the only factor schools use in admissions.

Fact: Schools use a variety of factors in admissions - the GRE is only one of them. It’s 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 - what are my chances of getting into school XYZ?”

The answer is… who knows? It may depend on your grades, work, research, and volunteer experience, personal statement, and other factors. So although the GRE can be important, it’s not the only factor schools use. Communicate with the programs you’re interested in to find out more about the factors they use, and get in touch with people who have attended those programs.

Myth 2: GRE Verbal is mostly about memorizing vocabulary.

Fact: Knowing English is important for doing well on the GRE, and so is knowing GRE-style vocabulary. But merely memorizing words is not enough. The GRE always tests vocabulary in context, so you have to think logically to determine which word or words are supported by the context for questions involving vocabulary words. This means you also need reading comprehension and logic skills, skills you can develop by doing practice tests and by reading academic journals from a variety of subjects.

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

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

But 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 out how to do creatively portrayed math questions. For this reason, it’s really important to practice with official GRE questions - those written by ETS, the company that writes the GRE.

Overall, please take the GRE seriously… but not too seriously. Keep learning about the GRE and how to prepare for it until you’re confident 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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