If you need your scores before winter of 2011, then you need to take the current test, which will be available until 1st of August, 2011. If you were to showcase your skill on specific subject that you would like to do your masters, then you may choose to take the GRE subject test. While, the general test is mandatory, but one can choose to appear for the subject test, if they would like to take the extra credit to showcase their talent in the specific subject area. The specific subject areas are:
- Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
- Computer Science
- Literature in English
Since, most of the focus would be on the general test, some preparation strategies towards the general test are discussed here.
The ‘general test’ is designed to test your skills in analytical writing, mathematics and verbal ability. To start with the ‘general test’ preparation, start with some practice test from GRE preparation books and evaluate your score. The score tells you, where you are currently at and what areas need more concentration. Search online for the universities specializing in your subject and get an idea, regarding the required GRE scores to get an admission call. Once, you are aware of the required scores, you can accordingly draft a plan that will work out for you.
Always remember that the first few questions in each section are critical; it is based on these questions, the Computer Aided Test (CAT) will frame the direction in which your test is progressing. It is generally known that the tougher, the questions are in the beginning; the better chances of you acing the test. Be prepared to expect questions on all possible areas; hence do not neglect any area that you feel needs improvement, when you had taken your practice tests. Also have it in mind that taking too much time for each question will affect the overall time that you could better allocate for the rest of the questions.
While, it is better to work out each problem to get to the answer, but according to my perception, the elimination of choices is the best approach. You may not have known the right answer to a question, but you certainly knew enough to eliminate the wrong answers. Wrong answers are often easier to spot than the right ones; sometimes they just sound weird; other times, they’re logically impossible. While it is very rare to eliminate all four of the incorrect answer choices in the GRE exam, but, you will almost be able to eliminate at least one of them and frequently two, or more by using process of elimination. Therefore, the process of elimination will enable you to answer questions that you don’t have the time, or the inclination to figure out exactly!
For the quantitative ability, you are expected to be good at high school level mathematics. Do not waste time by looking at more complicated areas; know what to expect in the test. You can get GRE preparation books and materials that are widely available. For verbal ability, you are required to be good at understanding and working with Standard English.