The Graduate Record Exam is the topic of many discussions among graduate school applicants. Some of them are overwhelmed by the mere thought of it, while others are completely relaxed and negligent as the exam date approaches.
- If I passed the SAT, I’ll easily get through the GRE.
- Who cares about the exam when I already have the connections I need?
- I’ll never get good results because I’m lousy at math.
These are only few of the opinions students have about the exam. The truth is far from their initial impressions. According to the reports from Essays.ScholarAdvisor.com, graduate school applicants are freaked out when they ask for assistance from the essay writing service. They don’t understand what the test requires, and their impressions are commonly based on myths.
Let’s bust the myths and verify the facts, shall we?
- Myth: Students hacked the tricks of the old test, so they had to revise it.
Fact: There are no tricks and hacks; the new version was launched because ETS identified the need for better design and improved test taking experience.
There is no hidden motive behind the revision. The revision introduced a new scoring scale, addition of an online calculator, elimination of certain types of questions (such as analogies and antonyms), and a section-by-section adjustment instead of the question-by-question adjustment of the old format.
- Myth: I’ll get the knowledge I need if I take enough practice tests.
Fact: You have to learn new techniques before practicing them.
The practice tests for the GRE revised General Test are important because students get a realistic impression of the testing conditions at the actual exam. Thus, they understand what skills they need to develop in order to get a high score. The opinion that you can get ready for the test solely by taking practice tests is a myth, though. It takes a lot of learning before you can practice with great efficiency.
- Myth: Don’t waste too much time on practice tests. Just study and you’ll do well.
Fact: You do need to take practice tests if you want to do well.
You may study for months before taking the test, but you have to practice test-taking skills as well. Don’t waste the opportunity to try out authentic tests, and do that as much as possible.
- Myth: All you need is to register online and show up.
Fact: You also need to provide identification.
Your ID must match the name you used during the online registration. Do not forget the ID because you won’t be allowed to take the test and your fee won’t be refunded. Check out the Identification Requirements before the big day.
- Myth: Don’t drink any water before the test. You’ll have to hold it for hours.
Fact: No, you won’t.
Test takers get one-minute breaks between the sections of the test, as well as an optional 10-minute break after the third section. If you really need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the test, you can simply tell that to the administrator. However, you’ll lose valuable time if you decide to go to the bathroom. So hydrate before the test, but not too much.
- Myth: The new quantitative section is way more challenging than the one in the old format.
Fact: No, it’s not.
The revised test evaluates almost identical skills, with the only difference being the question format.
- Myth: If you do well on the GRE, you’re destined for success.
Fact: As any other standardized test, GRE doesn’t predict success with 100% accuracy.
A great score will help you get into the graduate school of your choice, but GRE can’t predict the future. You’ll face extreme competition in graduate school, so the test is only one step forward.
- Myth: It will be hard to focus because you’ll be hungry.
Fact: You won’t even notice how those 4 hours go by.
If you eat a huge meal right before the exam, your entire energy will be used for digestion. Eat a light, nutritious meal that will keep you full, but comfortable.
Although you won’t eat during the test, you’ll still get access to a small storage area that provides protein bars and other snacks that will get you through the day.
- Myth: The official website gives you everything you need.
Fact: You can find great advice on other websites.
Test takers share their experiences online. You can learn a lot by reading forum threads and guides that advise you how to prepare and take the test.
- Myth: You can take your phone as long as you put it on silent.
Fact: No, you can’t.
You cannot take any photographic or recording device, smartphone, or smartwatch anywhere in the testing center. You cannot ask a test administrator to hold the device while you take the test. Just leave it in your car.
Get the Info You Need Before You Take the Test
Students share twisted statements and opinions based on individual experience. You can take advice from people who have taken the test, but don’t take anything for granted. Check the official site and other reliable sources that give you correct information.