First of all, read the questions VERY carefully, with tranquility and focus. Like someone is telling you something important or a student of yours is asking you a question. Of course, in both cases, you need to understand the questions properly.
So for both sections, read the questions VERY carefully. Sometimes you make casual mistakes just because you didn’t read the question closely enough.
Start with attempting Blanks – Sentence equivalence and Text completion questions, giving them approximately 9 minutes (at any rate, not more than 10). Then move to short passages giving them a maximum time of 10 minutes in total.
Leave the long passages for the end as they consume the most of your time.
For Text Completion, while you’re reading the text, come up with your own fills, these fills are the words that come naturally to you while you read the text
e.g. “while many of the people in the stadium was cheerful, there was this one group sitting at the back that seemed rather _____ and this _____ made some security personnel worried as they couldn’t see a good reason, other than the exciting showdown, for someone to be present at the stadium.”
Naturally, the words “apathetic, disinterested etc.” come to the mind for the first blank and something like “markedly different behavior, unusual behavior, etc.” comes to the mind for the second.
Now when you will look into the options you’ll have an idea as to what kind of words you are looking for.
– You will find Text Completion type questions at the beginning of the verbal section.
For Sentence Equivalence – while reading – come up with your own fill i.e. a word that comes naturally to you from the gist of the sentence. If you cannot come up with a fill, at least try to guess what kind of a word would fit in i.e. positive or negative? Then read the options and rule out the words that do not have a pair. Spend more time on pair-making as it greatly enhances your accuracy.
Generally speaking, out of 6 options, at least two will have no synonym – most of the time you will be left with 2 pairs.
Now, after you have made a pair, just pick one word and fill it in. Read the sentence – translate it in your head, in Urdu – if it makes sense, move on to the next question.
Again, you cannot be sure 100% of the times so after you have made a choice as sensible as you could, move to the next question.
– You will find Sentence Equivalence type questions at the near end of the verbal section.
For the long passages, while you read them, it is suggested that you take short hand-notes along the way. Not so that you can come back to them, just to get you engaged with the passage while you are reading it – understanding the text well is the key to answering most RC questions.
It can be any way, any way that can keep you from getting bored…
Can even be symbols and abbreviations.
Not everyone has a strong imagination, but for someone who has it, creating a detailed movie from the text – in your head – greatly helps as well!
Also, like everything else, practice helps build focus and endurance
For both short and long passages, read the passage first.
Many people find it more helpful to read the questions first, as it gives them a clear target for reading the passage. Also eases the reading process by mentally preparing them for what comes ahead, try both ways, choose what works for you best and saves you more time. Mostly, this technique results in poor results as hunters – who have a ‘Question first’ approach – easily fall to the traps set by test makers.
Best is, read the passage first, and then move on to the Questions.
Read the question without looking at the options, go back to the passage and form your own answer, and then look for the option that is consistent with the answer you formed. If the question is too difficult to figure out a clear answer, employ the elimination method i.e., one by one, eliminate the answer choices that you can prove as wrong.
Start eliminating options that contradict the information in the passage or contain information that cannot be inferred from the passage, narrowing down choices.
Narrowing down choices in this way increases your chances of getting your answer right.
Remember that your past knowledge and your common sense will only trap you in passage questions. The passage and only the passage is your reference, not your past knowledge or experience. You cannot select an option if it cannot be deduced from the passage, even if it is a universal truth.
Remember that options that contain strong assertions are usually wrong. Words like “must”, “always” entail generalizations that are incorrect if not supported directly by the passage. Think of the passage as the only truth there is. This increases your chances of getting your answers correct. Think of the passage as the only truth there is.
Do as many timed mocks for Quant as you can… ETS doesn’t test field specifics on the GRE so the questions in Quant are never difficult because they require some in depth knowledge but because there is almost always a trick or a very basic definition hidden/tested inside the question e.g. 0.5*base*height gives area of a triangle, this applies to every triangle! What’s height? It is the Perpendicular distance from base till the level of the tip of triangle. Nevertheless, the tricks on the GRE can only be so many provided that GRE never tests field specifics. In class lectures and in uploaded material, you get familiar with as many of these tricks as possible, the rest is rather easy to grasp as you already know the main ploys and basics well.
Attempt the data interpretation questions in the last 10 minutes, when you encounter them earlier in test, make an educated guess, select, mark, and move on.
Attempt all the other questions in the first 25 minutes.
If you come across a question that is very challenging, develop an approach towards it, make an educated guess and mark the question so you can come back to it in the time you save from the easier ones. Give such questions a maximum of 35-40 seconds – if you have spent around 35 seconds on a question and it is obvious that you are going nowhere with it, guess, choose, mark, and move on. Within a section, every question carries equal points so it is pointless to spend too much time on one question and less on the others.
Your paperwork for the quant section should be neat and clear!
The time it takes to make the writing and calculations proper is a lot less than the time it takes to reach the right option by continuously rechecking the question when you can’t find your answer in the options (you can make numerous obvious/careless mistakes)
Remember, you’re totally dependent on your calculations! Better depend on something credible and clear.
Clearly doing the calculations and reaching the answer takes, on average, less than a minute for most of the GRE questions.
“DO NOT BE ANXIOUS YOUR LIFE DOES NOT DEPEND ON ONE STANDARDIZED TEST”
Few pre-test instructions
- Go to your Prometric center a few days before the test, and take a mock test there to acquaint yourself with the environment and plan out your schedule and breaks. This helps your nerves from acting up on test day.
In Islamabad, it will cost you a mere 500 to take a mock in the test center.
If your center offers mock exams definitely go for one, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Get familiar with your test center environment: come, see, and conquer.
- In addition to the 10 minute break you have between sections, you can leave the test hall when the instructions for the test are displayed. If that’s the case feel free to take a break during that time as well. As long as you know what the instructions are, it shouldn’t be a problem; if you have done lots of mock you’d know them by heart already.
- Take along instant energy eatables like chocolates, Glaxose D, a chicken spread sandwich etc. to keep your neurons running in the right direction. The 4 hour test really enervates you and by the end of the 5th section you can get pretty tired without these eatables.
- Take it easy on the day before the test and get a good night’s sleep the day before. You need your mind at 100% for the array of confusing questions the test is going to throw your way. Have a good breakfast and plan to reach the test center at least 45 minutes before the exam.
- Pray to God that your research section is the last one! Other than that, don’t pay any attention to where it could or should be. It’ll only distract you from the rest of the test.
- Finally, don’t stress out about the test. It doesn’t help and is only detrimental to your performance. Be confident in your preparation and you’ll do well!