GRE/Frequently asked questions about GRE Preparation

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We all know that some questions arise in our mind, just the way they arise in everyone. I thought if we made a collection of some general questions and the answers, it would give you all a head start. I will keep updating the questions. Kindly email me at the group, or personally at yamanoor@yahoo.com for clarifications.


I would like to know about the GRE Test pattern. Where do I get the info?[edit]

We suggest you not to go to any arbitrary sites for information. The ETS in the USA administers the GRE, and their official site is http://www.gre.org/ is the place to go for all information which is official. So we suggest that as a start you can go to their website and gather information, maybe download the free bulletin, or order a copy, and so on and so forth. If you have any doubts, you can either email them or contact us. ETS takes time to reply, so maybe Gresuccess is a good place to start.


I have been hearing from people that the GRE Pattern is changing. Is it?[edit]

The only people who can confirm this for you, as usual, are ETS who run the test. So, please refer to the previous website and find out. A word of caution, before you verify the information, please do not tell others that a change in the pattern is a possibility. The same goes for everything, do not spread any news without confirmation. That way, the rumor stops with you.


How does the GRE CAT work? What's the deal with hard and easy questions? Is there a way to find out which question is hard and which one is easy?[edit]

Some of the CDs or books might indicate certain questions to be hard/easy, however, only ETS knows how they judge this. In theory yes, you will get a moderate question, and then easy/hard questions scaled accordingly. However, there have been instances where it has been the other extremes as well - easy/hard questions in the beginning, and the test then scales up or down later. The process is supposed to be random, so be prepared for randomness.

The best advice is, do not read too much into the rules of play, because you could be taking an experimental section, where ETS would be following, new, unannounced guidelines, and a lack of preparedness for this might put off your mood.

Take each question as it comes and answer it to the best of your abilities.


Should I go to classes for GRE Preparation?[edit]

It is the belief at gresuccess that your success in GRE is based mostly on your innate abilities, superimposed with training and acquiring test - taking skills, none of which need any classes. This is a validated belief. We do think that you will not gain much through sitting in a class, and also that, you will only lose money in the process. Even in the case of serious learning disabilities, we are quite confident that spending money on commercial agencies can be avoided. So, if you write to us and ask the question, you will always get the same answer! Make your own plan and prepare for yourself. We can help you make a plan, point you to materials etc. So don't worry help, free and trustable help is available, just to save you from wasting your (and your parents') valuable money and time.


I want to book my GRE date. How do I know if a particular date is available? Is there a website I can use?[edit]

Don't depend on any other resource than ETS for this. Assuming you are applying from India, call ETS New Delhi.

If I present the group with my scores and grades, can you come up with that one magical list of schools where I will surely get an admit?[edit]

There are hundreds of US Universities. Also, their requirements, the programs they present, your requirements, your qualifications, your financial situation, the financial outlook of studying in such schools and several other such factors need to be looked up to decide on what schools to apply. It is not an easy job, and there is no magic formula. Maybe there are other groups, and some "agents" who present you with an instant list, but you may rest assured that these formulas don't work. Usually such schools are "too safe" meaning, they are below your standards, and so there is some guarantee for admissions.

Anyway the long and short of the story is that no one can present you with an instantaneous list. So what we do in this group is to encourage you to take a look at the schools yourself. Yes, we agree, it is tiresome, but wouldn't it be the same for us, if we tried it for you? No pain, means no gain. And then, you will miss out on actually looking at what different schools have to offer you, and why some schools are not appropriate for you and vice versa. You might also find some surprising matches. So please go ahead, look at the schools, then come to us with a short list of probables. We have years of experience pooled in amongst us, with which we can comment on what schools would be appropriate to apply to. That's why I have even tried to initiate a mentorship program. Maybe, on the surface this might look a bit complicated. But let me tell you, it is not. And, you can write to us when you get at specific problems when you are searching and looking up schools and we will try to help you.

  1. AGRE. How important is it?

Few universities specifically preferred students who score really well in it. AGRE definitely increases you chances and if your field of interest matches with the university, then you are all set. (Sri Harsha)