5 Common Mistakes Students Make On The GRE

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is today arguably one of the most popular standardized globalized tests. More often than not, the applicants are tested on various vocabulary skills in analytical writing, verbal and quantitative sections. This is probably one of the main reasons why it the test is one of the most challenging today. In this regard, the slightest of mistakes can cost applicants dearly and conceivably prevent them from getting into preferred school. Five most common mistakes students make on the GRE include:

  • Not studying
  • Poor language skills
  • Poor time managing
  • Not reading the problem properly
  • Answering every question in order.

Let us discuss them more closely.

1. Mistake of not studying

One of the common mistakes made by students while preparing for the GRE is inadequate preparation. Most of the students think that working under pressure will increase their output. Nonetheless, this is just but a common fallacy. In many cases, applicants are underprepared for the examination in terms of basic reading, writing as well as analytical skills. In addition, many students fail to look for various guidebooks, multiple test preparation materials, tests online, test sample questions, and the downloads when preparing for the GRE. On the contrary, many students stick to just one type of study material, which makes their preparation less detailed and diverse. This mistake has proved costly to the vast majority of students.

2. Mistake of answering every question in order

One of the unique features of the GRE is that a student can skip some of the questions and later come back and handle them. Unfortunately, many students fail to use this to their advantage. Students try to answer each question from the sections in sequence on the first attempt. On the contrary, the students should handle the questions that they are conversant with and then come back to the particular questions they were unsure of. That way they will at least complete the section and answer all of the questions they can handle without wasting a lot of time. Similarly, confusing multiple-option and single-option questions will lower the scores that will cost students dearly.

3. Students not reading the problem properly.

Many students feel compelled to rush when under timed and strained exam conditions. They often misread words, eventually making inaccurate assumptions, and, as a result, rather straightforward mistakes. More often than not, applicants fail in their choice when selecting one – normally the incorrect one – usually the closest answer to theirs. Worse yet, in the quantitative section, students may get a correct numeric entry but blithely enter the wrong answer. This is something easily avoidable by reading the problem properly.

4. Poor language skills

Largely, failure of many applicants in the GRE hinges directly on mastery of the language. Just like many known assessment and proficiency tests, an applicant sitting for the exam should be able to write a paper, read, and listen commendably. As ETS makes emphasis on vocabulary, language skills are key in the GRE. Sadly this never the case for some students and this is where many of the mistakes made in all sections of the exam. A common mistake here is that a student brings in an outside information – things that are outside passage scope. Unknown to students, some of the language mistakes are not related to analytical skills and intelligence but rather poor prior mastery and lack of practice.

5. Mistake of not managing time

The other mistake made by many students is poor time management in each of the sections. Many fail to pace their exam time and end up not using the allocated time well. Applicants find it challenging to finish the GRE on time. Unknown to many, each section of the GRE is specifically unique and needs special preparation. Failing to practice equally for all the test sections, even if the applicants have performed remarkably well in other sections their final score will definitely suffer. Unknown to applicants, there are multiple free online resources and materials that offer practice tools for managing time during the exam. Of course, exam preparations might be stressful, but there are numerous ways to reduce the stress.

As exemplified in the article, the GRE is the most widely recognized graduate admission test. However, student’s success depends on his or her prior language command, preparation for the exam, as well as answering every question and providing solutions to all the sections of the exam.

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