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With graduation behind them, many recent college graduates are thinking about what comes next. For some, that means entering the workforce, but for others, that means continuing their education and applying for Masters programs. Most colleges and universities require that all incoming Masters students take the graduate record examination (GRE) and receive the appropriate score for the program of choice. The following are a few tips that can help you prepare to take the GRE and receive a great score!

Practice Tests

Just like when you took the SAT’s practice makes perfect, and taking a GRE practice test will allow you the opportunity to see where you need to spend additional time studying to achieve your desired score. GRE practice tests will also give you valuable information about what types of questions you could see on your actual test. Practice tests also follow the same formatting and timing. As you study for the test, you will know exactly how much time you need to spend on each section. It is also important to take the practice test under conditions as similar as possible to those you will experience on test day.

Study Schedule

Creating a study schedule will help keep you on track the closer you get to your test day. The more effort you put into your studying, the better your scores will be. Most students find that studying five days a week in 30-minute segments, or an hour and a half each day helps them make significant progress on their scores. If there is a specific area of the test, you need to spend additional time studying for, create flashcards or carve out additional time to study on that specific section.

Prep Courses

While some students prefer to self-prep for the test, others prepare by taking online or in person preparation courses. These classes can help identify exactly what you need to work on to achieve your desired score and are great studying options if you struggle with motivation to study on your own. If you are interested in taking an online or in-person course, it is important to look for a program that assigns lessons and practices based on your strengths and weaknesses. A great GRE prep course will provide students with the structure and a study program that will help track their progress.