Test day: it’s here. It’s all too easy to lose your composure and get caught up on few tough questions during the test. The test-makers throw in all sorts of convoluted wording and unnecessary information to make you get confused, take up time, and throw you off.
Don’t get caught in this trap! Heed the following GRE Commandments to stay focused during the exam.
Commandment #1: Thou shalt remember that every question is equal.
All questions are weighted equally. So you know that really tough question you’ve been staring at blankly for three minutes? Worth the same as the “2x=6” question. So, get your points on the easy stuff, and remember that every question is weighted the same. This above all else is your most important piece of instruction!
Commandment #2: Thou shalt use process of elimination.
Pssst! Guess what? You don’t really have to know the correct answer on the GRE; all you have to do is select the right answer. Process of elimination is your friend; use it!
Usually only two attractive answer-choices are offered, out of five total. One correct; the other either intentionally misleading or only partially correct. The other three answer-choices are usually fluff. This makes educated guessing on the GRE very effective. If you can dismiss the three fluff choices, your probability of answering the question successfully will increase from 20% to 50%.
Commandment #3: Always trust thy instinct, and guess on the first pass.
When you’re going through the test and find a particular question difficult, mark down the first answer that caught you, flag the question, and come back to it if you have time. You can change your answer later, duh!
Commandment #4: Honor thy clock.
Remember that you only have about 1.5 minutes on each question on the Verbal section, and 1 minute and 45 seconds on the Quantitative Section. So, if you’re halfway through the Verbal (15 out of 30 questions completed) and you only have 13 minutes to complete the section, you’re a little behind.
Practicing with online resources like Benchprep allows you to get acquainted with the feeling of having a ticking clock always on your screen …
Commandment #5: Know thy test!
The more you educate yourself about the GRE, the more review of the math, and vocab words studied, and timed tests taken, the more comfortable you’ll feel come test day. You and the GRE should feel like old friends by test day, and hopefully you can never see that friend again afterwards
Okay, there you have it! The canonical (great GRE word!) list of GRE Commandments. Obey, and thou shall score well!
By Tony Williams, Tutor and GRE Expert at BenchPrep.