All too often the advice on GRE time management is heaped with bromides: slow down, take a deep breath, and don’t lose focus. While not without their merits, such pearls of wisdom are so generic as to be applicable to anything from a high school math quiz to playing a game of billiards.
The following are time management skills specific to the Revised GRE. This list is by no means comprehensive, so feel to chime in with any time management skills you’ve used that have been of help.
Know the Revised GRE
Walking in and taking the test cold is, unsurprisingly, a bad idea. Not familiarizing yourself with the format of the Revised GRE – a few practice runs should do the trick – is also unwise.
The Revised GRE has some quirks that are best learnt by taking several tests Do not simply read about the changes – experience them. And as addendum – don’t experience these changes test day. Prepare yourself in advance.
Know How to Scroll
As part of learning about the test, you will notice that the GRE allow you to skip a question and, if you choose to, come back to it later. Get a feel for the scrolling interface so you are comfortable moving back and forth between questions.
Knowing how many questions to skip and how to budget your time (so you can take another stab at a question), will require you to get a hang of the format and play around with it a little.
Know the Timer
Of course you should learn to work with the timer, and not let the timer tyrannize you. This advice definitely falls into the “easier said than done” category. But again – by taking practice tests with a clock or stopwatch handy, the pesky timer will be less of a nuisance as you learn how to pace yourself.
Know the New GRE Scoring Format
Do not feel you have to rush through every question. Each question on the GRE is worth the same number of points. Spending extra time on a knotty problem will take time away from easier points. Anyhow, the new GRE lets you come back to a problem so you can always step away for a bit and return to a tough problem later.
Learning how to balance your time throughout the test requires becoming familiar with the test format. Taking a few GRE practice tests should help you develop the necessary time management skills.