Tip #5: Cultivate a Productive Attitude
The above might seem daunting (although an assiduous approach will indubitably redound to your success!) Some students say “I’m already a college graduate. Why do I have to spend months studying for this exam? That’s just too much time.”
Here’s a way to look at it – if you exercise for one hour a week, you’ve almost thrown that time away, because that’s not enough time to get results. But if you exercise for five hours a week, you’ll end up in much better shape! That is, it’s exercising insufficiently that is a waste of time.
Similarly, if you spend three weeks cramming for the GRE, you probably won’t improve your score that much. Three weeks cramming does sound like too long, because what you’re doing is really about the GRE and nothing else. But if you spend four (or more) months developing a more erudite vocabulary, reading graduate-level articles, becoming a master of algebra, developing a familiarity with statistics and data interpretation that will help you produce useful results in graduate study, and rediscovering your ability to do math without machines, then you have remodeled your brain for the better. That time is not lost! Those skills will benefit you forever (and in graduate school!)
Here’s something to think about – the GRE test writers aren’t evil. They don’t want to hold you back. They want to test real skills. Sure, you might be able to game the test a little bit with tricks and quick fixes. But probably not enough to achieve your goal score.
A serious, academic approach to GRE study isn’t about tricks and quick fixes. It’s about the actual material and skills that the GRE is designed to test. And no amount of time is too much to spend on becoming a more knowledgeable person with a brain that functions at a level of peak performance.
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