Learning all those words, from lachrymose to perfunctory, and memorizing all those formulas, from work rate to compound interest, you’ve probably asked yourself countless times: What the “beep” does this have to do with grad school?
Any such frustration is pretty justified, because much of what you learn on the GRE has little to do with the skills you’ll actually use in grad school. At the same time, you don’t want to throw the GRE baby out with the bath water. There are actually some grad-school relevant skills that you are honing, as you prep those long hours.
At a very general level, you will improve your focus, especially on dense, academic passages. And many words that you never thought you’d see again after GRE prep, will find away of popping up in much of the reading you do.
Of course there is the math, which those of you in the non-math fields think you’ll never see again. While there probably won’t be any circles floating about in your research, statistics, which pops up on the GRE, does factor into many graduate fields.
Finally, there is the writing section. By improving your writing skills—which I assume you’ve been doing if you’ve been studying for the GRE—you have a skill that will help you throughout grad school, and beyond. Especially if you are using the GRE for business school, you will need to have excellent writing skills, both in terms of grammar and the way that you build a convincing case.
To reap such rewards you might be asking your how long I should I study for the GRE? To notice any improvements you can’t just study for a week or two. Sedulous care must be taken across all the areas of the GRE, if you want to see any long-lasting results. So if you don’t study that much for the GRE and don’t end up getting a good GRE score, then you won’t really be able to apply what you learnt (since you didn’t learn much).
So if you have been studying for months—canceling social engagements and missing your favorite T.V. shows—don’t think your score is just for one big day. The skills that you apply, from developing a strong “number sense” to be able to sit through and digest complex reading passages, will help you not only on test day, but also in grad school. Who knows, maybe you’ll even encounter the word perfunctory.