The GRE is essential in testing your graduate readiness. The assessment aims to test the skills that you’ve developed over time. Bear in mind that these skills are not specific to any field of study or program.
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that many graduate schools in the U.S. and Canada use as part of their admissions criteria. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers this test, and students can take the test whenever they’re ready, usually around the time or a little before applying to graduate programs.
Adequate preparation is essential to get the optimal scores that schools want. So before your GRE registration, it’s vital to understand which skills the GRE is testing.
- Examining Evidence and Arguments
The Analytical Writing section features the “Analyze an Argument” task, which tests your ability to understand and analyze arguments. It includes reading brief passages and critically examining the reasoning of the author.
Using the given passages, you should be able to identify the line of reasoning and the argument’s structure. Reading the passages more than once helps to identify the evidence, claims, and assumptions.
Examining an argument also tests your ability to recognize major and minor points, particularly within the Verbal Reasoning section’s Reading Comprehension task. This is a useful skill because not all points are relevant, and understanding which are can help prove relationships such as causation.
- Supporting Arguments and Ideas
Within the AWA section also, after analyzing the argument, you should show that you can support one or both sides of the topic. You will need to examine the provided passage or information to identify relationships between concepts, ideas, sentences, and words. Understanding these relationships will help you validate your position on the issue at hand. Your claims must be adequately backed by evidence and reasoning.
You need to discuss the specific evidence that’s vital in evaluating the argument in the passage. More importantly, you should explain how the identified evidence will weaken or augment the argument.
This skill also is tested in the Verbal Reasoning section.
- Clear and Concise Communication
Going hand-in-hand with the skill of defending an argument is the skill of explaining complex ideas clearly and effectively. Not only should you illustrate the skill of logical reasoning, but you need to do so concisely and clearly. Avoid extra fluff or irrelevant information.
- Understanding Syntax and Semantics
Comprehending the meaning of words and sentence structures is essential in writing, reading, and discussions. In the Verbal Reasoning section, the test gauges your ability to understand semantics and syntax.
This section has three types of questions, including Reading Comprehension, Text Completion, and Sentence Equivalence. You need to analyze the written materials to understand the different words, sentences, and concepts.
- Analyzing Incomplete Data
Can you use incomplete data to make sense of a piece of information? That’s precisely what the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE tests. The “Text Completion” task of the test includes reading and understanding a passage with blanks. You’ll then need to select the best choices to fill the blanks.
This is also the case in the Quantitative Reasoning section, which measures your arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis skills. It tests your ability to solve problems using quantitative methods.
- Interpreting Quantitative Data
In the Quantitative Reasoning section, the data analysis topics gauge your proficiency in interpreting data. You should be able to use graphs and tables to read, compare, and understand different data values.
This skill is vital in solving quantitative problems, which require determining the best strategy that will lead you to the correct solutions. The more problems you solve, the better.
- Solving Problems Using Math
Can you solve problems mathematically? The Quantitative Reasoning Measure assesses your ability to understand and solve questions using mathematical models. You should be able to reason quantitatively to solve such problems.
The section involves high school mathematics and statistics, so basically, it requires an understanding of standard concepts and models. You must understand numbers, figures, coordinate systems, and graphical data to address different problems.
- Demonstrating Command of English
Completing the GRE test requires an adequate understanding of English. Although the GRE doesn’t test for English language proficiency, it measures skills that are important for schools where English is the language of instruction. Each section requires you to read and understand the materials to provide the correct solutions.
Pass Your GRE Test!
Acing your GRE rest demonstrates that you possess the skills that schools are looking for in graduates. This means you’re a step closer to earning an advanced degree. Whether you’re pursuing law or business, be sure to take the time to prep for your GRE test before taking it.