The ETS GRE | Part Four - Review & The Exam

We prepared to prepare on part one, we got the right tools, mindset, and found time in part two, prepared a study schedule in part three, now what?

Step Nine: Preparing review material and reviewing daily

You are most likely provided a 3 rupee pen or a pencil for your GRE exam. So when you do practice, do with those. What I did was I wrote down the main points of lessons of my GRE notebooks and did the problems in pencil. So when I needed to do a detailed review, my eyes run through the pen writing only.

After or even during sections, wrote down stuff you need to memorize on colorful sticky notes ideally and stick to someplace on the wall you will see frequently. Review them once at least daily. These may include area and volume formulas, types of logical fallacies, prime numbers till 60, etc.

Final weeks before the test day

Step Ten: Book the test date

You have been doing good preparation and is confident to book the date, or like me the first time I wrote- you ran out of time and is booking the date. Let's hope you are the former than the latter like me. Just make sure you are booking a bit ahead on time. Though GRE is conducted all around the year, getting good dates in Oct- Jan is rather tough. So book ahead. Book when you are confident. The GRE exam costs over 16k. You don't want to come back from the exam feeling you didn't do the best and spend another 16k and wait 21 days for another trial. But at the same time, don't wait forever. Once you are almost done with the materials and have practiced hundreds of questions, you know it is time.

Step Eleven: Deciding on at least four universities

Anyhow, toward the end few weeks, you know how much score you are most likely to get. Based on that, shortlist at least four universities. At the end of your exam, you have the option to send the score to four universities for free.

In case you are unfamiliar with this concept, unlike our 10th exams or 12th, just sending a copy of the report with the mark is not how universities accept the score. The ETS themselves send scores to the universities upon request of the candidate. So once your application is sent, you need to separately ensure that your GRE score also reached the uni before the deadline. It costs 27$ each. But you can send your scores for free to four universities right after your exam, so make the best use of the same.

Dressing and shopping for the GRE

Step Twelve: The right Dressing

Obviously, dress comfortably. But avoid dresses with lots of pockets or ones that need the hands folded up. You will have to show empty pockets and pull down your folds on your hands before the test, as well as every time you leave for a break or otherwise from the hall too, which is an unnecessary hassle. You cannot wear any ornaments. Plan your clothing in a way that it has layers. If it gets too hot, you should be able to peel clothes off. If it gets too cold, which is a complaint I hear a lot from my peers, put a jacket on. Tie up your hair so that you aren't distracted by the same.

Step Thirteen: Packing your Bag for GRE

You are not allowed to take anything other than your passport inside the hall. Every electronic item will be asked to be switched off and put into a locker. You can carry food items/refreshments to the waiting area and only your passport inside. For your 10 min break after section three of your 4.5-hour exam, it might be a good idea to have a nutritious bar and a small refreshment. So buy and put them in your bag ahead.

Exam Day

If you are driving to the location, either familiarise yourself with the route or leave early to the exam center, to account for unexpected trouble. You can use the depart time predictor on Google Maps to know when to leave.

Have something light. Avoid heavy food that might make you drowsy or the kind of food that might give you trouble. Today is not the day to be experimenting with new dishes. Avoid drinking too much water so that you may have to leave during a session just to pee, but drink enough to keep you hydrated. I usually avoid drinking water 1.5 hours before the exam.

Calmly enter the hall, sign the sheets, do your verifications, and get seated. You will see a screen with your photo and details on it and a button to start the test. Click on the button, and off you go! All the best!! Let me know how it goes! See you on the other side!