Most Indian students fly abroad for their masters education in the same year as their graduation.
This means that they take exams like the GRE in the year before graduation to ensure that they can apply to universities on time. This approach helps because students can fly abroad without having to spend an additional year in India. However, it also means that students must find ways to balance preparing for GRE while also balancing preparation for college semester exams.
In this article, we provide students with tips on how to balance college exam preparation along with their GRE preparation. The four steps to do this are:
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The primary reason why students feel stressed about managing college exams and GRE prep simultaneously is they start studying seriously for the GRE only three to four months before the actual exam. Now most students take the GRE sometime in August or September i.e. they start preparing in May or June. The problem is – most universities in India have their exams in these months. A better strategy is to start preparing in February so students get more days to prepare. By starting early students can also reduce focus on GRE prep when they have exams and then again shift their focus back to GRE prep after their exams.
Preparing notes is one of those things that takes a lot of time upfront – but saves much more time later on. When you study a new topic, we suggest that you take notes after reading text, attending lectures or watching videos. Don’t write stuff down while attending lectures or reading the text – that’s just copy pasting. Instead, absorb the content and then write down whatever you remember from memory. This is challenging upfront but forces your brain to internalize concepts and recall them. This in turn will reduce the number of times you have to read the same topic to understand it – thereby saving you precious time.
For GRE verbal, we highly recommend listing difficult words to memorize by creating flash cards and for GRE quant we recommend that you make your own formula book. Just keep adding formulae as you read them or encounter them while solving problems.
It takes approximately 150 hours of self-study to secure a 320+ GRE score. If you start 5 months (150 days) in advance, you just need to allocate one hour per day to GRE preparation. You can easily do this even when studying in college – without compromising on college assignments, tests, leisure time or other commitments. It’s best to get done with GRE prep in the first half of the day because that’s when our willpower is the highest. If you schedule GRE prep for the evening or night – you might find yourself procrastinating. But at the end of the day – you need to do what works for you. Just make sure that you ensure that you study for one hour daily for the GRE consistently for 5 months.
There are more than 20 topics that the GRE tests students on. Inconsistent prep or lack of revision could lead to students having to prepare topics from scratch multiple times. This is obviously not good. A good thumb rule is to spare one day each week to revise topics covered previously and continue with this throughout preparation. Another tip is to revise by practicing questions and working on weak areas rather than revising whole topics to save time.
That’s it! Just do these four things and managing GRE with your college exams won’t be a problem
If you’re still confused about which intake to choose – feel free to contact us. Our counsellors will help identify what’s best for you.
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