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Frequently Asked Questions

How you prepare for the GRE depends on your GRE score goals, preferred study style, schedule, and more. The best way to prepare for the GRE is to find a study method that works for you, make a plan, and stick with it. You may want to study for the GRE in a traditional classroom, live online, on your own, or even with a tutor. Your GRE study plan should include reviewing basic content, as well as realistic, computer-based practice.

The answer to "how hard is the GRE?" is "it depends". If you haven't worked with math in some time, you may find the GRE quantitative section challenging. If vocabulary isn't your strong suit, you may find the GRE verbal section difficult. Remember that unfamiliar does not equal difficult. As you get to know the GRE's content as you practice, you'll also learn strategies for conquering the GRE test.

How long you should practice for the GRE depends on where you start, what your target GRE score is, and what your schedule is. Many students will study as many 10 hours a week over 3 months. You'll want to study until you are consistently scoring in your goal range on full-length computer-based practice tests. Make sure you allow enough time to learn new content and get plenty of realistic practice.

Choosing the best GRE test date for you requires planning backwards. If you are testing closer to your application deadlines, you'll want to allow enough time for GRE scores to reach the schools (usually about 1-2 weeks). During busier GRE testing months, GRE test seats fill up fast, so reserve your seat early. Not sure you'll get a great GRE score your first time? Allow enough time to study and retake the GRE.

A good GRE score is the score that gets you into the program of your choice. Competitive GRE scores will depend on the school and type of program you apply to. Highly sought-after programs may have average GRE scores in the 90th percentile. The best way to determine what will be a good GRE score for you is to research each program you're applying to for average GRE scores of applicants and admitted students.