Preparing well solves all the problems. But what most students tend to do is that they focus too much on preparation and have no idea what problems they need to overcome to crack GRE and TOEFL/IELTS in one go. But if you are browsing through the internet articles and not being able to get a solid foundation on which you can start your preparation, this article may be an eye opener for you.
In this article, you will understand what problems you generally face as every one of you is unique and have different set of strengths and weaknesses. Thus a stereo-typical approach to preparation will not help you all in the similar fashion. We will discuss few most critical questions and you need to honestly answer that. If you are honest with the answers you will get to know how you should approach your GRE and TOEFL/IELTS preparation.
Few critical aspects in the beginning
To make it easy, do you think that you need to pay more heed to your verbal reasoning or you think you need some work on quantitative aptitude? No matter what conclusion you come up with, start right there. Don’t panic. Just start. May be this article is a good start for you.
Don’t try to set a hairy, audacious goal in the beginning. Most of the prodigious goals we set for ourselves will eventually make us overwhelmed and stuck in one place than providing inspiration to act right away. Thus, it’s always better to start small, super small. Set aside just 15 minutes a day for your preparation in the beginning.
Once you get comfortable with 15 minutes of preparation, increase your timing to 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours and whatever you feel required to succeed. You may ask that if you follow the ‘rule of small’, you may need to have a lot of time in hand. Our answer is if you would like to crack GRE and TOEFL/IELTS in one go, you better start preparing for the tests at least 6 months ago.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the scores of others. You may get to know lot of your peers who have cleared GRE with excellent marks. Don’t get intimidated by their score. Set your own target. Aim at it with all your preparation. And just fire.
Before going for the final exam, it is always better to take some mock tests. 2-5 are good numbers to practice. If you take mock tests it will be also clear to you that how prepared you are and if not, where you should improve upon. It’s said that what gets measured, gets improved.
Critical questions to ask yourselves
How willing you are to crack?
Often most of you may have been asked whether you are native speakers or non-native speakers. According to us, this is not a valid question. Because it doesn’t matter whether you are a native speaker or not! It all comes down to mostly one thing – Are you willing? If you are willing to do it by all your heart, it doesn’t matter whether you are a native speaker or non-native speaker.
Whenever students ask us about how to get through a tough test, our answer is always same – how willing you are to clear it?! And the students always get it how to prepare for the tests!
Do you have a habit of reading?
Reading will give you wings. It may seem an irrelevant topic in regards to GRE preparation, but the best way to prepare for Analytical Writing and Verbal Reasoning is a habit of reading all kind of stuff. Six months of reading may not be enough. But if you start since you start your graduation, it would be good enough time to master your muscles for English.
If you didn’t start your reading, don’t panic. Simply start today. Pick up any book which you have or which you can buy from nearby shop and start reading. Know the meaning of the words by marking them in the book and use it often in your vocabulary.
Do you write every day?
Most of you will get surprised to know that if you write daily, thinking power and creative ability will increase drastically over time. Just buy a dairy or a notebook and write every day at least for 10-15 minutes. You can write anything from how your day has gone to how you are planning to prepare for your GRE exam. This daily writing session will allow you to think critically and let you use words you have learned while reading books and materials.
Do you have basic aptitude for numbers?
Are you the one to who people run to solve problems? Or are you the one who can add up the numbers easily of a bill of multiple items. If you are naturally good with numbers, then with little practice (as little as 30-60 minutes a day of practice), you will get through Quantitative Aptitude in GRE. But if you feel you are not that good, you don’t need to worry. Simply start preparing a little bit more every day.
Spend 2 hours a day to prepare with 6 months in hand. You will be equipped to handle GRE’s quantitative aptitude questions as good as people who are good with numbers.
Are you good with tests?
Are you being a test junkie? Have you always been a good test taker? If so, you will clear GRE and TOEFL with flying colours. Why? Because at the end of the day what matter most in the exam is the way you perceive tests entirely. If you are panicky and get tensed, even after preparing well you won’t be able to crack it. Thus, build this test mentality and never get panicky if you find one or two questions hard in the beginning.
But suppose you are not a test junkie? What would you do? The best way is to take mock tests in regular intervals. Arrange the previous year GRE question papers or you can also get a lot of free materials online. Take mock tests. After 10-12 tests, you will feel that you are no more tensed about how your exam will turn out to be and gradually you will be well versed with GRE and TOEFL/IELTS tests.
If you follow the above advice, you will be more than prepared to crack GRE and TOEFL/IELTS in one go. But still here’s a summary you can remember.
- Don’t panic.
- Start super small.
- Read every day. Make it a daily habit.
- Write every day. Describe one or two experiences of your life in minute details.
- Practice quantitative aptitude every day for 30 minutes – 2 hours (whatever suits you)
- Take mock tests a lot.
- Start preparing for GRE and TOEFL/IELTS
- And lastly the most important question you need to ask yourself is – “Am I willing to crack GRE and TOEFL/IELTS in one go?”