The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Every year, hundreds of thousands of students take the exam in order to get accepted into graduate school programs. But with so much misinformation out there, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Let’s look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions about the GRE exam.
Myth #1: You Have to Be an Expert in Math and Science to Do Well on the GRE
This couldn’t be further from the truth. The math portion of the GRE covers basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis—all things you probably learned in high school. Similarly, there are no science questions on the exam; instead, you’ll be tested on your ability to analyze data sets and draw conclusions from them. In other words, you don’t need to have a PhD or even a college degree in math or science to do well on this section.
Myth #2: You Need Special Preparation Materials for the GRE
Though there are many preparation materials available for purchase for those who want extra help getting ready for their exams, most people don’t need any special materials beyond what they already have access to. The ETS website has free resources that prospective test takers can use (including official practice tests), so you don’t have to spend money on expensive prep courses or books if you don’t want to. That said, if you do decide that extra help would give you an edge when taking your exam, feel free to invest in some preparation materials—just make sure they’re official ETS products or products endorsed by ETS before making a purchase! Achievable is a great example of this. Achievable offers comprehensive GRE test prep to prepare you for the GRE, so be sure to check out their website if you’re preparing for the GRE.
Myth #3: If You Don’t Score Well On Your First Attempt at Taking The Exam, You Won’t Get Into Grad School
The GRE is just one part of your application package; schools also look at your GPA, letters of recommendation, resume/CV, statement of purpose/research statement/personal statement/etc., and any other supplemental materials you may submit as part of your application process. Even if your score isn’t perfect on your first try (or even if it’s not what you expected!), that doesn’t mean all hope is lost—you still have plenty of opportunities for success in grad school admissions! Plus, there’s always the option to retake the exam if necessary.
It can definitely be daunting trying to prepare for such an important test as the GRE—especially with all sorts of myths and misconceptions floating around out there! But hopefully after reading through this article you understand more clearly what this examination entails and what kind of preparation is truly necessary in order to do well on it. Remember that scores aren’t everything; focus on putting together a strong application package overall and make sure each component reflects who are as a person and scholar!Good luck!