Admit it: you LOVED taking the SAT in eleventh grade. The fun math problems, those rib-tickling analogies, and who could forget the delightful reading comprehension passages? In case you couldn't tell, we're being sarcastic. If you share our opinion that the SAT was slightly less comfortable than a fishhook in the eye, you're going to want some assistance on the GRE.

First off, you must read SoYouWanna learn the basics of the GRE? before you continue reading this SYW. It'll tell you what the test looks like, how to register, and whether you should even take the test in the first place. But this SYW assumes that you are already positive that you're gonna take the GRE, that you know the basic structure, and that you just want some sparkling advice about how to get the highest score possible. Well, that's what we're here for, so listen up.


In case you have forgotten what to expect on the GRE, here's a recap. There are three sections:

  • Verbal section (30 questions, 30 minutes)
  • Quantitative section (28 questions, 45 minutes)
  • Analytical section (35 questions, 60 minutes)

The verbal section tests your vocabulary and reading skills, the quantitative section tests your ability to do math, and the analytical section tests your ability to solve logic problems.

There is one surefire way to improve your GRE score: know exactly what's on the test. No, we don't want you to hack into the Educational Testing Service's databank (yet), but we do want you to become so familiar with the types of questions asked, so you won't have to waste any of your precious time reading directions or figuring out how to tackle the questions.

How do you do this? BY TAKING MANY PRACTICE TESTS. Get yourself some practice tests off the GRE web site or buy some software and start getting cozy with the test. Don't worry about the tricks yet . . . just get comfortable with the test as a whole. Take at least 2 full tests before worrying about Step 2.