Tips for Taking the Computerized GRE

By Ron Woldoff, Joseph Kraynak

Part of GRE For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Though www.ets.org alludes to your choice between the paper-based and the computer-based GRE, you’ll almost certainly take the computer-based one. The paper-based exam is offered only where computer infrastructure isn’t available. It’s better this way, really; the paper-based GRE has more questions (25 per section instead of 20). Just remember these tips:

  • You can go back and forth through each section. Also, within a section, each question is worth the same. If you’re stuck on a question, skip it! You can go back to it with the time remaining in the section.

  • Keep an eye on the clock. On the GRE, with 35 minutes per quantitative section and 30 minutes per verbal, it’s easy to get distracted by your work and run out of time. Just remember that in each section, at 15 minutes, you should be roughly halfway through.

  • Practice using the software. Although the GRE For Dummies software provides excellent, targeted practice, it’s still the Dummies mockup of GRE software, not the real thing. Practice GRE software is available for free from www.ets.org, and it perfectly mimics the actual software, so you want to explore that and see how it works before the day of the exam. Older versions of the GRE had practice software only for Windows, but today the software is available for Macs as well.