Retaking the GRE exam? Plan your strategy
Posted on October 12, 2020
If you are thinking of retaking the GRE exam, you are probably doing it to improve your chances of admission at top schools or for some additional scholarship or to just improve your score. But retaking the exam brings its own set of doubts- whether it is worth the, cost, time, and effort, will it really improve your score or what if you get a lower score than your first exam?
Even with these doubts, it is worth retaking the GRE and you are not alone to think this way because one in four test-takers retake the GRE every year. The good news is that those who take the exam again see an improvement in their scores. Here is a guide to help you decide on retaking the exam.
To facilitate this, the ETS (official body conducting the exam) has a clause that requires the GRE exam to be retaken up to 5 times a year, so you have many opportunities to boost your scores. As you can determine which score you would like to send in your application, retaking the test does not affect your applications to your dream university. You can retake the GRE after 21 days and focus on your deficiencies immediately when you are still in the mode of study; and in a year you can take the test 5 times.
Here is a checklist to consider before taking the GRE exam:
Consider the purpose of retaking the exam
Re-taking the GRE exam implies starting all over again via the same path or even more hard work. This needs you to spend a great deal of time and patience. Therefore, if you want to take the exam again, you have to be very specific about your intent to do so. If you genuinely need a retake, you must first understand that according to the colleges that you are applying for, you have a goal score to reach. What a good GRE score is now may be relative to your goals, but it’s crucial that you still aim high.
You should consider retaking the exam if you have not received a “healthy grade” at your first attempt. But, if you want to score more, you can also get a scholarship It becomes much easier for you to succeed in the test if the aim is plain enough in your mind. You understand effectively what fields you need to focus in and how to plan accordingly.
Consider the pros and cons
If you are still in a position to determine whether or not to repeat the exam, here is another tip. You should make a list of pros and cons to make it easier to understand whether you need to retake the GRE.
Pros: You have a chance to improve your score. You can also score higher. If you have taken the test several times, you can determine which score to send out in your applications with ScoreSelect. Retaking GRE doesn’t have a huge impact on your application.
Cons: A retest costs a lot. If the deadline for applications is a crunch, you might want to postpone taking the exam. When you are not prepared enough for the exam, it is of no use. Therefore, before taking the exam again, you have to make sure that you research well. It is harmless to give a retest once, but giving it multiple times could affect your application.
Planning the time required
It is very important to consider the timelines for retaking the GRE. We are now aware that, after 21 days, we can repeat the exam. You need to verify, however, whether or not it is far before your deadline for applications. If it is, without any concerns, you should go for a retest. But if you get the retest slot a few days before the deadline for submissions, go for it only if it’s really important. We often tend to forget how much time we need for planning when it comes to time management.
Set aside sufficient time to prepare for a retest, this will help you improve your score.
Plan your study strategy
It is always good to come up with a plan and maintain small targets before you start your studies, which can help you prepare for the ultimate test. The first step in the case of the retest is to understand which areas require enhancement. You can begin by checking how far you are from the target score. You can divide the questions into analytical reasoning, math, and vocabulary categories. Now you can know which group needs more focus.
Make a study schedule
It will now be clear to you what areas you need to work on and build on. You can make your study schedule simple, with clear goals. You should first find out the topics you are well-versed with, as you have given the test before. When you are revising or taking practice tests, you should review these subjects. Next, begin with topics that you are not prepared for at all. Make sure it is easy for you when you build a plan.
When you are learning, pay careful attention to what subjects you can understand and what is hard for you. Try out some new ways to learn those topics. You should go ahead with practice tests if you feel that you have trained well. You will understand your pace through these assessments, and how ready you are. In this way, you will continue to improve and, thus, perform well.
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