You have put all your hard work into practicing vocabulary and math questions. You’ve also written several essays for mastering how to write the issue and argument tasks. What’s next?
A practice test! Well, many practice tests. Practice or mock tests are indispensable while preparing for the GRE or any other test for that matter. Here are some reasons why you should take mock tests for the GRE.
Helps you recognize your strengths and weaknesses
When you take a mock test for the first time and evaluate its results, you will get an idea of the areas you are weak (or strong) in. For example, when you take a practice test, you may discover that you are good at writing essays and answering comprehension questions but begin scratching your head when faced with Text Completion and Quantitative Reasoning questions. With this knowledge, you can put in more effort for the specific types of questions and master them.
Improves time management skills
All the sections in the GRE require you to work on a time crunch. Therefore, learning how to use your time efficiently and answer all questions is imperative. Giving timed mock tests will teach you to adhere to the time given while correctly answering questions. You can learn time management tips like plug-ins, trial and error, the process of elimination, and many more by reading the blog Tips for Time Management during the GRE test.
Makes you well-versed in the format of the test
The entire purpose of taking mock tests is to become familiar with the pattern of questions, the sequence of the sections, the difficulty levels, and the time allotted for them. The mock tests, designed to give you the actual feel of the test, will also make you confident about appearing for the GRE.
Another benefit of taking a mock test is that it forces you to deal with different types of questions together. For example, when preparing for the GRE, you may practice all the Verbal Reasoning questions together but in the mock test, like the actual GRE, you will appear for one section of the Verbal Reasoning section followed by a Quantitative Reasoning section. This will teach you to adapt and answer the different questions with ease.
Practice makes it easy
Think of the time when you had to go on the stage and give a speech or act in a play. At first, you wouldn’t have been confident enough to talk or act in front of a crowd. But, constant practice and trials may have helped you boost your confidence and perform with ease on the D-day. Mock tests for the GRE will do just that. They will ease the fear of the test, make it easier for you to sit through the actual test, and instill confidence to get a high score on the test.
Helps you in revision
When you learn a concept, it is only remembered and ingrained in your mind through repetition. Mock tests not only test what you know but also give you a chance to recall, remember and retain what you have already learned. They enable you to reinforce your learnings and recognize your shortcomings.
After knowing why you should take mock tests, the question now is - where will you find GRE-like mock tests?
PowerPrep Practice tests
ETS provides GRE-like online practice tests. PowerPrep Online has two practice tests that give you a real testing experience. Out of the two tests, one practice test is untimed. You will get scores for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning section at the end of the test. For the untimed test, no scores will be provided.
The PowerPrep Plus comprises three paid practice tests and has many more features like explanations for answers, test-taking strategies, real-time scoring, etc.
The prime benefit of taking these tests is that the questions are designed by ETS, the GRE test-taking body. Therefore, the questions will be most similar to the actual GRE.
6 Practice Tests for the GRE
This book is a compilation of 6 GRE-like practice tests. The practice tests are curated by GRE experts with years of experience and so the questions in the tests are similar to the actual test.
In this book, you will find detailed solutions to all the questions. It even has sample essays for the Analytical Writing section. These elaborate solutions will be instrumental in helping you understand how the answers are deduced.
Students can also note down the time taken to complete the sections and their raw scores. This tool is very useful to improve your time management skills and evaluate your test readiness. Apart from the tests, the book also has an overview of the GRE test where all your questions will be answered about the test.
Good luck with your GRE prep journey!