Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching created the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) in 1936. In the past 80-odd years, the GRE has grown into the most popular admissions tests for graduate, doctoral, and post-bachelor programs across the United States. The GRE is even required by the world’s best institutions of higher education, regardless of their location. Further, people hailing from the vast majority of the planet’s countries take the GRE as a means of applying to programs after earning one or more degree at the bachelor’s level.
From July 2013 to June 2014, roughly 573,000 people from around the world took the GRE. Since the test costs $200 and the scores are used to get into graduate programs, and because those programs are often very important to the people who apply to them, competition among GRE test takers is high. Here are a few reasons why you need to prepare for the GRE General Test.
Here’s The Only Practical Reason Not To Study For The GRE
Performance anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that causes people to feel anxious whenever they engage in important activities. For example, sharing a sexual experience with a new partner, public speaking, and competitions are all common causes of performance anxiety.
If you have at least $150 to spare, you can take the GRE without getting your scores back. Tack on $50 more and you’ll be able to see what the GRE is like and receive your official scores.
It doesn’t make sense to prepare for months on end to take the GRE if you haven’t even experienced what the official test environment is like. After all, major stressors affect almost twice as many college students throughout the United States in today’s world than in 1985.
As such, it’s actually quite likely that you’ll experience test anxiety when taking the GRE. It’s almost certain that you will negate at least a few hours of hard work by taking the GRE for the first time without having been exposed to the official testing environment.
You Probably Don’t Have $150 Or $200 To Spare
Most people, especially college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates, don’t have $150 or more to spare, as such, you should prepare for the GRE thoroughly the first go around so you don’t have to shell out upwards of $150 two, three, or even more times.
Short-Term Study Schedules Often Fail
Students around the world have found it possible to cram for exams that test them on how well they can remember names, places, and things within hours of taking them. However, doing well on the GRE without sticking to a daily, months-long study schedule that uses trusted testing materials like official practice tests and any real-deal GRE prep course online is difficult.
You should never go into your scheduled test-taking appointment for the GRE if you’ve only studied for a few days or weeks. Doing so is simply a waste of money, time, and effort.
Good Schools Have Lofty Standards
Your score on the GRE is compared with every other score earned in the past 12 months. Since you’ll be going up against the brightest young minds in the world, you likely won’t get a good percentile ranking unless you study extensively. If you want a solid chance of getting into any high-quality graduate program, you need to start preparing for the GRE with plenty of time to spare.