Why Is the GRE Test So Hard?


For first time test takers, the GRE seems like a test of academic content. But when you dive deeper you realize the GRE is really a test of three main areas:

  1. How you handle test day pressure

  2. How you handle test timing

  3. How you handle your emotions under pressure

In reality, the GRE tests high school-level topics, with questions on simple concepts like geometry, factors, and exponents in the math section, and basic English grammar rules like subject-verb-agreement or tenses. There’s nothing to be intimidated about. The GRE is not a test of how well you understand business concepts, micro or macro economics, banking, consulting, or entrepreneurship. It does not measure your business savvy, EQ, IQ, or future success.

Rather than stressing over learning new thing, mastering the GRE is about reviewing these concepts and learning the sneaky ways the test tries to trick you. You definitely need to think, but it's not rocket science.

So why do most people find the GRE so tough?

Because the test is largely psychological. The adaptive nature of the exam messes with your mind. Wondering how you did on a previous question can make a very easy one seem much harder than it actually is, overwhelming you as you work through the test.

The exam itself is like a marathon. You have to focus on a single question, one after the other. Athletes who condition themselves for long marathons, intense basketball games, or any activity that requires strong mental toughness know what I'm talking about. We hear a lot of students say - “I am taking the test in a few days or in the next couple of weeks. What can I do to get a 340?” It is very unlikely to prep for a marathon in a day, just like it’s very unlikely to get a 340 score with few weeks of prep. Give yourself the time and the right training program to evolve as a skilled test taker.

Too many people underestimate the psychological aspects of the GRE exam. You need to understand that preparing for the exam itself is exhaustive. Do you have the determination and discipline to follow a study plan that will help you get the results you want? Do you have the right attitude toward learning that will help you absorb as much material in as little time as possible?

Join one of our free LIVE webinars today to learn more about mastering both the knowledge and psychological aspects of the GRE.

Our 99-percentile scoring instructors know that:

  1. You have to know the right kind of math, and you have to be mathematically agile, so that you can confidently puzzle out questions you’ve never seen before.

  2. You have to be adept at critical reasoning, so that, faced with brand new information, you won’t be fooled by gaps in logic, specious premises, or ludicrous assumptions.

  3. You need the discipline to practice in a relentless, focused way.

  4. What matters is how well you do on the day of the exam and thus readiness and stress management are key!

Ready to learn more? Join Our Free Webinars

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