Wednesday, 6 February 2013

How to do GRE preparation at home through the Internet

As an aspirant to gain admission to a prestigious graduate or business school, you will be beginning your preparations for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Like for any other exam you prepare for, you are bound to have standard books as reference material. You could even be joining up for GRE preparatory classes in your area. Now that communication and accessibility to knowledge has become easier & quicker thanks to the World Wide Web, you have the additional option of the Internet. Through online portals you can begin your preparations for GRE in right earnest.


Where to begin GRE online preparations at home
Where to begin your online GRE preparations is the most obvious question. Well, the best option would be to start at the official website of GRE itself (http://www.ets.org/gre ). Since the test was revised a couple of years ago, it is a good idea to start at this website in order to be updated with the revisions. The site not only provides details about the test itself, but also provides useful test materials and sample papers. Like some other portals, this official site offers some preparatory tools for free while some are available at a low cost. 

One of the plus points of the GRE official website is that there are various accessible formats of the preparatory materials. For example, if you have a problem in reading small print, there is a downloadable large print (18 point) figure supplement. Other formats include Braille, recorded audio and tactile figure supplements, all of which can be ordered from the ETS Disability Service. Last but not the least materials are also available in accessible electronic format (Word-2003) which can be utilized along with some form of assistive technology to make it easier to read.

Another source for GRE preparation materials on the Internet is Kaplan’s GRE online courses. One is the GRE Anywhere Course which is an online interactive experience with you being able to communicate with both teachers and batch mates. In addition to eight online sessions, a study plan is custom designed to fit into your own personal requirements. Assignments, a set of practice questions, quizzes, workshops, etc are incorporated into the online syllabus. There are performance tracking reports too so you know exactly how well prepared you are! A home study kit is provided to you, which can be downloaded. You also have the option of requesting to receive this kit via mail for an additional fee. The fee for this course is US$594 (other options available are Swiss Francs, Euro, Pounds Sterling and Indian Rupees). You need to check first, though, the schedules of the course. Another course at a lower fee ($349) is the Kaplan GRE On Demand Course. It incorporates similar study materials and online sessions as the Anywhere Course.


Other online resources for GRE preparations 
Since the GRE focuses on writing analytically as well as on verbal and quantitative reasoning, you could look up portals which help you enhance these skills.

Both writing skills and verbal reasoning involves the understanding of words and getting the basics of English right. So a good idea would be to polish your spelling and grammar abilities and learn the proper usage of punctuations. A great place to start would be the Oxford Dictionary (http://oxforddictionaries.com/). After all, this is probably the one place where you picked up your vocabulary at school level! At this site you can learn how to form grammatically correct sentences, know about common misspellings, types of punctuations, as well as garner lots of good tips on how to improve your English. Then there is The Free Dictionary site (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/), a portal which provides not just the varied meanings of words, but also idioms, synonyms and antonyms. 


The analytical skills of writing can be brushed up by reading online newspapers. Other than the most obvious ones, such as BBC, look up news portals catering to specific regions, such as those catering to Asian news (http://asia.wsj.com/home-page ). Sports may be you favourite section of the news, but you must remember to read up on current happenings in various fields, such as economics, business, politics and art. You could join in online forums to discuss various aspects of a topic to improve your ability to analyse a topic.


As for quantitative reasoning, Internet preparatory materials for this GRE section would include Math workbooks and practice tests incorporating formulas and data analysis. For the best source, again it is none other than: www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning, which is the official website. You will get detailed information on the various aspects of the quantitative reasoning section and types of formulae.


Overall, for all sections of GRE, you should visit online books stores. You are likely to get not just books but also CDs with preparatory materials. These are great additional teaching aids in helping you to prepare for GRE through the Internet.



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As you can see, there is no dearth of preparatory materials out there in e-space to help you in getting ready for GRE. Take the maximum advantage of such online sources – it will help you to prepare for the GRE with greater confidence.