I’ve been taking a few practice tests for the GRE, and they haven’t been great, but even so I’m paranoid that the practice tests I’m using will end up being easier than the test itself and so I’ll be ill-prepared.
For those of you who took the GRE, were there any practice tests you found that seemed to match the difficulty of the actual test?
@Philpsych what source are your practice tests from?
I didn’t really prepare for the GRE when I took it, but there is quite a bit of GRE practice material [url=<a href=“https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/%5Dhere%5B/url”>https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/]here[/url]. I suggest looking through ETS-published materials first before resorting to third-party sources. Of course, it always helps to read any user reviews, and scroll through past CC threads.
If you really want, you could try using (old) SAT preparation books, as the content is fairly similar (though the format is quite different). But I didn’t try this, and I can’t recommend using SAT materials as a preparation method, but if those help you, then more power to you.
One of my books is from Kaplan; the other is from a company called Argo Brothers. Both are marketed as being for the 2017 GRE.
I took the Verbal and Quantitative parts of one of the Kaplan tests over the weekend; there were 40 questions of each type, and I ended up answering 26 of the verbal and 20 of the math correctly. But I don’t know how to convert that into a score.
@Philpsych Okay. Unfortunately I don’t know much about GRE preparation material; I took the GRE twice but didn’t use a lot of preparation materials besides some vocabulary lists that I’d review here and there.
For reading and math, there are 41 possible scores (130-170) and 40 questions each, so 1 point per question seems intuitive. However this isn’t quite right, since the difficulty of the reading/math sections adjusts based on past performance. But an approximate score would probably be 156 verbal, 150 math.
I’ve taken two more cold tests (i.e., without studying), all from different sources, to see if they were consistent; one of them was from the Argo Brothers book, and the other was from this site called 4Tests (it also wasn’t full-length).
The scores on those tests were similar; I got 20/40 on the AB Verbal section, and far worse than that on the online test (but it was also formatted differently and I trust the format of the books more).
But for the math, I actually slowed down more, which I didn’t do the first time. And I figured it would help a little, but I didn’t expect to jump all the way to 39/40 in the book and 22/23 online. But the thing is, the content is similar to the SAT, and when I took the SAT my math scores were always slightly lower (from Test 1 to Test 2, CR was 620 --> 690 and math was 620 --> 670); if anything, it was definitely the part I needed to devote the most time to. The Verbal part of the GRE is obviously much more vocab-heavy than the SAT portion is, and vocab is definitely something I need to work on. But since math in general has never been my strong suit, I’m just a little suspicious and I’m just trying to make sure that I don’t end up with a false sense of security while I’m studying.
@Philpsych I see. I actually glanced at the math portion on the 4Tests site (I have no prior knowledge of those practice tests), and my overall impression was that that math section felt slightly easier, and the topics were less balanced than on the GRE (I didn’t really encounter any probability or statistics questions, except for that massive 5-question block which was literally reading a table for values, and there were no questions on divisibility, primes, etc.).
However I was a math major in college, so I’m pretty bad when it comes to comparing difficulty of GRE math materials. My verbal section wasn’t as strong. It’s probably best to stick with official GRE materials published by ETS if you haven’t gone through them already.