Study Guide - Stage II

Practice Tests and Strengthening Weaknesses

In Part I of the Study Guide, you covered all of the contepts that the GRE tests.  Now it’s time to identify areas of weakness and start building the stamina required for this 4-hour test.

In Part II, you will:

  • Take regular practice tests to gauge your progress
  • Identify and strengthen areas of weakness
  • Continue building your vocabulary
  • Work on your timing and endurance

Let’s begin Part II.

Determining the Distance to your Target Scores

At this point, you may already have the skills necessary to reach your target GRE scores.  Let’s find out.

Complete POWERPREP practice test #1

Note: You will need to create a free ETS account to access this online test. 

So, did you reach or exceed your target scores?

If so, then you’re almost ready to take the official GRE.  Before you schedule your test, however, you should take more practice tests.  Your goal should be to exceed your target scores on at least 2 practice tests, since you want to be certain that you will reach your target scores on test day.

If you have not yet reached your target scores, you will need to identify and strengthen areas of weakness.

Practice Tests

At this point in the Study Guide, you've already taken a paper-based practice test, and the computer-based POWERPREP test #1. Beyond these practice tests, there are several more you can take.   

Take practice test #1 in the Official Guide to the GRE (3nd edition). This test starts on page 327 of the Official Guide

Take practice test #2 in the Official Guide to the GRE (3nd edition). This test starts on page 455 of the Official Guide

Purchase POWERPREP tests #3 and #4 and take those tests.

Additional Practice Tests (free)

Free GRE practice test from Manhattan Prep

Free GRE practice test from Kaplan

Free GRE practice test from Princeton Review

Free GRE practice test from McGraw-Hill

More Practice Questions

If you're looking for additional practice questions, you can find thousands of official (and unofficial) GRE practice questions at GRE Prep Club, a free forum for students preparing for the GRE.

    As you answer practice questions and take practice tests, be sure to carefully analyze the questions the questions you get wrong. If you find you need to review certain concepts, watch the video lesson for that concept and answer linked questions in the Reinforcement Activities box until you have mastered the content.  

    Strengthening Areas of Weakness

    While carefully analyzing your practice tests, there are four types of weakness to watch out for:

    1. Specific quantitative skills/concepts (e.g., algebra, standard deviation, etc.)

    2. Specific Verbal skills/concepts (e.g., 3-blank text completion questions, weak vocabulary, etc.)

    3. Test-taking skills (time management, endurance, anxiety etc.)

    4. Silly mistakes

    For the first two weaknesses, the fix is straightforward: find the related lesson(s), learn the concept/skill, and answer practice questions (in the Reinforcement Activities box) to strengthen that weakness.

    If your test-taking skills are the issue, then work on those. For example, you'll find a video on anxiety reduction in the General Strategies module.

    If silly mistakes are hurting your score, then you must identify and categorize these mistakes so that, during tests, you can easily spot situations in which you are prone to errors.  For more on this, read the article, Avoiding Silly Misteaks on the GRE.

    Finally, a great way to build your GRE skills is to ask and answer questions on the GRE Prep Club forums.

    Ask and answer questions on the GRE Prep Club forums

    Continue Building your Vocabulary

    To achieve a high Verbal Reasoning score, you'll need a sizeable vocabulary. 

    Learn all 500 basic GRE words on Quizlet

    Learn all 500 advanced GRE words on Quizlet

    Reaching your Target Score

    Keep taking practice tests until you reach your target scores on at least two attempts

    Schedule your test

    Avoiding Surprises on Test Day

    Before your test, travel to the test center to ensure that you know how to get there 

    Test Day!

    Walk into the test center and do your very best

    Keeping in Touch

    Send me an email and tell me how you did. I’d love to hear from you!

    Free “Question of the Day” emails!