The more practice tests one takes before the actual test, the higher the scores on test day. As a result, increased chances for graduate school admissions. Based on surveys, some students don’t achieve their target score because they do not take their practise tests seriously. As time goes by, more and more prep companies offer practice tests for the GRE—some are even for free! There are so many choices that one would probably feel overwhelmed. Worry not because it’s unnecessary to take all these sample practice tests. Choose only some tests and focus on them. But of course, no one is stopping you. If you prefer gaining more knowledge in multiple practice tests, go for it.
List of GRE Practice Tests
Other GRE practice tests are available besides the ETS PowerPrep Plus GRE Practice Tests, CrunchPrep GRE Practice Test, Manhattan Prep GRE Practice Test, Kaplan GRE Practice Test, and Princeton Review GRE Practice Test. These are the following:
- McGraw-Hill GRE Practice Test
- Peterson’s GRE Practice Test
- 4Tests.com GRE Practice Test
- Testden GRE Practice Test
- My GRE Tutor Practice Tests
- GRE Guide Practice Tests
McGraw-Hill, Peterson’s, 4Tests, Testden, and My GRE Tutor are some of the other practice tests one can utilize in studying for the GRE. They may not be as well known as the previous test prep companies, but they will still surely be a big help.
What are the top GRE practice tests?
Listed below are GRE practice tests that are patterned to the official exam. The pros and cons of taking each one are also listed:
- ETS PowerPrep Plus GRE Practice Tests
These sample practice tests are provided by the Educational Testing Services (ETS), the developers of the GRE. Since the makers provided this set of two free GRE practise tests, it is the best study material one can use. The PowerPrep Online sample questions are questions that have already appeared on previous test administrations. As a result, one can accurately predict the types of questions that will appear on test day. In addition,x this is available online, and the user interface is similar to the one used on the actual test. As a result, test takers who have used PowerPrep will be familiar with the system on test day. Lastly, according to previous test-takers, their score on this practice test did not differ much from what they got on the final GRE score.
|Pros and Cons of ETS PowerPrep Plus GRE Practice Tests|
|Official practice test produced by ETS||No explanations to answers|
|Closest to the actual GRE||No feedback for the analytical writing|
|Provides accurately predicted GRE score|
|The interface is identical to the actual GRE|
Since the ETS PowerPrep Plus, GRE Practice Tests is developed by the makers of GRE, it may be the best practice test available out there. But it is not perfect as it has cons as well like not including rationalization and feedback for the analytical writing section.
- CrunchPrep GRE Practice Test
The CrunchPrep GRE Practice Test is a practice test that is recommended to be used as a diagnostic test. Diagnostic tests assess an examinee’s current knowledge by using a set of written questions that may be in multiple-choice or short-answer format type. This practice test will be a great pre-study since it provides a comprehensive analysis of one’s performance. Important statistics, including skill data, question analysis, and performance review, are provided after the test. These are data on accuracy, strengths, weaknesses, time management, etc. Also, a predicted GRE score based on the current performance will be shown. Lastly, in preparation for the analytical writing section, they evaluate your essay responses. A feature that not all prep companies offer. It will be very helpful in getting an idea of what you should improve in your writing style.
- ManhattanPrep GRE Practice Test
Similar to the Crunchprep GRE Practice Test, the ManhattanPrep GRE Practice Test is also a good measure of current knowledge or diagnostic exam. Also, it provides an analysis of one’s performance, which helps one understand your score compared to other prospective test-takers. The user interface is also not intimidating, so beginners can use it comfortably without any fear of clicking the wrong buttons.
|Pros and Cons of ManhattanPrep GRE Practice Test|
|Practice test questions are similar to GRE||Difficult questions|
|Section-adaptive||Needs Manhattan account for access|
|The interface is identical to the actual GRE|
|The format is similar to GRE|
Manhattan Prep is one of the known course providers for the GRE. Aside from the paid courses, it also has practice tests that would truly test one’s knowledge as it contains difficult questions. But worry not for it has detailed explanations for each question.
- Kaplan GRE Practice Test
The Kaplan GRE Practice Test is known to be one of the most difficult practice tests available. Some even say that the questions on this test are slightly harder than the actual GRE test questions. These tough questions actually help students get better. This way, they get acquainted with questions they have not encountered before that could possibly appear on the GRE.
|Pros and Cons of Kaplan GRE Practice Test|
|The format is similar to GRE||Difficult questions|
|The interface is identical to the actual GRE||Explanations are not in-depth|
|An in-depth analysis of performance is provided||Not section adaptive|
Kaplan, like Manhattan Prep, is also one of the known course providers. It also has difficult questions but unlike the latter, it has no in-depth explanations provided.
- Princeton Review GRE Practice Test
The Princeton Review GRE Practice Test is not a free practice test compared to the previous ones on the list. But with regards to the quality, it is comparable to the Manhattan Prep Test. But the questions are relatively easier than in Kaplan and Manhattan.
|Pros and Cons of Princeton Review GRE Practice Test|
|Questions are similar to GRE||Not section adaptive|
|In-depth analysis of performance is provided||Easier questions than actual GRE|
|Interface is identical to the actual GRE||No answer explanations|
|Questions cannot be reviewed after|
These tests will help you gauge the difficulty, content, and format of the test. In deciding which to take, introspect as to which test prep meets your personal needs. These may include your time, your schedule, your study time, and your strengths and weaknesses.
Read More: Best GRE Prep Course
What makes a good GRE practice test?
With the increasing number of practice tests available, there is a good range of pretty good ones and some that are just okay. Here is a list of qualities you should look for in your GRE practice test:
- Quality of Questions
A good GRE practice test contains practice questions that are similar to the actual GRE. This is not only in the way it is worded but also in the concepts and difficulty level. Using practice tests that do not mirror the actual GRE may be a waste of time as you would only study the wrong concepts. It is good to invest in a high-quality test as this will greatly help increase your score.
- Test Format
Aside from the practise questions, the test format must also be a top priority in choosing the perfect GRE practice test. As much as possible, it is better to choose something as similar to the real GRE as possible. First, is the length of the test. Answering a full-length practice test is way better than a short quiz. With the full-length practice test, you can time yourself when answering the test at the same time the GRE is administered. Practice answering the test in 3.5 hours. Other test formats to be considered are the number of questions, test sections, and time per section.
A practice test may contain really good practice questions and test format, but without strong and proper explanations, it will not be helpful. The explanations must be in-depth and help the examinee understand their mistakes and how to get the correct answer. Some course providers even provide video explanations to better understand the test takers. This is because it should make the concepts easier to understand. Lastly, it must be motivating, not discouraging.
- Ease of Use
The system in which the practice test is administered must have a well-thought-out design. The user interface must be easy to navigate and not confusing for the test taker. As much as possible, it should be similar to what the GRE uses so that test-takers get an idea and experience what they will face on test day.
What is the importance of taking GRE practice tests?
Taking GRE practise tests helps test takers not only become familiar with the topics and learn how to gauge the time it would take to answer an item. It also helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. Practice tests also help students know the ways to eliminate incorrect answers and pick the correct answer choice. This is called test-taking strategies. Lastly, it helps you curate a study plan.
Why should you take a GRE practice test?
Taking a GRE practice test will help you monitor your time effectively. Also, it will help you prepare and get a high score as a result. This will also contribute to managing your time, boosting your confidence, and being at ease during the test day.
What are the benefits of taking GRE practice tests?
Using a practice test while preparing for the GRE is a great way to become familiar with the concepts and format of the exam. Other than that, GRE practice tests have other benefits, including:
- Improve your problem-solving abilities.
GRE sample tests help test-takers become familiar with the concepts and information and how to solve them and come up with the right answer. Most sample tests provide an in-depth explanation of the solution to a problem. This is most helpful in the quantitative reasoning section or the math section.
- Getting acquainted with the test format.
Every standardized test has its own format and question type. And to be familiar with the test format of the GRE, answering practice tests helps. When the actual test day arrives, you will feel at ease and answer with no difficulty caused by the format.
- It helps improve speed and decision-making.
Since the test sections in the GRE are timed, it can be another factor that causes pressure on the examinee. But by answering practice tests, one would improve time management in answering each question. Time pressure will decrease with practice and save you more time on test day.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
By answering practice tests, you learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. This allows you to focus on your weaknesses.
Truly, answering GRE practice tests has many benefits. That’s why you should utilize it to make use of it to the fullest.
Tips for Taking GRE Practice Tests
Follow these tips to maximize your score on GRE practice tests:
- Dedicate 4 hours to answering the full-length practice exam. Take the exam the way you would on the actual test day, including the exact time.
- Look for a place where you can focus. Ensure that there will be no distractions near you, like gadgets, unnecessary noise, etc.
- Do not put too much pressure on yourself. The full-length practise tests are really long, so do not attempt to finish many sets in a day.
- If the practice test you will use offers an analytical writing section, it’s a competitive preparation edge. Not all practice tests have this feature, so make sure to answer this and analyze your results after.
- Give yourself a rest once in a while. You may follow the 10-minute break in the actual exam.
- Lastly, do not neglect your personal needs, like eating healthy food and sleeping.
Since one of the biggest advantages of using a practice test is that it stimulates the exam settings, students get the chance to assess where they stand while preparing for the test. Above are the tips you can follow so that you won’t waste any practice tests available to you.
Is the GRE harder than the practice tests?
It depends. Some prep companies have practice tests that are more difficult than the actual exams, like Manhattan and Kaplan. However, some tests have the same level of difficulty as the GRE.
How and when should you take GRE practice tests?
With the number of practice tests available, it can surely be overwhelming. To maximize all tests, make sure to have a solid plan as to how and when you will take them. You should also know how to analyze and interpret results to know what areas you need to improve on. When to take the practice exams depends on how many you are going to take. The more tests you decide to take, the more frequently you have to answer them.
How many GRE practice tests do you need to take?
There is no definite number as to how many GRE practice tests should be taken before the actual exam. It all depends on your familiarity with the format, content, and types of test questions. Taking more will increase your mastery of the test. Thus, the more you practice, the better.
Read More: GRE Study Plan
How are GRE practice test scores calculated?
The short answer to this question is that it is complicated. ETS computes the scores through a process called "equating." This process converts the raw score to a scaled score which appears on score reports. But it’s not that simple since the process is different for each exam. Anyhow, the real purpose of the practice test is to help you become familiar with your strengths and weaknesses, not to get an estimate of your score. Use your practice tests to discover strategies for getting the correct answer and additional tips on studying.
How to evaluate AWA in GRE practice tests?
Get a friend, a mentor, or expert tutors who can evaluate your analytical writing skills on the AWA practice tests. They can use the AWA rubric provided by the ETS to assess your essay. It is best to have someone else check your work rather than yourself to avoid bias.