Prepare for GRE General Test: Prep Study Guide and Practice

Prepare for Graduate Record Examinations General Test

Aspiring law school, business school or master’s degree students should strategically prepare for the GRE General Test. GRE score is a vital factor in graduate school applications. Having a proper study guide and practice mock exams are important to get a good GRE score.

Are there GRE Practice Tests?

Yes, there are GRE practice tests available in different mediums. Practice tests are offered in books and online courses.

Where to Find Free GRE Practice Tests? (Online)

Free GRE Practice Tests can be found on “My Test Preparation and Services” in the test taker’s ETS account. Here are the free GRE practice tests:

  • POWERPREP® Test Preview Tool. It has 2 Analytical Writing tasks, 7 Verbal Reasoning questions, and 11 Quantitative Reasoning questions. It also contains answer keys for verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning only.
  • POWERPREP® Online. It consists of 2 full-length timed tests, and scores on Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. Along with the questions, answer keys for Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning questions are also provided. A score report is also given with a scored sample of Analytical Writing responses and reader commentary.

Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions

The sample preparation questions for GRE Verbal Reasoning can be found below:

Sample questions 1 to 3 below are based on this passage:

Policymakers must confront the dilemma that fossil fuels continue to be an indispensable source of energy even though burning them produces atmospheric accumulations of carbon dioxide that increase the likelihood of potentially disastrous global climate change. Currently, technology that would capture carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and sequester it harmlessly underground or undersea instead of releasing it into the atmosphere might double the cost of generating electricity. But because sequestration does not affect the cost of electricity transmission and distribution, delivered prices will rise less, by no more than 50%. Research into better technologies for capturing carbon dioxide will undoubtedly lead to lowered costs.

1. The passage implies which of the following about the current cost of generating electricity?

  1. It is higher than it would be if better technologies for capturing carbon dioxide were available.
  2. It is somewhat less than the cost of electricity transmission and distribution.
  3. It constitutes at most half of the delivered price of electricity.
  4. It is dwelt on by policymakers to the exclusion of other costs associated with electricity delivery.
  5. It is not fully recovered by the prices charged directly to electricity consumers.

Correct Answer: C

Consider each of the three choices separately and select all that apply.

2. The passage suggests that extensive use of sequestration would, over time, have which of the following consequences?

  1. The burning of fossil fuels would eventually cease to produce atmospheric accumulations of carbon dioxide.
  2. The proportion of the delivered price of electricity due to generation would rise and then decline.
  3. Power plants would consume progressively lower quantities of fossil fuels.

Correct Answer: B

Directions: For each blank select one entry from the corresponding column of choices. Fill all blanks in the way that best completes the text.

1. It is refreshing to read a book about our planet by an author who does not allow facts to be (1)__________ by politics: well aware of the political disputes about the effects of human activities on climate and biodiversity, this author does not permit them to (2)__________ his comprehensive description of what we know about our biosphere. He emphasizes the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations, and the (3)__________, calling attention to the many aspects of planetary evolution that must be better understood before we can accurately diagnose the condition of our planet.

Blank 1Blank 2Blank 3
overshadowedenhanceplausibility of our hypotheses
invalidatedobscurecertainty of our entitlement
illuminatedunderscoresuperficiality of our theories

Correct Answer: overshadowed, obscure, and superficiality of our theories

2. Vain and prone to violence, Caravaggio could not handle success: the more his (1)__________ as an artist increased, the more (2)__________ his life became.

Blank 1Blank 2

Correct Answer: eminence and tumultuous

3. The author’s (1)__________ style renders a fascinating subject, the role played by luck in everyday life, extraordinarily (2)__________.

Blank 1Blank 2

Quantitative Reasoning Sample Questions

The sample preparation questions for GRE Quantitative Reasoning can be found below.

Directions: Compare Quantity A and Quantity B, using additional information centred above the two quantities if such information is given, and select one of the following four answer choices.

  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

A symbol that appears more than once in a question has the same meaning throughout the question.

Quantity A


x squared + 1


Quantity B


2x, minus 1


  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Correct Answer: A

The figure for sample question 2 shows parallelogram RSTU. Sides R U and S T are horizontal, with S T above, and slightly to the left of side R U. Diagonal S U, which extends from vertex S at the upper left of the parallelogram to vertex U at the lower right of the parallelogram, divides the parallelogram into two triangles, R S U and U S T; and the angle at vertex S into 2 adjacent angles R S U and U S T. The measure of angle R S U is x degrees, and the measure of angle U S T is y degrees. End of figure description. RSTU is a parallelogram.


Quantity A



Quantity B



  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Correct Answer: D

Directions: Select a single answer choice. The figure for sample question 1 is a circle with center C. Two diameters of the circle are drawn, dividing the circle into 4 sectors, Two nonadjacent sectors are shaded, and the central angle of one of the unshaded sections measures 160 degrees. End of figure description.

3. The figure above shows a circle with centre C and radius 6. What is the sum of the areas of the two shaded regions?

  1. 7.5 pi
  2. 6 pi
  3. 4.5 pi
  4. 4 pi
  5. 3 pi

Correct Answer: D The figure for sample question 2 shows the graph in the x y plane of the function f of x = the absolute value of 2x, end absolute value, + 4. There are equally spaced tick marks along the x axis and along the y axis. The first tick mark to the right of the origin, and the first tick mark above the origin, are both labeled 1. The graph of the function f is in the shape of the letter V. It is above the x axis and is symmetric with respect to the y axis. The lowest point on the graph of f is the point 0 comma 4 on the y axis. Going leftward from the point 0 comma 4 the graph of f is a line that slants upward, passing through the point negative 2 comma 8. Going rightward from the point 0 comma 4 the graph of f is a line that slants upward, passing through the point 2 comma 8. End of figure description.

4. The figure above shows the graph of the function f defined by f of x = the absolute value of 2x, end absolute value, + 4 for all numbers x. For which of the following functions g, defined for all numbers x, does the graph of g intersect the graph of f ?

  1. g of x = x minus 2
  2. g of x = x + 3
  3. g of x = 2x minus 2
  4. g of x = 2x + 3
  5. g of x = 3x minus 2

Correct Answer: E

5. Each employee of a certain company is in either Department X or Department Y, and there are more than twice as many employees in Department X as in Department Y. The average (arithmetic mean) salary is $25,000 for the employees in Department X and $35,000 for the employees in Department Y. Which of the following amounts could be the average salary for all of the employees of the company? Indicate all such amounts.

  1. $26,000
  2. $28,000
  3. $29,000
  4. $30,000
  5. $31,000
  6. $32,000
  7. $34,000

Correct Answer: A and B

Analytical Writing Sample Questions

The sample preparation questions for GRE Analytical Writing can be found below:

Sample Analyze an Issue Tasks

  1. As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.
  2. A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.

Analyze an Argument Task

The Analyze an Argument Task assesses a test taker’s ability to understand, analyze and evaluate arguments and to clearly convey his or her evaluation in writing. The test taker is presented with a brief passage in which the author makes a case for some course of action or interpretation of events by presenting claims backed by reasons and evidence. The test taker’s task is to discuss the logical soundness of the author’s case according to the specific instructions by critically examining the line of reasoning and the use of evidence. The specific instructions could be one of the following:

  1. Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
  2. Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
  3. Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.

What are the GRE preparation courses offered online?

To help you achieve your desired GRE score, the GRE preparation courses offered online are as follows:

  • Magoosh GRE: This prep course offers practice questions, exams, course demos, and video lessons. The practice and quiz questions are customizable. It also has 24/7 email support for students.
  • Princeton Review: It supports self-paced, in-person and live online learning. It also provides interactive reports to assess your score.
  • Achievable: This prep course covers all sections of the GRE. It has a feature of a personalized algorithm that improves the student’s memorization skills. It is composed of more than 200 verbal reasoning practice questions.
  • Target Test Prep GRE: It has time-based study methods to prepare for GRE. 500+ lessons, 3000+ practice problems, and 800+ video solutions are included in this course.
  • Kaplan GRE: This study course offers a personalized study plan. A consultation and teacher engagement is available for this course.

All the GRE preparation courses are accessible online with various fees that will help GRE test takers improve their analytical writing and quantitative and verbal skills.

What are the GRE Study Book options?

The GRE books you can use for studying are:

  • Princeton Review – Cracking the GRE Review
  • GRE Prep by Magoosh Review
  • GRE Prep Plus By Kaplan Review
  • Official GRE Super Power Pack By ETS Review
  • Manhattan’s Prep 5lb Book of GRE Practice Problems By Manhattan Review

What are the GRE Prep test videos?

The GRE prep test videos are provided by ETS to give an overview of the GRE test and services. The videos discuss details about the content of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. It also gives the best strategies for taking the GRE.

The GRE Prep test videos include:

  • Preparing for the Analytical Writing Measure. It introduces analytical writing measures. It also shows types and strategies for answering the analytical writing section.
  • Preparing for Verbal Reasoning. It provides an introduction to the Verbal Reasoning measure. It gives types and strategies for answering the verbal reasoning section.
  • Preparing for Quantitative Reasoning. It introduces quantitative reasoning measures. It also shows types and strategies for answering the quantitative reasoning section. It involves information about the on-screen calculator and general problem-solving strategies.

What are the Khan Academy® Instructional Videos: Free Preparation for the GRE® Quantitative Reasoning Measure?

Khan Academy offers in-depth preparation for Quantitative Reasoning. It provides additional explanations of concepts in Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Data Analysis.

What are the best GRE apps used for studying?

Mobile application studying is one of the options in preparing for the GRE. Here are the best GRE apps:

  • The Official GRE Guide. It is created by ETS that offers users GRE questions for Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning with detailed answer explanations. This application is only available for iOS users.
  • GRE Prep & Practice by Magoosh. The app has 70 video lessons with GRE sample questions explained. It also has 40 GRE sample questions for free users. This application is available for both iOS and Android Users.
  • The GRE Test Prep by Galvanice. The app provides 100 GRE practice questions, both verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. It includes features such as studying with your friends in a group and comparing your practice scores with other people.
  • Ready4GRE. The study application has a game-like feature. A corresponding point is given by answering quizzes or studying. Question of the day, analytics to assess strengths and weakness, and estimated GRE scores are also provided. The app is offered for both iOS and Android users.

The above list is a convenient and accessible way to prepare for the GRE. Study apps are developed by companies to reach young and tech-savvy GRE test takers.

Where to find GRE tutors?

GRE tutors are best for test-takers who prefer individualized assistance for strengthening their analytical skills and developing verbal and quantitative reasoning. Here are sites that offer GRE tutor services:

  • Varsity Tutors
  • The Princeton Review
  • Kaplan Test Review
  • Manhattan Review

What to consider when finding GRE tutors?

To find a good tutor that will help achieve your best GRE score, here are evaluations to assess:

  • Teaching method and approach. Assess if the teaching method fits the personal learning style of the test taker.
  • Years of experience. An experienced tutor knows how to prepare different test takers and mastered the common mistakes in GRE.
  • Previous student reviews. Reviews confirm the efficacy of a tutor’s teaching style, materials and methods.

Are GRE flashcards useful?

Yes, the GRE flashcards are useful to master the top GRE vocabulary words and math knowledge. GRE flashcards are the best study tool for visual learners.

What are the factors to consider before buying GRE flashcards?

The factors to consider when buying GRE flashcards are as follows:

  • Informative flashcards. The vocabulary flashcards must contain the key, synonyms of the word, and example sentences where the word is used.
  • Readability. Check if the font style and font size are readable.
  • Handiness. Purchase a flashcard that has a travel-friendly size to study anywhere with convenience.
  • Durability. Find thick GRE cards that do not blend or tear easily.

The above list is important aspects to evaluate in buying quality and valuable GRE flashcards for study preparation.

What are the best GRE flashcards?

The best GRE flashcards are the following:

  • Manhattan Prep Essential and Advanced GRE Flashcards. It has two sets of flashcards which are Essential and Advanced. Each set is composed of 500 words.
  • Kaplan GRE Flashcards. It contains 500 essential words. Kaplan GRE Flashcards are best for beginners because of the straightforward example sentences and synonyms used.
  • Magoosh Free Flashcards for Desktop, Android, and iOS. It contains 1000 GRE words that have been chosen by experts. It can be used for smartphone or desktop applications. The difficulty level ranges from basic to advanced words.
  • Barron’s GRE Flashcards. It is composed of 250 vocabulary words. The flashcards are composed of antonyms and blank spaces where students can write clues of the word.
  • The Princeton Review Flashcards. It contains 500 words that are helpful for novice users. Each flashcard contains simple definitions and basic example sentences.

GRE flashcards are useful for improving your memories and active recall through repetitive information retrieval.

How to use and practice GRE online calculator?

The ETS provides an online calculator for the GRE quantitative reasoning section. Follow and practice these steps to use it properly:

  1. When using the computer mouse or the keyboard to operate the calculator, be careful not to mis-key a number or operation.
  2. Be familiar with all of the calculator’s buttons, including Transfer Display. An image of an on-screen, four-function calculator is shown. The display area shows a zero. Beneath the display area, the buttons are in 5 rows of 5 columns across. In addition to the numerical buttons of 0 through 9, the buttons are M R, M C, M plus, C, C E, open parentheses, close parentheses, division sign, multiplication sign, minus sign, square root sign, plus minus sign, decimal point, plus sign, and equals sign. At the bottom is a button that says Transfer Display.
  3. The Transfer Display button is used for Numeric Entry questions with a single answer box. The button transfers the calculator display to the answer box. Check if the transferred number has the correct form to answer the question.
  4. Take note that the calculator follows the order of operations, which is a mathematical convention that establishes which operations are performed before others in a mathematical expression that has more than one operation. The order is as follows: parentheses, exponentiation (including square roots), multiplications and divisions (from left to right), additions and subtractions (from left to right). With respect to the order of operations, the value of the expression  1, plus, 2, times, 4 is 9 because the expression is evaluated by first multiplying 2 and 4 and then by adding 1 to the result. This is how the on-screen calculator in the Quantitative Reasoning measure performs the operations.
  5. In addition to parentheses, the on-screen calculator has one memory location and three memory buttons that govern it: memory recall  M R memory clear M C and memory sum M plus These buttons function as they normally do on most basic calculators.
  6. Some computations are not defined for real numbers; for example, division by zero or taking the square root of a negative number. If you enter 6, divided by, 0, equals the word ERROR will be displayed. Similarly, if you enter 1, plus/minus, positive square root then ERROR will be displayed. To clear the display, you must press the clear button C
  7. The calculator displays up to eight digits. If a computation results in a number greater than 99,999,999, then ERROR will be displayed. For example, the calculation 10,000,000, times, 10, equals results in ERROR. The clear button C must be used to clear the display. If a computation results in a positive number less than 0.0000001, or 10-7, then 0 will be displayed.



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