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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Blockers on June 27, 2022
Studying for the GRE can be an intensive task and very time-consuming. Learn how audio study guides can assist you to get through your work quicker and more efficiently, while still maintaining your daily tasks.

    GRE Prep- How you can listen to the study guide

    For those aspiring to attend graduate school and who need a high GRE score, here are a few outlines on preparing for the GRE test and what to expect. Studying for the GRE can be an intensive task and very time-consuming. Learn how Speechify can assist you to get through your work quicker and more efficiently, while still maintaining your daily tasks.

    GRE- What is it?

    GRE stands for, Graduate Record Examinations and is controlled by the Educational Testing Service. The main focus of the GRE is to assess the critical thinking capabilities of those wanting to attend graduate school and also to determine the success rate of the student during their first year.

    There are two types of GRE tests. The first test is the GRE general test. This is the standardized test that will test a student’s overall readiness and competency for graduate school. The general test is similar to the SAT that would be done for a college entrance exam. The general test assesses the overall readiness in mathematics, reading, and writing. The test consists of multiple choice answers and the test can be completed at home on the computer or at designated testing centers. This test aims to assess whether a person can think critically and their ability to problem solve.

    The second type of GRE test that is available is more subject-specific and is sometimes a requirement for some graduate programs. It is called the GRE subject test. For example, if a grad program requires quantitative skills they would request that a student do the mathematics exam. This test is designed to test your proficiency in a certain subject. The subject test is only written a few times a year, whereas the standardized test is written almost every single day of the year.

    Why is it important?

    There are a few reasons why it is important to take the GRE test. Firstly, the GRE assessments give the grad school an indication of a student’s abilities and also how they will handle the material given in their first year.

    Secondly, it can give your application a boost and positive addition to your application. It might not guarantee acceptance into graduate school, but it can showcase that a student has additional skills.

    Lastly, you won’t be able to attend competitive graduate schools without a GRE score. If applicants are looking at enrolling in a master’s program the GRE test is a requirement.  As with business schools, the GMAT exam is a requirement when applying.

    What are the benefits of the GRE?

    For the applications office at graduate schools, the benefit of the GRE test is to see the likelihood of career success in individuals. It is a useful way to assess the skills and attributes of the applicants.

    By taking the GRE test, students will have access to the most renowned programs that graduate schools have to offer and it can also give them a lot of time to improve their GRE score which will be valid for 5 years.

    All the top universities in the US, UK, Australia, and Europe accept the GRE assessment as part of the application. Over 1300 business schools worldwide accept the GRE assessment for MBA and other prestigious programs.

    Some universities have a GRE-based tuition reduction grant. Some universities even offer full funding with a good GRE score.

    Exam overview

    According to ETS (Educational Testing Service), there are 3 sections of the GRE each having two parts to it, Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative reasoning. These all have topic-related questions that need to be answered either in a multiple choice form or written form.

    The subject-specific GRE test consists of 4 fields, mathematics, psychology, chemistry, and physics. Each field consists of a different number of multiple choice answers. See a more detailed description in the heading below, “What is on a GRE exam” Test takers are allowed to take the test at home on their computers or at various testing centers. 

    How hard is the GRE?

    According to some experts, the GRE is very difficult to achieve high test scores without significant preparation. Research explains the challenging part of the exam is the reading and vocabulary sections. Math questions are easier to prepare than verbal questions. It is difficult to raise a verbal score, as grammar is not something that a person can learn quickly. Compared to the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) the GRE test should be less challenging. The test is very doable if students learn how to reason critically and solve the challenges for the test.

    How many hours of reading and prep are required on average?

    According to experts students should look at starting their preparations 2-3 months before their exam. 2-3 months of intensive study or spread out over 3-4 months. Students who are currently busy with their undergrad might require less time since they are currently immersed academically. Those that have not attended school for a while are advised to set more time aside. 

    The amount of time people spend on the preparation can vary from person to person. If most people spend 1-3 months preparing for the GRE then it can range from 8 hours a week for 4 weeks or 10 hours a week for 12 weeks.

    What is on a GRE exam?

    As mentioned above there are 3 sections to the general test and each section has 2 parts.

    Analytical reasoning measures the ability to provide comprehensive responses to certain tasks. Some of these tasks include having good knowledge of written English or supporting ideas with relevant reasons and examples and being able to convey complex ideas in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Two Analytical writing essays are considered the basis of the writing score.

    Verbal reasoning measures the ability to analyze and make conclusions from analysis and being able to critically distinguish between important and minor points. Lastly, to be able to understand the relationship between words and sentences. This section also consists of two parts, each part consists of 20 questions that are related to reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence.

    Quantitative reasoning measures the ability to understand all quantitative aspects, for example, algebra, geometry, data analysis, and mathematical models. This section also has two parts consisting of 20 questions. The quant question types are made up of problem-solving and quant comparison.

    The subject-specific test is made up of 4 sections. The chemistry test consists of 130 multiple choice questions. This section evaluates the four fields in which chemistry is divided, analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.

    The mathematics test is roughly 66 multiple choice questions and the questions are largely based on calculus and algebra.

    The physics test is approximately 100 multiple choice questions that cover a wide range of topics such as mechanics, atomic physics, optics, quantum mechanics, etc. 

    The psychology test is roughly 205 multiple choice questions that cover experimental, social, and general psychology topics. 

    How long is a GRE exam?

    In general, the full length of the exam is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The test is divided up into time segments. There are six 30-minute sections, a 10-minute break, and the last section is a 30-minute unidentified section. From arriving to write the test to completing the test it should be 4 hours.

    Sections and question types

    For the quantitative section, students will be assessed on their ability to do divisibility, multiplication, addition, even and odds, etc. A typical GRE question that can be found in this section is, if one-fifth of all female students at Maryland like chips and one-third of Maryland male students have nachos, what fraction of the entire student population likes chips?

    The analytical reasoning section will require a student to evaluate a written piece and obtain information from it. All the passages in this section are followed by questions that need to be answered.  An example of a question in this section would be, “How would you describe the author’s attitude on this topic?”

    The verbal reasoning section will give students a topic to discuss and it is up to the student to discuss the relevant points while adhering to essay formatting.

    Using Speechify to prepare for the GRE

    The test guide for the GRE can be intimidating, as it requires a lot of reading and time. Speechify can help manage time and can help reduce the amount of time going over the prep course. The chrome extension for Speechify is very simple to download from their website and also very easy to install. Once it is installed on the computer it can be customized to suit anyone. A reading speed can be selected as well as a suitable voice. Speechify has designed the reading assistant to assist students and anyone with reading or learning disabilities to work through their content quicker and more effectively. 

    Speechify will do the reading for you so that you can have more energy retaining the information. It is very easy to select a reading speed and over time build up to a faster reading speed to get through content quicker, so that you are prepared for test day.

    The reading assistant can read at a speed of 500, which is 2.5 times faster than a normal person would read, but this is all self-paced and can be controlled by the user.

    The best app to listen to the study guide for GRE

    There are several apps to use when wanting to listen to a text. Speechify is the number one text-to-speech program that turns any written text into spoken words. It has a chrome extension and can be used on android and IOS devices. Speechify allows you to speed through any documents, PDFs, articles, and emails quickly and more effectively. It allows you to do more at once and maximize your time. 

    What is the best prep for GRE?

    Once you have decided to start your GRE test prep course there are several options available. Paid courses are available as well as free courses. The best-paid courses to note are Manhattan prep, Kaplan, The Princeton Review, and Magoosh.

    They all offer different GRE prep course packages that include a whole lot of different things. Some include live online courses, tutorials, practice questions, practice tests, video lessons, and in-person tutoring.

    Everyone has a different method to study, whether it be using quizzes or using flashcards, but experts say that it is beneficial to have a study plan whether that be the prep course, the online program, or the test prep book. It is beneficial to do the GRE practice tests and practice exams and understand the fundamentals of the GRE. Try to mimic the real-life GRE conditions, by putting yourself in a test-taking situation. Practice with pen and paper, but don’t forget to practice on the computer as well. 

    Can I prepare for the GRE in 3 weeks?

    Experts advise 2-3 months of test preparation time if you want a high score on the GRE. It can be done in 3 weeks and could be enough to become familiar with the content. The nice thing about the GRE is that if you are not satisfied with the score the exam can be retaken to establish a higher score.  

    Upcoming test dates

    ETS has released the following test dates for the GRE subject-specific test. As mentioned above there are only a few dates available for this test and they are paper-delivered tests at testing centers. The next test date is 29 October 2022, registration has to be done by the 16th of September 2022. Any late registrations are charged at $25. The next available date is the 8th of April 2023 and registration has to be completed by the 24th of February 2023. These dates apply to all locations including the U.S. Online scores are generally available 1 month after the test and the mailed score report is usually sent 2 months after the test.

    The GRE general test is available almost any day of any month. This test has the option to be written at home or a test center of the student’s choice. It is very easy to book online and there are a variety of time slots available. After selecting a time and date the registration process will start. 

    Listen while working out, running, or commuting, a better way, more efficient way

    Listening to your GRE prep just became a lot easier! The guides are going to be intense and a good way to ease your reading load is by using Speechify for Chrome or Android or IOS. It is free to download and can be used easily. From here it is easy to customize the reading speed and select a voice that you like. Speechify allows you to still do the things you love while learning. Go for that walk on your treadmill and take your study guide along with you.

    Audio like Speechify helps if you have dyslexia

    Being dyslexic you might struggle reading text-intensive pieces and it can become exhausting. Speechify helps you preserve your energy by doing all the reading so that you are free to retain and learn in a fun and helpful way. Here is how Speechify changed the life of a dyslexic student “Before Speechify I used to spend dozens of nights reading instead of sleeping. When I saw how easy it was, and how well the text was read, I teared up”

    Let Speechify assist with GRE Prep

    Studying for the GRE can be a daunting thought, because of all the material that needs to be consumed. However, it is easier now to retain all this information with Speechify. Speechify allows students to consume the information on-demand while still being able to do the things they love. Speechify allows you to carry on with daily tasks such as commuting and allows you to use your time more efficiently.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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