Top 10 Pacing Tips for the GRE

Pacing is vital to ace the GRE. The best graduate schools want master’s students who can balance their time efficiently. The grad school candidates with the best GRE scores know how to manage their GRE test prep, utilize the best free GRE resources, and pace themselves through each section of the GRE. Use these 10 pacing tips to get better scores on the GRE!
[ RELATED: Top 8 Tips to Ace the GRE ]

  • Know your essay templates before you start writing.

    The Revised GRE contains two essays: the Issue, and the Argument. This should be the easiest section because you can review prompts ahead of time and plan out your essay structure for each. A high level of organization is essential to better scores on the AWA.

  • “Mark and review” harder questions.

    The  GRE allows you to skip around freely within each section – use this ability to skip harder questions and come back to them later once you’ve answered the easier ones first.

  • Write down a Prediction for tough Verbal questions.

    Don’t simply go straight to the answer choices. It will help you eliminate, and the best graduate schools want students who can think critically and trust their own judgments.

  • Know how many questions are in each section.

    Always be aware of how many questions you have left! The GRE Quant sections have 20 questions in 25 minutes, and Verbal has 20 questions in 30 minutes. Keep track of where you are in a section at all times.

  • Don’t rush, but start each individual section with confidence.

    Don’t rush through the beginning 4-5 questions, but move quickly past the easy ones, saving the majority of your time for the harder test questions.

  • Check your work if you finish early.

    If you finish a GRE section early, go back and check your work! Don’t second-guess yourself to the extreme, but re-check your work on the medium-hard level test questions.

  • Have a “panic plan.”

    Know what you will do if you find yourself (1) stressing out over a particularly challenging question, (2) finding yourself falling behind in a section, or (3) losing confidence in your abilities. Write down and imagine your own “worst-case scenario” and describe what you will do if it occurs on GRE Test Day.

  • Use Process of Elimination.

    For challenging GRE test questions, don’t give up if you don’t know how to solve. Examine the answer choices, and don’t be afraid to make an educated guess on 2-3 GRE test questions if necessary. You likely will have a very strong instinct that 1-2 choices will NOT be correct. Use POE to increase your chances of GRE success.

  • Memorize the directions.

    If you have adequately prepared for the GMAT, you should already be intimately familiar with the direction for each question type. Don’t waste valuable time re-reading them on test day.

  • Take the optional break.

    There are six sections with a 10-minute break following the third section. Take the break! Get up, stretch, and give yourself a mental rest.