Coronavirus Lockdown: How To Use The Lockdown Time For Smart GRE Prep

The looming uncertainties about visa processes and admissions to US universities due to ongoing lockdown have put the long term plans on hold for many students who have already secured university admits. Meanwhile, many of you, who are currently preparing for the GRE and have joined GRE coaching, are also finding it difficult to plan and manage their studies due to suspension of classes and postponement of tests.

As of now, there is no clarity by when these situations will improve and classes will resume. Therefore, to help you make the best use of this lockdown time without being affected by the mounting pressure, we have come up with a few tips that will help you continue your studies at home, in a smart way! 

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Coronavirus Lockdown: You Can Take the GRE Test Sitting at Home

Taking the GRE® General Test at Home: Equipment and Environment Checks

With the current lockdown, the ETS has made it possible from April 2, 2020, in India for students to take the GRE General Test online at home! This opportunity is will not be available for long and the number of test-at-home sessions is limited. To register for the test, visit ets.org/gre/at-home today!

There are a few criteria that you must keep in mind while applying to take the test at home. Firstly, your computer must meet the equipment requirements for the test. This will mean you have to install the ETS Test Browser and the ProctorU Systems Check on your machine (desktop/laptop). During the test, a human proctor, via video camera, will monitor you and your computer screen to ensure you follow procedures: the entire test will be recorded and your photo will be taken, which will be made available as part of your score record to the institutions you designated. Additionally, there are certain environmental parameters you must follow.

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Cracking the GRE: Are You Ready for the Analytical Writing Challenge?

Are you ready for AW?

AW Challenging… Really?

If you ask students to name the most difficult section in the GRE, most engineers would say: “Verbal Reasoning” and most non-engineers would say “Quant”. Hardly anyone would suggest that Analytical Writing plays much of a role either in cracking the GRE or getting an admit for an MS in US. For most students taking the GRE exam, therefore, the Analytical Writing section (also called AW) is a surprisingly challenging part. There are several reasons for this.

The Problems of the Engineer

  • First, if you are like most students who come to Dilip Oak’s Academy, you have lost touch with essay writing long ago – your last encounter with this lost ‘art form’ was probably 3-5 years ago in the 10th standard, and whatever you did learn about it has long been buried under the load of highly technical data that you had to stuff your head with during your bachelor’s course.
  • Second, as an engineer (or even a non-engineer) you don’t even understand why AW should be included in the GRE at all (check out this article if you are still not clear).
  • And third, you probably think that since you did essay writing in school, you should be able to manage this section without too much trouble.

However, the AW section is important and it demands that you meet a very specialized (and exhausting) set of requirements.

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Cracking the GRE: Getting Hit by the Analytical Writing Bomb – Why You Must Prepare for Analytical Writing

The AW BombFirst Things First

Here’s a fundamental reason why you should prepare for this section: it is the first section that you will face in the GRE exam – this is always the case. The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections come in random order, and they only come in afterwards. Only Analytical Writing (AW) has a fixed place in the order of sections in the exam, and that place is right at the beginning of this arduous test. It’s a fact you can’t change, it’s a fact you can’t avoid; and it’s a fact that is fundamental to cracking the GRE.

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Analytical Writing in the Revised General GRE

Here are some important facts about the Analytical Writing (AW) section of the Revised General GRE that test-takers should know. AW is always the first section in the exam and consists of the same two essay tasks

  • the issue essay task
  • the argument essay task

Both essays have to be typed out in a simple word-processor that has cut, copy and paste functions. So, you need to have a typing speed of at least 40 words per minute. If you haven’t, start learning/ practicing now.

As indicated in our earlier blog on AW (Why 6 and 8 are Important Numbers for the New GRE Analytical Writing Section) some things make this section, just a little bit demanding – read it and find out. The overview below will tell you what this section is like as a whole.

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Write Better Essays with OWL – A Simple Aid to Improving Grammar

Essays

For GRE and GMAT test-takers, the Analytical Writing Section may sometimes seem to be an uphill climb. With only a half an hour to brainstorm ideas, make an outline and finally type in the entire essay, it may not always be possible to transfer your thoughts to the word processor exactly as you want. The result is often essays that fall short of what the examiner expects in order to award a 4.

The links below are a part of the Online Writing Lab, a project started by Purdue University, which helps teachers and students in developing their English Language skills and rectifying the errors that they make in their essays. They provide valuable suggestions on how to structure sentences correctly and avoid minor errors in English that we as non-native speakers of the language tend to make. Visit them and start improving your Analytical Writing essays immediately.

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