Dear Mentor:

How should I prepare for the GRE?

I am staying in New Delhi and am working as a technical writer in a good firm since last year. I now want to go abroad and do my Master's in humanities stream. I am a political science graduate and have done a 2-year diploma in computers from NIIT. How should I go about starting my GRE? Please advise.

Preparing 4 GRE, New Delhi, India

Dear Preparing 4 GRE:

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standardized entrance exam for graduate studies in such areas as engineering, computer science, humanities, sciences, and so on. GRE is typically, but not always, required in the US.

The GRE website offers detailed information on the test: content, format, test-taking strategies and process. We strongly encourage you to research this website carefully. We wish to not duplicate here what is already available on the Web.

GRE preparation is similar, in many ways, to other exams you have taken. You need to know: the content requirements, test format, and the process for applying for the test, taking the test and obtaining the results. GRE comes in two flavors: the General Test and Subject Test. The General Test measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The test consists of three scored sections: Verbal (30-minute, 30 questions), Quantitative (45-minute section, 28 questions) and Analytical (60-minute, 35 questions). The Subject Tests are designed to assess the qualifications of applicants in specific fields of study. Even the schools that require the General Test may not require the Subject Test. You should look at the specific admissions requirements of prospective schools.

One can prepare for the GRE using self-help books and interactive CDs. These are available in bookstores in Delhi. You can also take coaching classes that are available all over Delhi. As a matter of practice and policy, we do not endorse any product or service. However, you may wish to consult others - your friends and professors - for their recommendations on self-help tools and training classes. We do strongly encourage you to work hard in preparing for GRE, for it does have a significant impact on your admissions prospects.

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