In recent times, students have started indulging themselves in the preparation for GRE & TOEFL at the same time, simultaneously preparing every single day for it, both the exams have pretty much the same syllabus and test patterns.
So let’s start with what exactly GRE & TOEFL are
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test for most of the graduate school in America. On the other hand, TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) is a test to assess the English proficiency of students whose native language is not English and to check whether and how will they be able to cope up in a different academic vicinity.
Both the tests are equally important and career-oriented. While many people will tell you to focus on any one of the exams and try to ace it, I would recommend you to do smart work rather than hard work. Here are some tips to prepare for GRE & TOEFL at the same time
Identify The Pattern
Not only while solving questions but when you are preparing for GRE & TOEFL at the same time, try to figure out a commonality in both the tests and how you can save a lot of time not preparing for them separately. For example – to practice TOEFL reading & listening with GRE verbal will help you. They both require similar skills and can be studied together smoothly. Similarly, try observing a pattern in the multiple choice questions, GRE & TOEFL both are 4-hour exams individually and it may exhaust you to the bits, so don’t fiddle about each question and work smartly where you can.
Strengthen Your Vocabulary And Writing Style
This is by far the most important and critical part about GRE & TOEFL, though it is often said that if you are through with the GRE preparations, 40% of TOEFL syllabus is already taken care by you. Most people surmise to have a good command over the English language but are far far behind that.
The best way to grow your vocabulary is to read as much as you can, try reading novels of foreign authors and non-fiction as much as possible. Now it might be easy for you to learn 4000 words, but to have the appropriate knowledge as to where and how to use the right word is a different story altogether. You are applying to study abroad then why not start reading their newspapers, go for the New York Times or The Guardian.
TOEFL has a speaking section which can be frightening. They give you a topic with 20 seconds to prepare and ask you to speak for 60 seconds. It’s like an extempore session. So, you need to know each type of questions and have a pre-planned strategy for it. TOEFL also consists of a Listening Section which is easy but tiring at the same time, as you need to make a lot of notes in it.
While the Reading Section of TOEFL requires a lot of patience and attention to detail, the Writing Section of TOEFL is comparatively easier than GRE. This way, you can prepare for the TOEFL exam anytime anywhere. It has almost all the aspects of GRE & TOEFL covered in it.
While you’re giving GRE, focus on the essay writing. As it almost takes away the first hour of the exam and if this section goes bad, your whole exam will. Do not forget that it is an exam and you are in to finish it, you really need to work hard on your typing and thought process.
This particular section is quite exhausting and asks for specific attention. This is where most people commit the maximum mistakes, the Quantitative Section comprises the quantitative comparison, to begin with, followed by problem-solving and a set of data interpretation questions by the end. You will precisely have 1.5 to 2 minutes to solve one question and move to the next question. Now, this might appear easy to you, but keep in mind that to make a mistake or leaving a question costs you 2 precious marks.
Not only while giving the exam but also while preparing for it, time management is the key in GRE & TOEFL. The more you practice, the more perfection you bring to your skills and thought process.
Make a schedule for your preparations and commit to it. Never hassle over parts of the tests that you feel will be tiring and lengthy. There are several time management tips to look for while preparing for these tests.
Start everyday preparations with a fresh mind and reasonable targets to achieve, try solving mock test papers as much as you can to keep a check on your speed and accuracy. Try solving questions in less than a minute and keep a track of it.
With everything under control, there is no way GRE & TOEFL can ever be trouble in your way of foreign education. With proper planning and execution of tips & tricks and everyday practice, you will surely be able to score the maximum.
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