GRE Tutor: Find one and get the most from your sessions
A GRE tutor can be the most effective way for many of us to take the Graduate Record Exam.
Many organizations offer classes, too, and you may choose self-study as well. My advice for best results is to combine the study strategies most effective for you. If you do well with one-on-one support, go for it! Then follow up with a class or peer study group.
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What it's like to take the GRE
If you've been out of school for a while, you'll be surprised to find how different today's GRE is from yesterday's SAT. For one thing, most people now take the GRE on a computer in a testing center. The program calibrates itself based on your answers--if you get it right, you get a harder question next time. If not, the question will be easier. (Yes, this can be stress-inducing.)
There are three components to the test: verbal, quantitative, and writing. I strongly recommend taking the Education Testing Service's free diagnostic tests (they come with the exam) to see where you stand and what you need to improve. However, don't stop there. Any bookstore can provide a wide variety of test-specific study guides. Buy a couple of good ones (The Petersons Guide is a classic) and take those diagnostic tests, too. Work with your tutor and periodically take additional tests to track your progress.
Will a GRE tutor help me raise my score?
In short: YES, if you do your part. A tutor can act as a coach, providing inspiration, motivation, and expertise. But you'll have to do the studying in addition to your sessions.
Find a tutor with experience in test preparation and high standardized exam scores. (If he or she won't reveal test scores, move on--there are plenty of tutors out there who have done well on these measures.) If you know, for example, that you're likely to do well in math but not in verbal, choose a tutor who knows the verbal test inside and out. You'll likely do fine on math with good self-study.
What to ask your new tutor
A few questions to ask a prospective tutor:
1. What experience have you had helping students raise test scores?
2. What did you get on the GRE (or SAT, ACT, etc.)
3. How do you measure test performance for your students?
4. How do you work with students to help them improve scores?
How to find the test prep support you need
This site is full of information about finding and working with the best tutors. I've partnered with the Princeton Review to offer my visitorsUp to $100 on Princeton Review courses for the SAT©, ACT©, GRE©, GMAT©, LSAT© or MCAT©.A review course plus a tutor and disciplined self-study will make a big difference your ultimate score. Get going!