EduReviewerBlogHow Hard Is the GRE: Is it THAT Difficult?
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How Hard Is the GRE: Is it THAT Difficult?

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 For those that do not know, GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination. In most cases, you will need to pass the test to get access to a wide range of business programs in the world. Its creator is the well-known Educational Testing Service of ETS.

If you are familiar with this organization, then you understand the importance that the GRE test has. Putting a GRE score on resume can significantly raise your chances of getting a job. Because of that, there is no doubt you should properly prepare for the test and achieve good results.

Yet, the biggest doubt people have is – how hard is the GRE. Answering the question is not as simple as it seems. You will have to analyze a bunch of things that will tell you how hard is the GRE test. Fortunately, you have come to the right place to gain valuable pieces of information. Let’s find them out together!

Is the GRE Really Hard?

The GRE difficulty is not going to be the same for every person. For starters, you need to find the best possible way to prepare for this form of test.

One of the options that you have is to invest a certain among of money in the GRE self-prep courses. However, that would mean that you will manage to handle all the unclear pieces of information on your own. Another option that you have is to hire GRE tutors. With these two things in mind, GRE test difficulty will be much lower.

You have probably read many “LSAT vs SAT” comparisons and reviews. Compared to these two tests, the GRE test is harder. You are probably wondering now why is GRE hard compared to these two tests. Well, the answer is simple – it contains more challenging tasks! You will have to go through difficult reading passages, math problems, and vocabulary requirements.

Fortunately, there are many other types of exams such as LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT that are way more difficult. For instance, if find yourself in a situation where you have to decide on GRE or GMAT, be sure the second one will take you more time. Many students will aGREe that Graduate Record Examination does not come with specialized knowledge related to math.

To make things clear, three factors influence the difficulty of this type of test. They are

  • The Format
  • The Vocabulary
  • The Math Portion

So, is the GRE easy? Is that something we would want to say? As you see, answering question in a couple of sentences is impossible. Because of that, you will have to continue reading to find the answer you are looking for!

How Hard Is the Writing Section of the GRE?

At the same moment, the answer can be either “a lot” or “not at all”. How hard is GRE writing section depends on your writing skills. Some people have the opportunity to write different forms of papers more often. On the other hand, others stop writing immediately after they graduate.

The average that most students manage to reach is 3.5 points. However, if you improve your writing skills properly, you manage to score a maximum of 6. Here is what you have to do!

First of all, you will need to pass 2 separate parts that last for 30 minutes each. Those two parts or tasks are “analyze an argument” and “analyze an issue”. It is recommendable that you find the samples of both types of tasks and check out how quickly you can finish them. If you need more than 30 minutes, then you will certainly need to learn how to write faster without reducing the quality.

How difficult is the GRE writing section depends also on your typing skills. Believe it or not, the average typing speed for adult people is around 40 words per minute. If you are using a computer often, then your typing speed is probably higher than average. Yet, it would be good to upgrade your typing speed to around 750 WPM and ensure you won’t struggle to complete both parts of the test.

But, keep in mind that quick typing must not reduce your concentration and focus. Richard Hamming once said, “typing is no substitute for thinking”. We suggest you remember that piece of advice!

How Hard Is Math and Physics on the GRE?

How hard is the GRE math? How hard is the physics GRE? Aren’t these questions you would want to answer? Well, continue reading!

Let’s start with the math test. Math GRE requires a specific list of skills that you need to possess to achieve the best results. Some of them are plane geometry, data tables, and graphs, number proportions, percents, functions, etc. We recommend you check out the image below to see the full list and understand which skills you have to work on!

math skills required for the gre

Source: rafalreyzer

The list above will probably scare you a little. Without any doubt, basic statistics, graphs, geometry, and data table can be difficult to understand concepts. But, the good thing is that you do not have to be an expert in all the mentioned fields. It is going to be enough to have solid knowledge to pass the test. Because of that, it would be good to once again go through math lessons that you studied a long time ago!

On the other hand, keep in mind that timing is probably something that makes physics and math tasks more difficult. Just like in the previous case, there are two sections of 20 questions. The time you have to complete them is 35 minutes each. When you look closer, every individual has only 1 minute and 45 seconds to answer each question. So, what do you think now; is GRE math hard?

Even if you do believe that maths and physics are difficult, there is a good way to improve the speed of your work. You should check out the examples of maths and physics questions and turn on the timer while working. Don’t become demotivated if you need more than 35 minutes to complete a test.

When you’re researching how difficult the GRE is, it’s essential to consider additional educational resources. If you’re wondering how much is varsity tutors, you might be pleasantly surprised. It offers affordable rates for high-quality tutoring services.

Instead of that, analyze the reasons why you are slow and try to find the best possible way to complete the trickiest questions.

If you respect every step we mentioned, how hard is GRE math will no longer be the doubt you have. More precisely, it will be much easier for you!

How Long Does It Take to Prepare for GRE

As previously mentioned, answering how difficult is GRE is not simple. It directly depends on how well you prepare for the test!

Don’t expect you are going to study everything for a couple of days. It is recommendable that you start the preparation process at least 3 months before the test.

However, that also doesn’t mean you should spend 1 hour on reading lessons and practicing answering. Instead of that, it would be good to study between 3 and 4 hours every single day. If necessary, you can take a break during the weekends. It is not the point to study with an unclear mind.

However, there is one thing that you have to know. While you are studying 4 hours a day, do not overestimate your ability to learn. During one day, it is going to be enough to practice 10 questions, learn 10 new words, and pass 10 quant concepts.

On the other hand, 1 analytical essay a week is going to be enough. Speaking of the full-length practice tests, accomplishing only 1 in 2 weeks or 2 in 1 month is going to be an amazing thing. Everything above that will make you tired!

So, what do you think now, is the GRE difficult or not?

But, There Are Certain Things On Your Side

There is nothing beneficial that the writing part of the test is going to bring. However, when we talk about other parts of the test, it is worth mentioning that they are multiple-choice based. The students will not have to fill the blanks or write short/long answers. That will allow you to give answers quicker than usual.

Despite that, no one says that you need to answer difficult questions immediately. With the multiple-choice option, you can simply skip some questions with no consequences and answer them later. It is important to develop a good answering strategy, and that will only be possible with good practice.

Finally, some people lose concentration, and they get stuck. As mentioned, there are no penalties and negative points. When you are unsure, you can try out to gain some points by following your intuition. Doesn’t this seem like an amazing opportunity? After reading these benefits, what do you think; is GRE easy or is the GRE hard?

How Do I Raise My GRE Score?

The answer to “is GRE difficult” is probably more obvious now. Despite that, you have also realized why is the GRE so hard. Yet, something you are not pretty sure about is how you can raise your GRE score. It is one more question on the list that requires an in-depth analysis. If you want to find out a few more tips, continue reading!

For Starters – Determine Your Goal

It is crucial for your proGREss to set a goal and determine the GRE score you want to achieve. That won’t directly help you improve, but it would certainly be an amazing source of motivation. If you are not quite sure how to do that, we recommend you check out the list below.

table with score/verbal percentile/quant percentile

Source: PrepScholar

Realistic Practice Is Mandatory

You have to get a clear image of your knowledge, and the only way to do that is to use realistic GRE practice. One of the places where you can find realistic test examples is the official website of ETS. That is also one of the ways to answer “is the GRE test hard” and how much time you will have to invest in boosting your knowledge.

Connect with Good Tutors

It is not important how good you are at physics, math, or any other section of this test. Finding a good tutor is one of the ways to improve your score.

It is not enough to find someone who is going to teach you a lesson. You need to find a mentor that will find the most creative and effective way to share his knowledge and experience with you.

Despite that, he or she needs to give you instructions on how to prepare properly. If you get valuable lessons and instructions, be sure that whenever someone asks you, “is GRE test hard”, the answer will be NO.

Regularly Analyze Your Mistakes

Whenever you don’t manage to finish the test on time and with good results, analyze your mistakes! You need to figure out the factors that negatively influence your problem-solving skills. There are two reasons why you should do this.

First of all, it will allow you to improve on your own. Tutors are not going to transfer their knowledge to your mind and thoughts. Most things depend on you, and you need to take the necessary responsibility.

Despite that, the analyses you do are going to be motivation. You will never say “I am not good enough” or start thinking that you are not enough good for GRE test. When you notice your weaknesses, you will know what you have to improve!


Who Can Help Me With GRE Prep?

Different tutors have already worked with students like you. They can easily provide you with instructions on how you should prepare and provide you with useful educational materials and realistic tests.

What Are the Best GRE Test Prep Services?

Fortunately for you, many of them will meet the requirements and expectations that you have. However, instead of naming them all here, you may want to check out our blog on the best GRE prep courses online and gain more information on your own.


So, what do you think, is the GRE test hard? After reading all the details, you can get only one conclusion – everything depends on you! Because of that, it is recommendable that you apply some of the methods that we mentioned in this article.

Don’t delay the beginning of the process, as you will certainly need at least three months to improve your knowledge completely. Make a goal, organize your time, work on your motivation, and the results will come.


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