Should you join a coaching for GRE preparation?

Whether to join a coaching for GRE preparation remains a dilemma for many. The answer to this question is actually not in black and white. It depends on a lot of factors, which people usually are unaware of.

Skill Maestro is committed to genuinely assist GRE aspirants – whether they take the coaching for GRE or not. This post is dedicated to you for an objective evaluation of whether to join a coaching for GRE or not.

We list a number of factors that will shape your decision to join coaching or not.

1. Take a diagnostic test

The first and the foremost step in deciding whether to opt for coaching or not, is by self evaluation through a diagnostic test. Take the ETS powerprep Test 1, which is the official sample GRE test and evaluate yourself on it. If you score between the bracket of 157-170 in both verbal and quant, you probably would not require a coaching to assist you. You would just need good practice material and you are good to go.

However, if you score below this bracket on any one of the section, you might want to take a coaching class, as GRE tutors would provide you with a GRE oriented direction with handy tips, tricks and valuable advice on your weak spots. Remember, cracking the GRE is more of a skill which can be developed. GRE tests your English and basic quant skills, which any adult is capable of intrinsically, it just needs to be fine tuned in accordance with the GRE pattern.

2. Are you self-motivated and disciplined enough?

Are you an extremely self motivated person? Or do you have just short, capricious, inconsistent bouts of self motivation? Self preparation often takes a lot of self motivation on your part. If you are one of those people who can manage to stay afloat with regularity and discipline, you may consider not taking a coaching. But if you do not fall in this category, it might be a risk to undertake self-preparation.  Joining a coaching in such a case makes your study more regular, structured, consistent and disciplined. Decide which category you fall in.

3. Small Tricks and Hacks

Remember, the GRE is a manageable exam to crack, but it is interspersed with a lot of tricky questions. The Verbal section is not easy, even for those who have a good command over English, and often a lot of hacks and tricks can help you in dealing with different types of questions. For example, on the Reading Comprehension (RC) questions, the GRE often puts a lot of trap wrong answer choices, which you will be tempted to choose. Wrong answer choices often contain the same relevant sentence from the RC, but would just distort the sentence by changing some minor words, which completely change the meaning of the sentence. Now just because you see a similar sentence structure on the answer choice, you feel tempted to pick up that answer in a hurry, without noticing how those subtle omissions/additions in the sentence have changed the meaning of the answer choice. 

A good GRE Verbal tutor will assist you in identifying the wrong answer choices and in understanding why the choice is wrong. The same goes for the Math section. There are multiple tiny tricks and hacks which GRE experts may help you with.  This is the greatest advantage of joining a GOOD coaching with GRE experts.

4. Are you exposed to study material that is close enough to GRE like questions?

For the GRE, it is quite important that you study from study material which is representative of the GRE questions. A lot of students, due to lack of awareness, study from sub-standard material, which often is not representative of the GRE material. In fact, a lot of coaching centres also use non representative GRE study material and often have non experts teaching the GRE aspirants. It is simply a DRAIN of your money! The best study material is the Manahttan Books, which are a very good reflection of GRE questions. Other good materials includes Princeton Review’s 1014 Question Book and of course, the ETS official guide. If the coaching centre you plan to go, does not expose you with these study materials, there is a good enough chance that you might be exposed to study material that is not close enough to GRE like questions.  

Whatever decision you take, to join or not join coaching, you MUST get your hands on GRE like material, otherwise, it is a waste of time, money and efforts.

5. How well are you placed for the writing section?

A majority of students, including those who possess fairly good writing skills, manage to score only between 3 to 4.5  out of 6 on the writing section of the GRE. The primary reason for this is that most of the students remain unaware of what exactly is expected of them in the writing section of the GRE. The writing section measures your analytical and critical thinking skills more than just you ability to use fancy words. Using fancy words and complex sentence structures is definitely a brownie point, but remember that is not all.

If you think you can develop the skill of writing critically and analytically along with a high standard of English, you may manage to prepare on your own using good resources. But if you feel under-confident about it, or you feel you need a personal guidance, you must consider taking an expert’s help for this. Remember, even if you do take mock tests online, only a few of these give you your writing score, which is why a lot of students are unable to evaluate their writing section while preparing on their own. A lot of coaching centers personally train students on how to develop this skill of writing critically and analytically.

The decision to join coaching for the GRE or not, depends on your capabilities, aptitude, perseverance, self motivation, access to resourceful rich practice material and the ability to write critically and analytically.   Evaluate yourself on all these parameters and take a decision accordingly. In case you decide to opt for classes, remember that a good coaching center must provide you with multiple mock tests (both paper based and computer based), periodic tests, training for tricky GRE questions, an exposure to the representative GRE questions and a personal guidance by experts for the writing section. 

We hope after this objective evaluation of whether to join coaching or not, you are good to go!

About Skill Maestro

At Skill Maestro, We guide prospective students about the entire application process as well as suitable universities as per their profile/test scores. We have consulted dozens of prospective students for MIS across the globe. We have a physical presence in Indore where we also help students prepare for GRE, GMAT & SAT


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