What to Look for In GRE Practice Test
What should you look for in a GRE practice test? The foremost requirement would be that it remains as close to the actual test in terms of time, quality of questions and level of difficulty.
It should be a 3.5-hour test in the same format as the actual test with the number of questions, sections and timing for the different sections also remaining the same.
The practice test should be section adaptive, that is the difficulty level of the questions in each section should increase or decrease depending on your answers. Correct answers would lead to tougher questions and more marks and vice versa.
A large number of free GRE practice tests are available online. While quite a few of them replicate the features of the actual test quite well, the low-quality ones fail to meet the requirements. Here are some of the top practice tests that would be useful in your GRE campaign.
ETS PowerPrep II Practice Test
The official ETS PowerPrep II comes from the makers of the test and replicates the format, content, time-frame and difficulty levels as in the actual exam. The two free practice tests could be downloaded from the ETS website.
You will get a real feel of the test in terms of the test interface, format and questions. On the negative side, it provides only the answer key and no explanations. It also does not give Analytical Writing Scores.
ETS also has made available some retired GREs with questions used in the past tests. Two such tests, 2011 and 2012, are available in PDF form. Some of the questions overlap with those in the PowerPrep tests. These tests also give only the answer keys.
Manhattan Prep Free GRE Practice Test
Among the unofficial exams, Manhattan Prep Free GRE Practice Test has a computer interface and format that resembles the actual test. It is also section adaptive and the questions are similar though some of the questions may seem a lot tougher. Create a Manhattan Prep account to access the test.
Kaplan Free GRE Practice Test
The Kaplan Free GRE Practice Test also follows the actual GRE format. It gives you feedback on your performance so that you will get to know which sections you did well and areas that need improvement. This test is not section adaptive. Though explanations for the answers are given, in some cases, it may not be satisfactory. Similarly, some of the questions also fall below GRE standards.
Princeton Review Free GRE Practice Test
The Princeton Review has limited access (14 days) free GRE Practice Test. You just have to go to their website and create an account to access the test. It follows the timing, format and interface of the actual GRE test.
On the flip side, though you get a score sheet, you will not be able to access the questions again. It also does not explain the answers and is not section adaptive.
The McGraw Hill Free GRE Practice Test
The McGraw Hill Free GRE Practice Test has a free diagnostic GRE test comprising one Verbal and one Quantitative section besides five additional practice tests.
However, the format is different from the actual GRE though the questions are of the required standard. The test does not keep to the time schedule and some of the Quantitative Section questions are easier than in the GRE test. It is not section adaptive and lacks Analytical Writing practice questions.
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