Many universities require applicants for graduate school to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). In many cases the score on the GRE is a major input to the admission decision process. If a prospective student is really interested in going to graduate school at one of these schools, it is in their interest to get as high a score on the GRE as possible. Thus, such students may decide to look for a useful GRE study guide.
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) is responsible for the GRE. In most situations it is taken on a computer, though paper versions do exist and may be used when the computerized version is not available. There are three multiple choice portions and a written part. There are many versions of the test, so one could take the test several times without getting much repetition of questions.
There are also eight Subject Tests that are optional parts of the GRE. They test knowledge in specific subject areas. One can take the GRE without taking any of them, though one or more of them may be required to be considered for some graduate programs. This article only discusses how to prepare for the main GRE.
According to the ETS, preparation or training for the GRE is not useful. This is because the GRE is testing very basic knowledge, including analytical thinking, writing, and both verbal and numerical reasoning. None of these can be acquired in a short time period. Others argue that the GRE format is so formal that taking similar tests in this format is useful practice.