Practice exams are essential to a comprehensive GRE study plan. However, how many practice tests you take depends on your studying needs and how much time you have to prepare for the final test. Knowing how many practice exams you should take and when to take them can help you make the most of your GRE study plan.
Want to know just how many tests you should take before the GRE? This guide helps you learn more about taking the right number of GRE practice tests, with helpful advice on:
- Incorporating GRE practice tests into your study plan
- Deciding how many tests you should take
- Knowing when to take each test to maximize your study time
Taking a Practice Exam
Our GRE study program includes five exclusive practice exams developed and designed by GRE experts. Taking the tests strategically allows you to measure your progress as you study. Plus, they are scored the same as the official test, so you can understand how scoring works and see the results you would receive if the practice test were the real thing.
Using mock exams helps you optimize your study plan. Practice tests measure your progress before, during, and at the end of your GRE study schedule. They reveal what types of questions you missed, areas that need improvement, and where you did well. With this information, you can decide how much time to dedicate to which topics.
Because practice exams test your current abilities, they enable you to understand where you are now vs. where you need to be to reach your ideal score range. You can focus on studying the right material and watch your score improve by taking more practice tests. If you're not seeing your expected results, practice test scores can help you refocus and rework your study plan.
Why Not Take Only Practice Tests?
The best GRE study plans offer a balance of review and test-taking. Studying practice questions lets you learn the steps of each problem and how to solve them using strategies, while practice exams allow you to apply your knowledge, see what skills you've mastered, and understand where you need more work.
How Many GRE Practice Tests Should I Take?
There is no set number of practice exams you should take before the GRE. How many mock exams you need depends on how much time you give yourself to prepare, whether one month or several weeks. Our four-week GRE study plan includes plenty of tests and learning modules to help you feel ready to take the exam in just one month.
Too Few vs. Too Many
Taking too few exams may leave you unprepared come test day. The less practice you have, the less likely you are to fully understand how the GRE works, what's on it, and how to manage your test-taking time wisely. While you should avoid burnout with study breaks and self-care, taking simulated exams regularly will only improve your strategies and timing.
The Ideal Number of Practice Tests
The number of GRE practice tests you should take will depend on your study plan. Scheduling the tests at regular intervals after you've had time to study and assess your skills gives you a good measurement of your progress. Plan to take at least five or more tests if you're studying for one month.
When to Test
When Should I Take a GRE Practice Test?
After the first mock exam, hold off on taking another practice test until you've learned something new and feel stronger in areas where you previously needed improvement. The ideal time between taking tests is a few days, so you have enough time to learn the material and recharge your test-taking abilities.
Take the First Test
If you understand the GRE format and the topics being assessed, take your first practice exam before planning your study schedule. After taking the initial exam, review your results carefully and organize a study plan based on your performance, focusing on the sections and types of questions that proved difficult for you.
Create a Review & Testing Routine
After your first week of studying, it's time to take another practice exam. Then, review the entire exam again and note the problems you answered incorrectly. Look for trends in the types of questions you got wrong to hone the skills or strategies you need to review.
Spend the next week or two working on those mistakes until you feel confident enough to take another practice exam. Your practice test-taking schedule should look like this:
- Take a practice test
- Study your weaknesses
- Take another practice test
Take Tests a Few Times per Week
Once you've covered all your weak spots, you can and should continue to take practice exams until you reach your ideal score range. Take one practice exam every couple days, give yourself study time in between, and continue to review each test until your results reflect the final score you desire.
Take the Last Practice Test
The final practice test you take should be a day or two before your testing date, no matter your score. Don't let a slightly lower score discourage you. Study your areas of weakness and monitor those section scores on practice tests, especially in the day or hours before the official GRE test.
Taking GRE Practice Tests
Regularly testing yourself on your study material gives you a better chance of remembering it on the actual testing day. At Grad Prep, we offer customized GRE study plans that include unique practice exams, interactive lessons, and a simulated test-day experience. Begin your GRE test prep and earn the score you need to get into the grad school of your choice.