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Mock Tests for the New GRE

We’re seeing quite a few changes on the new GRE – different question types, an on-screen calculator and much more. These changes will cause a drastic change in your test-taking experience. One of the best ways to get acclimated to the new GRE is to take mock tests. In this post, I’m going to highlight the mock test functionality in the new GRE product from Magoosh and ETS’ Powerprep 2.

Mock Tests with Magoosh

With the new GRE product from Magoosh, you can create personalized mock tests to simulate the GRE experience. After you log into your Magoosh account, click on “Practice” in the header.

From the Practice screen, you can customize your practice session to create a mock test:

Section – Choose Math or Verbal
When taking the new GRE, you will face two types of sections: math and verbal. In each section, you will be required to answer a mix of question types. Rather than choosing a specific type of question (e.g., Text Completion), I recommend you choose either math or verbal from the section list. Choosing a specific question type is great for practice, but not for mock tests, because it doesn’t simulate the actual GRE experience.

Subjects – Choose All
Creating a practice session with specific subjects is great when you are honing your skills in one subject area (e.g., Geometry). However, when you want to simulate the GRE, choosing all subjects makes your mock test more realistic.

Difficulty – Choose Adaptive
Unlike the old GRE, the new GRE will no longer be adaptive by question. However, choosing adaptive for your difficulty level ensures you will see questions of various difficulty levels during your mock test – just as you would on the actual GRE.

Question Pool – Choose Unanswered
By selecting unanswered for your question pool, you guarantee you will only see questions you have not yet answered. If you select any other option, you may see questions you have already answered. This can give you a false sense of improvement on your timing.

Number of Questions – Choose 20
The old GRE had 28 questions for the math section and 30 for the verbal section. The new GRE has 20 questions for both sections. To simulate the new GRE, choose 20 questions when setting up your mock test. Choosing fewer than 20 questions is okay, if you are short on time but want to get familiar with the new GRE.

Time Limit – Choose 30 for Verbal, 35 for Math
The old GRE allowed 30 minutes for verbal and 45 minutes for math. The new GRE allows 30 minutes for verbal and 35 minutes for math. Choose these options to best prep yourself for test day. As with the number of questions, the time limit can be adjusted if you want to get a taste of the new GRE, without taking a complete mock test.

Mode – Choose Quiz Mode
The Magoosh product consists of two modes: practice and quiz. At Magoosh, we recognize that you sometimes want to answer practice questions one by one without feeling the pressure of taking the test. That’s why we created practice mode. However, you should always do mock tests in quiz mode for two reasons:

  1. In quiz mode, you’ll be able to skip over and return to questions just like the actual new GRE. In practice mode, you have to answer questions one by one without skipping.
  2. In quiz mode, you won’t see your results until you complete the mock test. In practice mode, you see the answer and explanation for each question as soon as you answer it.

Mock Tests with ETS

Taking mock tests with Magoosh is a great way to starting learning about the new GRE. However, I also highly recommend downloading ETS’ Powerprep 2. ETS is the maker of the GRE – its practice test functionality is second to none when it comes to simulating your actual GRE experience. If you are just starting out, I recommend using the Test Preview option (as shown below) rather than doing a fully-timed test. Save the timed test for when you are more comfortable with the new GRE material.

Screenshot from ETS’s Powerprep 2

Conclusion: Mock Tests for Practice

Practicing with mock tests will help you familiarize yourself with the new question types, skipping and returning to questions, the on-screen calculator and much more. Don’t be afraid to dive in and see how you do. Once you set your baseline, you can create more focused practice sessions to improve your areas of weakness. To sign up for the new GRE product from Magoosh, click here.

If you have any questions or tips about mock tests, feel free to comment below.

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

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