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ETS GRE Success Starter: The Test Maker’s Guide to Doing Your Best

ETS has just released a very helpful video that answers many of the questions students are constantly asking me. How does the ScoreSelect option work? What does the calculator look like and how does it work? Is scrolling between questions intuitive?

You can find the video on their site, here:

At the same time, much of the video is only for helpful for those who have never heard of the GRE. Meaning for the first ten minutes you’ll sit through a test overview:  different question types, format, etc. (as well as the how-GRE-is-changing the world spiel). Nonetheless, there may be an important point that you didn’t know (so it’s a good idea to watch the video all the way through!).

Below are the top five reasons you should buy the video. Yes, that’s right it’s not free. It costs a mere 7 dollars, and it works on Macs as well (I have a Mac and was surprised that ETS actually thought of that tiny-minority of us).


Visual medium

Sure, you’ve read much of what the video has to say. But when you listen to somebody present something, oftentimes it sticks more than when you simply read (this is clearly true for visual learners).

Learn something that may help you test day

The video is filled with useful information. You really don’t know which point may actually help you out test day.

Excellent screen shots

I can describe the feature that allows you to navigate between questions. There is nothing like seeing it for yourself (this video provides a quick screen shot). You also get to look at the calculator and see that it is not that scary.

Score Select

This is the question that I constantly hear from confused users (that’s probably because it is a confusing issue). The video helps demystify the Score Select process.

Testing center information

Perhaps most helpful is the quick bit on testing center etiquette (do I get scratch paper, when are the breaks, etc.). Again, knowing these little things can make a big difference test day.


Of course this video isn’t the magic bullet to your GRE success. What you will not get?

No helpful techniques dealing with questions

It’s only a 22 minute video. It’s aim is to familiarize people with the test, as well as what to expect test day. It is not a how-to at the question-level (that’s where Magoosh comes into play).

No advice on how to prep

Besides a few strategies, such as “watch the clock” test day, the video does not recommend books, study schedules, how to improve etc. (you’ll find plenty of that on the Magoosh blog).



The ETS GRE Test Taker video is a great way for you to familiarize yourself with the format of the test. You will also get invaluable advice that pertains to test day.


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5 Responses to ETS GRE Success Starter: The Test Maker’s Guide to Doing Your Best

  1. Sumit October 16, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Thank You.

    I would like to add to the above to tell people to subscribe for the ETS newsletter as well. Ets made this video free for about 20 days before making it paid, and mailed the link in its newsletter telling it would be on charge beginning this month. So I saw this video for free. Bottom line : Like OG, and power prep, one should keep an eye for subtle online website stuff from the testmakers too. 🙂

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette October 16, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      This is a great comment– thanks for this, Sumit! 🙂

  2. Navisha October 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Hey, I have a question that may seem pretty obvious, but on the verbal reasoning section of the test, if you are asked to select more than one choice, and you get one (or even two) right and the second or third one wrong, do you still get marks for the ones you answered correctly? Or does that mean the entire answer is marked as wrong? Thanks a lot!

    • Gaurav October 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

      @ Navisha
      No if you will have to get all options right in order to score ,even if you get all of them except 1 you will get zero marks for that !!!!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 16, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      Hi Navisha,

      Unfortunately, it is an all or nothing thing: full points for all right, zero points for even one wrong.

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