Kevin Wandrei

5 Reasons to Form a GRE Study Group

gre study group

If you feel like you’ve spent way too much time cloistered away studying the GRE by yourself, then it’s time you form a GRE study group! Feeling less lonely is only one of many reasons why you should study for the exam with other people. Working with others can increase your knowledge, improve your motivation, and keep your goals in check. You might also make new friends along the way!

1. Learn New Things From Your Friends

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Have you ever spent hours staring at a single practice question, frustrated that you’re still unable to understand it? That’s where your GRE study group can help! Maybe your best friend really understands probability calculations, and she understands them so well that she can explain the concepts to you in a really simple way. If you have a group of 4 or 5 people, you can each share your own specialties. Keep in mind that teaching someone is actually a really good way for you to review concepts. In the process of trying to explain something to your friend, your brain will think through GRE material. All that exchanging will add up to some quality GRE knowledge for exam day!

2. Ensure You Cover All Exam Material

Almost all students overlook something in their GRE studies. A lot of the “little” rules can get forgotten – like the fact that 0 is an even number. Studying with other people reduces the likelihood that you’ll completely forget to study these things before exam day. Maybe your friend has a special fascination with standard deviation, and will remind you to study the topic, which you completely neglected to look over.

Studying with others can help you cover the small administrative things about the exam, too: like what you should bring on test day or how to send your scores to universities. It’s easy to ignore these small details, because there are a lot.

3. Get a New Motivation to Study

It’s no doubt that studying all by yourself can be boring. It can be tough to break out the books and go to the library for a few hours, especially when you’re spending those hours alone. Having some friends to meet makes studying less of a chore. You can get some snacks, and meet at a location you all particularly enjoy. Your GRE study group can provide a fun social outlet. Don’t be afraid to get a little competitive, either. As long as you keep the competition friendly, trying to outperform your peers is a great way to stay motivated to improve.

4. Let Your GRE Study Group Improve Your Self-Studying

Using a GRE study group doesn’t mean you have to completely stop studying on your own. On the contrary! Having a group of friends to study with can actually improve your self-studying. When you’re self-studying, you probably come up with a lot of questions or points you’re confused about. If you’re all alone, you don’t have many outlets to get those questions answered. But if you have a study group, you can bring questions to your sessions, and get them answered by your peers! Your friends probably also have some questions, which might raise some points you had not thought of.

5. Make Some Friends!

And last but not least, starting a GRE study group can be a great way to make some new friends. By meeting a group of people on a regular basis, you’ll share all the ups and downs of studying for the GRE – the successes and breakthroughs, as well as the confusion and frustration. In the process, you’ll strengthen your friendships with your fellow GRE studiers. You might even build some cherished memories that will last a lifetime!


  • Kevin Wandrei

    Kevin majored in history at Williams College (where he was President of the Cheese Club — he can answer any of your cheese-related questions!), and later earned a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University. When he isn’t helping plan a major city in his urban planning job in Boston, Kevin enjoys doing genealogical research.

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