Skipping time-consuming and difficult questions and returning to them later is one of the most effective GRE tactics, yet it causes anxiety in many students. It frequently feels like a failure or an admission of defeat, which is unpleasant when taking the test. Let’s get this thing out of the way first.
Is it necessary for everyone to skip questions on the GRE?
Yes. Everyone should avoid GRE questions. Many individuals mistakenly believe that elite test takers do not skip questions. When I take the GRE, I aim to get a perfect score on each section. But the only way I can get such a high score is to answer the easy questions correctly first, leaving plenty of time for the harder ones afterward. I can rapidly complete roughly 18 of the first section’s 20 questions and about 15 of the second section’s questions. After I finish the easy questions, I may approach the difficult or more time-consuming ones (which I have highlighted) comfortably and calmly solve them with all of my knowledge.
Why you should skip questions
It is more efficient to skip questions.
Any test will have a mix of difficult and easy questions. However, for most examinations, including the GRE, the difficult questions are not worth more than simpler ones. So, where can you get the most bang for your buck if you’re short on time? By quickly completing all of the simple questions and accumulating many right answers. Then you may go back and answer the more difficult questions, which will take longer and may not even be correct in the first place.
Returning to questions allows you to see them in a fresh light.
Refusing to give up on an issue you can’t solve may seem noble, but it’s probably ineffective. You’re considerably better off moving on to other questions so that you may clear your thoughts before returning to them several minutes later. Instead of becoming trapped in the same dead-end, this might allow you to perceive and approach the problem differently.
Skipping allows you to “warm up” for the more difficult questions.
Working on easy problems early may make the difficult questions easier to tackle later. Suppose you have to deal with formulae you’ve forgotten. In that case, the easy questions might be a useful refresher for your memory and allow you to get into the swing of applying various test-taking tactics. It can even refresh your mind regarding numerous information and tactics that you may have forgotten about. Finally, if you’re lucky, a question may provide you with a hint to the solution to another question.
Accepting the Psychology of Skipping Questions on the GRE in Two Passes
Although many students are concerned about missing any question, the two-pass technique is a terrific way to get control of the exam and optimize your GRE score. You approach the test with intelligence and intent when you skip a GRE question. Rather than following the instructions and becoming bogged down by a laborious data analysis question or a sentence equivalency question with multiple terms you’ve never heard before, you’ve taken a creative solution to sidestep a possible minefield in your route. Rather than being intimidated by the exam, you take charge of your testing experience. It gets simpler to skip once you have internalized and practiced this strategy.
How Many GRE Questions should you Avoid?
Your realistic target score determines it. Assume you want to get 160 on the Quantitative Reasoning portion and want to apply the two-pass strategy:
You set a target of 17 or 18 right answers on the first Quantitative Reasoning segment.
You target the simplest 14-15 questions on your first attempt.
On your second pass, you proceed through the “skipped” questions from easy to toughest, picking up another 3-4 questions comfortably.
On the second Quantitative Reasoning portion, you set a target of answering 15 questions correctly.
You choose the simplest 12 questions for your first pass.
For your second pass, you go through the “skipped” questions in order of difficulty and pick up another.
Identifying GRE Questions to Avoid
Skipping questions on the GRE is one of the essential methods you may utilize on the GRE, as outlined in Part One of this blog article. To make the most of this method, you must be able to rapidly and confidently pick which questions to skip. While some questions are easily identified as “skippers,” others are more difficult to discern. Here’s a strategy to help you determine when to skip a GRE question.
Practice identifying your skippers
The most obvious GRE questions to avoid are ones that need key information. Here are a couple of such examples:
● SKIP IT if you don’t know a crucial word in the sentence or any answer options on a Sentence Equivalence question!
● SKIP IT if you don’t understand a math phrase in a Quantitative Reasoning question!
● SKIP IT if you read a complete chapter on the Verbal Reasoning part and don’t grasp it!
● SKIP IT if you don’t know where to begin with a math problem!
Skipping questions like these on the GRE may seem obvious, but what about the ones where it’s more difficult to tell? In many circumstances, you are unaware that a question is tough.
Data interpretation questions are often composed of three questions. The last one or two problems in this group generally take the longest to solve of all the questions on the GRE. You will waste important time figuring out what the inquiry is asking. Then, in many circumstances, you must filter through a large amount of data to get the information you want, frequently synthesizing bits from various portions of the data set. You may need to do a series of processes to answer the query. The calculations take a lot of time. Skip and come back to this in the last.
Questions on Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension questions usually take longer than vocabulary questions, especially text completion questions with three gaps. Therefore, I always ignore the reading questions and do them last. Because the GRE is adaptive, you will be given a more difficult second Verbal section if you did well on the first Verbal portion. Thus, the passages you encounter on the second test will be more difficult to grasp, and the questions will feel more subjective.
Now that we’ve covered how to find skippers for the GRE, it’s time to get started—and best of luck! One of the great things about the GRE is that you can retake it as many times as you want, and many schools will accept your highest scores from each category. You will get a satisfactory score with time, dedication, and hard work. Miles Smart Tutoring provides GRE prep classes with private and one-on-one tutoring. We have experienced tutors creating classroom experiences tailored to your needs.