Using the Scratch Paper Effectively On the GRE

The scratch paper is an invaluable tool in the hands of the GRE students. These seemingly innocuous looking blank papers can contribute highly towards a good GRE score. Using the scratch paper helps you avoid silly mistakes, make accurate calculations, have better recall and save time. One of the most common causes of errors in the exam is mental calculations. Mental calculations is just the lazy way of approaching a problem. Use scratch paper and you will answer more accurately and save time.

On the exam day, you will get scratch paper and pencils. Be generous in your usage of scratch paper as you will get enough supply of it on the exam day. Here are some pointers for using the scratch paper effectively on the GRE:

  • Incorporate the use of scratch paper and pencil right from your practice tests. You should be accustomed to doing problems with a scratch paper on the side.
  • As soon as the clock starts, you may want to write down the important formulas from the quant section. This often gives you a sense of security.
  • You can divide the blank pages into grids by drawing lines or folding paper which can help you to organize problem calculations more effectively. This way you won’t mix up one problem with another.
  • Use separate sheets of paper for your quant and verbal problems. Also, write down question numbers to avoid confusion.
  • Write neatly on it. Even if you don’t have great handwriting, you can still keep stuff organized in the scratch paper. Since there is an unlimited supply of paper, you can choose to do only a few problems per page.
  • While there is an unlimited supply of scratch paper available, the proctor may take away the old set when issuing a fresh one. Make sure you change scratch papers only for a few sections otherwise you will end up wasting time redoing some parts of the problems.

Remember that using scratch paper well will keep you focused and stress-free on the day of the exam. Employ the techniques listed above and you should be well on your way to a good GRE score.

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