Great scores, anupk - congratulations!
Brent - Greenlight Test Prep
I'm done with the GRE and scored a 334 overall(Q-169,V-165)
My target was to score 330+ and hell yeah I'm happy!
I'm targeting all the top schools for computer science on the west coast- CalTech, Stanford,UCLA,UC Berkley,USC . Although there are a couple of top computer science schools
on the east coast but i want to study in and around the silicon valley where all the action in computer science is so that's why west coast schools are my priority!
How I went about my preparation
Since I'm studying in a top enginering school in India,GRE Math seemed liked a cakewalk and frankly speaking,I didn't study for it much I just brushed up my basics but did a lot of practice.
The GRE Math questions are from high school. The difficult ones are a bit tricky but if you get familiar with the types of questions that are tested,you shouldn't have much difficulty.
GRE Verbal was a tough nut to crack though. I've not been into the habit of reading much and had to practice a lot from different books.
I primarily used 3 sources- Princetons' Crack the GRE, GRE Official Guide and GRE Verbal Grail. Here's what I think about these books
Princeton's Crack the GRE book- The book is good for basics and for giving you an overview but not much beyond that. I guess it's written for people who are looking at average scores otherwise it's of not much help.
So for my verbal prep, I primarily relied on the ETS Official Guide and GRE Verbal Grail.
ETS OG- The good thing about the official guide is that the verbal questions in it are quite tricky especially the text completion ones. The bad thing is that there aren't many practice questions.
GRE Verbal Grail- Probably the best book for verbal. I especially liked its reading comprehension section as each question type has been dealt quite well and given that around half of the questions on the GRE Verbal are RC questions, you should really be able to nail the questions. The book provides a lot of practice questions too.
Vocabulary: I kept on working on my vocabulary and would daily learn around 10 new words. What I didn't do is start practicing TC and SE questions alongwith learning vocabulary. I firstly wanted to be good enough at vocab before attempting these questions. Once I had some confidence in vocab, then I started attempting questions from the ETS OG and GRE Verbal Grail book.
I'd do a block of 20 questions from the books,then analyze them and then write down the new words that I learnt. This really helped me master vocab to a great extent.
GRE Test day:
The actual test was not very much different from the ETS OG practice tests.Both the verbal and the quant sections were quite close and I think that doing quite a few practice tests actually made me quite comfortable on the GRE day.
My advice to the fellow GRE aspirants:
1. Learning vocabulary becomes an interesting process if you use the words in your daily life. The more you use the words the better you will be able to understand the context
2. Learning the strategies for various RC questions is very important. If you don't know the strategies, you may end up taking more time than required on a question
3. It's all about practice. I think that GRE is quite an interesting exam and can be cracked if you practice well. That is really the key to success
4. Analyze your practice tests really well. There's no point in taking the tests if you are not analyzing them properly.
Lastly, if I can get a good score , i see no reason why you guys can't. A good GRE score comes with hardwork but is something you can definitely achieve if you prepare well.
Congrats for great score Anupk
I gave gre but my score was well below expectation, I didn't take the exam seriously and as you said, analysis is important, I also didn't do that.
I am planning to give GRE again in July first week. My weak point in RCs, you mentioned about the book GRE Verbal Grail, I am not able to find this book in any store near me, or on flipkart. Can you please tell me from where did you buy this book?
Thanks for replying, I checked on ebay, i guess it is sold out. I tried from amazon but it was too costly from there and they were taking too much time to deliver. I ordered Manhattan's verbal books (two books). Meanwhile I am also practicing RCs from this site. I think I am getting better at RCs (by better I mean earlier it used to be 2/10 now its like 5-7/10.
I read articles from economists, but they are not very difficult to understand. Nytimes and times.com are even easier. I find editorial from hindu fairly challenging to understand, and sometimes I read essays from aldaily.com to increase my active reading skills.
Can you suggest me anything else I should look in to practice better for difficult RCs?
I don't think that you need to practice very difficult passages..if you are comfortable with the economist and NYT articles, then you might want to focus more on doing GRE type of passages so practice as many passages as you can but make sure that you ANALYZE them..That's the key to improvement.
Congratulations on the great score. I've my GRE soon..Am taking it for the second time..Did a lot of mistakes while preparing for the first time especially by relying on the princeton book that i later realized wasn't good enough for scoring high..Got my hands on gre verbal grail 2 weeks back and i think i've improved a lot on RCs...will post my experience soon
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