Fabulous scores! Great job!Congrats!
Iím finally done with the GRE and Iím grateful to all the help that I got through these forums. These forums really helped me nail it.
When the conquest began
I started my prep early in April so that I can get done with my GRE in August and then have enough time to apply to schools. To get my feet wet, I start with a GRE diagnostic test from ETS ..I did fairly well on Quant but the verbal score shook me badly.
The Armory/Arsenal for the Conquest
ETS OG, Kaplan GRE, GRE Verbal Grail, Manhattan GRE 5 lbs books
ETS OG- Every GRE test taker should have this book- itís a must!
Kaplan GRE- I got my hands on the Kaplan book so that I could refresh my concepts. It was okayish for verbal(not enough questions though) but the math questions were too easy.
GRE Verbal Grail Ė Verbal was my pain area and this book proved to be an antidote,so to speak. Since half of the questions that appear on the GRE are RC questions, GRE Grail proved to be very useful as itís RC section focuses a lot on strategies, approach for various question types and then provides a great number of RCs to practice. This is the book to go with if you are struggling in verbal.
ManhattanGRE 5 lbs book- Very good for quant practice. I was looking for practice in quant because conceptually I was strong. This book helped me do that. Plus it gave free access to 6 full length tests . Worth the money.
How the Conquest progressed
The Juggling ActÖ
I had to juggle my studies alongwith college and then with internship so it was hectic but taking out 2 hours at the end of the day wasnít too much of a difficult task. I somehow took out 2 hours everyday and studied without any distractions. I finished the Kaplan book in 2 weeks after which I started with GRE Verbal Grail and it took me another 3 weeks to finish it. After that I started with manhattangre 5 lbs book and I practiced it for another 3-4 weeks after which I started taking full length tests.
I kept on learning vocabulary everyday. I would make flashcards when I got up in the morning and then would carry them in my pocket to my college or place of internship. Each day Iíd carry 20 such flashcards and by night, I used to ensure that I finish them. These words used to be usually either totally new words or words that I learnt in GRE Verbal Grail/from the newspaper articles that I read or any other source. Alongwith this, I kept on reading the newspaper everyday. It helped me in two ways- it enabled me to see the application of the words that I learnt and it helped me indirectly in reading comprehension as I started developing mental stamina and familiarity with different topics.
On the G-day
I sailed through the exam without many hiccups. There were one or two questions that I couldnít answer but I felt confident that I was doing well on the test.
Looking back: In hindsight
- Donít go crazy accumulating a lot of material. Just refer to a few good books and extract the best out of them and you should be good.
- Take at least 6 practice tests. I got access to 6 practice tests free of cost with the purchase of ManhattanGRE practice tests.
- Spend a good amount of time in analyzing the questions AND in learning from the questions.
- Focus on doing a few questions rather than a lot of them. Believe me thereís no point in doing hundreds of questions when at the end of the month, you wonít even remember what have you learnt from the questions that you have attempted.
- Be positive- There will be times in your prep when you will really feel like giving up out of boredom. Remember that doing well on the GRE is your goal and itís a goal that you must achieve.
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