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Thread: 338: Q170; V168. I just BEAT the GRE!

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    338: Q170; V168. I just BEAT the GRE!

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    Hi all,

    I took my GRE and Iím amped to add my story to this list!

    Here's the scoop on how I beat the GRE:

    Timeframe:
    Almost 3 months (November to now)

    Books/Programs Used:
    OG 2nd edition Book
    Manhattan Prep 5 Pound Book
    Kaplan Premier Book
    EmpowerGRE Course
    2 PowerPrep II MSTs
    ManhattanGRE practice MSTs
    Free Videos and articles on Youtube, Magoosh, etc.

    Total Investment: About $275 on resources, and $195 for the GRE Fee

    Prep Work:
    Typically 2-3 hours on weekdays
    Typically 3-5 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. 1 MST on weekends with plenty of time to review the questions, explanations and fill out my mistake on the Mistake Tracker

    MST Scores
    :
    PowerPrep 1: Q155; V152
    MGRE1: Q153; V153
    MGRE2: Q156; V154
    MGRE3: Q159; V158
    MGRE4: Q161; V162
    MGRE5: Q164; V165
    PowerPrep 2: Q168; V168
    Test Day: Q170; V168

    Advice
    :
    1 - The OG, and the 5 pound book were great practice, but there was almost zero strategy. It's really annoying. You'd swear that these people really don't want you to succeed. The explanations will teach you very little, so you have to think about the books as supporting tools after you learn the strategy and the tactics. I got the most out of the books, during and after the course.

    2 - Don't be cheap!! You get what you pay for. I don't have a lot of spare cash, but the way I looked at it was with the amount of money I'd spend on a Friday or Saturday going out for drinks twice a month, I could afford to pay for the prep I needed to get a score that would help get me in to the grad schools I'm applying to. In other words, I realized that for just a few hundred dollars, it could help me land my career inn Silicon Valley. My fiancee has a friend who tried to self prep the whole way through, and has been prepping for like 3 years now. I just don't get it. Of all things to be cheap about...the one thing that will actually make you money for the rest of your life??? It actually pisses me off, but oh well, that's their problem. I'm pretty sure I can land scholarship money that will get me maybe 50 times what I paid to prep for the GRE

    3 - EmpowerGRE.com - EmpowerGRE absolutely rocks! If you haven't tried it yet, you need to get on it. Here's why it worked for me:
    1. Max and Rich make it interesting. I never got bored
    2. The tactics make everything so much easier. They were absolutely responsible for my jump from MGRE 1 to MGRE 3.
    3. Vocab - First, they show that S-blank questions aren't as much about the vocab as people talk about. S-blank questions are much more about the context. Second, I found the vocab training tools to be really powerful.


    4 - Be aware of the bad advice. Knowing what I know now, it's crazy how much terrible advice there is out there. For example, I think time is too precious to be reading The Economist to prep for your GRE. That's just stupid in my opinion. If you want to get better at reading RC passages, read RC passages. Also, so much advice will have you caught up spending way too much time in the vocabulary. That's silly. While you do need to build vocab, think about how much better off you'd be investing some of that time mastering the S-blank tactics?

    5 - Drop the drama - Face it. We're all nervous on test day. Don't even try to pretend that you won't be, so the question is, what are you going to do about it? Thanks to one of the podcasts I listened to, I decided to use my test day nerves as an energy and focus boosting rush. Instead of fighting your nerves, use them. Try it on your next MST.

    6 - You have to learn how to Triage - I Triaged at least 5 questions in Quant, and 3 in Verbal. If you want to boost your score and avoid the worst of the worst questions, you need to build your Triage skills. I can attribute at least 5 points each to Triage.

    7 - Always do the essays, and take breaks during your practice tests - You need to build stamina. Prepping for the full day was key.

    There's my two cents. I hope you'll find it helpful. It feels pretty darned good to be in a position to share advice. If you're still prepping, you can do it do. I'll be around if you have any questions.

    Seth

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
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    Rep Power
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    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: 338: Q170; V168. I just BEAT the GRE!

    Hey,

    Wanted your take on Kaplan MST versus Manhattan MST.

    My Kaplan free test read Q164 V 162; Manhattan free test read Q 160 V 164.

    I am looking to improve on a previous official score Q 167 V 164.

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by SethSGRE View Post
    Hi all,

    I took my GRE and I’m amped to add my story to this list!

    Here's the scoop on how I beat the GRE:

    Timeframe:
    Almost 3 months (November to now)

    Books/Programs Used:
    OG 2nd edition Book
    Manhattan Prep 5 Pound Book
    Kaplan Premier Book
    EmpowerGRE Course
    2 PowerPrep II MSTs
    ManhattanGRE practice MSTs
    Free Videos and articles on Youtube, Magoosh, etc.

    Total Investment: About $275 on resources, and $195 for the GRE Fee

    Prep Work:
    Typically 2-3 hours on weekdays
    Typically 3-5 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. 1 MST on weekends with plenty of time to review the questions, explanations and fill out my mistake on the Mistake Tracker

    MST Scores
    :
    PowerPrep 1: Q155; V152
    MGRE1: Q153; V153
    MGRE2: Q156; V154
    MGRE3: Q159; V158
    MGRE4: Q161; V162
    MGRE5: Q164; V165
    PowerPrep 2: Q168; V168
    Test Day: Q170; V168

    Advice
    :
    1 - The OG, and the 5 pound book were great practice, but there was almost zero strategy. It's really annoying. You'd swear that these people really don't want you to succeed. The explanations will teach you very little, so you have to think about the books as supporting tools after you learn the strategy and the tactics. I got the most out of the books, during and after the course.

    2 - Don't be cheap!! You get what you pay for. I don't have a lot of spare cash, but the way I looked at it was with the amount of money I'd spend on a Friday or Saturday going out for drinks twice a month, I could afford to pay for the prep I needed to get a score that would help get me in to the grad schools I'm applying to. In other words, I realized that for just a few hundred dollars, it could help me land my career inn Silicon Valley. My fiancee has a friend who tried to self prep the whole way through, and has been prepping for like 3 years now. I just don't get it. Of all things to be cheap about...the one thing that will actually make you money for the rest of your life??? It actually pisses me off, but oh well, that's their problem. I'm pretty sure I can land scholarship money that will get me maybe 50 times what I paid to prep for the GRE

    3 - EmpowerGRE.com - EmpowerGRE absolutely rocks! If you haven't tried it yet, you need to get on it. Here's why it worked for me:
    1. Max and Rich make it interesting. I never got bored
    2. The tactics make everything so much easier. They were absolutely responsible for my jump from MGRE 1 to MGRE 3.
    3. Vocab - First, they show that S-blank questions aren't as much about the vocab as people talk about. S-blank questions are much more about the context. Second, I found the vocab training tools to be really powerful.


    4 - Be aware of the bad advice. Knowing what I know now, it's crazy how much terrible advice there is out there. For example, I think time is too precious to be reading The Economist to prep for your GRE. That's just stupid in my opinion. If you want to get better at reading RC passages, read RC passages. Also, so much advice will have you caught up spending way too much time in the vocabulary. That's silly. While you do need to build vocab, think about how much better off you'd be investing some of that time mastering the S-blank tactics?

    5 - Drop the drama - Face it. We're all nervous on test day. Don't even try to pretend that you won't be, so the question is, what are you going to do about it? Thanks to one of the podcasts I listened to, I decided to use my test day nerves as an energy and focus boosting rush. Instead of fighting your nerves, use them. Try it on your next MST.

    6 - You have to learn how to Triage - I Triaged at least 5 questions in Quant, and 3 in Verbal. If you want to boost your score and avoid the worst of the worst questions, you need to build your Triage skills. I can attribute at least 5 points each to Triage.

    7 - Always do the essays, and take breaks during your practice tests - You need to build stamina. Prepping for the full day was key.

    There's my two cents. I hope you'll find it helpful. It feels pretty darned good to be in a position to share advice. If you're still prepping, you can do it do. I'll be around if you have any questions.

    Seth

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