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Thread: V: 162/Q: 168/ AWA: 5.5 - Reflections and Advice

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    V: 162/Q: 168/ AWA: 5.5 - Reflections and Advice

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    I did an at-home test in September - happy with the result all things considered.

    Resources Used

    • Manhatttan 5 lb. (Quant Only) (Strongly Recommend)
    • ETS official practice book (Strongly Recommend)
    • Nova Maths Bible (Only use if you've exhausted the other resources)
    • Magoosh (Strongly Recommend). Buying the service a couple of weeks out bumped up my score from about 155V/160Q.


    Test Day

    • The test itself was a lot longer than I had practiced due to the extra hoops that they make you jump through in securing the testing environment.
    • I spent little time on the AWA section (less than 20 minutes each), as the section isn't relevant for the grad schools I'm applying to.


    General Advice
    • Start early - I began studying about 3 and a half months out and I needed all of this time. It only came together in the last 2 weeks or so, before that my practice results were around 155V/160Q
    • Emphasize practice - The concepts themselves can be learned through doing questions - I did over 2000 practice questions and didn't spend any time on the 'theory' as such
    • Be organised - this is critical. Mock up spreadsheets to track progress, make sure you allocate enough time to practicing each section and ensure that you can find practice materials easily.
    • Simulate test conditions - This is probably the most important aspect of preparation. Simulate the test conditions as closely as possible (including the time of day you take the test) and take full practice tests (including all sections). I found it difficult in the first few full-length practice tests to remain focused, but improved after the 5th practice test.
    • Plan to take the test multiple times - Even if you ace the first test (which I was lucky enough to do) make sure you have enough time to take another before applications are due. I planned (and booked) another test before taking my first test, which relieved some of the pressure.


    Hopefully the above helps. Remember that the GRE is a specific test and needs to be prepared for as a test. The test itself has its own quirks are requires tailored preparation. The topics and questions themselves are not difficult in a vacuum, but the test itself is due to the way it is structured.

    Best of luck! Happy to answer questions.

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    Re: V: 162/Q: 168/ AWA: 5.5 - Reflections and Advice

    Is magoosh that helpful for Q?

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    Re: V: 162/Q: 168/ AWA: 5.5 - Reflections and Advice

    Yes, very useful. Magoosh is about a 5-10% bump on your score. The order I did was 5lb manhattan -> NOVA -> Magoosh -> Official practice book. Magoosh took me from a 158 (roughly) to a 168 official in about 6 weeks. Do it in the final 4-6 weeks of prep and it will be most effective in my opinion.

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