After a lot of ups and downs with my prep, took the GRE yesterday and scored a 332(V-162,Q-170). Thanks to all the awesome people here who made coming on the forum worth it.
Firstly, let me remark that I'm not a genius and never have been at the top of my class. I'm just an average guy who slogged it off and got there through sheer hardwork. I hope this will give some motivation to those who think that only high achievers can crack GRE.
What worked for me: I think what worked for me is my focus. I started my prep in January this year. Had less coursework in college and I thought that I would be able to focus given the lesser courseload. I also put everything else lower in the priority order during this time so that I could focus. I also knew that in case I don't score well in my first attempt, I’ll have the summer vacations to retake the exam.
Here's my detailed schedule that will give you an idea about how I went about my preparation
Week 1: Jan 12-18- Got my hands on the ETS OG. Got familiar with the test in the first two days. Then took the first powerprep II on Day 4 and analyzed it for the next 2 days. Spoke to someone who had cracked the GRE and made a plan for myself
Week 2: Jan 19-26- text completion+ vocab from ETS OG and gre grail
Week 3: Jan 27-Feb 02- Sentence equivalence+ Vocab from ets og and gre grail
Week 4: Feb 03-10- Reading comprehension+ Vocab from ets og and gre grail
Week 5: Feb 11- 17- Reading comprehension+ vocab from ets og and gre grail
Week 6,7: Feb 18-March 2- Quant prep from nova gre
Week 8,9: March 3- 10 : Practice from manhattan 5 lbs book
Week 10: March 10-17- Reattempt of all questions i got wrong so far
Week 11: March 17-25- Vocab week
Week 12: March 25-April 1- Focus on all weak areas
Weeks 13,14,15,16: April 2- April 30- Practice tests. Took 2 power prep tests, 6 manhattan tests and 1 kaplan free test
Last 2 days of prep- Relaxation and a bit of studying
Resources I used:
I used a lot of resources but found the following few resources most helpful.
ETS Offcial Guide to get a feel of how the actual questions on the tests would be like
GRE Verbal Grail to master the verbal section which was the difficult part for me to master
Nova GRE Math to get a good grasp on math concepts. GRE math is easy is no secret but getting familiar with all topics is important
Manhattan 5 lbs book for rigorous practice once I felt confident in most areas. Helped me build the muscle for practice tests
Manhattan 6 practice tests- Helped me take tests under timed circumstances and build the mental muscle need to ace the actual exam
Here are some of things that worked for me and I hope will work for others.
Tip#1: Don’t prepare alone. Prepare with 2-3 other people who are planning to take the GRE. You’ll be much more motivated to study hard if you have others with you
Tip#2: Target Maximum GRE score: I see a lot of people asking here how much should I target on GRE as though by just knowing the target score, they will achieve that score. Forget all this and just target the maximum possible.
Tip#3: Make it top priority: While you’re preparing for GRE, make this your priority no.1 in life. I’d skip a lot of events which were waste of time while preparing.
Tip#4: Put time & effort: Time is a precious commodity so use it wisely. There’s no other formula for succeeding than putting in the hardwork. It PAYS OFF!
Tip#5: Mindset: Don’t take gre as an obstacle rather take it as a challenge. If you take it as an obstacle, you will always think it is a burden, if you think it is a challenge that will help you grow, you will push yourself harder.
To sum up, there’s no secret sauce to preparing for the GRE. Hardwork is the only thing that will pay off as it will pay off in every challenging thing that you undertake.
Good luck all. Hope that you'd have found this post motivating