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Just Took my GRE - Reflection on some test prep materials


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So I just took my GRE yesterday and here are some of my reflections on the test prep materials that I took. First, the Quant section had much more statistics than what Manhattan and Kaplan had on their practice exams. Kaplan had a lot of combinatorics, but I did not get a single combinatorics question, neither did my other two friends. I felt like the quant section was harder than what I saw on test prep materials, but that might have been due to test day anxiety.

The verbal section was quite easy. I would say much easier than the ones in Princeton, Manhattan, and Kaplan. It was somewhat on par with the ETS powerprep ones. I spent a lot of time studying words from the Hit Parade and the Kaplan essential words and on the test day there were probably 2-3 words I have not seen before. Also, I am an international student, so whichever words I knew, I knew them from those two decks.

Here is some comparison of the scores I got on the exam and on the test prep

Raw unofficial scores on exam: Quant - 165/Verbal - 161

Princeton (the free test on their website) - Q163/V156 ( took it before I started preparing) Q170/V165 (took it several days before the exam)

Powerprep - Q166/V156, Q166/V160

Kaplan (free test + the 5 tests that come with the book) - Q - 164,167,164,167,168/V - 156, 155, 160, 160, 156

Manhattan - Q - 164 on the first one, 166 on the next 5 tests/ V - 163, 160, 161, 160, 160, 156

When I did the practice tests, I have skipped the writing section on almost all of them. This is something I DO NOT recommend. On the test day, I felt natural working through verbal and quant, but I was very nervous about the writing section. I even froze for 2 min on the first prompt.

Another piece of advice - build up your endurance! This makes a hell of a lot difference! I got one question wrong because I factored out 12 as 2x2x6 and another wrong because I decided that sqrt(3) > 2.

Also, my experimental section was Verbal, but throughout the test my Quant sections seemed so weird that I was convinced that my experimental section is going to be Quant.

I do not know if it matters, but the sections I saw were - Verbal/Quant/Verbal/Quant/Verbal.

Hope this helps, I will try to answer any question you guys have as accurately as I can.

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Frankly, from the 40 math questions at least 10 were stats. I saw multiple choice, plug in the answer, all that apply and comparison stats questions. They involved comparing means, medians, and standard deviation of different sets. Also, calculating those three for a given set and comparing them. I had one that asked for a standard deviation of a function. Also, there was one where you were given some information and it asked what other information is sufficient to calculate standard deviation of the population. They were not that much harder than the ones I saw in Princeton and Powerprep, but they definitely required some thinking about how to approach them. Some of the questions were asked in a way that I did not know what to do at first.

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Well they were on the second Quant section and one was multiple choice the other was comparison. When I solved the multiple choice one the answer that I got was not among the options, so I guessed. And for the other I it took me some time to think how to solve. So the two kind of got stuck in my head. After a long nap I woke up and redid them and got different answers (i am sure the correct ones) than the one I put on the test.

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