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Practice GRE scores vs. real GRE scores


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While I was studying for the GRE I wondered how similar the practice tests I was taking were to the real thing...

 

So I thought starting a thread comparing practice test scores vs. actual results on the real GRE might be helpful for those still studying. If you agree, add your information!

 

Princeton Review 1: 158V / 148Q

Princeton Review 2: 161V / 149Q

Powerprep 1:            161V / 149Q

Powerprep 2:            160V / 155Q / 3.75AW

REAL GRE:              166V / 150Q / 5.5AW 

Hours studied:          approx 115

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POWERPREP II: Math 169/Reading 170/Didn't do writing   Actual: Math 170/Reading 170/Writing score not out yet.   Time studied: ~5 hours? I had a really strong preparation from my high school Engli

Average Manhattan GRE Scores (6 tests): V: 158      Q: 161 Powerprep 1: V: 160     Q: 169 Powerprep 2: V: 154     Q: 165 Real GRE:     V: 162      Q: 161   I felt that the best indication of how

While I was studying for the GRE I wondered how similar the practice tests I was taking were to the real thing...   So I thought starting a thread comparing practice test scores vs. actual results o

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Average Manhattan GRE Scores (6 tests): V: 158      Q: 161

Powerprep 1: V: 160     Q: 169

Powerprep 2: V: 154     Q: 165

Real GRE:     V: 162      Q: 161

 

I felt that the best indication of how one will perform on test day comes from the Manhattan GRE online tests. The average score from the six tests were the closest to my actual score. However, the best practice material is definately from ETS Powerprep. I should also note that Magoosh is also accurate with their range of scores that they provide after you do their practice questions. Don't waste your time with Kaplan.

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My test day score was exactly the same score I had on my first (of nine) full length practice tests.  Each of my weekly practice tests improved a bit but I ended up with the same score I had on day one.  BUT, I'm still glad I put in those long hours of studying because I imagine that those gains I saw in my practice tests canceled out the points lost to test anxiety.  For this reason, I can only imagine that how well your test score matches to your practice test scores is more a testament to individual quirks or test anxiety than to the accuracy of a particular manufacturers practice tests.  

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I did about the same on the practice tests as I did on the actual GRE, and my strengths and weaknesses were consistent.

 

I have no idea how long I studied. I relied mostly on practice tests for review/"study" by taking them and then going over what I missed; I don't necessarily recommend this method, but I found it to be better than doing nothing. However, I should've done more back-to-basics review for quant, and I feel I could've done quite a bit better with more focus and direction. I met my lowest target for quant by the skin of my teeth.

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I did better on the actual GRE than any of my practice ones, and I took 18 of them.

 

164/169/4.5

 

Q was expected but my verbal score (didn't want to say "my V"  :D ) was consistently 156-161 range.

 

I used PowerPrep and Manhattan, studied 72 hours.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear all

 Im using Kaplan but i feel that its usless in verbal !

my score still bad (no more than 140 !!!)

my score in Q is good (155)

but still need to work on my Verbal , but realy im confused b/w books

should I learn more Vocabs (words lists ) or concentrate on what ?

my scores in comprehension passages  are good

my  problem is im Text completion ..etc. !


plz i need ur advice

regards

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POWERPREP II: Math 169/Reading 170/Didn't do writing

 

Actual: Math 170/Reading 170/Writing score not out yet.

 

Time studied: ~5 hours? I had a really strong preparation from my high school English courses and high school math contests.

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Princeton Review 1: 169V / 161Q

Princeton Review 2: 167V / 170Q

 

Actual: 169/170

Writing: 5

 

Time studying: One week prior to exam, for most the day everyday

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  • 4 months later...

Powerprep 1: 151V / 158Q

Powerprep 2: 155V / 157Q

Manhattan Prep 1: 158V / 157Q

Manhattan Prep 2: 158V / 157Q

Magoosh: Magoosh predicts your score using a range 151-156V /  154-159Q

 

Real GRE: 157V / 158Q

 

Clearly Powerprep was spot on when it came to my Quantitative score, however it underestimated my verbal. The same could be said for Magoosh. In my case, Manhattan prep was VERY accurate

 

I studied for about 3 months, maybe 3 hours/week

 

Good luck to all who are looking at this wondering how their practice score will reflect their actual score!

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PowerPrep V1.0: Gave a ranged score, 360-460 V, 650-750Q

PowerPrep V2.0: 147V, 157Q

 

Attempted 2 timed practice tests with Magoosh, got the exact same score: 153V, 154Q

And my estimated range according to Magoosh was: 155-160V, 156-161Q.

 

Actual GRE (unofficial, I appeared today): 157V, 158Q

 

My study schedule was woefully random which definitely didn't allow me to realise my full potential as evident in my score. As an approximation, I probably studied for about 2 months. Magoosh did a fare job of predicting my score. PowerPrep's verbal score was a lot less than what I got (WOOHOO!! English isn't my first language), however it was spot on with regards to my quantitative.

 

Best of luck to all future test-takers! Just make sure you're ready to feel the pain of sitting for over 4 excruciating hours in front of a computer screen.

 

 

 

P.S. Hey Badger12, both of us have the same score. :)

Edited by AdilBari990
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Barron's Sample Test Book Test 1: 164V / 167Q

Barron's Sample Test Book Test 2: 167V / 168Q

Actual Score: 169V / 160Q / 4AW (AW includes 1 essay half completed - I did not budget time well)

 

Study time ~ 7 hours (took two practice tests)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kaplan MST 1 (4 months before): Q167 / V158

Kaplan MST 2 (1 week before): Q166 / V158

Actual Score: Q170 / V169 / 4.0

 

About 20 hours of studying between second practice and real thing, not much before that. As others have said, I found Kaplan verbal prep more aggravating than anything. Their reasoning  didn't make sense quite often.

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Kaplan MST 1: Q164/V160

Kaplan MST 2: Q164/V162

Powerprep 1: Q167/V160

Powerprep 2: Q163/V159

 

Actual: Q165/V167/AW 6.0

 

My scores are from about a year ago, so I don't really remember how much I studied. If I recall correctly, I did most of the Kaplan prep book about nine months before I actually took the test (long story), and then did the Kaplan verbal workbook and took a couple practice tests the week before the test. Across the board, my practice tests were around the same, no matter when or where I took them. I got a higher verbal score than I expected and a pretty similar quant score.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a question: did you guys do all these practice tests just a few days before the actual test or spread out throughout your study period i.e. 2-3 months?

 

I attempted 3 of my 4 of my practice tests less than a month before the real thing. The last one was exactly a week before the test.

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I attempted 3 of my 4 of my practice tests less than a month before the real thing. The last one was exactly a week before the test.

 

I see. I've been prepping for less than a month and my practice test scores are all over the place. There was one time I took a Kaplan test and I got 149 in verbal. I took another Kaplan test exactly a day after that and it went up to 160. I am so confused.

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The confusion is understandable, I can totally relate to that. As you can see in my post above (in which I mentioned all my scores), my practice scores were very low as well. The last test I attempted was PowerPrep V2.0 and got a shocking and worrying 147 in the Verbal section! However, a week later I got a 157 (73%) on my official test. And keeping in mind that I'm not a native English speaker, I'm really pleased with my score.

 

From my experience, practice tests are not exactly the best predictors, especially unofficial ones (like Princeton, Kaplan, Barron's etc.) that are not at the same difficulty level as the actual test. So, no need to worry. Just keep up the hard work and it will pay off for sure. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a question: did you guys do all these practice tests just a few days before the actual test or spread out throughout your study period i.e. 2-3 months?

 

I tried 7 practice tests over 2 weeks prior to my actual exam.

 

And here goes my scores.

 

1st GRE (March 2013) : V 158 / Q 164 / AW 4.0

 

Kaplan practice tests : V 162, 162, 167, 162, 160 (Sorry, I just skipped Q sections)

Princeton Review practice test : V 167

ETS Power Prep : V 166, 162 (Q sections skipped again)

(these practice tests were taking during the second half of August)

 

2nd GRE (August 2013) : V 167 / Q 163 / AW 4.0

 

My conclusion was that the practices tests are deliberately difficult.

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Mine were as follows (and yes, I did a lot of tests and relatively little studying which paid off for me):

 

Magoosh score predictor: 150-155Q, 160-165V

Magoosh test 1: 153Q, 159V

Magoosh test 2: 155Q, 157V

ETS paper 1: 158Q, 167V

ETS paper 2: 160Q, 168V

ETS power prep 1: 160Q, 163V

 

Real: 158Q, 165V, 5.0

 

Magoosh definitely presents harder material than you see on test day. 

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