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One more point needed in QR


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I am a bachelor student and i want to apply for a master program in sustainable development.

The score needed to ente that program are QR 156 and AW 4.5.

I preparer using the ets guide and i took the tests in the book and the powerprep tests. I studied for one month and a half. In all my practice tests i was scoring around 160-164, so i thought to be ready for the test!

I took the test last week and I had a bad surprise, i scored 155 in QR!!

I found the real test actually harder than the practices and my problem was not really the maths but my comprehension of the traps in the questions. Since my mother language is not english I was actually slow in correctly understanding the questions of the second part, which were more difficult than those of the previous part. That required me quite a lot of time and i was also not used to face with ease the most difficult questions.

Moreover i was reeeeeally unlucky because just when i was clicking on the last answer the timer stopped...for one sec! Aargh!

Since i just need one more point i plan to take the test again in 4 weeks, but before having bad surprises again i would like to ask you for some suggestions.

1) Can you suggest me a book focusing on maths and presenting very difficult questions? I want to get used to a higher level of difficulty and also to be able to read and clearly understand the trickiest questions without Too many problems.

2) Do you have any hints on how to face the real test? I mean, like how to use the time and stuffs. Should I first read all the questions and only answer to those about which i am sure, randomly choose the other answers and then come back to solve those questions that i found tricky?

3) A practical question: since my university said they only care about QR and AW, can i completely skip the VR section and send them a N.S in that part if they only want to see my QR and analytical writing?

4) How can i prepare better for the "analyse an argument" task? I am good at analysing texts and at critically examine them, but depending on the task and on the topic I sometimes find myself a little bit repetitive...

5) Even if i plan to retake the GRE, would you suggest me to already apply to the university even if i lack that one point in QR? Consider that my bsc average is not bad and includes a major in biology and ecology and two minors in geography and environmental economy (my average is B-... could have done better but i was a lazy student :-P), i already have two working experiences abroad in Europe (took a gap year) and i currently speak five languages, 4 of them with at least a C1 level and the last one (which is chinese and it's of course a bit harder) with a B1 level.

Thank you so much for helping me and for sharing your experiences with me! ;-)

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The Kaplan review book worked for me. Get one with practice tests, and just keep at it.


I believe you need to submit the scores from all the parts of the GRE, not just Quant & AW.


I'm guessing you have already taken the TOEFL (and, based on what you've written here, probably gotten a good score); my guess (and I don't know for sure, so don't hold me to this), is that AdComs will notice the TOEFL score in your admissions packet, and take into account the fact that you are testing in a language that is not native to you.


Yes, I would still apply to that university. I would also apply to a few others, just in case you don't get into that one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did ask them, no way!

156 QR and 4.5 AW are needed! I bought the Manhattan books last week and started to study on them! They seem more difficult than the GRE official guide and i really hope i can get that one point more needed next time (even more points would be ok XD)

I plan to take the test again at the end of the month, my deadline is around mid.January...

For AW section i started to write an essay everyday trying to check the time. Last time on my GRE i bombed the AW because i haven't seen the time passing by and found myself with a loooooot of nice things to write but only 9minutes left, which ended up in a rush ..and the final

Product was really bad (i really wasn't hoping to get it right).

On the countrary I'm Losing trust and self-confidence and start to panic more and more if i don't get the results i want...what should i do? :-SS

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