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An average guy's GRE journey to 332

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Hello all,

 

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.

 

My schedule

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

 

Prep Tips

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

Edited by goal2016

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Wow you worked hard and it paid off! Congrats. Now I feel guilty for not working as hard -- I did 0 studying. Good job!

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Congrats ! This really enlightens me as I always considered that there are some people who are particularly good at GRE . But the secret is to really make an efficient schedule and also not ignoring the fact that you had enoug h time to prepare for it which was the thing I lacked...

That's great, your method seems relevant and rational. I'll use it for this summer to retake the gre. Your post is really encouraging :D 

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Congrats ! This really enlightens me as I always considered that there are some people who are particularly good at GRE . But the secret is to really make an efficient schedule and also not ignoring the fact that you had enoug h time to prepare for it which was the thing I lacked...

That's great, your method seems relevant and rational. I'll use it for this summer to retake the gre. Your post is really encouraging :D

 

Yes, please don't be disheartened. Just work hard and push yourself to achieve your goals and I'm sure that you will get your target GRE score and get through your target schools.

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Thank you very much for this immensely helpful post. RC is proving to be a pain in the *** for me, can you please suggest what should I do?

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RC is about understanding the question types, what type of answers are usually wrong/right in diff types of questions. For example, if the question asks you about assumption, a wrong answer might just strengthen the argument. 

Similarly, in primary purpose questions, a wrong answer would just give primary purpose of a paragraph not of the entire passage

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Hi Diwakardahal,

 

2 weeks would be a rather short study period, but the amount of time that any individual needs to study will vary depending on his/her strengths & weaknesses and score goals.

 

What is YOUR score goal?

Have you taken any practice MST Tests yet (and if so, then what were your scores?)?

 

GRE Masters aren't born, they're made,

Rich 

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Hello all,

 

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.

 

My schedule

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

 

Prep Tips

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

Goal, what were you scoring on your first practice tests? Just wondering how much that helped you. 10, 15, 20 points?

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Is two weeks full time study enough ? 

 

Sure it is.  I studied for just 2 weeks after I got back from a foreign country before my tests.  4 hrs a day, and didn't study at all the 2 days before the exam.  I got a near-perfect score on the old test.  I think the reason this worked so well for me really was because I just ... didn't freak out about it.  I didn't have time to. I signed up for 2 exam sessions ahead of time so that I wouldn't be so nervous the first time around because I'd feel like I had a second shot at it before the test type changed and before due dates.  For me, what would trip me up a lot was when there were multiple answers and you have to logic your way to the right one.  Being relaxed made this sooooo much easier.

 

Other random tidbits: don't drink caffeine day of test, even if you usually do.  You'll have more than enough adrenaline.  Also, smoke one cigarette before going in, as studies show nicotine enhances memory retrieval and other measures of cognitive performance.  (Not to suggest you start smoking all the time, because that's stupid, but a single cigarette ever won't kill you.  Alternatively, nicotine patch.)

 

It's not the amount of time you have, it's how you use that time.  Be planful about it, and don't overstudy.  I'm sure natural test performance ability will play a role here too.

 

ETA: This might not apply if you struggle with verbal, which takes longer to study and master.  I was fine with verbal so I didn't study it at all, just quant.  YMMV.

Edited by gellert

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I feel the same for the Reading Comprehension part.

The moment I feel i have got the answer right, guess what it comes out I have got it all wrong, no matter how hard I try!

 

Given lots of time on reading RCs but no improvements till now, can anybody suggest some strategy for RCs.

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I feel the same for the Reading Comprehension part.

The moment I feel i have got the answer right, guess what it comes out I have got it all wrong, no matter how hard I try!

 

Given lots of time on reading RCs but no improvements till now, can anybody suggest some strategy for RCs.

Firstly, have you learnt strategies like skimming, looking for why a particular paragraph is written etc? I guess you might be focusing a lot on what a para/passage says rather than why it says what it says. It's very important to figure that out

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Firstly, have you learnt strategies like skimming, looking for why a particular paragraph is written etc? I guess you might be focusing a lot on what a para/passage says rather than why it says what it says. It's very important to figure that out

I realized that this was the problem with me too. Have taken the gre now and done well once i overcame this problem

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Hello all,

 

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.

 

My schedule

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

 

Prep Tips

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

Just starting off with my gre prep. Very helpful post. Planning to give a diagnostic test now.

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Just starting off with my gre prep. Very helpful post. Planning to give a diagnostic test now.

Do analyze the diagnostic test well. It'll help you give insights into what your weak areas are.

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Hello all,

 

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.

 

My schedule

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

 

Prep Tips

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

Great post. I'm starting off with my prep and this is very helpful. Hope to follow your advice and tips..And hope to reach your level :)

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I feel the same for the Reading Comprehension part.

The moment I feel i have got the answer right, guess what it comes out I have got it all wrong, no matter how hard I try!

 

Given lots of time on reading RCs but no improvements till now, can anybody suggest some strategy for RCs.

RC is probably the one topic that takes the longest time to see improvement, since these questions are strongly related to your reading skills. When it comes to Reading Comprehension, I don’t believe that there’s one specific approach that works best for everyone. I always recommend that students spend some time experimenting with different strategies to see which one best suits their memory, reading speed and English proficiency. 

Having said that, when reading ANY Reading Comprehension (RC) passage, it's crucial that you engage 100% in the passage. So, rather than approach a new passage with dread ("I don't enjoy reading it at all"), try to feign interest ("Excellent! This passage is about stock market regulations in Peru!"). The better your engagement, the better the results. 

If you're interested, we have a free video series covering all sorts of Reading Comprehension strategies: http://www.greenlighttestprep.com/module/gre-reading-comprehension 

Cheers, 

Brent - Greenlight Test Prep

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RC is probably the one topic that takes the longest time to see improvement, since these questions are strongly related to your reading skills. When it comes to Reading Comprehension, I don’t believe that there’s one specific approach that works best for everyone. I always recommend that students spend some time experimenting with different strategies to see which one best suits their memory, reading speed and English proficiency. 

Having said that, when reading ANY Reading Comprehension (RC) passage, it's crucial that you engage 100% in the passage. So, rather than approach a new passage with dread ("I don't enjoy reading it at all"), try to feign interest ("Excellent! This passage is about stock market regulations in Peru!"). The better your engagement, the better the results. 

If you're interested, we have a free video series covering all sorts of Reading Comprehension strategies: http://www.greenlighttestprep.com/module/gre-reading-comprehension 

Cheers, 

Brent - Greenlight Test Prep

Very helpful post. @Brent- What do you mean by engage 100% in the passage? Does it mean that reading the entire passage fully or being "ïmmersed" in the passage?

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I mean devote 100% of your attention to the passage, Otherwise, there's the potential of suffering from what I call the Sunday morning newspaper syndrome where you realize that, for the past minute (although your eyes have passed over the words) you have been thinking of other things.

 

Cheers, 

Brent - Greenlight Test Prep

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I mean devote 100% of your attention to the passage, Otherwise, there's the potential of suffering from what I call the Sunday morning newspaper syndrome where you realize that, for the past minute (although your eyes have passed over the words) you have been thinking of other things.

 

Cheers, 

Brent - Greenlight Test Prep

Ohkay. Gotchya now.

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I feel the same for the Reading Comprehension part.

The moment I feel i have got the answer right, guess what it comes out I have got it all wrong, no matter how hard I try!

 

Given lots of time on reading RCs but no improvements till now, can anybody suggest some strategy for RCs.

Yes,mostly i get stuck between 2 last options in RCs. same applies to a great extent in sentence equivalence and text completion type of questions too

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