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Taking GRE on August 1st! Need advice


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ETS Powerprep Test 1 -> 160Q/152V

Manhattan Prep Test 1 -> 157Q/158V

Manhattan Prep Test 2 -> 155Q/158V

I have pretty much finished the Manhattan 5lb book, Magoosh, and bought 2 Manhattan Prep strategy guides. I am not sure what to do now and I need to remain motivated!

The second quant section in the Manhattan Prep tests were ridiculously tough, a lot of "devilish" questions showed up and this is where I got a lot more wrong and my score started suffering. Any strategies to do better on these? Is the manhattan prep Quant accurate to what I will see on the GRE? I am also worried regarding my verbal on what I saw on the ETS powerprep test.

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1) I have been on this since May.  

2) I was hoping for 155+ but of course I want the highest score possible.  Reach for the stars, land on the moon?

3) Should I consider this?

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Hi sp108,


Your MST scores put you 'in range' of your 155+ (per section) score goal, so you might be fine to take the GRE as planned.


With a bit more study time and the proper study resources, you could get a quick bump-up in your scores though, which is why I asked if you could push your Test Date back. It's a matter of your timeline and goals.


If you scored Q155/V155, would you be 'happy?' Or would you plan to retake the GRE?

Are you on a particular deadline?


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


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Thanks for your message - At the moment, I just wanted to get the GREs over with so I can concentrate on other things.  


I still want to take the GRE on August 1st but if my score happens to be unsatisfactory, I would need to take it again in September. Can you recommend a study approach for a bump up into the 160s if you can?

Edited by sp108
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While many test-prep companies (like Manhattan Prep) have great practice tests, those companies would never suggest that their tests are as accurate as the official ETS practice tests. The 3rd-party tests don't use retired GRE questions, they don't use the official scoring algorithm, and the data collected on each question cannot be as accurate, because the students taking the tests aren't doing so in a formal testing environment. So, while 3rd-party tests are great for practicing your test-taking skills, and for identifying weaknesses, you shouldn't use them as the sole basis for gauging your progress. 


That said, you may indeed need some extra work to reach the 160's. 

I suggest that you carefully analyze your practice tests to identify any remaining weaknesses you may have. While analyzing your practice tests, there are four main types of weakness to watch out for: 

1. specific Quant skills/concepts (e.g., algebra, statistics, etc.) 
2. specific Verbal skills/concepts (e.g., text completion questions etc.) 
3. test-taking skills (time management, endurance etc.) 
4. silly mistakes 

For the first two weaknesses, the fix is pretty straightforward. Learn the concept/skill and find some practice questions to strengthen that weakness. 
If your test-taking skills are holding you back, then you need to work on these. 
Finally, if silly mistakes are hurting your score, then it's important that you identify and categorize these mistakes so that, during tests, you can easily spot situations in which you're prone to making errors. 

Brent - Greenlight Test Prep

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Hi sp108,


You've now mentioned 3 different 'goals' that don't seem to 'mesh' with one another, so I'm hoping that you can prioritize them. That 'order' will dictate how you should proceed. 


Based on your posts, your goals are:

1) "I was hoping for 155+..."

2) "At the moment, I just wanted to get the GREs over with so I can concentrate on other things."

3) "Can you recommend a study approach for a bump up into the 160s...?"


So, which of these 3 items matters the MOST? If it's the first, then I think you're in position RIGHT NOW to achieve that goal. If it's the second, then the score doesn't matter - you'll achieve that goal in a few days. If it's the third, then you're going to need to invest in some new resources and continue studying (you're not likely to make any big improvements in these last few days).


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


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