I would like to share my GRE Preparation Tips of writing GRE and TOEFL with other readers of the blog.
Starting with GRE Preparation
I took GRE on 11th November 2010. I had been following the blog for around an year and had lots of information regarding how to go about it. Lately, HSB provided some very specific advice regarding preparation for the test–how to prepare for GRE within 2 months or within 4 months.
It gave me a more detailed idea about the kind of effort required to do well in GRE. I had been planning for a long while to write the exams but was not able to decide the timeline for my preparation and exact date on which to take the exam.
However, after a sudden turn of events in my professional life, I was left with no option but to write GRE before 13th Nov, if I wanted to apply for 2011 fall session. So, I decided finally to take a date and slog for it.
I barely had 1 month for GRE preparation. I took some confidence from the fact that HSB had said, that one could do well with 2 months preparation also.
I started off with Barron’s GRE book. I went through its entire wordlist and from it I made my own flashcards, containing those words which I did not know or was not very familiar with. Thereafter, I went through my flash cards multiple times relating it to its usage.
Simultaneously, I started solving the exercises on analogy, sentence completion, RCs to get a feel of the actual questions. After I got familiar with the words in my GRE flash cards, I picked up Kaplan’s GRE book and went through its wordlist; again I noted down unknown words into my flash cards.
- Top 9 GRE Test Prep Bookse4e (based on readers experience)
In around 15 days, I had become quite thorough with my GRE vocabulary preparation. Thereafter, I started taking the 30 min tests given in Barron’s along with revising my vocabulary. It took me around 5 days. In these days I also went through GRE math.
I had downloaded the official math’s guide from ETS for this purpose. I found math’s section very easy and at times I had doubts, whether I was on the right track vis a vis my preparations for this section. So, I brushed up with some tricky questions available on several GRE blogs and forums online, especially those related to permutation and combination.
GRE Preparation Tips – Last 10 Days
In the final 10 days I put more focus on problem solving practice. So, I practiced both English and Maths section from GRE Big Book (Amazon). I timed my attempts and tried to improve my timings and accuracy.
I put special focus on ensuring that I answer 1st 6 questions of each section to the best of my knowledge. I figured out some of my weaker areas and then worked on it and tried to improve upon them. I found that I was committing more mistakes in analogy questions and RC questions. So, I reviewed my GRE preparation approach, revised the suggestions given in Barron’s for these sections and worked out more 30 min tests from GRE Big Book.
Through this method I achieved certain improvement. Just 3 days before my test date I came across an exhaustive list of analogy questions on the internet, but it was already too late for me to go through that.
Now it was time to revise all my vocabulary, my strategies and shortcuts. I did all that and took the GRE Power Prep CBT within the final 2 days– took one each day. I obtained scores of 1470 and 1460 in the two tests which soothed my nerves a bit, although I was not much nervous.
I went about doing my GRE preparation without worrying too much about the final day. It surely helped as I could focus better on my GRE preparations. I revised the most problematic words in my vocabulary in the final 3 days several times.
Two areas where I could not devote as much time as I would have liked was maths and analytical writing section. I went through the list of essay topics, provided by ETS for both issue based and argumentative essays in the final 3 days. I read upon around 15 essays of each type from internet.
I could sense the content and style required to obtain fair grades in it. As my English was not too bad, I did not have to worry about sentence construction, idea flow and coherence of different ideas expressed there. I could get an idea about the scope of the essays by reading several essays online and that too of different qualities. It was very helpful.
Regarding my maths, I could not practice sufficiently and that reflected in my final score. I had got 790 and 780 in this section in Power Prep tests, but in the final I got only 750. I felt very bad later on about missing out on a perfect 800 which I could have surely got, had I been able to practice them more.
Hope my GRE Preparation tips would help others to get high GRE Score.