GRE Test preparation and Score Performance Tracker – Shared by Karthik (Back in June).
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I was part of the GRE boot camp as well as the personalized GRE study plan.
Thanks a ton to HSB for these wonderful initiatives. I have gained so much by being part of them. The study tips helped me a lot especially in the verbal section.
The GRE The score
I scored 1430 (V 770, Q 660, AWA 3.5). I prepared for 3 months. Started my prep in January (2011) this year and wrote my exam in April.
This is sufficient time to prepare if you study systematically. I took a mock test and scored 620 in both quants and verbal. So the actual GRE score in terms of verbal was a huge surprise.
This is where the boot camp helped me. By devoting study time daily for verbal and revising wordlist I was through with Barrons one week befor my exam. It is important to track your progress and improve your weak areas. You could use a tracker similar to this ( not shared – due to contents that would violate copyright)
GRE Verbal Prep
The big book was a huge help especially for analogies and sentence completions.
I had taken all the 27 tests in the big book. My daily study schedule I used to read a wordlist and attend 1 test from big book.
At first I used to get most of the answers wrong. But over time I was able to get 75% of the answers right. By this method I completed barrons as well as big book simultaneously. This is more than sufficient for verbal prep.
I had tried few methods for remembering words as described in HSB posts.
The one thing that worked for me was forming sentences especially for tough words.
For ex I would remember the word ineluctable by using a sentence ‘An ineluctable fate’.
The word internecine by the sentence ‘An Internecine warfare’ I could go on but this is the general idea.
I tried identifying words by their roots but found it to be tricky for e.g. the root ‘phil’ means love but the word ‘Philatelist’ does not have anything to do with love.
So I didn’t favour this method much.
Another method I used is word groupings for e.g. under hate I would group abhor, detest, revulsion, antipathy, anathema etc.
If you don’t have time to do this you can refer to kaplan word groups in the last pages.
These 2 methods and regular revision of barrons helped me the most.
I read somewhere that ‘words are like relatives if you don’t visit them often you tend to forget them’ and I really struck to this principle.
GRE Quants Prep
I was getting decent scores in the Quants practice test but made big mistakes in my exam and it cost me a lot.
The problems from Nova were good but the big book problems are pretty old and I found them to bear little resemblance to the actual questions I got in the exam.
I made mistakes in the graph questions, probability and co-ordinate geometry.
Only tip I can give here is to practise taking tests and improve your time management and accuracy.
In the actual GRE exam it all boils down to nerves and if you are able to handle it well then Quants would be easy but unfortunately I lost my cool in this section.
Prepare a template with introduction and conclusion for both essay type and change it according to the topic.
You can also use standard phrases like “the author’s assumption is logically flawed” for the argument essay.
For both essays you need 4 paragraphs one for the introduction where you state your stand and 1 paragraph for conclusion where you reiterate your stand and 2 body paragraphs where you support with points and examples.
Make sure your essay is coherent.
Better strategy is to stick to one or two examples and develop them fully.
I was expecting above 4.0 but got only 3.5 don’t know where I went wrong.
Although the score is good, what worries me is the low Quants score.
All I can do now is keep my fingers crossed and hope to get into good schools. Hope my study tips help fellow test takers. All the best .
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