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Arijit's Story

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Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 595
GRE 1: Q165 V161
Followers: 97

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Arijit's Story [#permalink] New post 24 May 2014, 14:53
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The portion for the test is a repeat of the AIEEE , JEE and 12th standard portion. However, the question types asked here are different, with there being three/four distinct types that are always asked. It is best to familiarize yourself with these types by attempting a mixed bag question set. I did two problem sets of 60 questions each (total 120 questions) from Kaplan's Book (Kaplan GRE Premier 2013 (With 5 Computer Adaptive Practice Tests + DVD) - ) (*ahem* copies may be downloaded from internet) . Once you have gotten yourself acquainted with the questions, you might want to focus on specific topics that you might have forgotten, or you need more drill in . Barron's book holds your hand well through all the topics for Quant with lots of basic concepts and solved examples.

Another problem one might face is how to avoid making silly mistakes. The only way to solve it is through timed test practice.

Note: GRE is an adaptable test so the 2nd section's difficulty is determined by how well you perform in the 1st section. Hence if you are aiming for that 170 in Quant and you think Quant is generally very easy , buckle up for your 2nd Quant section because it is going to be a test of your time and skill.


If you are an Indian Engineering student, this is where you are going to be spending most of your prep time.

There are two components to your verbal prep :
1) Improving your vocabulary
2) Practicing specific question types.

There are three main question types:

1) Sentence Completion 2) Sentence Equivalence 3) Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning

The first and second type can be handled by just mugging up words and learning how they are used in context.

How do you go about Learning Words in 1 month:

Starting with the 3500 Barrons list might be intimidating. So start with the list in Princeton Reviews GRE latest version book (older version - Cracking the New GRE 2012 2012 Edition - ). It has 75 * 6 = 450 words in total. I didnt know around 40 words in each list despite having read books all my life. (Time Taken - 1 week)

Once I finished that, I used flash cards from Kaplan (Kaplan New GRE Vocabulary Flashcards: Kaplan: 9781607148531: Books). It contains 500 high frequency GRE words with each card having the word on one side and the meaning,sentence & synonyms on the other side. It is not essential to have the physical flash cards, you could use this Kaplan GRE flashcards | Quizlet . I did not get around 50% of these words. (Time Taken - 4 days)

After this I did 15*100 words from Major Test. com (Vocabulary word lists for SAT, PSAT, GRE and other tests), out of which I did not get around 30% of the words. (Majortest Gre 1500) (Time Taken: 5 days)

Now I was ready for the entire Barron's list (Barrons GRE Wordlist) . I didnt get around 16% of these words. (Time Taken: 5 days)

If you are aiming at 165+, then doing all of this essential to get your Vocabulary upto scratch. By keeping the order in the stated way, you do the most important 500-1000 words first and the best of all. There may be repetitions in the wordlists, but that only works to your advantage. If you know the meaning of a particular repeated word , then you can just skip it, else good that you were reminded that you didn't know that particular word despite doing it before.

Starting off with the Barron's list first itself has this problem that you don't know which ones are the most frequently occurring ones. Also, the percentage of words you don't know would be much higher. Both of these might put you off.

Also once you finish a particular company's word list, you might want to attempt questions from a specific question type. A good source is again Kaplan's book (contains 120 questions for verbal) and (Contains 150+ questions free with explanations). has a wonderful flashcard interface that you can load a wordlist into.
An iphone APP seems to be available here : The Quizlet iPhone App
For Android an unofficial app is: Quizlet flashcard

For App-less learning, the best way to learn new words is to maintain an excel sheet with the word, meaning and a sentence usage and use colouring to denote any words you might have forgotten.

In case you have more than a month at your disposal, other resources that you might find useful are : Word Power Made Easy (Word Power Made Easy: The Complete Handbook For Building A Superior Vocabulary Reissue Edition - ) and an APP Painless GRE.

Once your words are done, you will notice that you get the Sentence Equivalence and Sentence Completion types correct almost always.

How do you Improve your Reading Comprehension:

Well its not as easy to improve this. You have to keep reading newspapers regularly, online articles etc. As your vocabulary improves and you learn you words through mugging, you will start noticing these words in the reading material and recognizing them will make you happy Practice is the key here.

Essay Practice:

While few people talk about this as much as the other two sections, it might depend from college to college on whether they give weight to the essay marks. Hence, it is important to have a look at a few example essays and practice atleast 3 Issue and 3 Argument essays before the exam. Both the issue and argument essay have a specific topic and a set of instructions on what to do with the topic. It is very important to follow the instructions when you write your essay since the paper checkers penalize you badly for not doing so. There are around fixed 5-6 types of instructions that are listed here (Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument) and around 80ish fixed topics for both the Issue and Argument.

Free Practice Test Resources:
There are free tests from Kaplan (1), Princeton (1) , ETS Powerprep II (2), Manhattan (1), MyGRETutor (1) that you can use to practice. You might want to keep the ETS ones for the last. 9 Free Full Length GRE Tests Online lists them in detail.

How I spent my 1 month of preparation :

1 week Princeton 450
4 days Kaplan 500
5 days Majortest 1500
Last week Prep

How I spent my last 1 week
500 Barrons words in the morning
Practice Test in the Afternoon
500 Barrons words in the evening

My GRE Resources
Free GRE resources | GRE Prep Club Quant Tests
If you find this post helpful, please press the kudos button to let me know ! :)

Arijit's Story   [#permalink] 24 May 2014, 14:53
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