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GRE 326 in 61 days by working professional

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Intern
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Joined: 05 Aug 2019
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GRE 1: Q169 V157
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GRE 326 in 61 days by working professional [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2019, 23:24
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Hello All,

I am sharing my experience on GRE preparation in 60 days. I finished my GRE on Dec-3'19 and achieved a score of 326 (Q169/V157). Below are the materials i used for my preparation.
1. Magoosh Online prep/ Magoosh Flash Cards App
2. Manhattan test only packages
3. ETS Power Prep tests (3 tests)
4. GRE Prep Club Forum questions

I started with ETS free mock test and achieved a score of 310- V150/Q160 :cry: . Quant is naturally my stronger area compared to Verbal. I decided to put more emphasis on verbal preparation and equally spacing Quant section only test between preparations. As a working professional it was hard for me to put long hours in preparation hence I dedicated 2 hours per day on designated topic.

Plan can be found as in this image:
Attachment:
Prep Plan.png
Prep Plan.png [ 88.46 KiB | Viewed 144 times ]


During Preparation:
Quant:
1. To avoid basic mistakes in Quant I downloaded GMATClub's Math book which has extensive coverage on topics related to GRE quant
2. I took section only test from Magoosh Quants level "Easy" and "Medium" with time limit of 1 minute/question and "Hard" and "Very Hard" level questions with time limit of 1.5 minute per question. By doing this I made sure I increase my accuracy under pressure.Reason why I used this approach is to avoid mistakes in Second Quant section which will have a higher difficulty.
3. In Quant Section Only test I practiced with only "Hard" and "Very Hard" questions.

Verbal
1. I learnt all words in Magoosh Verbal Flashcards app and Economist GRE words list. I made sure I revise at 100 words from this list every day.
2. I solved "Easy" difficulty Magoosh Verbal Questions after watching their video lessons. This helped me to understand the thinking process behind solving different type of verbal questions
3. I solved GREprep clubs' questions and "Medium" Difficulty Magoosh verbal questions. For reading comprehension, GREprepclubs' questions are exhaustive.
4. During section only test I started without time limit to identify my natural accuracy and in later section only tests I included time limits. I wanted to make sure I dont want to go wrong in easy question

Mock Tests:

I had very low stamina to withstand a test of 4 hours, so mock test were crucial in my preparation. During initial mock tests I nearly gave up due to low stamina and due to that i was screwing up quant sections which is my stronger area. I would say inclusion of multiple mock test along the preparation time table helped me to increase my stamina and concentration. Make use of the 10 minute break to refresh and do some breathing exercise to increase oxygen flow to your brain. Because if you did your previous sections good you will be facing much tougher questions so you need more energy than before. DO NOT SKIP Writing Section because it takes 1 hour of your test and that is initial stage which will set tone for rest of the test. Make sure you are used to write for 300-500 words in 20-25 minutes.

Review of Materials:

ETS: I took the Free ETS mock test and scored a 310, but I could hardly get any information about the difficulty or explanation about the answers. So I purchased ETS PowerPrep tests I placed those mock tests in later part of my preparation time table. These interface these test have are exact replication of the actual GRE test. Quants from PowerPrep were easier.

Manhattan GRE Mock tests:I purchased Mock test only package. Test interface was similar to ETS and actual GRE. Quant Difficulty was pretty much similar to ETS. Number of easy questions in whole of these tests are very low, so on average the difficulty of these mock test are higher compared to ETS and Magoosh. Biggest advantage in buying this package is the diagnostic results of the test you have taken. It tell you what is the average difficulty of questions that you went wrong.

Magoosh: I bought the 6 months package. I watched most of the video lessons for verbal in Quant, they are very well explained with examples. The varying difficulty of the practice questions are well pronounced." Very Hard" level question are almost impossible to solve but they offer you the most in depth understanding of the concept. I would recommend this product if you are looking for more customized practice sessions.


1 week Prior to exam Day:: :idea: :idea:

I am not a morning person, due to my work style i wake up late and go to sleep late that makes me have sleep inertia if I wake up early. but My GRE test was booked at 8:30 am due to my preferred test center didnt have noon slots. I made sure I am at my prime during the morning hours of day by waking up at 6 am every day for a week before actual test and start working at 8:30 am for 4 hours straight with my headphones on. This helped me because rehearsing exam day style for a week gave me big boost to concentration.

On Exam Day :arrow: :arrow:

I woke up at 5:30 am and did some breathing and stretching exercises had a light breakfast.I reached the exam center 1 hour prior to start time. Started exam at 8:30am sharp.Issue and Argument task were similar to those examples given in ETS site. I think i wrote up to 400 words for each task. My next section was verbal and it was of moderate to higher difficulty level. RC's were tougher compared to SE and TC. Next section was Quant and it was easier i got spare time of 6 minutes and I made sure i check back all the answers, and luckily i found a mistake and corrected it. During the 10 minute break i munched on snickers and drank water to get hydrated. After doing some quick stretches and breathing exercise rushed back in for next 3 sections. 3rd section was verbal and it was similar difficulty compared to my 1st one. RC's were easier but SE's were very tough i think i screwed that part. Next Math section which I anticipate it to be very difficult was as i expected. From question 1 to 20 all were tricky and I used up all 35 mins to solve the question didnt have time to check back. 4th and final section was verbal :cry: :cry: :cry: . I was already exhausted. I spent more time on RC and didnt have enough time for SE/TC. I got owned by the tricks of the GRE. I completed the section with no time to spare.

And the score showed Q=169 and V=157 :) :)

Not bad considering how bad screwed up my last section.


Mistakes:
1. I didnt build my endurance enough to withstand the exam.
2. Lost my cool on final minutes of test.


TIPS:
1. If a particular section is your stronger area make sure you get maximum possible score from that section.
2. Understand your behavior during exam. eg. are you panicking or rushing between questions.if so work on it too.
3. Make sure you dont lose low hanging fruits of your weaker sections
4. Eat and rest well , endurance is key



All the best guys!!! 8-) 8-)
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Re: GRE 326 in 61 days by working professional [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2019, 00:16
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Wowwwww

This is a wonderful SUPER useful GRE exam experience. 8-)

Regards
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Re: GRE 326 in 61 days by working professional [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2019, 00:22
Super !!!! Enjoy your Score !!!! :woohoo
Re: GRE 326 in 61 days by working professional   [#permalink] 04 Dec 2019, 00:22
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