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Tips for cracking the exam!

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Joined: 30 May 2014
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Tips for cracking the exam! [#permalink] New post 30 May 2014, 10:59
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I decided to give the GRE before the start of my final year of Engineering in 2012. My GRE was in the new pattern which was out of 340. I secured 310 (Q-165, V-145) during my first attempt, which was in the month of August. I wasn’t happy with my results. So, I decided to retake the examination before I started with my application process to different Universities. I was targeting for a score of 320+ which would secure me an admit in the top Universities in the US as I had a good profile. But, things didn’t work out the way I wanted to. In my 2nd attempt in October, I got 311 (Q-165, V-146). With this score I applied to the Universities in the US.

My tips for the preparation for the examination:

1) Plan to give your GRE in the summer vacations after your pre-final year.
2) Book a date for your GRE exam during the month of February or March. So, getting a day and time of your choice will be easier.
3) The amount of time required for the preparation is ideally 8 weeks, with sincere efforts of 2-3 hours every day.
4) There is no substitute for hard work. Working out the problems in Quant is the only solution. Although GRE recommends you to know 3500 words, 500 high frequency words will do the trick. Make sure you learn atleast 15-20 new words every day!
5) Take as many mock examinations as possible. Once a week is a must if you want to secure a high score.
NOTE: Don’t worry about the score as this mock test is not a measure of your actual GRE score, but gives you an idea where you make your mistakes and work on it.
6) 3 weeks prior to the G-day, sit down and take the FULL-LENGTH tests seriously. Put your PHONE away, books away. Try to take the exam in a quiet environment INCLUDING the essay.
7) A week before the exam, take the exam given by the ETS. The score that you get in this will be more or less your actual score.

My tips for the G-day:

1) Get ample sleep: The GRE is a 4.5 hours examination which is exhausting both mentally and physically. You should have atleast got used to sitting at one place for 3.5 hours + during your mock tests.

2) Stay calm: If you think you performed badly in one section, don’t worry about it. Just move on to the next section and try to ace it. Never panic in the GRE. It demotivates you and the chances you do well in the next section also will be reduced.

3) Time Management: You have sufficient time for every section. If you get stuck in one particular section, just move on and solve it at the end. If you finish a particular section before time, DON’T move to the next section. If you are confident enough and sure of your answers, put your pencil down and relax as your next section may require more effort and this can really be mentally exhaustive.

4) MATH: Don’t work it out with accuracy. GRE doesn’t require you to solve every question. Use approximations and find out the nearest answer. Read what is asked in the question. Give importance to LESS than, MORE than or EQUAL to. Data interpretation can gain you the extra points to reach 170. Perhaps, most of the students lose their marks in this section.

5) VERBAL: The words you learnt may or may not be helpful. It is perhaps easier to score in Reading Comprehension rather than Text Completion (TC) or Sentence Equivalence (SE) as the options in TC or SE can be confusing and they are not very different from each other.

6) The fees for GRE includes sending your scores to 4 or 5 Universities. Decide first on the course that you would like to do your Masters in. Then, start searching for Universities which offers this course. Make a list of the Universities as per your GRE score (expected) according to the categories: “Ambitious” and “Safe”.

Materials for Preparation

1) Start with the Bible – Barrons (latest edition)
2) Kaplan
3) Jumboree (Especially for Math)
4) Princeton Mock exam
5) ETS guide and ETS exam
6) Kaplan 500 High Frequency Words
7) Princeton word list

Knowing the words helps you only to an extent. But, what actually helps is when you try solving the different sections in English, which will give you an answer closer to the context. Make sure, the word fits into the context rightly and aptly. That’s indeed very important.

Do Not waste your time and your parents money by joining GRE classes. They don’t teach you anything. Perhaps, they do for minting money. Instead, invest your money in materials and subscribing for online exams.

GRE isn’t a difficult exam to crack. Don’t work hard, but work SMART during the exam. Even if you don’t get a good score don’t worry as GRE is just a mandatory exam for getting an admission and is NOT the only criteria. Other criteria are: Statement of Purpose, Letter of Recommendation and Profile which may be good enough to secure you your dream University.

Good luck to all the aspirants. Wishing you great success!
Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 6
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Re: Tips for cracking the exam! [#permalink] New post 27 May 2015, 04:20
Well your post really explains some nice tips for facing the exam. You have listed some nice points that my educational consultancy in chennai told me. I think what worked for me is my focus.
Re: Tips for cracking the exam!   [#permalink] 27 May 2015, 04:20
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Tips for cracking the exam!

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