How I Scored High in GRE Test?
This is the test taking experience of New GRE submitted by a GRE taker. You can read other GRE takers’ experience here.
I scored 161 and 164 on the GRE.
Analytical Writing section
If you do well in this section, you can attempt the other sections in a good frame of mind. Practice writing at least 10 essays and do not skip this section in the mock tests.
Do not attempt to memorize Barron’s 3500 words because it does not help you understand the usage of the words in sentences. My mentor suggested that I read The New York Times, Scientific American, New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. On the test, try to complete the text completion (TC) and sentence equivalence (SE) questions first and then work on reading comprehension (RC).
Nearly half the GRE Verbal questions are on RC. Thus, prepare accordingly. Figure out a strategy that works best for you. Read 5-10 articles every day for 2-3 months. Build a summary of each article that you read in your head.
- Manhattan’s 500 Essential words and 500 Advanced words
- Videos from Magoosh on strategies to attempt the Verbal section
- Official Guide to GMAT’s Verbal section (They are easier than GRE questions but there are 140 questions and are good for practice.)
ETS constantly changes the type of questions appearing in this section. So, practice smart, not hard. Time yourself and attempt the questions in less time than is allowed. GRE questions can be attempted in multiple ways, such as back solving method or algebraic method—practice all strategies. In this way, you will automatically learn to solve questions the easier way.
- Manhattan’s Quantitative books: Good for candidates who have been out of school for a long time, covers concepts in detail
- Official Guide: should be bought
- Nova Math Bible: has difficult questions with good explanations and strategies
- Manhattan’s 5 lb quantitative book
- Barron’s Math Review: contains useful shortcuts and satisfactory questions
I got the Analytical Writing section first. I took 3-4 minutes to note down points on my scratchpad. Then I typed out my essays.
Next, I got the Verbal section. I did not perform well due to nervousness. I was confused between two answer options in the TC and SE questions and could barely complete it on time.
I got the Quantitative section next and I was expecting it to be easy. However, the questions were tough and took too much time. Also, they were different from the typical GRE questions because they tested 2-3 concepts in a single question. For example, a question in co-ordinate geometry tested rectangles, triangles, and angles as well. I did not have sufficient time left and I had to guess the answers to a few questions.
A ten-minute break followed.
A Verbal section appeared and I performed well, even completing ahead of time. I could review my answers here.
Next came a Quantitative section which again had tough questions. I remember a question testing cubes, squares, and probability at the same time.
I thought that the first Quantitative section was experimental, so I was expecting another Quantitative section. But, surprisingly, I got a Verbal section. It was simple and I completed it on time.