MY GRE Experience and Tips
This is the test taking experience of New GRE submitted by a GRE taker. You can read other GRE takers’ experience here.
I scored 158 in the Verbal section and 165 in the Quantitative section. I did not join any coaching classes. The information and experiences shared by test takers online helped a lot.
My test center was a regular residential building. My test was scheduled at 9:00 a.m., but I reached the venue at 8:15 a.m. I was allowed to enter at 8:35 a.m. and had to undergo security checks. I was allotted a locker and was asked to fill in a form. Among the other candidates, I was the only one taking the GRE.
I entered the test room at 9:35 a.m., underwent an ankle security check, and was given scratch paper, noise-canceling headphones, and pencils. Although there were several candidates in the room, it was very quiet. The proctors were quite cooperative.
I began with the Analytical Writing section. I had written around 7-8 practice essays as preparation. PowerPrep tests are useful for this section as they give you a sense of the actual test environment. I used the breaks to calm my nerves. Next, I got the Quantitative section. I was slow to solve the first few questions and I barely managed to complete the section on time. I did not do well in the Verbal section and I could not complete a question due to lack of time. The next section was also quantitative and of the same difficulty level as the previous one. I did not perform well on the second Verbal section either. My final segment was also quantitative and I was able to complete it with five minutes left.
The test was over at 1:50 p.m.
- Gruber’s Complete Guide: started preparation with this book
- Strategies in Cracking the GRE by Princeton Review: helps with strategies and time management
- 1014 Practice Questions by Princeton Review
- GRE Manhattan’s 5 lb book of practice questions: good for practice problems
- Official Guide by ETS: worked through this book a few days before the GRE
- Powerprep sample tests: results are indicative of actual score (got V 156 and Q 167)
I read blogs by test prep websites to increase my confidence and I looked for answers to difficult questions on the Internet.
ETS will ask you to choose the universities to whom your score will be sent AFTER your results are displayed. You need to know the codes for these universities.
- There is very little difference in the difficulty level of various sections.
- Practice solving problems in less time than is allowed because nervousness can cause loss of time.
- The amount of practice one does will show up in one’s scores.
- It is possible to perform well in the first try and without coaching if one puts in enough effort.