GRE Tips

MY GRE Experience

This is the test taking experience of New GRE submitted by a GRE taker. You can read other GRE takers’ experience here.

I scored 314 on the GRE (Q 162, V 152, AWA 4) with less than 2 months of preparation alongside a full-time job. I needed to clear the test to pursue graduate studies.


Quantitative section

This section can be tricky and you tend to feel pressured due to the time limit imposed. Practice using the online calculator since you may be used to other types of calculators. A lot of my questions pertained to percentages and statistics. Very few questions were on probability. In Data Interpretation, I got line graphs and tables. Graphs usually take longer to solve. In the comparison section, I got pie charts along with ratios.

I prepared using Manhattan’s 6 Guides, ETS Guide, Barron’s Ed 19 (Geometry), and 5 lb Manhattan.

Analytical Writing section

Create templates for the essays and practice writing full-length essays. This helps save time since the essay is structured. If possible, get an expert to check your practice essays. Get some tips from videos by Magoosh. I did not have time to write full-length essays, so I created 5-6 outlines and read a few sample essays. The ETS guide is great for this section.

Verbal section

I read at least two articles every day from the Economist, the Atlantis, or the New Yorker. I prepared using Flashcards for Vocabulary by Magoosh, 5 lb Manhattan for reading comprehension (has a good critical thinking section), the Princeton Review (to pick up strategies), and the Big Book for Reading Comprehension. For Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion questions, only the ETS Guide is good.

Remember, it is more important to understand sentences than it is to memorize a lot of words.

In the test, the verbal questions were similar to the ones in the ETS Guide. The reading comprehension passages were similar to the ones in the 6 Barron Practice Test series. I followed the strategy of completing the TC and SE questions with one or two blanks in the first 5 minutes, then attempting the reading comprehension passages, and then working on the TC questions with three blanks.


I attempted eight practice tests: 2 each from Manhattan, Princeton Review, Kaplan, Powerprep, and 3 from the 6 Barron Practice test series.

My GRE test was like the Powerprep practice test questions. Manhattan tests have good quantitative questions. Kaplan tests have good explanations and allow you to interact directly with the experts. The difficulty level of the Barron 6 practice tests are the same as the GRE test.

These tests are available on the Internet for free.


The GRE takes 4 hours to complete, so it is good to take rest ahead of the test. Also, it is advisable to use the breaks between the sections to relax. Avoid panicking!

Satabdi is a content writer and editor with degrees in Biology and English. Her interests include education, health and wellness, and books. When not writing, she can usually be found reading in a corner.

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