Experiences of GRE Test Takers: Sheharyar
Here’s Shehayar’s advice for preparation and test day, based on his exam experience. If you’d like to submit your own experiences please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Asalam O Alaikum. I appeared for my GRE exam today, and would like to share my experience. To let you know I prepared for my exam in just one month of full dedication. I put up 8-9 hours daily.
This was my second attempt at the GRE – my first attempt was last year in September. Then I had scored 152 (verbal) and 159 (maths). I got rejections from almost all good universities I applied to and therefore had to retake my exam.
For verbal I focused on learning vocabulary from Barron’s. I learned almost 2300 words and therefore I knew most of the vocab that came on the test. For maths I mainly used Barron’s as well although I did use a bit of Princeton review for tips and techniques.
Math was easy and it was the first section I got after the AWA. I completed all my questions in time as I had practised a lot of maths and prepared with proper timing. Due to the adaptive nature of the test my second maths section was much difficult and I did not do well on it. Timing became an issue on my second maths section.
On my first verbal section I really screwed it and made a complete mess of it. The reading comprehension as very tough and I had not practised them much so that caused a lot of problems for me on the test day.
In the end I had to guess 7-8 questions on the verbal section. As a result my second verbal second was a piece of cake as I did it well in time and knew all of it almost.
So this time my score was 156 on the verbal and a 167 on the maths. I thought I would get more on maths since I did it very very well. Nevertheless I got the score I wanted with just one month of full dedicated preparation.
What could have I done differently
If I were to prepare for it again I would have worked more on the Verbal timing and practised a lot more reading questions. They make up almost 50% of the total questions so they are a must. The new GRE is much tougher I think because of it emphasis on the analytical and strategic thinking. I think a vocab of 1500 words is more than enough. I over did the vocab – I should have spend that time on practising. Also I would suggest getting hold of some more books and material as Barron’s is not enough. May be Kaplan’s or Princeton review – I don’t know but do prepare from some more material.
Anyway, good luck to all GRE aspirants”