Getting a Perfect Score on the GRE – 170 Q and 170 V
For most students in Pakistan, achieving a perfect or a near perfect score on the GRE is an impossible dream. In case most of you are new to the GRE, a perfect GRE score is
170 (perfect quant) + 170 (perfect verbal) = 340
Recently, Umair Khan made us proud by scoring a 170 (perfect) on quant and 168 (near perfect) on the verbal section. Since his outstanding feat, many students have been inquiring as to how many questions did he get right in each section of the test to get this score. To answer that we got Umair’s official score reports from the ETS (attached below) and it seems that you can get a perfect Math score on the GRE by getting a question or two wrong. For the verbal section one can get a near perfect score by getting a 5-6 questions wrong. So to get a perfect quant score, the maximum you can get wrong is two questions – for verbal you can get 3 questions incorrect and still get a perfect score.
It is a myth that Engineers cannot get good verbal scores. But Umair is an engineer, which proves that engineers can get top-notch verbal scores. There is another myth that only voracious readers of novels can get such scores on the English section – Umair proves that myth wrong as well. In fact Umair had no GRE vocabulary at all and he memorized 800-900 words a couple of weeks before his exam day. He has never been an avid reader of the English language except sporadically reading things that interests him.
Getting a great score on the GRE does not require hundreds of hours of effort if your basics are right. You just need to get the right content and put emphasis on mastering your concepts, techniques and strategies. I have seen students solve thousands of questions to prepare for GRE and end up getting average scores and then complain. This is the wrong strategy – instead of working tons of questions, the best way to prepare is to work hard on grasping the concepts and techniques of the various topics and question types. Then you just need to solve a few questions to consolidate that technique. Umair stated in his post exam performance that he never solved more than 40 questions per topic once he understood the strategies. In total he solved around 500 questions for quant, learned 800-900 new words and solved 50-60 reading passages and 150 questions on the text completions and equivalence. What Umair did best was that he spent more time on mastering his approach on a question and then topped it up with 10-12 full-length practice tests to build stamina of working through a 4 hour long exam.
Its simple, if you study for the GRE with questions and books that do not accurately reflect what you’ll see test day, you will never get a good GRE score. You would be under the false impression that you worked so hard for the test and couldn’t score well, where in the first place you studied the wrong stuff. So the moral of the story is: work hard but use the right content and prepare a strategy for your GRE prep.
Below are Umair’s GRE score reports for your analysis and purview.
Quant Score Report GRE:
Verbal Score Report GRE: