Quantitative = 162
Verbal = 158
AWA = 4.0

GRE Experience

I took my GRE on 8th January 2014 which seems like ages ago. I took it because I wanted to apply for a Master’s program in the US and Germany. I wanted a good GRE score so that I could boost my average GPA. I registered for the GRE a week before my desired test date and spent a couple of nervous days before my test day. But once I entered the Prometric Center in Lahore (inside FC College), I was unusually calm. They checked my identification documents and I was ushered into test hall.

I started with the Analytical Writing Assessment section which I didn’t find that difficult because I had practiced a few essays before my test. But due to that inevitable nervousness that one can attribute to an exam like the GRE, I did lose a few minutes thinking and gathering my ideas before I actually started typing. But nevertheless, I finished in time.

Then came the quantitative section. That triggered my nightmare. I was very confident about my quantitative ability during the preparation primarily because I had always been good at Maths and also because I was from an Engineering background. I spent unusually large amounts of time on solving questions which I would have run through normally. That kept getting me nervous and at the back of my mind, the headline was that I was doing very badly.

The verbal, which always had been my weakness, came to my rescue. I started brilliantly and knew that I was doing great. During the break, I gathered myself somewhat but still, those negative thoughts kept coming up that I was doing a horrendous job on quantitative. For me the experimental section was quantitative as well. Second verbal section was more difficult than any practice question you can find in any practice book of world. But that meant that I did a fantastic job in first section. I clicked ‘Report Scores’ with a faint heart and was very excited to see my score. ‘320’ was my desired score and it was exactly what I attained.

GRE Preparation

After my graduation, I was free for a few months and it was during that time that I decided to take GRE. Before starting my preparation, I read all the literature that I could find on GRE including experiences of other GRE test takers. BrightLink Prep helped me a lot as it can answer all your questions and queries on GRE.

I was good at Maths, so I didn’t spent much time on basics. I would daily do 20-30 math practice questions. My verbal was weak as is the case with most of Pakistanis. So I attributed special time for it. I regularly read stuff from different websites like www.bbc.co.uk , www.theatlantic.com , www.cricinfo.com , www.economist.com and a few others. I believe verbal is more reading than practice. Yes, practicing questions is inevitable for a good score but you need to have that stamina to read long passages in short time and the ability to spot the missing words on sentence completion questions. I cut down my time on social networking and instead devoted that time on reading. Besides, I regularly practiced questions from different books which included ETS official Guide, Princeton Review, ETS Big Book (For Reading comprehension) and Kaplan. I solved Power prep mocks as well and spent some two months with 4 hours daily on preparation. I owe my gratitude to Sir Talha for giving me a direction treading which helped me do well.

I used Magoosh Flashcards for vocabulary which in my view is the best available stuff for vocabulary. But cramming words will take you nowhere. You need to develop that habit of reading materials and finding the meanings to difficult words and updating your vocabulary. In that way, you will understand the right context in which the words are used. On the test day, you should remain calm and not think about section that has passed and you will do well.