Shared by Adit Popli
My GRE Experience: How to crack GRE
This post might provide some respite to all those who are to give their GRE soon and are a little anxious and apprehensive about their performance and how to crack GRE because of the claim made made by some people that lately GRE (especially the quants section) has become tougher. If you are one of them, sit back and spare some time to read this post (which is going to be a long one)
I started with my GRE preparation around 2.5 months back and was very confident with the way my preparations were fairing up. And I actually like to read each and every experience posted py people who have appeared and how to crack GRE. And lately, over the past few weeks people have been saying that the quants section has stepped up a bit, not only in terms of difficulty but also length. This got me a little worried.
But, I had a very smooth experience with my exam. I didn’t find the exam intimidating at all. It felt as if I was giving another powerprep practice test and it was easy for me to crack GRE.
Now, the exam-specific experience :
I got QVQVQ. As maths has always been my forte, this really soothed some nerves.
I didn’t study for awa at all. I just spared 60 minutes last night and went through one sample passage for each task (those in OG) just to get a feel of the structure. If you are used to writing blogs, etc. I feel that you don’t need to give more than a day to your awa preparation. Though practicing a couple of passages for each task won’t hurt.
As smooth as it gets. Completed it in 22 mins with revision in the next 5. Still 8 minutes to spare. This may not be the case with everyone though because I am really fast in calculations and often don’t need a calculator. ( Swag?! Oh yeah )
It was fine. Difficulty level was similar to powerprep 2. But the answer choices in the RC questions were a little tricky. It was often the case that I could easily eliminate 3 out of 5 choices and was caught between the remaining 2. In this case, just make a calculated guess and move on. Don’t waste a lot of time on them.
The 10 minute break:
I was really exhausted by this time. Actually, the last day I had traveled all the way from mangalore to chennai. And one mistake I made during my preparations was that I always skipped the awa section in mock tests. DON’T DO THAT. You should be mentally prepared to sit for 4 hours in front of the computer screen. I splashed water on my face and took a few deep breaths and that really seemed to work.
Since GRE is an adaptive test and I fared pretty well in Q1(acc. to me, atleast), I expected Q2 to be tough. But it was even easier than the first, which made me little skeptical about my performance in Q1. Again completed it within 22 minutes.
It was easier than the first but there were a few alien words this time. There were also a lot of SELECT ALL THAT APPLY questions in RCs.
Again started off well but after 7-8 easy questions, there were 3-4 tricky questions which consumed a lot of time and I was mentally exhausted. These questions weren’t difficult but the language was tricky and questions were long and I had to read them 2-3 times to comprehend them well. I was really exhausted and I felt an urge to give up. My mind was imploding. I skimmed these questions quickly and came back to them in the end. I consumed 34 minutes to complete this section.
And then was that heart pounding moment and I wasn’t expecting much because I was quite demoralized by the last section.
Score: 325 (q-168 v-157) and this is how I cracked GRE
Mock test scores (in order):
PP1 : 323 ( v-155 q-168 )
Kaplan MST5 : 328 ( v-158 q-170 )
Kaplan MST4 : 320 ( v-152 q-168 )
PP2 : 325 ( v-157 q-168 ) –>Same as my GRE score!
Miscellaneous tips to crack GRE:
1. If you write and read blogs or articles regularly, not much of preparation is required for AWA. No need to go through the entire pool.
2. Do attempt awa section while giving mock tests. Skipping them is not a good practice.
3. Rather than focusing too much on SC and TE, practice as many RCs as possible. SC and TE questions in the exam will often be easy.
4. Don’t stress on vocab too much. Go through barrons HF333 with utmost attention. But I would advice you to write down and memorize the new words that you encounter in the mock tests, because apart from the word lists, I did encounter a few words which I had already encountered in my mock tests. Ex- jaundice, intermittent, fractious etc.
5. Use the one minute breaks to take deep breaths.
6. The 10 minutes break is only for having Food and going to washroom. Dont talk to anyone. don’t try to refer any study material. There was a girl at the center whose exam was cancelled because she Was going through her notes.
7. Don’t study on the day before the exam. And have a proper 8 hours sleep and have a positive mindset.
A USEFUL STRATEGY to crack GRE VERBAL SECTIONS:
Don’t attempt the questions in sequential order because it is often possible that you might lose the track of time.
Verbal section always contains 10 RC questions and 10 SC/TE questions. Try to solve all the 10 SC and TE questions within the first 10 mins. Now, you will have the 20 minutes for RCs. Start with the longest RC and dedicate 4-5 minutes and read it completely and try to grasp as much as possible. If you have understood the passage well, you will be able to solve the associated questions in 2-3 minutes. Now, you have 13 minutes left for the remaining 6 RC questions.Follow the same approach to answer them.
Note : Adopt this approach to crack GRE and you will never fall short of time. However,this exercise might prove exasperating for some as you need to read passages back to back. I always took a 7-8 seconds break between each passage.
Also, Out of the 60 questions on Quants: 0 on percentiles,2 basic questions on SD, 3-4 questions on mean and median,5-6 questions on fractions,2 questions on profit/loss, around 3-4 questions on probability.,1 question from PnC. DI questions were easy but read them twice before marking your answer.
Thanks Adit for sharing your experience and tips to crack GRE! Congratulations and Good luck ahead with the application process
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