Firstly, before you start reading this article a small remainder. The GRE isn't everything. It’s just a criterion for comparison. People have a common misconception that a GOOD GRE = GOOD ADMIT. This is completely wrong. It is just ONE of the credentials of the candidate that is evaluated and nothing can compensate for it. The GRE, more importantly, cannot compensate for a bad GPA or anything of that sort. Having said that we can move on to what really matters.
What is the GRE?
Well many consider it hell but it really isn’t. Trust me, if you do everything in the right way it really isn’t. The GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS as how they put it is just a standard or means to compare the applicant to international levels. Basically, universities need to know if you’re good as you say that you are. And that’s not only with your technical skills and expertise but also in general analytical and mathematical abilities.
The Vicious Verbal!!
Verbal, honestly speaking is very difficult to master. Leave alone to try doing it in a couple of weeks or months. The GRE Verbal is different from normal verbal questions. Each sentence completion or Passage that you are questioned on has a line of thought. In a sentence, what people try to do is figure out the meaning. This is Very Dangerous! You have a timer and it’s moving!! It would take you a lot of time to figure out the meaning and to get the right one as the possibilities are immense. You don’t put a certain answer and check as all options would seem valid and would confuse you all the more. Instead, check for the trend of flow such as the type of sentence it is, Positive or Negative? Check for the keywords such as but, still, however etc. Then focus on eliminating the options to get the right answer! This holds good as a concept for Reading passages and Sentence completion.
That’s just one part that you would have to master. The next one is to learn those big words which are very confusing and difficult yet again. One must not learn it the Indian way (And by that what I mean is to mug them up). You are bound to mess it up in the exam. Instead apply it to a sentence and then recognize its meaning. Group words which have the same meaning, carefully and then learn them.
When you do learn the words, learn them in a SMART way. Internet’s available for your usage. Use it and use it well. Find out the words which are most frequent like the most frequent 200 words used and then slowly expand to 500 and then 600 and so on. Do this in a span of few months. Not like 3 days before the exam. !
The Quant!! Easy eh? Not so fast!
The questions asked are very easy and you feel like the answer is almost right in front of your eyes! Even before you even work it out! The GRE tests the quantitative abilities and it also tests something else. It tests your presence of mind. That’s one of the biggest loop holes which cause most answers to go wrong.
What do I mean by that? People always want to beat the timer to get extra time to check the answers. When they do so, they don’t read the question properly and they misunderstand the same. The options are so well planned out for every question that it would “trick” you into choosing the common wrong answers and BOOM you lose one point. So read the question carefully before you even look at the options. Once you understand what the question is asking, you’d figure out that the math is very easy and you can STILL beat the timer with the RIGHT answer. That’s your secret to getting a 160+.
Analytical Writing, Stories! This one’s in the bag!
AWA is not all that easy. It’s not just stories you write. You have to analyse what the question wants and then form your opinions and paragraphs.
Issue and Argument types :
Follow 4 steps :
- Understand the issue topic.
- Find out the supporting reasons with examples.
- Find out the opposing reasons with examples.
- Find which weighs the other out and then form your essay in 3 paragraphs.
For the Essay Types: Understand the topic, list the points you want to add and start if off.
- Never try to guess which section is the experimental section. That’s being very irresponsible.
- Never harp on a single question, if you don’t get it in a minute or so, move on.
- Don’t judge how easy or difficult the test is going to be with the section you start out with.
- The GRE is section adaptive so if you do well in the first quant, the second quant section is bound to be tougher.
Most would want to know how much I got and even though I’m writing this article, I didn't do all that super in GRE. I scored a 311/340. A 162/170 in Quant and a 149/170 in Verbal with a 4.0 in AWA. I wish you guys all the very best!