I’m finally done with the GRE and am thankful to all those who encouraged and supported me.
I started my preparation in early April so that I can get done with my GRE in August and then have enough time to apply to schools. I’ve practiced a GRE diagnostic test from ETS. I did fairly well on Quant but the verbal score shook me badly.
My Preference of Reference books:-
ETS Official guide: Every GRE test taker must have this book.
Kaplan book: I got my hands on this book, so that I could refresh my concepts. It was okayish for verbal but the math questions were too easy.
Manhattan: Worth the money. It was very good book for quant practice. Conceptually I was strong, but for practicing, I needed this source. This book helped me a lot. Plus it gave free access to six full length tests.
The Hectic Juggling act:-
I had to manage my studies along with college and internship. I somehow took two hours every day and studied without distracting. I finished the Kaplan book in two weeks. After that I started with Manhattan GRE 5 lbs book and practiced it for another 3-4 weeks after which I started taking full length tests.
Building my Vocabulary:-
I kept on learning vocabulary without skipping a day. I would make flashcards when I got up in the morning and then would carry them in my pocket to my college or place of internship. Each day I’d carry 20 such flashcards and by night, I used to ensure that I finish them. Along with this, I kept on reading the newspaper daily. It helped me in two ways- it enabled me to see the application of the words that I learnt and it helped me indirectly in reading comprehension as I started developing mental stamina and familiarity with different topics.
My D-day went on smoothly without much problem. There were one or two questions that I couldn’t answer but I felt confident that I was doing well in the exam.
Advices from my side:-
Don’t go crazy accumulating a lot of material. Just refer to few good books and extract the best out of them.
Take at least five practice tests. Spend a good amount of time in analyzing the questions. Learn from the mistakes you’ve done.
Focus on doing a few questions. Believe me, there is no point in doing hundreds of questions because at the end of the month, you won’t even remember what you have learnt from the questions that you have attempted.
Be positive- There will be times in your preparation when you really feel like giving up out of boredom. Remember that doing well on the GRE is your goal that you must achieve.