Let’s cut to the chase and come to the point.
I was planning to take GRE for a long time but was not doing anything in this regard. Then one day I sat down and made up my mind. I started my preparation with Barron’s book.
I am a software engineer and my office timing is from 9am to 6pm. My job is a bit hard and I don’t get enough stamina left at the end of the day for my preparation. So In the start I took a week off so that I may get started properly and then I would manage things with my job. In that week I read barrons book complete and got myself registered for the GRE exam. It was about a month to go for the exam when I got registered. Once my leaves were over, I took a diagnostic test using the powerprep software that ETS gives you. I scored 136 in verbal and 163 in quant. That was a terrible feeling. Partially because, I had already paid my fee and could not afford to lose and partially because I thought I didn’t have enough time to waste for another try if I don’t get good enough marks.
I started preparation on daily basis. I started going office about an hour before my office timing and use that time doing GRE preparation. It went smooth for a week or two. Then I took another diagnostic test. You might know powerprep gives you two, timed tests for your evaluation. This time I scored 141 in verbal and 160 in quant. My math section was always strong so I was not as such worried about quant, but verbal did frightened me.
Then I got a bit lazy and another week past with as such no proper preparation, it was partially due to job. Then a week before exam I started preparation again. I was planning to attempt multiple mock tests. But I could only attempt two mock tests from barron’s software which comes with the book in CD. And one mock test that Manhattan offers for free.
I knew where I was standing. But I made up my mind to get max possible, out of it. I decided to focus on quant and get max, 170 if possible. And for verbal I planned not to worry at all. Because I knew if I attempt verbal without any tension I could score 145. My Vocab was very bad but after all its not just vocab although vocab plays a major role in test.
Luckily exam was a bit easy, especially verbal sections or I just assumed that verbal will be very difficult. Eventually I scored 165 in quant, 150 in verbal and 3.0 in AWA.
About AWA, let me tell you something, I never attempted a mock test properly. I mean I only attempted quant and verbal. I didn’t even prepared AWA as such. If I am not wrong I only practiced AWA by writing two essays for each section. This is not something I am proud of. If I had prepared for AWA I could have scored well. I would suggest write as much as you can and get it reviewed by someone. I didn’t prepare properly but in the test day and also two days before test, I put all my focus to GRE. I relaxed myself because I knew I can score well if I do it without any pressure. Besides I also found some alternatives so that if I cannot score well I will not be doomed completely and it also made me a bit relaxed.
I scheduled my exam on Tuesday so that if I take leave from office for Monday and Tuesday it will give me four consecutive days for exam. So consider these things too. These are small things but sometimes small things makes much difference combine.
You might have noticed some grammar and composition mistakes in this essay too but I am not going to ask someone to revise because I want you to know how bad I am for verbal and AWA section. :D